Reflections on ESD in UK Schools

Stephen Martin, James Dillon, Peter Higgins, Glenn Strachan, Paul Vare

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


This chapter provides a review of the progress of ESD in schools over the course of the UN Decade in each of the UK’s devolved administrations, including an analysis of current practice. It draws on evidence from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. It sets out some of the key characteristics of current practice in schools in each jurisdiction, particularly focussing on the close interplay between each nation’s policy on ESD and its impact on practice. The authors note some divergence among the four jurisdictions, with ESD practice in England for example, continuing to develop despite current education reform. The chapter focuses on how good practice in the various formal and informal curriculum contexts impacts on learner outcomes and the overall quality and standards of a school’s provision as evidenced through independent school inspection and self-assessment processes. The chapter analyses some of the opportunities ESD offers students in furthering their understanding and skills to enable them to live and work in a more sustainable way—now and in the future.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSchooling for Sustainable Development in Europe
EditorsRolf Jucker, Reiner Mathar
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages25
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-09549-3
ISBN (Print)978-3-319-09548-6
Publication statusPublished - 30 Aug 2014


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