Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) in the UK: current status, best practice and opportunities for the future

Article date: 4 Mar 2013, Author: Stephen Martin, James Dillon, Peter Higgins, Carl Peters, William Scott

Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) can be thought of as a process of learning how to make decisions that consider the long-term future of the economy, ecology and equity of all communities.

Building the capacity for such future-oriented action is a key task of education. This policy brief provides an account of the current status of ESD across the UK. It draws on evidence from independent experts from England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales (education is a devolved responsibility in the UK) and sets out some of the characteristics of best practice and an analysis of future opportunities for enhancing the core role of education and learning in the pursuit of a more sustainable future.