About Us

SWLfSC [the Coalition] is a Community Interest Company that is a network of over 130 organisations and individuals across the South West of England. Coalition members share expertise in sustainable development, education and learning, and understand that learning, viewed broadly, is crucial to the development of a sustainable South West.

The Coalition, which was established in 2004 and has grown through the voluntary efforts of members and supportive institutions, exists to champion education for sustainable development [ESD] in the region. The glue that binds SWLfSC together is, firstly, a shared conviction that sustainable development is a priority, and that learning is the key to this; and, secondly, commonly-held values around the importance of education, the need to promote systems thinking and active citizenship, and the central importance of co-operation across interests and communities.

For further information...
It is free to join. Please email swlfsc@gmail.com to become a member.

If you would like to advertise a regional event through our network please email Paul Vare (learning4l@aol.com) and he will add it to the monthly update.

Thursday, 3 October 2013

An update about Seminar 4 with Morgan Phillips

Eco-Schools is a widely known framework for Environmental Education that extends across 66 countries worldwide.  In England, over 17,000 schools are registered with the programme with nearly 1,800 reaching its highest Green Flag award level.  However, the amount of Eco-Schools activity taking place in each school varies significantly.  Some schools engage deeply with the programme embedding it across the curriculum and general school life, while many others have seen their progress stalled or blocked by the obstacles of daily school life.  Keep Britain Tidy administers the programme in England and is in a process of exploring what success looks like, what education for sustainability can and possibly should be, and what Eco-Schools needs to look like under the realities of the new National Curriculum and current education policy in England.  The seminar will explore these issues, and encourage debate.

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Seminar 4 - Eco Schools

Our next Seminar will be held on November 1st at 14.15-16.00 at The University of Bath.  The speaker will be Dr Morgan Phillips, who in his role as Education Manager for Keep Britain Tidy heads up Eco-Schools England while also overseeing the work of the Waste Watch education programme. Morgan has previously worked as a team leader on Keep Britain Tidy’s innovative community engagement project Our Common Place and as the Co-ordinator of Global Footsteps. Morgan studied for an MSc in Environmental Science, Policy and Planning at University of Bath and holds a PhD in Environmental Education from University of Gloucestershire.

If you have an interest in Eco Schools and how it is likely to develop this is the place for you to be!  Please contact Elsa Lee on swlfsc@gmail.com or Paul Vare at learning4l@aol.com if you would like to attend.

Monday, 22 July 2013

Any ideas or suggestions about what we might look into in the future?

At the recent AGM and Board meeting held on the 19th of July it was suggested that I ask members to let me know if they have any suggestions for future directions for the South West Learning for Sustainability Coalition.  Hence this post; if you have any ideas for what we might do in the future or any particular topics you would like to see us address in our annual programme of seminars then please do get in touch and tell us about this.  It would be helpful if your ideas are in keeping with our espoused aims and purposes.  Unless you think our purposes need to be updated, of course!  You can contact me (Elsa Lee) on swlfsc@gmail.com or Paul Vare on learning4l@aol.com with you ideas.  We look forward to hearing from you.

Friday, 12 April 2013

April update and curriculum consultation

 Our new update has been released.  You can access it in the updates section of this blog.  In the update you will find a link to the curriculum consultation document.  Remember, it is a numbers game and time is pressing.  The link below will take you to the consultation document and response form:


Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Seminar 3 - The Transition Network

On Thursday, the 14th of February, twelve members of the South West Learning for Sustainability Coalition met in Totnes in Devon for a seminar about Transition Towns.  The day-long seminar was arranged by Isabel Carlisle and William Scott and was both engaging and informative.

Ben Brangwen introduced members to the work of the Transition Network.  He spoke about the how Transition Towns had developed from a small localized project based on the work of Rob Hopkins to a what it is today, a network of Transition groups, across Britain and Ireland. 

Although the same principles of community level responses to carbon reduction and building resilience and happiness apply to all groups, each group approaches these issues in a way that suits their specific local context.  Some groups have developed local currencies to help build and maintain local supply chains; other groups have different foci. 

Ben talked about the way that academic research is addressed by the Transition Network.  The protocol under development encourages an approach that aims to ensure that research that is undertaken is meaningful to both the researchers and the network.  The Transition Network has collated over 200 papers in an online transition research repository to provide interested researchers with relevant background reading and this is available from the website.  The concept of a Transition University was also discussed.

Isabel Carlisle talked about her work with Schools in Transition, which she initiated when she joined the Transition Network movement.  She is currently working with three pilot schools (Wellington College (Crowthorne, Berkshire), KEVICC Co-Operative Trust School (Totnes, Devon) and Crispin Academy (Street, Somerset).  The approach is to work with the school in a contextualised manner to identify what they need and to facilitate this.  The Transition Network has the potential to help the schools engage with and become a central part of the local community.    

‘Learning that leads to agency’ and ‘embedding in place’ are central tenets of the Transition Network’s Schools in Transition work.

Challenges identified by Isabel and Ben included the question of how to grow beyond the early adopters of the network and how to expand the Schools in Transition project. 
Points of discussion raised by members of the Coalition included:
·         how the network engages with other organizations with similar principles both in the community and in the schools it works with
·         how the network engages with members of the local community that do not share their commitment to the principles of a sustainable future
·         what the purpose of resilience is in the context of the Transition Network

The Coalition would like to thank the Transition Totnes for hosting this event that initiated frank discussions that were both thought provoking and informative.

Friday, 8 February 2013

Seminar 3 SWLfSC presents: Transition Towns

You can access the details to our next seminar here.  This promises to be a stimulating and engaging event.  If you are not already occupied on Valentine's Day do join us!

February 14th
Transition Network Meeting Room, Totnes

Board meeting 25 January 2013

A note to say that the minutes from our most recent meeting are available here.  You can access the minutes in the Board Meeting Minutes Archive and the associated papers under Resources.  You can also access the most recent update in the Updates archive.

Your comments are welcomed. 

Members of the Board of Directors

Paul Vare - Executive Director
Professor William Scott - Chair
Mairi Kershaw - Treasurer
Elsa Lee - Secretary
Helen Adams
Rupert Bannister
Sarah Chave
Lynn Cutler
Jo Matthews
Professor Stephen Sterling

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