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About Us

Who Are We?

We are Scotland’s Regional Centre of Expertise on Education (RCE) for Sustainable Development – acknowledged by the United Nations University

We are part of a global network of RCEs throughout the UK, Europe and beyond. This international network allows regions and countries to share and learn from each other, and to establish or strengthen international partnerships.

Our office is hosted by the University of Edinburgh and we are part of the Moray House School of Education & Sport campus. Our members are based all over Scotland. We officially launched in November 2013 and you can read more about our background here

What do we do?

We are a growing network of educators, practitioners and key partners, all working together to embed learning for sustainability and the UN Sustainable Development Goals into all that we do. We work across sectors, across all types of education, across the length and breadth of Scotland -and with frequent collaboration with partners in the rest of the UK and across the world.

We do this through task groups, and local & national events; creating opportunities for members to get together and by sharing information, resources, policy and good practice via social media, our website and monthly bulletin.


Our vision…

…is for Learning for Sustainability to infuse the whole of Scottish society; inspiring, informing and enabling Scotland’s capacity to contribute to sustainability – locally, nationally and globally.

Our mission…

…is to work co-operatively with our members and partners to harness the transformative potential of Learning for Sustainability to support a sustainable world where:

  • People and communities value, respect and are engaged with nature;
  • Societies are thriving, inclusive and equitable;
  • A vibrant economy delivers prosperity, shared opportunities and contributes to social justice and flourishing ecosystems.

Our values…

In line with our vision and mission, we recognise that Learning for Sustainability is about considering and embodying our values as much as the projects we run. As a network, we recognise the benefits of collaborative gain. We believe that by adopting the following principles we will be better able to achieve our Mission and Objectives. 

Collaboration – recognising that we can achieve our aims through working together; acknowledging that we may share a broad vision and ethos but seeing that we may have different perspectives on pathways to sustainability

Respect – for ourselves, for each other, for our members, for the community and for the natural environment of Scotland and beyond

Integrity – in our intentions and behaviour; respecting and being true to our roles and responsibilities whilst declaring conflicts of interest where appropriate

Creativity – in our thinking and action; drawing on the heritage of indigenous and New Scots and of our international friends, engaging with arts and culture, enabling us to envision and innovate for a sustainable future 

Compassion – for ourselves, others and the non-human world, seeking kind interactions with others and attempting to heal hurts across generations, nations and groups.


What is Learning for Sustainability?

Learning for Sustainability is the umbrella term for sustainable development education, outdoor learning, global citizenship and social welfare. As you can see from the word cloud this encompasses a wide range of themes and approaches across all forms of education – formal and non formal.

How do we support Learning for Sustainability?

We work with our members to support and enable the co-facilitation and co-delivery of Learning for Sustainability (LfS) across all aspects of learning, to strengthen the understanding of LfS and to advance the practice of LfS so that it reaches its full potential across Scotland. To enable this, we:

Work Plans & Reports

Members

Our members can:

  • Take part in, or develop, an action group to enhance a specific area of work on Learning for Sustainability
  • Have a say in the future work and direction of Learning for Sustainability Scotland by attending our Annual General Meetings and voting on specific topics or ideas.
  • Network with like minded individuals across sectors and local authority areas at our tailored networking events
  • Attend workshops and seminars (often free to members) relevant to their sector
  • Access the vast range of resources, advice, consultations and policy documents available in the learning for sustainability community quickly and easily.

Steering Group 2023-2025

The work of LfS Scotland is guided by our Steering Group; highly committed individuals who are voted for democratically by our members every two years. Steering Group meetings take place four times a year and are also attended by Convenors of task groups.

View our Steering Group roles and responsibilities here.

The current Steering Group members are:

Alan Bainbridge

Reader in Education, Queen Margaret University

Alan is currently Reader in Education at Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh.  He has an expansive view of education that ranges across ecology, psychology, politics and sustainability.  He uses broadly narrative-based research methods to work qualitatively; exploring the development of education professional practice, and the transformative nature of human/more-than-human relationships.

Fiona Craig

Learning for Sustainability Lead, Scottish Qualifications Authority

Fiona is working with SQA colleagues and partners to enable the values, skills, knowledge and understanding of sustainability to be embedded in all new and revised SQA qualifications. Fiona volunteers with ApparelXChange which is dedicated to reuse, repair and recycling for childrenswear.

Laura Curtis-Moss

Director, 2050 Climate Group

Laura joined 2050 Climate Group as Director in 2022; a youth-led, volunteer-driven charity leading social change by empowering young people to take climate actions. She also sits on the board of Friends of the Earth Scotland and Earth in Common.  Her background is in environmental and outdoor education and building community resilience.  She is a snorkelling instructor, scuba-diver and volunteers as a Marine Mammal Medic with British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR).

Eirini Gallou

Teaching Fellow, Centre for Sustainable Development, University of Strathclyde

Eirini is currently a Teaching fellow at the Centre for Sustainable Development, University of Strathclyde where she coordinates the development of educational resources on learning for sustainability and supports the integration of ESD principles in teaching and learning.  Eirini holds a PhD from UCL, Institute for Sustainable Heritage having spent time researching the impact of cultural heritage engagement on the sustainability of rural communities in Orkney.

Jim Milton

Teacher of Craft, Design and Technology/Outdoor Education, Webster’s High School, Kirriemuir

Jim is a CDT teacher at Webster’s and over the past five years he has been developing outdoor education initiatives, working with local groups and experts. He has also developed more adventurous education, self-financing various NGB courses over a range of activities to share with the pupils and staff.

Rebecca Petford

Programme Manager, Greener Kirkcaldy

Rebecca’s career so far has involved advancing knowledge of and engagement with sustainability at different scales. She is now employed by Greener Kirkcaldy; a community-led charity working locally to bring people together, take positive action on the climate emergency, and support people through fuel poverty and food insecurity. In her spare time, she leads an Eco-Friendly Periods project with Plastic Free Fife.

Sara Smith

Learning and Development Coordinator, Royal Highland Education Trust

Sara coordinates sustainable food and farming teacher training across Scotland and develops learning resources. She also sits on the British Society of Soil Science Education Committee and is a Wildlife Watch leader. Her background is in environmental education and ecology.

Rehema White

Academic, University of St Andrews

Staff

Learning for Sustainability Scotland is run by a very small team who believe whole-heartedly in the potential of Learning for Sustainability as a vehicle for a more sustainable world. View our Staff roles and responsibilities here.

Pete Higgins

Director of RCE Scotland

Peter Higgins is Professor of Outdoor, Environmental and Sustainability Education at the University of Edinburgh, teaching academic, practical and on-line courses. He Chaired the Learning for Sustainability Advisory and Implementation Groups (2012-2016). He is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and a Trustee of the Field Studies Council.

Betsy King

Development Manager

Betsy joined LfS Scotland as Development Manager in 2013. She has a long-standing commitment to LfS; contributing to policy development and practice in Scotland, UK and internationally.  Originally a Geography teacher, she has worked for the Peak National Park, the University of Papua New Guinea and environmental sustainability NGOs in the UK, most recently for WWF Scotland.

Kirsten Leask

Project Manager

Kirsten joined LfS Scotland as a member of the Steering Group in 2013 and as Project Manager in 2019: initially managing the Connecting Classrooms through Global Learning programme in partnership with IDEAS and the Scotland Malawi Partnership on behalf of the British Council and the FCDO. Originally a secondary teacher, she has worked on sustainability-related learning initiatives and for various NGOs for the past 18 years.

Jenny Haggarty

Administration and Finance Officer