RCE East Midlands-2010

1. General Information
Contact Name(s): 
Barbara Smith
Phil Smith
Role in the project: 
Joint coordinator, Schools Working Group
Joint coordinator, Schools Working Group
2. Project Information
1. Project title: 
RCE East Midlands Sustainable Schools Working Group
2. Project Description: 
Even before RCE status was awarded, a working group had already been established which sought to highlight good practice in ESD within schools and create links with practitioners and schools across the region. This group has developed into the Schools Working Group of today, which meets regularly and has a membership of school leaders and other staff, representatives of providers, regional government and non government organisations and Local Authorities The SWG recognised that there are commonalities between the Education for Sustainable Development agenda and a number of other educational initiatives (the Global Dimension in particular) which could be made more explicit for schools. The SWG also emphasises ESD’s valuable contribution to the wider school improvement process by increasing engagement in learning, offering new and exciting opportunities for pupil voice, enhancing curriculum opportunities and making significant contributions to issues area such as Every Child matters, Spiritual, Social, Moral and Cultural Education and Community Cohesion.
3. Project Status: 
4. Key Words
Key Words: 
5. Project categories
Project categories: 
Awareness building
Influencing policy processes
Networking and partnership development
6. Expected outcomes:: 
The project is to engage with schools and colleges across the east Midlands of England (nine Local Authorities (LAs) comprising approximately 2000+ schools) the primary mechanisms for engagement are firstly, meetings of the working group of LA reps., schools coordinators and leaders and ESD provider/support organisations. Secondly the website with amongst other things, case studies of good practice which can be found at http://www.sustainableschoolseastmidlands.org.uk and finally, SWG conferences held to support the work of LAs in working with their schools in education for sustainable development.
7. Duration of the Project:: 
As the work of the SWG is diverse, the next sections will focus on the work to develop annual conferences in single or pairs of LAs to support their work in ESD and seek to develop good practice in the LAs schools. On 16th March 2010, the Schools Working Group, working in partnership with Nottinghamshire, put on a conference entitled Successful Sustainable Development: Curriculum and Learning, for an audience of approximately 125 teachers and leaders, however the total number of participants in the event, including workshop leaders, market place providers and learners from Nottinghamshire schools amongst others, exceeded 250.

The conference was the first event planned to run annually across the region with the Schools Working Group working in partnership with a different LA each time. This was also Nottinghamshire’s first ESD conference welcomed enthusiastically by schools and other organisations. The day was highly successful and was a blend of inputs and presentations, workshops a large market place event with a large number of provider organisations and schools exhibiting, and importantly, pupils and students from 4 – 19 talking about their experiences of sustainability and their plans for the future, indeed, the Litter Munchies from Alderman Pounder Infants, the Eco Warriors from Edwalton CE Primary and students from West Bridgeford School were for many, highlights of the day.

David Gardner, the Curriculum Programme Adviser from QCDA, delivered a well received keynote entitled ‘Embedding Sustainable development across your curriculum : a planning guide for schools’, which provided great opportunities for participants to plan to use the revised National Curriculum as a vehicle for promoting and delivering education for sustainable development. The Conference was designed to give opportunities for schools to explore the following areas:

• How sustainable development can support the school improvement agenda and be embedded across the whole curriculum to engage learners
• To explore the way in which the Global Dimension can support sustainable development
• Learn from the good practice and experience of other schools and developing pupil voice and strategies for inclusion and participation
• Network and work with local providers and organisations that can offer practical support to schools in sustainable development
• Extend and develop the work schools are doing on Eco-Schools
All schools participating had access to local and national thinking and publications on ESD and the follow up from the conference will be a CD distributed to schools, containing all the presentations, research and articles used in the conference, provider information and a full photo-record of the event.
3. Project Leadership & Vision
8. Project coordination (e.g. teams): 
SWG Coordinators, reporting to the whole Schools Working Group and Government Office East Midlands (GOEM).
9. Leadership structure
a. Administration: 
b. Transactional: 
c. Transformational: 
4. Project results
10. Project results : 
It is too early to judge the impact of the Nottinghamshire event on the local region, but evaluations were extremely positive and the commitment to action made by many schools which attended the conference was to work much more closely with their communities in pursuing community cohesion aims and political engagement on environmental issues.
11. Contribution to reforms and innovations: 
Inputs into school based policy development.

Inputs into Local Authority based policy development.

Inputs into regional based policy development.

By involvement in national consultations and dialogue, the SWG Inputs into national policy development
13.Core Partners: 
SWG Coordinators, Local Authorities, Government Office East Midlands, Schools and Colleges, local and regional providers/partners
5. Partnership and networking
14. Project Network
a. Information network: 
b. Knowledge network: 
c. Innovation network: 
7. Education & Learning
17. Educational activities: 
Curriculum development in schools and colleges with a focus on ESD and the global dimension. Innovation in learning and teaching. Opportunities for pupils/learners to participate in their own learning and influence policy and practice in their schools. Dissemination of good practice and support for innovation in schools and colleges across the region.
19. Educational activities
a. Theory: 
b. Discussion: 
c. Interactive and Multidimensional "action oriented education": 
8. Research Integration
21. Research partners: 
University Departments with a focus on initial teacher Education.

Further education Colleges across the region.

Action research in schools.
Project Reports
Traditional Knowledge and Bio-Diversity
Teacher Education
One More Issue: 
Teacher Education and Better Schools
United Kingdom