West Yorkshire Consortium of Colleges

4 April 2023

Putting sustainability at the heart of our colleges

Eight colleges in West Yorkshire have worked together to embed the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into policies, practices and curriculum using the DfE’s Strategic Development Fund.

The West Yorkshire Consortium of Colleges secured £2.6million of funding from the Government to enable colleges to progress curriculum development and practices in August 2022.

Since then, over 800 members of FE staff have been trained in SDG awareness through a process of cascade training in each of the colleges.

Teams ranging from senior leaders to teaching staff, catering to marketing teams are being briefed by the SDG learning influencers, now deemed SDG champions.

At a collaboration day in February hosted at Shipley College, the lead college on the project, the SDG Champions shared their journeys so far and some of their futures plans.

A sample of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) work at our partner colleges so far:

Bradford College

  • Raising awareness among staff and students with visual screens and marketing material used across its campuses.
  • 132 trainee teachers trained with more to follow, which is also making an impact in the primary schools they work in.

Calderdale College

  • 50+ staff trained with more sessions booked in.
  • Free ‘shop’ for clothes and toiletries.
  • Carbon literacy training taking place across the college.

Wakefield College, part of Heart of Yorkshire Colleges Group

  • All-staff training day planned to include SDGs.
  • All students have sustainability included into their induction programmes.
  • Curriculum mapping underway to make sure SDGs play a part.

Kirklees College

  • New sustainability group established within the college including student representation.
  • Investment in solar panels, with cost savings already realised.
  • Marketing team raising awareness within the college campuses.

Leeds College of Building

  • Plans to brief curriculum leadership team.
  • Tutorials planned for all students and teaching staff.
  • Using the Education and Training Foundation toolkit to map curriculum to the SDGs.

Leeds City and Keighley Colleges, part of Luminate Education Group

  • SDGs now included in business planning process.
  • Cascade training to over 600 staff including 87 people on leadership and management development day.
  • Appointed a sustainability manager.
  • Curriculum and staff undertaking more sustainable practices and supporting good causes.

Notre Dame Sixth Form

  • Measuring the footprint of the sixth form.
  • Linking with other organisations in the region.
  • Teaching staff and tutor representatives trained.

Shipley College

  • Leading and supporting other colleges in implementation of SDGs.
  • Planning annual sustainability awards for students.
  • WWF Sustainable Futures certified course being delivered to students.

The examples above are just a small sample of the actions being carried out in the region which will have an impact on thousands of students and staff and create new ways of learning and working to achieve the goals in West Yorkshire.

Calderdale, Kirklees, Notre Dame and Shipley Colleges have also signed up to the SDG Accord, the universities and colleges’ collective response to the Global Goals.

The colleges will continue to collaborate and work towards achieving the goals as a key part of the community. The West Yorkshire Consortium of Colleges will help to support and monitor this work as part of the legacy of the Strategic Development Fund with a celebration and sharing cross-college event planned for May 2023.


Make sure you fill in the required fields. No HTML or other code is allowed in the commenting field. Thanks for sharing your views with us.