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About Us

Who Are We?

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

As Scotland’s United Nations Regional Centre of Expertise, 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 campus. Our members are based all over Scotland. We officially launched in November 2013 and you can read more about our background here

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

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.

Our vision…

…is for Learning for Sustainability to infuse the whole of Scottish society, building our 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 and are engaged with the natural environment;
  • Societies are inclusive and equitable;
  • A vibrant economy contributes to flourishing ecosystems and social justice

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.

We think the question should be – what isn’t Learning for Sustainability?

What do we do?

We empower our members to work together to deliver 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.

Work Plans & Reports


Our members can:

  • Take part in, or develop, a task 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 2020-2022

The work of LfS Scotland is guided by our Steering Group, highly committed individuals who are voted 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:

Andy Samuel

Lecturer at Abertay University

Fritha Gilbert

Teacher of Social Subjects/ASM, Fife Pupil Support Services

Dee Bird

CEO, Edinburgh Napier Students’ Association

Dee is currently the CEO of Edinburgh Napier Students’ Association which supports students to make the most of their university experience. She is also a qualified Forest and Outdoor Learning Leader and a volunteer with the Edinburgh-based Green Team, a charity supporting young people to learn about, and connect with, nature.

Duncan Zuill

Teacher, Levenmouth Academy

Duncan has taught Religious and Moral Education (RME) for 15 years. He is a teacher’s union representative for the EIS and is Chair of Bat’s Wood, Growing Space & Bike Track. He is studying part-time for an M.Sc in Learning for Sustainability at the University of Edinburgh.

Sara Smith

Learning & Development Coordinator, Royal Highland Education Trust

Sara is a Learning and Development Coordinator with the Royal Highland Education Trust (RHET) and currently volunteers with Keep Scotland Beautiful on the ‘Its your Neighbourhood programme’.

Ullrich Kockel

Professor of Cultural Ecology & Sustainability, Heriot-Watt University

Ullrich is Professor of Cultural Ecology and Sustainability at Heriot-Watt University, a Member of the Royal Irish Academy and Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences. He has worked on endogenous development issues for more than 30 years, with particular focus on sustainable communities and from a critical heritage perspective.

Rehema White

Academic, University of St Andrews

Laura Curtis-Moss

Project Manager, East Aryshire Coalfield Environment Initiative

Laura manages a landscape restoration project in South West Scotland, focusing on tackling the climate emergency, increasing  community resilience and improving habitats for wildlife and people. She also sits on the board of Friends of the Earth Scotland and Earth in Common. Her background is in environmental and outdoor education – focusing on formal education in schools and continuing education for teachers.


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 for the past 16 years.

Jenny Haggarty