A message from our Chief Executive Lesley Jones

This year has seen our Eco-Schools Wales programme move from a traditional school-based setting to a host of new digital platforms and learning opportunities.  So, as we embark on a new school year, I’d like to open with a ‘Best of Luck’ to all of our Welsh Eco-Schools and a ‘Thank You’ to everyone for their continued commitment and involvement in this important programme.

The last few months have been an incredibly difficult period for young people , but I hope the opportunity to spend more time outside and learn more about our environment through virtual activities, has encouraged you to return to school ready to lead your school into an exciting new Eco-Schools year.

Since 1994, Eco-Schools has grown in size and significance in Wales, with 90% of schools now registered on the programme and 830 schools achieving international Green Flag status. Thanks to the perseverance and enthusiasm of student-led Eco-Committees across the country, environmental awareness has become an intrinsic part of the life and culture of many of our schools, with change happening at home and in the wider community too.  

Environmental education with a difference

Over the past six months, we’ve adapted to ensure environmental education has continued and formed part of distance learning in Wales, and I for one couldn’t be prouder of how our Eco-Schools Wales team have embraced the challenge. Together they have created a whole range of brand-new resources linked to the National Curriculum, available as a free download from our website and from Welsh Government’s Hwb website.

We have seen a transformation in the way we interact with students through our weekly Eco-Schools at Home challenges and Tidy Summer Camp, covering everything from food waste and habitat creation, to single use plastic and renewable energy.

Whatever this school year brings, the Eco-Schools Wales team will be here, finding innovative new ways to support students and teachers. They’ve got it covered, with interactive webinars, virtual training and online support groups all in the pipeline. So, stay tuned.

Behaviour change through education

As President of FEE (the Foundation for Environmental Education) I passionately believe that environmental education is at the heart of achieving the Wales – and world – we want. Today’s young people are tomorrow’s policy makers, business owners and consumers. Introducing positive behaviours and supporting eco-literacy at school age not only empowers young people to take action, but enables them to lead the way, inspire change and protect the environment for the future.

The importance of Eco-Schools is recognised at a national level by Welsh Government, whose ongoing support enables us to work with schools, providing expert guidance, resources and training to work towards the prestigious Green Flag.

With this in mind, in our 2021-25 manifesto, we’re calling on the next government of Wales to go further in empowering young people to drive environmental change.

  1. To mandate that all schools in Wales achieve Green Flag Eco-Schools status to support the aspiration of the new national curriculum for young people to become ethical, informed citizens of Wales and the world.
  2. To provide funding support to ensure adequate provision of education resources and training on the climate emergency, which will lead to action at a local level.
  3. To ensure resources are available for a climate emergency youth voice.

Bold action must be taken if we are going to create a more sustainable and resilient future.

Once again, good luck to all our Eco-Schools; and remember, whatever happens, we’re here to support you at every stage of your eco-journey.  

Read Our Manifesto 2021-2025

Share the message on social media #EcoSchoolsWales

 Grymuso pobl ifanc i ysgogi newid amgylcheddol