Headlines: December 16th, 2009

Schools that have improved education for sustainable development have seen benefits not just in the actions of pupils and their families but also from cost savings and improved behaviour. A report from Ofsted today highlights examples of effective teaching and learning in this area and the positive impact it is having on ‘pupils’ increasingly responsible attitudes’.

The report, ‘Education for sustainable development. Improving schools – improving lives,’ pulls together the findings of a three year inspection programme looking at improvement in education in a selection of schools. It shows that a focus on sustainable development is having a direct impact on the actions of pupils and their families and on the wider community.

Ofsted says primary schools are making greater progress than secondary schools in improving their provision. It recommends that to meet the Government’s target for all schools to be sustainable by 2020, sustainability has to be a priority in all schools’ improvement plans. All pupils, the report says, should have access to out of class learning and teachers need training and support to help them understand what is required.

Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector, Christine Gilbert, said: “It is hugely impressive to see the enthusiasm and initiative of young people leading to more informed attitudes and sustainable lifestyles. As a direct result of pupils’ activities, we are seeing more responsible use of resources in schools and beyond them.”

The report highlights examples from schools in the survey of strategies, ideas and actions that have led to improvement and which Ofsted hopes could help others to meet the target of being sustainable by 2020.