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Sustainable schools enhance student well-being and educational standards

Sustainable schools improve student motivation and behaviour, while also promoting healthy school environments and lifestyles.

Children drawing pictures showing sustainability
Learning in a sustainable school can have educational and cultural benefits

Our researchers have found that sustainable schools advance community cohesion by connecting teachers, parents, carers and the wider community.

In a research report for the government, titled: Evidence of Impact of Sustainable Schools, Elisabeth Barratt Hacking, Professor William Scott and Elsa Lee set out the educational and social benefits to young people of learning in a sustainable school. The report used multiple sources of evidence to illustrate how being a sustainable school raises standards and enhances well-being.

The research suggests that it’s taking young people seriously, as both active learners and citizens, that improves motivation, behaviour and outcomes.

The report is used by the UK’s leading educational charity, Sustainability and Environmental Education (SEEd), in professional and school development activities, and is one of its most popular downloads. It was used to help design the Co-op’s recent guide to making schools more sustainable, and inform the contents of SEEd's video on the UK's Best Sustainable Schools.