Scotland's United Nations Recognised Regional Centre of Expertise on Education for Sustainable Development

Vision 2030+, the Concluding Report of the Learning for Sustainability National Implementation Group, has been formally accepted and launched by Ministers.

The Report celebrates the progress that has been made by Scottish Schools and reaffirms the importance of LfS as an entitlement for all learners. It also sets out the vision for LfS through to 2030 – the target date for realising the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

In launching the Vision 2030+ Report, Shirley-Anne Somerville MSP, Minister for Further Education, Higher Education and Science said, “It is now essential that we maintain the momentum and ensure that Learning for Sustainability is fully embedded across our approach to curriculum and our three over-arching strategic priorities for education: the National Improvement Framework, Scottish Attainment Challenge and Developing the Young Workforce. Learning for Sustainability has a crucial role in supporting and enhancing these priorities.”

Read the Vision 2030+ Report

Watch the video of the launch with the Minister (starting at 9:55). Also includes an introduction by Professor Pete Higgins and a presentation by Ms Irmeli Halinen, former Head of the Curriculum in Finland.

Read the Minister’s full statement about Vision 2030+ and Learning for Sustainability.

Taking Action on the UN Sustainable Development Goals across Communities & Schools Event

This SDG themed network forum event was jointly hosted by the SDGs task group and the newly formed Communities & LfS task group and set up to meet both group’s outcomes and objectives. 

It was also held after members responding to our annual members survey demonstrated a need and an interest in exploring the Sustainable Development Goals in both schools and communities contexts.

The event was attended by over 40 Learning for Sustainability Scotland members and was an insightful and inspiring day. As well as hearing from speakers in a traditional way, we held pecha kucha style presentations so that our members could share their SDGs work in a new and interesting way. We also hosted networking activities and interactive workshop sessions & discussions, so that participants could increase their understanding of SDGs in communities and schools and to identify the next steps that each task group should undertake to advance the objectives of the SDGs and to widen the scope of learning for sustainability in our communities.

For more information on the event, you can read the report here.

Slides & Presentations

Rehema White – Report Communities schools and the SDGs Nov 2017

Rachel Green, CDAS

Sara Smith RHET and SDGs

Scott Noble SDGs and Nature Unlimited

Charlotte Dwyer SDGs work in IDEAS network

Diarmid Lawlor ADS Learning Places

Fiona Ballantyne Refugee Womens Gp and SDGs

Fiona Ross Carse of Gowrie Sust Group and SDGs

Lusi Alderslowe SDGs & permaculture


If you would like to join either the Communities & LfS task group or the SDGs Task Group, please email Abi Cornwall, Development Officer for more information.

Teacher Education and the UN Sustainable Development Goals – TEESNet Conference September 2017

Outcomes from LfS Scotland’s joint seminar  with Teacher Education for Equity and Sustainability Network (TEESNet) in March 2017, Meeting the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals in Initial Teacher Education in the UK: Progress and Opportunities were used to develop the well attended Conference in September 2017 at Liverpool Hope University focussing  on Making the Sustainable Development Goals Real: The Role of Teacher Education in Promoting Quality Education for Sustainable Development and Global Citizenship Education in Schools.

 Conference presentations are available here. Final presentations

TEESNet 2017 delegate list

The Sustainable Development Goals: it’s time for you to get involved!

On this day in 2015, 193 UN member states gathered in New York to sign up to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It’s the closest the world has come to a global strategy for tackling poverty, inequalities and climate change, and the SDGs have quickly become one of the world’s most talked about agendas.

On an international level, these goals are practically the only game in town. Unfortunately the same cannot be said for Scotland and the rest of the UK. Whilst countries like Denmark are assessing all new legislation in relation to its impact on the SDGs, Scotland’s progressive rhetoric on the goals is yet to be matched by real action.

This has prompted a coalition of people and organisations to come together to fill the void in domestic leadership and to ensure the opportunity is not missed. Scotland’s SDG Network – which hosts representatives from Scotland’s domestic and international civil society organisations – is now entering an exciting stage in its efforts to mobilise the sector around the Sustainable Development Goals.

In the past few months the Network has met to discuss the challenges we face in progressing this agenda, collated ideas to overcome these to form a mobilisation plan, and members have now agreed a way forward to work with the rest of the sector, business and government. I can easily say that I’ve never worked with a group of people so committed and willing to step up and share ideas for moving us forward. From offers to develop the Network’s lobbying plans to creating links with the third sector and private sector, there’s a real sense of positivity with little time to waste.

It’s a collaborative effort and we need this to grow. With your help, we can not only ensure the SDGs are progressed in Scotland, we can also ensure these reflect our sector’s needs and interests. Take a look at the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. If you work in any of these areas, in any role – comms, policy, services, leadership – then get involved now!

If you think the Network isn’t for you, there are also plenty of other ways to get involved:

  1. Tomorrow (Tuesday 26 September 2017) one of our Network members is running a free training session on using the SDGs at a community levelsign up here. More training sessions will be coming up so keep an eye on Scot to stay up-to-date.


  1. Members of the Network hold regular events on the SDGs and are often looking for speakers and input into the sessions – you can register your interest in speaking at a future SDG themed event.


  1. If you’re writing policy papers, reports or position papers, or are engaging with parliamentarians, you should reference your work in relation to its impact on the SDGs. The goals have cross-party support, they feature throughout Scotland’s Programme for Government, and the new National Outcomes (to be published later this year) will also align with the SDGs.


  1. The SDGs provide us with a global framework, yet each nation must decide its own priorities for achieving the goals by 2030. Tell us your priorities for one or more of the goals by taking part in our blog series, ‘Scotland’s Goals’. Entries will be posted on a number of channels including the SCVO blog and scot. If you’d like to take part, please get in touch!

The coming months are a crucial next stage for the SDG Network in Scotland. By January 2018, we want to see a network that is visible, active and shares a collective voice on the goals. By getting involved now, you can help us to work as a collective voice in empowering communities and organisations to make use of the Sustainable Development Goals.

 Note: to take part in today’s day of action please use #ACT4SDGs in all your social media communications.

This blog was written by Paul Bradley, co-coordinator of the Open Government Pioneers Project within Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO). The project uses the UK’s membership in the Open Government Partnership, and Scotland’s new status as a pioneer for open government, as a mechanism for promoting and securing dialogue and debate between people, communities and government in the pursuit of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (the Global Goals).


Dr. Geoff Fagan (1947-2017)


The learning for sustainability community in Scotland learned with great sadness of the passing of our friend and colleague Geoff Fagan in August 2017. As well as a loving husband and father, Geoff was the driving force behind the CADISPA Project (Conservation and Development in Sparsely Populated Areas), helping communities to build the capacity necessary for them to put in place local development in a sustainable way. He passionately believed in the potential of learning as the key to a sustainable future. Geoff was a lifelong Learning for Sustainability advocate and community learning practitioner and one of the founder Steering Group members of Learning for Sustainability Scotland. His vision, passionate commitment and inspiration will be sadly missed not just in Scotland but across the world.