What Is The Eco-Schools Scheme?
The Eco-Schools programme is an international initiative that encourages pupils to engage with environmental and sustainable development issues. It provides a highly structured system for the environmental management of schools.
The programme is a learning resource and topic areas include: Litter, Waste Minimisation, Transport, Healthy Living, Energy, Water, School Grounds and Global Citizenship.
Pupils take key roles in decision making and participation in order to reduce the environmental impact of their school. In this way, Eco-Schools extends learning beyond the classroom and develops responsible citizenship attitudes both at home and in the wider community.
The Eco-Schools International Green Flag, awarded to schools with high achievement in their programme, is a recognised and respected eco-label for performance in Education for Sustainable Development. The Eco-Schools programme is a long-term activity, with the award being re-assessed and renewed every two years.
Eco-Schools are distributed throughout all 22 Welsh Local Authorities and include a broad range of pre school, Primary, Secondary and Special schools. There are presently over 90% of Welsh schools registered on the Eco-Schools programme.
All material is available in both Welsh and English and is provided free to registered schools
The scheme continues to expand rapidly and has received support from almost all Welsh Local Authorities together with ACCAC, ESTYN and numerous environmental organisations.
The Eco-Schools Programme is funded by the Welsh Assembly Government, the Countryside Council for Wales and Waste Awareness Wales.
Where did the programme come from?
It was at the UN Conference on Environment & Development (Rio Earth Summit) in1992 that a need to involve young people in finding solutions to environmental and sustainable development challenges at local level was identified.
As a result the Eco-Schools programme was developed in 1994 by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) and introduced into the UK in 1995.
In Wales the programme is managed by Keep Wales Tidy.