Young people should make their own decisions about whether to attend the climate protests, a leading headmistress has suggested.
Speaking to the PA news agency, Suzie Longstaff said adults cannot “pick and choose” what youngsters feel strongly about.
“Every day we are educating the young people of the future to speak out and make their own decisions.
“We are trying to provide a modern and relevant education which includes connecting to topics that they feel passionate about.
“We can’t pick and choose what those are.
“I’m proud that Putney students have both a social and environmental conscience and I applaud them. Those who feel strongly about protesting will be there.”
Children and young people across the UK are expected to miss lessons and lectures to take part in today’s action.
State school leaders have urged youngsters not to take part in the week-day protests, saying they are concerned about pupil welfare and disruption to classes.
The National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) said every school leader’s first duty is to keep children safe during school leaders.
“They therefore cannot condone pupils leaving school premises to take part in protests,” the union said.
“That said, it is important that young people are able to make their voices heard on the subjects that matter to them and schools can support pupils to do this in a range of ways.”
Guidance for members published by the NAHT suggests that schools which have concerns about pupils missing lessons to take part in the action could put forward alternatives.
They include one-site strikes or protests, encouraging students to form campaign groups or directing students to action taking place outside school hours or in the holidays.
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