School Governors' resources
Climate change and Governorship
If you decide to support your school to become carbon neutral these are some of the areas that can be addressed:
- Energy efficiency and renewables
- Air pollution
- Green infrastructure
- Educating for Sustainable behaviour change
- Sharing practice
Find out who manages your energy bills and which company supplies your energy.
Does your school have a Display Energy Certificate as this will show the school’s energy footprint?
Who can help?
Work with the Local Authority energy manager and/or the supply company to understand how school can be more energy efficient. Local authorities have responsibility to report on the carbon emissions produced by each maintained school, so there should be an officer to help work out the savings made from new equipment/resources and the energy saved through improved insulation.
Has your school Eco Team undertaken an energy audit of the school? If so, invite them to a governor’s meeting to share their findings.
The Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme
Funding for boiler replacements and possible wider fabric measures is expected to be available from October 2022. The new funding comes from BEIS as part of the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme.
It is advisable to prepare a decarbonisation plan in advance of the funding rounds particularly as it is suggested schools work in a cluster, or via a local procurement group, and work closely with the local authority whether it’s the Energy Manager and/or Director of Education.
These funds are unlikely to 100% funded and may well require match funding. All school buildings are likely to require some form of boiler replacement to remain eligible and the plan will need to demonstrate exactly how the schools in the cluster intend to decarbonise.
It is necessary to check the website for when the scheme is open (e.g., PSDS 3b) or to subscribe to get email updates. The link for the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme can be found at:
Renewable Energy production
Does your school produce any renewable energy?
Would your roof be capable of holding a solar array?
Who can help?
Greater Manchester Community Renewables
GMCR raise funds from the public to install solar panels on suitable roofs. As a community project they give a return on the investment. They take responsibility for installing, insuring and maintaining the array. In turn the school uses the solar energy at a 25% discount. Schools in Salford have been benefitting from this scheme.
Solar for Schools
This social impact business has a range of offers for schools depending on the situation. They will help the school raise capital through crowd funding, grants, etc, or like GMCR, put an array on the school roof and provide the school solar energy at a discount. This is a nationwide project.
Is your school on a busy road?
Is air pollution a problem for your school?
Is the school run putting your pupils in danger?
Who can help?
They are a national charity working with schools to promote walking and safer routes to school and provide tried and tested ways to get pupils walking to school.
Clean Air Parents Network
Local community action on air pollution is increasing so contact this network to find out if there are local parents from your school with whom you could work.
Clean Air for schools
Global Action Plan organise Clean Air Day and, having worked with the University of Manchester produced a Clean Air framework for schools. https://www.transform-our-world.org/programmes/clean-air-for-schools
MEEN worked on a Clean Air programme reducing air pollution for GM schools. Get in touch if your school is interested in a workshop/assembly programme.
They are pioneering a new scheme on using planting to reduce air pollution next to schools.
Would your school benefit from having more biodiverse grounds?
Who can help?
City of Trees
They have a project called Trees for Learning working with schools across Greater Manchester by supplying free trees and organising a ‘how to plant a tree’ day with pupils at no cost.
Lancashire Wildlife Trust
LWT can add wildlife friendly features to school grounds.
Does your school have an Eco Team?
Does your school have a Sustainability Strategy? The DfE’s Sustainability and Climate Change Strategy (April 2022), proposes all schools identify a Sustainability Lead Teacher and develop a Climate Change Plan.
Could your school do more to help achieve the Zero Carbon Emissions target set for Greater Manchester for 2038?
Who can help?
This international programme engages pupils in setting up a team to work on supporting the school community in becoming more sustainable and is a great first step on the journey.
Global Action Plan
If you join this free service on-line it will help guide you through a series of actions to decide on your School’s Action Plan and provides APD sessions and special events
MEEN – Climate Classrooms
MEEN runs a project for high and primary schools called Climate Classrooms which supports young people to become community educators on the issue of climate change.
If you or your school would like to be involved in the project or would like to be on our mailing list then please get in touch.
There are many other organisations that can help for information go to MEEN’s website where there are local links and contacts for other organisations, curriculum links and lists places to visit – all of which focus on education for sustainability.
Teach the Future
Set up by young people for young people Teach the Future is, in its own words, ‘an inclusive, well organised and persistent campaign by secondary and tertiary education students to repurpose the education systems of the world, around the climate emergency and ecological crisis.’ It is a campaign group with specific and well thought-through aims.
The Carbon Literacy Project
This training programme provides learning and training for organisations, educational institutions, workplaces and communities to better understand climate change and how they can reduce their impact.
Would your school benefit from some environmental education curriculum guidance?
Does your school need links to different resources?
National Association of Environmental Education
These documents from the National Association of Environmental Education list the opportunities for teaching environmental education in the Early Years/Primary curriculum and the secondary curriculum.
MEEN runs termly network meetings for Eco Schools and others interested in Education for Sustainability to meet and share stories, experiences and practices. If you would like to join us, please get in touch.
Beehive: the MEEN newsletter
Beehive provides information about up and coming events and opportunities, runs stories from Manchester schools to inspire good practice, reviews up to date teaching resources and lists training opportunities.
Email: click to email us
MEEN, Bridge 5 Mill, 22a Beswick Street, Ancoats, Manchester M4 7HR