Evidence of the impact of sustainable schools is supported by growing research, policy, and practitioner literature, in the main from the UK but also internationally. Multiple sources of evidence now show that being a sustainable school raises standards and enhances well-being.

This publication sets out the educational and social benefits to young people of learning in a sustainable school. It is written for leadership teams in primary and secondary schools and other educational settings across England. Under five themes, it sets out 15 top tips based on the impact of sustainable schools and education for sustainable development on school improvement and young people’s well-being as defined by Every Child Matters outcomes. It is hoped these will be useful in the context of schools striving to enable learners to become successful, confident individuals, and responsible, caring citizens.

Each theme sets out the tips together with a short summary of the evidence. The sources of evidence are listed at the end of the booklet.


  • Overview
  • Improving schools: enhancing young people’s learning and well-being
  • Bringing young people’s learning experiences together
  • Developing young people’s participation
  • Contributing to school, community and family life
  • Modelling sustainability practices, thinking and planning
  • References