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02 November, 2015 - Minister O’Sullivan welcomes attendees to the Inaugural Forum on Education for Sustainable Development

The Department of Education and Skills, is today hosting the inaugural Forum on Education for Sustainable Development. 

The Forum follows the publication last year of Ireland’s first National Strategy on Education for Sustainable Development 2014 - 2020.  Education for Sustainable Development fosters and strengthens the capacity of individuals to make judgements and choices in favour of sustainable development.

The Minister welcomed the many stakeholder representatives attending today including those from other Government Departments, NGOs and teacher educators.  The purpose of today’s forum is to firstly raise awareness, and secondly to take stock and review where we are and inform our future actions in this area.  The publication of the Strategy in 2014 was a significant development and ensured that the Department of Education and Skills took a leadership role in the area of Education for Sustainable Development.  Our Education Strategy is a key pillar of the Government’s overarching ‘Our sustainable future” which was launched in 2012.

The Minister in particular welcomed Professor Daniella Tilbury as the distinguished Keynote Speaker.   Professor Tilbury has been internationally recognised for her expertise in leadership, change and education for sustainable development and is the recipient of several awards including the Macquarie Innovation Award for Research and a Marie Curie International Research Fellowship.

Under the National Strategy, eight ‘priority action areas’ were identified.  Each of the eight priority areas has a series of recommendations.  These recommendations encompass all areas of the education system, from pre-school through to further and higher education, as well as non-formal and community education and the Youth sector.

The Minister acknowledged that the National Strategy on Education for Sustainable Development is travelling in unchartered water for the Department and concluded, “This Strategy calls on all of us as citizens, policy makers, academics to non-Governmental organisations, and by inclusive participation of young people, to come together to speak with one voice to build a platform for the future and make sustainable development a reality.”

ENDS

The report is available at National Strategy on Education for Sustainable Development 2014 - 2020

Eight priority action areas:

1.   Leadership and coordination

2.   Data collection and baseline measurement

3.   Curriculum at pre-school, primary and post-primary

4.   Professional development

5.   Further education and training

6.   Higher education and research

7.   Promoting participation by young people

8.   Sustainability in action