Learning for Sustainability

Learning for Sustainability is an entitlement for all learners within Scotland’s curriculum. It weaves together global citizenship, sustainable development education, and outdoor learning to enable learners, educators, schools and their wider communities to build a socially-just, sustainable and equitable society. It supports the development of knowledge, skills and values at the heart of the curriculum’s four capacities, helping to nurture learners as responsible citizens and effective contributors.

Scotland’s ambition is that all learners receive their entitlement to Learning for Sustainability. This requires all settings to develop an effective whole-school and community approach. This is supported by a strong focus on Learning for Sustainability within the GTCS Professional Standards and within Scotland’s approach to self-evaluation.

Learning for Sustainability facilitates the delivery of a wide range of related policy commitments including:

  • Scotland’s commitment to the United Nation Sustainable Development Goals as outlined in the National Performance Framework
  • Scotland’s climate change targets and commitment to become a Net Zero Nation.

Learning for Sustainability has been developed and informed by work of the ‘One Planet Schools Working Group’ and the ‘Learning for Sustainability National Implementation Group’. This culminated in a ‘Vision 2030+’ report in 2016, which recommended that:

  1.  All learners should have an entitlement to Learning for Sustainability.
  2.  In line with the new GTCS Professional Standards, every practitioner, school and education  leader should demonstrate Learning for Sustainability in their practice.
  3.  Every school should have a ‘whole-school’ approach to Learning for Sustainability that is robust, demonstrable, evaluated and supported by leadership at all levels.
  4.  All school buildings, grounds and policies should support Learning for Sustainability.
  5. ​ A strategic national approach to support for Learning for Sustainability should be established.

Scottish Ministers have accepted all five of the above strategic objectives as well as the other recommendations outlined by both groups.

​A Learning for Sustainability Action Plan sets out how the Scottish Government will, with others, implement the recommendations of the Vision 2030+ report. Over the course of 2022/23, this national action plan is being updated and strengthened.

Related links

Current key policy links:

Background policy documents:

Keep up to date:

A summary of Learning for Sustainability resources

A summary of outdoor learning resources

Learning for Sustainability on Twitter at @EdScotLfS #ThisisLfS #TimeforLfS #outdoorlearning 

Join our Learning for Sustainability practitioner community in Glow.  

Read a ​Learning for Sustainability blog.

PPT file: Learning for Sustainability word cloud (2.4 MB)