New natural history GCSE will ‘engage and inspire’ young people, says BASC

BASC said a new natural history GCSE will help support future decision-makers to lead the natural world for years to come.

The new GCSE – due to launch in September 2025 – has the potential to engage thousands of schoolchildren each year by tackling topics such as conservation, sustainability, species interactions, climate change and land use, according to BASC shot lane manager Curtis Mossop.

Mr Mossop said: “We welcome the announcement of this new Natural History GCSE as a way to engage and inspire young people to take a holistic view of our campaign and wider global issues.

“On average, kids now spend about 40 hours a week staring at some screen. In contrast, only 70 minutes per week, on average, are spent outdoors or in contact with nature. Hopefully this new GCSE option will help restore that balance and spark a passion for nature in a whole new group of young people.

But Mr Mossop warned that the new GCSE must be objective and science-based.

He added: “This topic needs to be driven by science rather than based on emotive decisions and opinions. We made this clear in our response to an examination board consultation on the new qualification last year.

“There is a range of potentially volatile and emotional topics, but learners need to be directed to proven facts and science to enable them to get a holistic view of the topic.”