Learning for Sustainability – the report of the One Planet Schools working group – was published in December 2012. It set an ambitious agenda to embed Learning for Sustainability in every school in Scotland in an approach that encompasses learning and teaching, professional development, leadership, ethos, buildings and grounds.
Learning for Sustainability enables a school and its wider community to build the values, attitudes, knowledge, skills and confidence to develop practices and take decisions which are compatible with a sustainable and equitable society. Scotland’s schools are already strong on the themes that are included within Learning for Sustainability – outdoor learning, global citizenship, sustainable development education, and on respecting the rights of the child. However, the Government believes that schools that are able to bring all of these important themes together into a coherent whole school approach will significantly improve experiences and outcomes for learners.
The Scottish Government has initiated a Learning for Sustainability Implementation Group to bring together the key partners with responsibilities for the actions identified in the Learning for Sustainability report. The aim of the group is to create the conditions for, and help and support schools and teachers to embrace Learning for Sustainability.
The Implementation Group recognises the significant expertise, commitment and contribution of Scotland’s Learning for Sustainability community and is committed to working in partnership with them and with other national groups with an interest in and a responsibility for aspects of Learning for Sustainability.
One of the key mechanisms to facilitate this partnership working will be a series of Conversation Days which will provide an open forum for individuals, partner organisations and networks to contribute to and collaboratively develop the work of the Implementation Group.
The Group has identified two initial themes that it would like to hold conversation days on, in May 2014. These are described below. The Group hopes that all those with an interest will be able to attend and participate in discussions on the day to help shape their work under these themes. These days are open to anyone with an interest to attend although there will be a limit on numbers due to venues. We expect they will be of most interest to: teachers, young people, education authorities, national education agencies, parent organisations and third sector organisations within the LfS community.
An Education Scotland update on the progress that has been made against the Learning for Sustainability recommendations has been attached for your information.
Conversation Day 1 – Career-long professional learning and development of briefing
9:30am to 3:30pm, Thurs 15th May 2014 (Menzies Hotel, Glasgow)
The need for more Career-Long Professional Learning (CLPL) in LfS is a theme that runs throughout the Learning for Sustainability Report with Recommendation 2.1 specifically stating the need for a coordinated national strategy for Learning for Sustainability CLPL. The purpose of this Conversation Day is to initiate the development of this strategy and the development of a Learning for Sustainability briefing for schools. The briefing will clearly communicate key messages about Learning for Sustainability and its relevance to the new GTCS Professional Standards, to schools, education authorities and the wider education community. The Implementation Group recognise that there are already many stakeholders providing CLPL on different aspects of LfS and there are also many organisations with an interest in and expertise about how schools can take LfS forward and aims to bring all those interests together in this Conversation Day. The Group hopes that the Conversation Day will develop support for LfS and a momentum for its implementation in schools.
Conversation day 2 – school building and grounds
20th May 2014 (Edinburgh)
The development of sustainable school estates as part of a whole school approach was identified as a key theme in the Learning for Sustainability report which called for all school buildings, grounds and policies to support Learning for Sustainability. The aim of this Conversation Day is to bring together those responsible for and with an interest in school buildings and grounds to discuss how best to implement the recommendations made in the Learning for Sustainability Report and to identify the elements of a supporting action plan. This day will be of particular interest to those involved in and responsible for managing existing school estates, including managing energy efficiency, building new schools and creating green spaces for outdoor learning and play within schools. The day will be chaired by Gordon McKinlay of Renfrewshire Council, on behalf of ADES.
Each Conversation day will include a discussion on specific next steps within each theme, including whether longer-term working groups need to be established to take work forward. We expect that there will be themes and issues that are common to all three days and the Group is interested in the common themes that emerge across all three as well as the specific issues that are discussed. A record will be created for each day and made available through the Learning for Sustainability website.