Comparing 2021 Senedd Manifestos to the TTF Wales Asks

Ryan Belhadj
April 30, 2021

Over the last few months, the TTF Wales team has been hard at work spreading our policies and lobbying in an attempt to ensure that as many of our asks as possible were incorporated into party manifestos ahead of this year’s elections. With policies secured in the manifestos of the main parties, it would be difficult for those parties to go back on the pledges of support for many of our policies that were expressed by the last government.

I will be scoring  the final manifestos written by the parties on how well they’ve met  the main policies of Teach the Future Wales, which are:

  1. Implement mandatory climate education into the curriculum
  2. Provide comprehensive teacher training on the climate crisis
  3. Guarantee that all new and existing educational buildings are built and/or retrofitted to be carbon neutral
  4. Encourage sustainable practice in the education sector
  5. Allocate financial assistance to new vocational qualifications and student empowerment schemes


As the largest party, Labour’s manifesto is the most important to influence, as they are the most likely to be involved in any government that forms.

There is no mention of inserting climate education into the curriculum, or of climate education more generally throughout the manifesto. There is also no mention of expanding political education or any other form that would generally fall under the TTF policy asks.

Climate Education - 0/2

There is also no mention of teacher training with respect to the climate crisis, or any other matter that would cover parts of the TTF asks, with no provision being made to expand the lacking skillbase among teachers when it comes to climate education.

Teacher Training - 0/2

As part of their manifesto, Labour has promised to “invest more than £1.5bn into the 21st Century Schools and Colleges Programme”, which will include a pledge to “develop net-zero carbon schools”. This policy is largely in line with the sustainable buildings ask, but is not very specific and only mentions developing new carbon neutral schools, rather than attempting a major retrofitting program on existing buildings.

Sustainable Buildings - 1/2

There is no mention in the manifesto of encouraging sustainable practise or recycling among schools, with the urgent need to tackle the extremely unsustainable practices throughout the education sector, being largely ignored.

Sustainable Practice - 0/2

The Welsh Labour manifesto includes a pledge to “promote parity of esteem between vocational and academic routes”, but this does not specifically address the asks relating to building skills for a green world, and does not explain how their pledge is supposed to be achieved.

Vocational Education - 0/2

Labour Score - 1/10

Plaid Cymru

As the second largest party in the current Senedd, Plaid Cymru has a significant chance of being involved in the next government that is formed, so their manifesto may have a direct impact on government policy going forward.

Though Plaid Cymru lists a large number of changes they wish to see to the curriculum, none of those changes include Climate Education. Despite their support in the past for TTF’s amendment to the curriculum bill, it does not appear to be part of their education plans ahead of this election.

Climate Education - 0/2

The manifesto states that for the new aspects they want to insert into the curriculum, they “will ensure that teachers have the necessary resource materials”. While this could apply to climate education, if at some point they decide to include it as a policy, it does not refer to it anywhere in the manifesto.

Teacher Training - 0/2

Plaid Cymru pledges to “retrofit thousands of homes to the highest environment standards”. While this could potentially apply to schools as well, especially with other sections of the manifesto appearing to lean in that direction, it does not try this into climate education, as laid out in the TTF asks.

Sustainable Buildings - 1/2

The manifesto pledges to greatly expand recycling “by 2030”, which is a very ambitious target largely in line with our asks. However, there is no real mention of sustainable practices in education specifically.

Sustainable Practice - 1/2

By promising to implement the recommendations of the 2020 Colegau Cymru report Further Education and Building Better, Plaid Cymru have taken an ambitious position on improving the current system of vocational education. With this in mind, there is still no clear link to the climate crisis and building up skills in a world changing due to it.

Vocational Education - 1/2

Plaid Cymru Score - 3/10


As the third largest party in the Senedd, very close behind Plaid Cymru, there is a chance that the Conservatives could form part of a government, making them the third most influential party on future government policy.

There is no mention of reforming the curriculum in the Conservative manifesto, despite their previous support for TTF’s policies on mandatory climate education.

Climate Education - 0/2

In line with their lack of suggestions for educational reforms, the Conservative manifesto contains no provisions for improving teacher training.

Teacher Training - 0/2

There is no mention of retrofitting or improving building standards to ensure that net zero is achieved for buildings in Wales.

Sustainable Building - 0/2

The manifesto mentions “guaranteeing at least weekly [..] recycling collections”, but this does very little to fulfill the policies laid out in TTF’s asks regarding sustainable practice in schools.

Sustainable Practice - 0/2

There is no mention of improving or adding climate education elements to vocational education in the Conservative manifesto.

Vocational Education - 0/2

Conservatives Score - 0/10

Other Parties

The other Welsh political parties are significantly smaller and are much less likely to have direct impacts on politics. However, since hung parliaments are common in the Senedd, there is always a chance that these parties join a governing coalition and have an influence on policy.

UKIP - 0/10

UKIP’s manifesto is largely reactionary when it comes to climate policies, and would seek to undo many of the gains on this front made in recent years. They take a strong stance against introducing the climate crisis or any similar “political” aspects into the education system.

Lib Dems - 1/10

The Lib Dems have no real mention of climate education and no effective suggestions for reforms. Despite this, their support for improving teacher training and continuing some of the better aspects of the new curriculum has enabled them to gain some credit.

Abolish - 0/10

The Abolish the Welsh Assembly Party manifesto is relatively limited to abolishing the Senedd, so has minimal mention of other policy. However, they do have some policies concerning education, which would involve scrapping the devolved Welsh Curriculum, unding years of improvement on the English version.

Greens - 2/10

Though their environmental policies are of relatively high quality compared to other parties, there is no mention of climate education throughout the manifesto, so they do not score very highly

Reform UK - 0/10

Reform UK has no mention at all of the climate crisis or of education, so it does not match with TTF’s policy asks.


No party has a strong policy in line with Teach the Future Wales’ asks, and with such low scores, it is hard to conclude that any of the parties currently take climate education seriously. There is a lot of work to do going forward to campaign for these fundamental and necessary reforms to be implemented.