Welcome to the latest issue of LfS Scotland's monthly bulletin
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July 2019


Welcome to the July Learning for Sustainability Scotland bulletin  - in the midst of the sunny weather, think about what is really happening to our global climate? The Scottish Government has declared a Climate Emergency and has organised Climate Conversation Public workshops throughout the summer. See more below for a workshop near you.

We would love to know what you are doing in your work or home to promote positive solutions to the climate crisis. We are working on a new bulletin layout to make it easier to share your most important news. Over the next couple of bulletins we would like to share your stories - so please send them in!

Best Wishes, 

Norah Barnes,
Bulletin Editor

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NEWS & EVENTS from LfS Scotland

Update from the Learning for Sustainability Scotland Steering Group 

The last school bell is about to ring and the youngsters are already wild with the promise of play, adventure and the long, lazy days of summer. It is a moment to pause and reflect on the successes of the year – school celebrations, university graduations, community garden barbeques.   It is also time to escape the normal routine, to slow down and relax, or to speed up and have an adrenaline filled challenge; to consider new options and recharge the very human, non-lithium batteries. 

This has been a busy academic year for LfS Scotland and we are very much looking forward to pausing and catching our breath. In our recent Steering Group meeting  we began by reflecting on positive steps taken in relation to sustainability: the recent focus on plastic waste reduction; the energy and purpose of the strong youth voice; an emphasis on healthy, local, low carbon food. Yes, there is much to do, but in the years since our beginning, we have seen a change. Our recently refreshed website was applauded – please have a look and let us know what you think. Take a look at the new Connecting Classrooms programme section on the website , and registration is now open for our next free  Making Connections through Learning for Sustainability online course for educators, starting on September 13th.  

Global RCE is providing funding  for two of our Steering Group members to attend the European RCE meeting in September,  exploring Climate change, sustainable agriculture and food security.  We discussed what we are, should and could be doing in this area. Many of our members are working on some aspects of this, please send us your thoughts.   

Scotland’s  Vision2030+ Learning for Sustainability Action Plan  was launched on 19th June with Deputy First Minister John Swinney MSP speaking at the first meeting of the ‘Scottish Government’s Learning for Sustainability Network’. It was an inspiring moment and we look forward to contributing and making this aspiration real. We have also just seen the release of the UK Voluntary National Review on the UN SDGs, which will go to New York this year, along with the more detailed shadow report produced by the Scottish Government and the SDG network. We can be proud of what we have achieved in Scotland, but there is still huge potential for the Sustainable Development Goals to add to what we were doing prior to 2015 and to stimulate new initiatives and synergies.  

We will be back next month, ready to kick off a series of Task Group meetings. For those of you taking leave this month, we wish you happy holidays. “May the sun be in your face and the wind forever at your back."

Rehema White, Chair LfS Scotland Steering Group
Betsy King, Development Manager, LfS Scotland (  

Click here to find out more about the latest in the #ThisisLfS series.
Are you working towards a whole school approach to learning for sustainability? We would love to learn from your experiences too,whatever your starting point, to share your #ThisisLfS story please email  Betsy King. 
Events & Dates for your diary
Events in Scotland

1. The Big Climate Conversation Public Workshops, various venues, July - Sept
Did you know that Scotland has declared a climate emergency? Over the summer, the Scottish Government will be hosting a programme of events for the public to give their thoughts on what Scotland is doing and what it needs to do to combat the global issue of climate change. 

2. Big Butterfly Count, 19 July - 11 August 
Over 100,000 people took part in 2018, submitting 97,133 counts of butterflies and day-flying moths from across the UK. Butterflies react very quickly to environmental changes which makes them excellent biodiversity indicators. 

3. Reimagining Leadership for the 21st Century, 5 September, Glasgow
SOLACE (Society of Local Authority Chief Executives) is the leading membership organisation for local authority and public sector leadership in the UK. This year's theme is in reimagining leadership.

4. Intergenerational Training for Trainers and Practitioners, Fife, 5th September, Dumfries - 24th Sept, Stornoway - 5th Nov
This training provides information, delivers support and encourages involvement to benefit all of Scotland’s generations, by working, learning, volunteering and living together.

5. Scotland's Climate Week 2019, 7-13 October, Scotland wide
This year, private, public and third sector organisations will be encouraged to take part in the 7-day initiative to increase engagement and drive climate change action. 

6.  European Week for Waste Reduction 16-24 November
This European initiative promotes the implementation of awareness-raising actions about sustainable resource and waste management during a single week. There are opportunities to win awards – it would be great to see a Scottish organisation winning! Email here

Schools Sector

7. Scotland Malawi Partnership Schools’ Forums, Glasgow - 28th Aug, Edinburgh - 29th Aug
Want to hear more about school partnerships with Malawi and Learning for Sustainability? Come along to one of our FREE schools’ forums in August! These events are a great opportunity to meet other teachers from your area with school partnerships or an interest in Malawi.

8. The Scottish Learning Festival (SLF) , 25 - 27th September, Glasgow
The SLF is organised by Education Scotland and is the biggest professional learning event for Scottish education which aims to inspire, innovate and inform great educational practice. 

9.  Call for LtL School Grounds and Outdoor Learning Conference , Stirling, Sept 2020  
LtL is privileged to be organising the International School Grounds Alliance (ISGA) 3 day conference in Stirling next year. Please get in touch if you are interested in being involved. 

Tertiary Sector

10. Biodiversity Community of Practice Virtual Meeting, 9th July
Hannah Sellers, Academic Engagement Officer, University of Leicester & Green Gown Awards Winner 2018 will be discussing her dissertation project on insect diversity and trees on campus.

Events outside Scotland
1. Children in Permaculture (CiP) International Conference 2019, London, 8th July  
Inspiring plenary speeches and workshops on various aspects of permaculture education with children aged 3-12 years. Engaging children in permaculture is about embedding a culture of Care for the Earth, Care for People and Fair Share in children's homes, schools and other places.

Courses & Workshops

Courses & Workshops in Scotland

Schools Sector
1. Messy Maths: An outdoor, playful approach, Edinburgh, 30th August
In this practical course (half of which will take place outdoors), you will explore the rationale behind using outdoor play as a key approach to building the foundations of maths, along with a host of practical ways of making this happen.

2.  Making Connections through Learning for Sustainability, 13 Sept
This facilitated online course for 3-18 yrs educators is offered in Scotland over 6 weeks (Level 2), 10 weeks (Level 3) or towards GTCS Professional Recognition (Level 4) as part of the new international Connecting Classrooms through Global Learning  programme, which supports schools in Scotland and internationally to learn about and collaborate on the big issues that shape our world. 

3. Forest School and Outdoor Learning Leader Awards (FOLA) -  SCQF levels 5 to 8, October
Bookings now open for the Fife residential course starting in October 2019. Find out more information about dates, cost and course details online.

4. Children in Permaculture Training of Teachers, July 10th-14th, London and April 2020, Galloway
This course will equip you with the skills, understanding and other resources necessary to lead permaculture activities with children and to lead the introductory Children in Permaculture course.  

Tertiary Sector

6. Carbon Literary Training for the Further and Higher Education Sector, Edinburgh, 17th September
A Carbon Literacy course is a day's worth of learning on climate change and is a great way to ensure you or your staff have the knowledge and skills to get involved in your organisation's low carbon journey.

Community Sector

7. Carbon Literacy for Communities - Thurso, 21st and 22nd August
Over the two-days we’ll cover the basics of climate science, look at current and likely impacts of a changing climate, explore how to communicate climate change, look at where carbon emissions come from and explore ways to encourage and support communities to take steps to reduce their carbon footprint.


UN Sustainable Development Goals
Learning for Sustainability Scotland members Taking forward the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Scotland

1. The UK’s Voluntary National Review of the SD Goals 
The review features an assessment of how well the UK has done so far in tackling the Sustainable Development Goals. It is the first time the UK has done a voluntary review and is a good time to reflect on the impact the goals have had and what more can be done. 

2. Launch of new Action Plan for Learning for Sustainability
A new Action Plan for Learning for Sustainability was launched recently which sets out how Scottish Government and a wide range of partners and practitioners will deliver recommendations set out in the Vision 2030+ Report. The Plan highlights the vital role LfS can play in relation to key national strategies and programmes, including the SDGs. 




Every month, Education Scotland produce a bulletin for learning for sustainability in schools across Scotland. You can subscribe - for free - to receive the bulletin by clicking on this link.

Schools Sector
1. Climate Change Education resource list 
This list of resources has been put together by Ben Ballin from SEEd (Sustainability and Environmental Education) and is available on their website and as a downloadable list. 

2. Planetari: Have Fun Learning how to Change the World
An education platform aligned to the UN SDGs with the potential to reach over 40 million children in 5 years. The core offerings are: A subscription Makerzine, downloadable lesson plans and classroom resources, and for every subscription purchased, a school unable to pay gets one free.

3. New Climate Change briefing published
Education Scotland has published a new briefing to help teachers in delivering lessons focused on climate change. The briefing coincides with the launch of a new Scottish Government Action Plan for Learning for Sustainability and provides a summary of how climate change issues are addressed across the education system.

Tertiary Sector

4. Making the Business Case for Sustainability - A Guide for Sustainability Leaders.
The Guide is designed to help sustainability leaders make a successful case for sustainability in a F/HE context, to embed sustainability at the top of their organisation and bring about systemic change in the way business decisions are made. 

5. NAEE: Environmental Education Journal
UK National Association for Environmental Education’s (NAEE) latest journal is out, it contains case studies and feature articles about how EE and ESD can be used to make learning and the curriculum come alive.

Funding & News

Funding / News

1. Scotland’s got the Bottle! 
The Scottish Government has announced ambitious plans to launch a 20p deposit return scheme for drinks cans and bottles. This would involve a refundable charge being added to glass and plastic drinks bottles and aluminium and steel drinks cans. A design brief has now been issued. 

2. A New Assembly to help shape Scotland’s Future
The process of establishing the new Citizens’ Assembly to explore some of the major challenges facing Scotland has begun. A contractor is being sought to randomly select 120 members of the public to serve on the Assembly, who will be broadly representative of Scotland’s adult population. 

Schools Sector

3. Young Reporters for the Environment Winners Announced
Pupils from seven schools across Scotland were chosen as winners of our Young Reporters Scotland competition with prizes including GoPro Cameras and Book Tokens. Drymen and St Fillan's progress to the international competition. 

4. Interest-free Finance for Energy Efficiency Projects
Salix finance is a not-for-profit company partially funded by the Scottish Government, with the mission to reduce public sector carbon emissions and energy spend by offering interest-free loans for energy efficiency measures. This includes the installation of energy efficient technologies such as LED lighting, boiler upgrades and building management systems. 

Tertiary Sector
5. Scottish Finalists Announced for International Green Gown Awards

Two Scottish HE institutions have been shortlisted for the International Green Gown Awards. Glasgow Kelvin College is a finalist for Student Engagement and the University of Edinburgh is finalised in the Sustainability Institution of the Year category. The winners will be announced on 10th July 2019 in New York at a UN event. 

6.  Scottish Outdoor Learning Research Hub 
The hub is interested in connecting with people interested in 'close-to-practice research' and supporting them to share their work with wider audiences and develop their skills. If you would like to hear more about this, please email for more information.

7. College Action Inquiry Research Network (CAIRN) Journal 
This is a new online journal aimed at disseminating knowledge and critical insights for Scottish FE and aims to be an important voice in the scholarship of the Scottish college education sector. For more information on CAIRN and submission guidelines, contact: or


Community Sector
7. Smarter Choices, Smarter Places (SCSP) Open Fund
The Open Fund
aims to change people’s behaviours towards everyday travel and encourage more sustainable journeys. Supported by Transport Scotland, the fund aims to cut Scotland’s carbon emissions and improve air quality as well as tackling health inequalities and reducing the number of sedentary lifestyles.


RCE Global Network news

Global Network news

1.  Europe Regional Meeting, Greece,  13-14 Sept 2019
Under the theme 'Climate Change, Sustainable Agriculture, and Food Security', the meeting will provide a regional platform to discuss, debate and launch activities that reinforce the fundamental role that education plays in achieving a sustainable future in the region.

2. 10th World Environmental Education Congress, 3-7 November, 2019, Bangkok, Thailand
The World Environmental Education Congress (WEEC) is an international congress addressing education for environment and sustainability. For the first time, WEEC will be held in Asia. The theme for this 10th edition is 'Local Knowledge, Communication and Global Connectivity'.

Schools Sector

3. Stanford Analysis Reveals Wide Array of Benefits from Environmental Education
This article, published under the North American Association for Environmental Education's eeWORKS program, covers research conducted by Stanford University on the benefits of environmental education for K-12 students. The researchers analysed 119 peer-reviewed studies published over a 20-year period to measure the impact of EE.


Policy, Governance & Research

Policy, Governance & Research

1. Sustainability Attitudes Surveys
SEEd are running online Sustainability Attitudes Surveys until the end of July. There are three surveys; for children under 12; young people age 12 -25; and for adults. The anonymous data from these surveys will be collected by SEEd and will go towards evidence for our campaign to change the Education Act to include ESD.

Schools Sector

2. Be Kind, Curious and Brave - A Survival Guide to the 21st Century
This report from Towards Global Learning Goals, a non-profit organisation, argues that a revolution is needed in terms of how and what humans learn. It sets out nine global learning goals, and highlighting champions who will help deliver the transformation of learning.

3. School inspection reports and the status of outdoor learning, residential experiences and adventurous activities in Scottish schools
A report written by Dr Simon Beames and Dr Natalie Polack, University of Edinburgh. Despite strong policy support for outdoor /adventure learning,  there is little indication of how school inspection reports in state schools are capturing what, since 2010, has been a duty to provide outdoor learning for all students.

Tertiary Sector

4. Embedding Sustainability Report
A new report from Bridgend College shows that one of the challenges of sustainability is measuring impact quantitatively, but also qualitatively.The report highlights that we now need to move away from climate ‘change’ and talk about climate ‘emergency'.

5. Sustainability Leadership Scorecard Report 
This report summarises data submitted by 45 institutions in the UK and Ireland. Institutions using the tool are clearly able to point to concrete gains from use of the tool, whether in terms of benchmarking to similar institutions, gap analysis, or better high-level reporting of sustainability information.


1. Improving Gender Balance and Equalities Development Officer, Education Scotland
The successful candidate will play an exciting role, with the IGBE team, in driving improvement in gender balance and equality within the context of the national STEM Education and Training Strategy.
The closing date to apply is 17 July. 

2. Wild Things! Various posts - Trustee, Honorary Treasurer, Freelance Outdoor Instructor, Voluntary Fundraising Coordinator
Wild things! is an award-winning environmental education charity working in Moray, Aberdeenshire and the Highlands. Wild things! is at an exciting time in its development, having recently appointed a new CEO and embarked upon a new and exciting programme of charitable activities, placing older people and health & wellbeing at the centre of their work.

3. Fundraising and Partnerships Support Officer (Intern), WWF, Edinburgh
WWF have a unique opportunity for an intern post to gain experience and develop your skills to make a difference at the world’s leading independent conservation organisation. The post will support staff  to identify new audiences, help better understand current audiences as well as diversify and develop our fundraising efforts in Scotland. Closing Date: 14th July 2019

4. Project Officer (Sustainable Nutrition), Nourish Scotland, Edinburgh
The main purpose of the job is to work with people, communities, businesses, third sector organisations, academics and government to accelerate the change towards patterns of eating in Scotland which are more sustainable, sociable, nutritious and humane. Closing date is Thursday, 18th July 2019  


This month's Spotlight features...

Munching Caterpillars Scotland

Munching Caterpillars is a Butterfly Conservation education campaign aimed at increasing awareness and understanding of butterflies, moths and their caterpillars among young people and their families. They do this by creating resources, suggesting ideas, giving advice and through running projects that involve lots of hands on opportunities. Since they began back in 2012, their projects have reached more than 18,000 children!

The Munching Caterpillars family has now moved north of the border and visits urban primary schools and attends local community events in the central belt of Scotland. Working with schools and pupils, the Munching Caterpillars Scotland Project Officer will visit each school 4 times, delivering a series of Curriculum for Excellence linked workshops over the course of the year, each workshop building on the last. Funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, this project engages primary school children (Primary 3 – 5 age group) with the wonder of butterflies and moths. 

By increasing biodiversity in the school environment, we also hope to inspire the next generation of conservationists and help encourage more outdoor learning and sustainable development in the schools.

For further information please email:


This month's photo comes to you from....

The Garden for Life Forum and Keep Scotland Beautiful have worked together since 2016 to support Scotland’s’ young people to create the Garden for Life (previously called The Living Garden) area at GArden Scotland, the national gardening show. Photo is of the Best Garden for Wildlife Category winner - Noblehill Primary, Dumfries. 

Would you like to see your photo here? Every month we feature a photo of the month from one of our members and next month - it could be you! With over 1200 people reading our monthly bulletin it is a wonderful place to let the Learning for Sustainability (LfS) community see all your hard work. If you have a photo you'd like to feature in 'Photo of the Month' then please email our bulletin editor Norah or check our website for details.
Learning for Sustainability Scotland (LfS Scotland) is Scotland’s UN Regional Centre of Expertise on Education for Sustainable Development; headquartered within the University of Edinburgh. The centre is an open network where members and partners come together to undertake collaborative projects, research and advocacy that push forward Learning for Sustainability practice and policy in Scotland. LfS Scotland’s purpose is to harness the full potential of learning to create a flourishing, sustainable world.
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