UKSSD’s new report, Measuring up, shows for the first time how the UK is performing on the Sustainable Development Goals.  You can download the whole report here.

And the ‘quality education’ section of the report which NAEE contributed to is here.  UKSSD says:
“While there’s an enormous amount to celebrate, the most vunerable people and places in our society are increasingly being left behind” and it is calling for clear Government leadership, supported by cross-sector action from businesses, charities and individuals to ensure the UK achieves the SDGs as quickly as possible. … Out of 143 targets UKSSD found that the UK is performing well on 24%, with 57% where there are gaps in policy coverage or performance is not adequate, and 15% where there is little to no policy in place to address the target or the performance is poor.

The Education part begins:

“There has been good progress in achieving this goal although it has been uneven across the country.  This is partly due to the lack of policy coherence between early years learning and the national curriculum in England, and the number of under-achieving pupils (disproportionately male) in parts of the UK school system.  It is also reflected in the relatively low policy priority and status given to further education and vocational training by successive governments and employers, along with a failure to prioritise training for careers linked to the green economy.

The proportion of young people without credible work remains stubbornly high at 12%, in some cases reflecting poor educational outcomes.  Nevertheless, there has been a progressive increase in the percentage of pupils achieving early learning goals, the UK does comparatively well in international tests and UK universities perform well in world rankings.  Educational policy priorities in Wales and Scotland have supported the implementation of education for sustainable development.  Educational facilities are generally very good in the UK, availability of higher education scholarships for trainees from developing countries is high, and most UK teachers are well qualified.  The challenge of implementing SDG4 lies in UK willingness to contribute to a cross-sector UK-wide, social learning process. …”

UKSSD stresses that:

  • Government needs to place responsiblity for the Goals with the Cabinet Office, either with a minister with a domestic policy role or the Prime Minister
  • Government cannot achive the SDGs on its own and must work with multi-stakeholder forums, including UKSSD, to develop its report to the UN in 2019
  • Business have a critical role to play and should review how they can help deliver the SDGs in the UK in partnership with other organisations, including other businesses
  • Charities must consider how their mission aligns with the SDGs and where they might be able to increase their impact by working with partners