SCAN (Schools and Communities Agenda 21 Network) was created in St Clears Teachers Resource Centre for West Wales in 1993 with funds from CCW, Dyfed County Council and Texaco Pembroke Oil Refinery. The stimulus was the Children's Agenda 21 that emerged from the Rio Environment Summit in 1992. SCAN was designed by a group of Pembrokeshire teachers to act as an online focus for community action in the context of curriculum targets being integrated with neighbourhood objectives for the Local Agenda 21. The assumption was that schools working with the communities they serve could play a key role in the introduction of sustainable development principles into everyday living. SCAN's first community action plan was produced by Johnston Primary School, and activated the Local Authority to make significant environmental improvements in the village. Links were made with the European Schools Network based in Portugal for pupils to compare their concerns about environment and spread ideas about how they could be tackled locally by school and community working together.

Through initial pump priming by Countryside Council for Wales, SCAN thrives to this day as part of the National Museum's education service in Cardiff. However, it has turned out that the school/community interface is not an easy one for either party to penetrate and sustain without central support that links the two policy areas of education and sustainability. Also, within the museum, SCAN has come to focus on biodiversity rather than the broad interdisciplinary context required for teachers to interact with managing broader neighbourhood behaviour change needed for living sustainably. Nevertheless, SCAN is a good working example of how to organise and sustain an on-line bilingual interactive distance-learning network with national coverage. There is nothing like it elsewhere in Europe.

SCAN was developed to deliver and develop a new school subject called 'natural economy'. The rational behind the subject is documented in 'Systems of Sustainability', which can be accessed as a pdf file from the following archive.

The Archive

The Menu

The Teacher's Manual: 'Systems of Sustainability'

SCAN: The History