PUPILS who miss school to take part in climate change strikes will not be punished, a Scottish council has said.

City of Edinburgh Council agreed that students who take part in the protests during school hours will be accepted as an authorised absence as long as they have permission from parents.

The next school climate strikes, on March 15, are part of a growing global movement, begun by Swedish 16-year-old Greta Thunberg last August, drawing attention to the scale of climate breakdown and the need for urgent action.

Read more: Climate strikes come to Scotland

The strikes have gathered momentum in the UK since the start of the year, but some families have raised concerns about how schools and education authorities might handle absences.

Edinburgh Green councillor Mary Campbell, who put foward the proposal, said: "Climate breakdown is the defining issue of our age. The future will depend on how willing we all are to listen to children whose futures are most at risk, versus some politicians or vested interests who want to delay or do nothing. 

"That it is why I wanted Edinburgh to show a lead and recognise the importance of the climate strikes and support the children and young people taking part.

"I am glad the education committee passed this motion today, and I believe it shows how seriously we take both climate breakdown and the voice of our children."

The motion recognises that Edinburgh pupils are involved in the worldwide Strike for Climate.

Read more: Children of the revolution

This involves children striking from school on Fridays to protest outside the Scottish Parliament as well as a global day of action planned for March 15th across 50 countries.

It states: "Committee believes that school staff should support and engage with pupils who feel so passionately about climate breakdown, who are trying to play their part as responsible citizens and make their voices heard.

"There should be no punitive action for pupils who are concerned about climate breakdown and feel they need to participate in the climate strike."