Addressing key global challenges such as poverty (SDG 1), inequality (SDG 10) and climate action (SDG 13), this programme is centred on growing food in school gardens to support the wellbeing, informed activism and democratic participation of young people across educational sectors. In the face of climate change and the adverse impacts on people’s livelihoods, food growing has emerged as an important global discourse, intersecting with democratic participation, political activism and human rights (Pimbert, 2019).

In Scotland, communities have been mobilised in response to the Community Empowerment Act 2015, according to which, local authorities are legally expected to grant rights to cultivable land in public areas, such as hospitals and schools. In education, with the acceptance of the 21 recommendations of the One Planet School report, the Scottish Government committed to Learning for Sustainability (LfS), as a framework for bringing together health and well-being, outdoor learning and global citizenship across the curriculum. More recently, the action plan outlined by Vision2030+[1] puts forward LfS as a frame orienting the “STEM strategy for Scotland” and “Developing the Young Workforce” to target poverty, inequality and closing Scotland’s attainment gap[2]


School gardens have potential to be developed as a core element of young people’s education.  However, this requires increasing professional learning in schools, with the need to bridge pedagogy with young people’s authentic participation in learning (McCluskey, 2017). This project will draw upon SUII remit of bringing together multi-sector participants to establish communities of practice, in order to pursue the following specific objectives:


  • Raise awareness of the ecological, cultural, economic and social dimensions of food as a global sustainability issue, and the role of young people as responsible producers and consumers.
  • Engage young people in philosophical inquiry to identify and extend opportunities for teaching, learning and assessment about healthy food and sustainability in the school gardens.
  • Generate a shared action plan for scaling up school gardens across policy, research and practice.

Programme Team

Dr. Laura Colucci-Gray, University of Edinburgh

Dr. Claire Cassidy, University of Strathclyde

Prof. Donald Gray, University of Aberdeen

Dr. Laura Nisbet, City of Edinburgh Council

Dr. Stephen Day, University of West of Scotland

Kirsten Leask, Learning for Sustainability Scotland

Bob Donald, One Seed Forward

Dr. Sharon Hunter, University of Strathclyde

Dr. Kirsten Darling-McQistan, University of Aberdeen

Final Report

A final report of the findings will be available at the end of the project. Check back soon.


There are no outputs listed for this programme.