UK report on sustainability in schools


The Government in England wants all schools to become ‘sustainable schools’ by 2020.

Inspectors visited a selection of primary and secondary schools to assess teaching about sustainability and progress towards meeting the expectations of the National framework for sustainable schools.

Some schools; “…placed considerable emphasis on sustainable development. In these cases, teaching was good, lessons were stimulating and pupils took an active part in improving the sustainability of the school and the wider community”.

However, most of the schools visited had limited knowledge of sustainability and work in this area tended to be uncoordinated, often confined to special events rather than being an integral part of the curriculum. Schools were also;

“more successful in developing pupils’ understanding of local rather than global issues of sustainability”.

 The recommendations include the following for schools:

 Schools should:


 • integrate sustainable development into their development plans and ensure that resources and training are available to support it

• identify a key person to manage and coordinate sustainable development within and outside the classroom

• give all pupils the opportunity to learn about and take an active part in promoting sustainability within the school and beyond, through membership of school councils, eco councils and other groups

• give all pupils the opportunity to put their understanding of local issues into a global context, so that they see how their decisions can have an impact on others now and in the future.


The full report is available here.

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