- More than 100 schools in CEES’ area have registered with the National Eco Schools scheme.
- 10 schools have achieved their Green Flag.
- Following a recent reassessment, CEES’ Centre at Stibbington has now been awarded permanent Eco Centre Green Flag status.
- Four members of CEES’ teaching team are now qualified Eco Schools Assessors.
Introduction to Eco Schools
The Government in England wants every school to be a sustainable school by 2020. The Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) launched their Sustainable Schools Framework in 2006 when the Secretary of State for Education, the Rt Hon Alan Johnson MP set out challenging long-term aspirations for schools to incorporate sustainable practices into everyday school life.
Eco-Schools is an international award programme that guides schools on their sustainable journey, providing a framework to help embed these principles into the heart of school life. A summary of the scheme and CEES support for it follows, with full details available at www.eco-schools.org.uk.
The Eco Schools programme
Joining the Eco-Schools programme is free and it makes tackling sustainable issues manageable and easy for all schools, whether they are children’s centres, nurseries, primary schools, secondary schools or schools with special status.
Once registered, schools follow a simple seven-step process which helps them to address a variety of environmental themes, ranging from litter and waste to healthy living and biodiversity.
Children are the driving force behind Eco-Schools – they lead the eco-committee and help carry out an audit to assess the environmental performance of their school. Through consultation with the rest of the school and the wider community it is the pupils that decide which environmental themes they want to address and how they are going to do it. Measuring and monitoring is an integral part of the Eco-Schools programme, providing schools with all the evidence they need to really shout about their environmental success.
Schools work towards gaining one of three awards – Bronze, Silver and the prestigious Green Flag award, which symbolises excellence in the field of environmental activity. Bronze and Silver are both self accredited through th Eco Schools website and Green Flag is externally assessed by ENCAMS..
Eco Schools themes
The nine themes used by the Eco Schools programme link closely with the DCSF’s Sustainable Schools “doorways”:
Litter Waste Energy Water Transport
School Grounds Healthy Living Biodiversity Global Perspective
Eco Schools and Ofsted
Comments from OFSTED on schools’ participation in the Scheme:
“By the end of KS1, children’s appreciation of environmental issues is well above average.”
“It is encouraging a sense of responsibility towards the environment and the community.”
“The school’s participation in the Eco-Schools initiative has encouraged pupils’ interest in geographical topics.”
Eco Schools and CEES
In the local area CEES offers a range of support for those who are interested in Eco Schools:
- CEES termly newsletter shares good practice and provides information about new initiatives and sources of funding.
- CEES offers Eco Schools courses, workshops and meetings for teachers.
- CEES offers personalised training and professional development sessions tailored to the needs of individual schools
- CEES’ Courses for pupils at its Environmental Education Centres offer a wide range of opportunities to support school-based work on Eco Schools
- Open a printable brochure for CEES Services and CEES in Schools