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Facing History & Ourselves UK, launches Dirt Is Good Schools Programme

By November 2, 2021November 30th, 2021Front Page, News

We are excited to share that Facing History and Ourselves are partnering with Future Foundations and the Dirt is Good Schools Programme to support Facing History students in taking on social and environmental action projects.

The fully funded programme is taking place in the UK in partnership with Global Action Plan and Persil.  It is open to all schools in the UK to take part.

Michelle Perkins, says:

“We are committed to supporting young people to become responsible, active citizens and our Young Upstander programme is designed to showcase the many ways in which our students take action to effect positive societal change”

We will be holding an induction webinar on 17th November at 4pm for the Facing History & Ourselves network of teachers.

To find out more and register interest, please click here.

About the programme:

The Dirt Is Good Schools Programme has been created in partnership with Global Action Plan and Persil, with the programme in the UK delivered by Future Foundations.

Together, we are on a mission to power up the world’s Changemakers and enable young people to take action on the environmental and social causes they care about.


Research based:

Research commissioned by the Persil Dirt Is Good Project explored young people’s values and how they perceive the values of others. Almost all the young people surveyed as part of the study said that caring for nature and other people is important to them but that they don’t think others share their compassionate values. Fears about not fitting in and being labelled with unhelpful stereotypes prevent them from expressing their true values to their peers.

Of the young people surveyed, only 14% prioritised self-interest values over compassionate values of caring for people and planet. However, perceptions of what others prioritise was quite different. By age 16-18, almost half (48%) thought that other young people like them would prioritise self-interest values instead. The misperception that most others don’t care, when they actually do, is known as the values-perception gap. This study is the first to show that the values perception gap exists in children and young people. It found that young people are affected by the values-perception gap in the following ways:

  • They have lower emotional well-being
  • They feel more worried about the future
  • They are less likely to act on the issues they care about



Piloted with schools in England and Wales:

The Persil Dirt Is Good Project has been developed drawing on this research to help young people to believe that taking action on social and environmental issues is not the niche but the norm.

Future Foundations piloted the schools programme with schools in England and Wales in Summer term 2021.  There were a wide range of social and environmental issues tackled by young people during the pilot, including one group of young people who discussed the values that are important to them and individually researched the different issues that they feel are important. Each member then presented their project plan ‘Dragons Den’ style to the rest of the group and from this they agreed upon a 3 part project!

  • Research into Eco-friendly Sanitary Products – One Changemaker contacted several companies to find out more about their products and received free samples in return! The group then held an assembly for Year 6 students to educate them about the Red Box in their school and sustainable period products.
  • Plan a Litter Pick at a Local Lake – After doing research into the effect of plastic pollution on wildlife, the group made plans for a lake clean up day in September and contacted their Local MP for support!
  • Research into the Global Issue of Lack of Clean Water and Sanitation in Developing Countries – After finding out more about the issues in developing countries, the group decided to include this in their Year 6 Assembly and hope to twin one of their toilets with one in a developing country.


About us:

About Persil

Persil believes taking action, alongside others, has a positive impact on young people’s wellbeing, their communities, and the planet. Our global project will help young people see they are not alone in caring about environmental and social issues. By uniting in compassion, everyone can have a role to play in taking action. We want to support young people to unleash their long-term potential to do good.

About Global Action Plan

Global Action Plan is a charity that’s working for a green and thriving planet where people enjoy their lives within the Earth’s resources. We’re experts in helping people live more sustainable lifestyles. We do this by making connections between what’s good for people and good for the planet.

About Future Foundations

Future Foundations is an independent training organisation that aims to inspire young people to achieve their full potential and become leaders within their lives and in society. Our vision is a world where all organisations are led by socially conscious people, with every young person making the transition into adulthood with the foundations they need for their future. Future Foundations are the UK delivery partner for the Dirt Is Good Schools Programme.

About Facing History and Ourselves

Facing History and Ourselves uses lessons of history to challenge teachers and their students to stand up to bigotry and hate.

We provide educators with academically rigorous resources and proven student-centred strategies that focus on cultivating engaged and informed citizens, ensuring the realisation of a more compassionate and inclusive society.

Future Foundations is delighted to partner with Facing History and Ourselves UK on this exciting programme.

If you would be interested in partnering, please contact: