Sustainability and Environmental Education (SEEd) is currently campaigning to have the 2002 Education Act amended to make education for sustainability an obligation on all schools, notwithstanding the fact that it has been excluded from the new National Curriculum. The Secretary of State has said that while she accepts the importance of sustainability it’s up to schools to decide what to do about it, if anything. This seems a somewhat feeble response from a government that in 2010 proudly billed itself ‘the greenest government ever’ .
In this matter DfE appears to be out of step not just with its own rhetoric and groups like SEEd and the Cambridge Primary Review Trust – which lists sustainability and global citizenship among its eight educational priorities – but also the UN and OECD. UNESCO’s agenda for global education after 2015 will link education to sustainability, global citizenship and equity, while OECD is likely to include ‘global competence’ in the next international PISA tests. Since so much educational policy these days, including the new national curriculum, is PISA-driven, we wonder why this should be an exception.
This autumn, as noted in an earlier blog, CPRT will be joining forces with other organisations to raise the educational profile of sustainable development and global understanding. Meanwhile, SEEd is seeking support for its own campaign.