A total of 52 schools have now signed up to the green school network, an initiative created by Ealing Council and ActForEaling, helping schools create their own climate strategy to reduce expensive energy use and harmful pollution, and to engage with young people about the environment.
The network, launched last year, puts climate action at the heart of daily school life. It helps young people have conversations about the environment, and supports schools to meet their obligation, as directed by the Department for Education, to put in place a climate action plan.
Using Keep Britain Tidy’s eco-schools programme, schools can identify actions to reduce their environmental impact, such as cutting down on food waste or phasing out single use plastic drinks bottles. After successfully completing the programme, they receive an eco-school green flag award.
Councillor Deirdre Costigan, deputy leader and cabinet member for climate action, said: “We all have a role to play in tackling the climate crisis, and as a council we are committed to supporting our schools to save energy, reduce harmful emissions from car travel and idling, and get involved in local food growing. It’s great to see so many Ealing school communities working hard to reduce their environmental impact and become carbon neutral.”
Councillor Kamaljit Nagpal, cabinet member for a fairer start, said: “We know that many young people are passionate about tackling climate change. This is an amazing opportunity to empower our young people, by bringing them into the conversation and supporting them in taking action.”
Oaklands Primary School in Hanwell was one of the first schools to join the network when it launched.
The network put them in touch with Oak Garden, a community interest company (CIC) working to improve sustainability in schools, who installed an energy sensor that provides data-based advice on how the school can adopt more energy efficient practices. The school reduced its carbon footprint, and aims to save around £400 a month in energy costs thanks to the Oak project report.
Tanisha Muqtada, year 3 teacher and the school’s sustainability leader, said: “The green school network gives you a lot of support and offers real solutions you can act on. It ensures that tackling sustainability is not just seen as a box ticking exercise but as something meaningful.”
Email Nicole on McGregorN@ealing.gov.uk to sign up to the green school network.