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

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.

Report from the Meeting of the UK Regional Centres of Expertise in ESD – June 2017

LfS Scotland hosted a successful meeting of the UK Regional Centres of Expertise in ESD in Edinburgh in June 20th/21st 2017 with participants drawn from 6 RCEs from across the UK.

The aims of the programme were:

• Promoting the key values and actions needed to take forward SDGs at a time of insecurity and uncertainty
• Following up the European RCE meeting held in London June 2016
• Sharing the work of UK RCEs and learning from each other
• Promoting joint working across the UK RCEs and beginning to plan possible collaborative activities
• Enjoying networking with like-minded colleagues

You can download a full report of the meeting and copies of the presentations by clicking on the links below:


Final Report UK RCEs Seminar Scotland June 2017


Welcome to the UK RCE seminar 2017

Ros Wade Key points from 2016 European RCEs meeting

Margaret Fleming Global RCE conference 2016 feedback

SDGs introduction

Paul Bradley Open Government Partnerships

Esther Rutter Crafting a Better Future

Research Into Action Briefings. Available Now to Download.

The Research into Action Briefings series was written to support engagement with published educational research in relation to Learning for Sustainability across the schools education community. The following titles are available to view or download:

LfS Research Briefings – No.1: LfS and Attainment in Schools. 2016, Christie, B; Higgins, P.

LfS Research Briefings – No. 2: Impact of Outdoor Learning on LfS in Schools. 2016, Christie, B; Higgins P.

LfS Research Briefings – No 3: The Impact of Outdoor Learning on Attainment and Behaviour in Schools. 2016, Christie, B; Higgins P.

LfS Research Briefings – No.4: Learning for Sustainability – Effective Pedagogies. 2016, Christie B; Higgins P.

LfS Research Briefings – No.5: The UN Decade of ESD (UNDESD) 2005-­‐2014 & Beyond. A retrospective review. 2016, Christie, B; Higgins P.