The DCSF's use of the doorway metaphor has meant that the language of its sustainable schools framework was already familiar to school leaders because it mapped squarely onto many recent policy foci; for example, healthy eating / citizenship / well-being / transport / energy / and social inclusion. DCSF hoped that schools would see in the framework something of what they were already doing, and be encouraged to develop it further. And the evidence (anecdotal at least) seems to be that this strategy has been effective in enabling schools to enter into thinking about sustainability and learning, sometimes for the first time.
That's what good doorways do, of course: they allow you to enter, but that's all they do. Once you're inside, you don't usually then spend time looking back at the doorway. So why do so many schools seem to be doing just that: reifying these 8 areas and building work around them? This is not to argue that the doorway themes don’t matter, they do, but If you get the point about sustainability then the doorways have done their job. This is not something that DCSF seems fully to appreciate, given how much advice and guidance is couched in doorway terms.
For example: "The Sustainable Schools strategy is made up of eight sustainability ‘doorways’. Each plays a role in the curriculum and campus, but can also have a big impact on the whole community." And: "Each doorway may be approached individually, though schools will find that many of the doorways are actually interconnected."