As one of only 3 UK Key Global partners for UNESCO’s Global Action Program (GAP) we are going to Ottawa to their next meeting to continue our work to embed and scale up ESD in education. I will be helping present a workshop on whole school/institution approaches as this is one of the 5 themes UNESCO chose. The decade showed them that taking a whole school approach really does sustain the work, lead to better integration and thinking about sustainability in the round. I have prepared a backgrounder for the group which you can see here. This is an early paper and I would love to hear from any of you about your views, research or practice. I will also be presenting the results of our baseline survey and you still have time to add your results – whether you are a network, programme or an school or institution. It’s on SurveyMonkey and is very quick and simple. You only need to answer the questions relevant to you. The survey is here: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/WIAPN2. I will be discussing both the backgrounder, survey results and what we have in common. Hoping to glean more ideas on how to scale up.
The Ottawa conference in March will, for the first time, attempt to bring together ESD and Global Citizenship – as ever it is proving to be challenging. Please do see my blog on my thinking about what connects us rather than divides us here. I believe it is not complicated at all – its about the purposes of education and not supremacy. So I am hopeful that, in the true spirit of sustainability, collaboration and collective action will ensue!
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We are partners on the UK Stakeholders for SD group which are pushing forward the UK commitments to the UN Sustainable Development Goals and will be speaking at their conference in London on March 1st.
Why is all this important to us in the UK? Well UNESCO will be in charge of the UN Sustainable Development Goal 4 – education. And all governments have signed up to this. But the good news is that anyone can report back to UNESCO – it doesn’t just have to be the government. So if you would like to know more contact me: ann.finlayson@se-ed.org.uk. We are creating an evidence alliance for just this purpose of SEEd members.
Finally MEEN, in Manchester are hoping to run a 4 nations policy for ESD event later in March. I am representing England apparently – so do write to me with your experience of current levers and barriers you are experiencing. Also if you know of a keen sixth former to represent young people and their views on ESD in their education – do let me know so I can invite them. It’s on Monday 20th March.
I know that many of you think that policy is a strength of SEEd – and this represents our current in-roads – not many I know, but still ‘you have to be in it to win it’!
Ann Finlayson
SEEd Executive Chair