The Sustainable Schools Alliance Working for All Schools
The SSA launched in 2011 with the clear aim of supporting all UK schools in their actions towards sustainability. This is much more than a buzz word to SSA. It’s an expression of ‘care for oneself, care for others and care for the environment’ which rightly has a place at the heart of all education .But is it happening? Are schools on their sustainability journeys? Is there growing resonance in the education sector with the ‘eight doorways framework’ to sustainability launched in 2006 through DCSF’s National Framework for Sustainable Schools?
SSA members certainly see change occurring. Even this website is launched with the offer to schools of an Audit Tool to help you collate and review a schools sustainability development. Since 2011 there has been growth in Eco-Schools which now includes 12,125 schools with Bronze, Silver or Green Flag Awards. This month Modeshift announced an extension of its STARS (Sustainable Travel Accreditation and Recognition for Schools) across England. But that’s not all. Outdoor learning, Forest School and Beach School are all on the rise. Thousands of trained individuals are now supporting Forest Schools and learning outside the classroom with all its recognised benefits.
We see Global Learning moving up on the agenda as educators and organisations including Think Global raise questions about the global skills which will be essential for work and life in the uncertain future of the 21st century. The sustainability doesn’t stop there. It’s growing through the very fabric of our buildings and school grounds with the more enlightened construction companies such as Bouygues, delivering sustainable school buildings following genuine consultation with schools and communities. Other schools are generating their own renewable energy through a range of business opportunities. This commitment to solar installations sends a clear message of sustainability through classrooms and the wider community.
That’s not to say the loss of green outside space to rapid school expansion has become less of a concern. Learning Through Landscapes recently brought this issue into sharp focus with the launch of ‘The Basic Need for School Places’ challenge. However, many schools do continue to create inspired school gardens, farms and growing initiatives with the support of organisations such as Growing Devon Schools .
Through this website schools will find a growing bank of the latest resources and initiatives developed by the SSA member organisations, NGOs, charities and businesses from across the country. There’s so much more to be done and SSA exists to support this work wherever you are and whatever you are doing across the school education sector. The Alliance aims to become a vibrant hub of information, guidance, case studies and opportunities helping us all to enter further into the huge space that sustainability now occupies and encouraging schools to continue to take action. Because obviously it is schools, education and young people that will underpin that future.
Your stories add up and SSA is all of you.So whether, it’s carbon emission reductions, CPD, sustainability curriculum, healthy eating, growing, recycling, music, art, design or the whole of Education for Sustainable Development which is currently inspiring action in your school then let us know through Facebook, Twitter or email.