Click here for the Eco Schools National Site for more information, resources and registration
FAQ 1 – How does the scheme work?
After registration via the eco-schools website above, there are three first steps:
· form an Eco-Schools action team
· use the team to conduct an environmental review
· use the review to develop an action plan.
Once these are in place you can work towards gaining one of three awards – Bronze, Silver and the prestigious Green Flag award.
Bronze and Silver are both self accredited and fairly straightforward to achieve. Green Flag is a more rigorous demonstration of excellence in the field of environmental activity, and is externally assessed by Keep Britain Tidy.
Newham currently has two Green Flag schools –St. Luke’s and New City
FAQ2 – Isn’t this covered by the Government Sustainable Schools initiative?
Eco-Schools is an independent awards programme, with constant and straightforward topics which are easy to assimilate into the curriculum and school life. The previous DCSF Sustainable Schools Programme has been halted under the coalition. There remains a strong commitment from DofE and Ofsted for schools to be sustainable but the expectation is now on local leadership with schools using schemes like Eco-Schools to achieve sustainable whole-school engagement and change.
FAQ3 – Does Eco-Schools involve lots of extra work and paperwork?
Very little, for two main reasons.
Firstly, you are probably already doing a lot of Eco-Schools activity! For example, Healthy Schools work, your School Travel Plan, and rural/urban linking or international school partnerships are all directly relevant to Eco-Schools
Secondly and most importantly, Eco-Schools is pupil-led. Some staff input and admin support will be required, but the Action Team is pupil-led, with staff / adult support but not control. It is becoming usual for the ‘grown-up’ Eco-Schools lead to be a non-teaching staff member. Many schools report a positive outcome being improved behaviour of teaching staff, led by the pupil body!
FAQ4 – Is there any funding available?
Short answer – no. BUT the scheme is completely free, there will inevitably be savings in energy and procurement costs, and the eco-schools website has a comprehensive Links and Resources page which does include some grant-funding possibilities