As you know from all those posts about the sustainable development goals late last year, there was a St George's House, Windsor, consultation in December on the SDGs and young people. St George's said:
We already know that a number of schools have programmes focusing on this, but if goal-related learning by students can help increase the likelihood that the goals will be valued, supported and hence realised, is it also the case that a critical study of the goals can enhance the focus, and help raise the quality of student learning? This Consultation examined these twin propositions. We looked in depth at what good goal-related outcomes might be; and explored what more can be done to embed a focus on the SDGs in work with young people both in and out of school.
The report has now been completed and you download it here.
It contains the background papers for the consultation, the presentations that were made and summary thoughts of participants. The final part of the report sets out reflections and challenges, saying:
"The discussions and conversations over the 24 hour period generated key insights amongst participants as well as highlighting a number of challenges, both broad and narrow in their nature, to be considered when exploring the SDGs with young people."
Although there are no recommendations, there are key insights, and three sections setting out challenges (in the sense of why don't you do this ...) for government, schools and NGOs. This is the challenge to government:
- The SDGs are knitted together by a common set of values. Recognising the role that education has in achieving the SDGs triggers the need for a national conversation around the purpose of education as being for the development of a responsible and just society rather than for the acquisition of skills to complete a job, and amendment of the Education Act as a result.
- Convene a cross-sector coalition of organisations and individuals to consider the vision of the purpose of education and to deliver the systemic change necessary to realising this agreed purpose.
- From the perspectives outlined during the consultation, there is a need to consider the discrepancies between approaches to enabling and supporting learning for the SDGs across the UK nations. Similarly there is a need to consider the opportunities for incorporating learning for and about the SDGs at different stages of education.
It seems highly unlikely that any of this will happen any time soon.