NextGen: HN webinar Learning for Sustainability (LfS): the journey so far, captures centres’ interest and enthusiasm for LfS

In a recent webinar, Donna Clark, Subject Implementation Manager and Learning for Sustainability strand lead at SQA, showed our commitment to identifying opportunities for developing the knowledge, understanding and skills of LfS within all qualifications.

June 16, 2022 - sqablogs2021 - Categories: Learning for Sustainability, LfS

NextGen: HN

Donna shared her experience and highlighted the benefits of embedding LfS in NextGen: HN qualifications. She also gave examples of how NextGen: HN developments are embedding LfS through discussion, sharing ideas and global citizenship. 

What is LfS? 

The overarching concept of sustainability includes three central pillars – social inclusion, environmental protection, and economic growth. Donna referred to the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that incorporate all three sustainability pillars and demonstrated that for something to be truly sustainable there should be a balance between each of them.  

The goals provide practitioners with a broad range of topics and opportunities to embed LfS within qualifications and are central to the Sustainable Development Agenda. This is an internationally agreed 15-year blueprint that the United Kingdom has signed, with the aim of achieving a better and more sustainable future for all.  

Why embed LfS? 

Global citizenship is a desirable attribute for all learners and a valued employability skill that provides the opportunity to develop an individual’s ability to think beyond their personal situation, behaviour, and attitudes. It can empower learners with the skills and knowledge to drive change at local, national and global levels. 

How to embed LfS in NextGen: HN  

The NextGen: HN External Reference and Steering Group are unanimously endorsing the recommendation for a mandatory LfS component beyond academic year 2022/23.  

Evidence suggests that learners are seeking more environment and climate change aspects within college curricula, and therefore there is the expectation that NextGen: HN graduates will have: 

  • an understanding of sustainability in general 
  • a good grounding in subject-specific sustainability knowledge and skills, and 
  • the confidence to apply this knowledge and skills in the next stage of their lives. 

During the webinar, Donna shared her experience and gave examples of supporting NextGen: HN developments embed LfS in TV, Accounting, and Social Sciences, evidencing how subject areas perhaps not obviously linked with LfS can explore and identify LfS development opportunities.  

SQA-developed the LfS reflective framework [link to reflective framework] which attracted positive comments from delegates. This framework illustrates how to capture the integration of LfS and SDGs. The framework also provides opportunity for learners to reflect on their meta-skills development, demonstrating the parallels with meta-skills and SDGs. 

The interest and enthusiasm of webinar delegates was palpable with interactive discussion, delegates sharing further LfS resource links, and pilot centres sharing their ideas on implementing LfS.  

Colleagues from our pilot centres, other Further Education and Higher Education providers and senior schools were present. Centres are actively embracing LfS, and keen to share and hear more about it while recognising the importance of developing young people to be global citizens and their role in changing the future.  

For further information, support and opportunities to discuss implementing innovative pedagogy to embed LfS, please email us at  

Watch the Learning for Sustainability webinar 

Upcoming Webinars 

NextGen webinars scheduled for June include: 

  • Pilot Delivery Reflections – 22nd June 2022 4-5pm 

We are approaching the end of our first year of pilot delivery for the new NextGen: HNC TV. We’re inviting you to hear directly from the staff who have been our NextGen pioneers over session 2021-2022. They will be sharing their experience of delivering and assessing the new qualification, as well as discussing the new ‘whole qualification grading’ process and integrating meta-skills.  

  • Grading Models – 23rd June 2022 4-5pm 

We will explore the three approaches to ‘whole qualification grading’ which were developed during session 2020-2021. You will hear first-hand from the developers how the NextGen: HN vision and key aims are embedded in these prototype grading models and how each model seeks to test NextGen: HN Design Principles. 

You can book your place through our online event booking system. Please note that limited spaces are available for upcoming webinars. 

If you have not used the system before, you will need to register as a new user. Attendees will receive a CPD certificate. 

If you have any enquiries about the webinars, please call our Events team on 0345 213 5580 or email 

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