Form an Eco-Committee

Step 1 of 7

The Eco-Committee is the driving force of the Eco-Schools program, making sure the themes are well chosen and the seven steps are carried out. You may feel small, but you are part of a global community of over 20 million students and 1.4 million teachers!

Eco-Committee Manual for Primary School students
eco-committee manual for high school students
Ppt Presentation to explain eco-schools to new members (Editable)

Eco-Committee FAQs

The Role of the Eco-Committee

  • Leading the Eco-Schools program
  • Representing the whole school and wider community interests
  • Ensuring that the entire school knows about Eco-Schools and will receive regular updates
  • Developing, implementing and monitoring the school’s Eco-Action Plan that addresses the environmental theme chosen
  • Taking the lead in carrying out the initial and subsequent Environmental Reviews and Baseline Survey (Step 2)
  • Ensuring that all members of the school community (especially students) are represented in the decision-making process
  • Providing a link between students, teachers, senior management and the entire school community and, ideally, the Local Community, integrating the program within the School Development Plan.

How is the Eco-Committee formed?

There is not one particular way to set up the committee. It might grow from a group that is already active in the school or be set up from scratch. It is crucial that students are represented in the committee and ideally selected from their peers after the prospective candidates explain why they are volunteering to be on the committee. These students should be chosen (or ideally, elected) so that they represent the whole school.

An ideal Committee will also represent the views of the wider, local community as well as the whole school, including:

  • Students (over 50% of the committee)
  • A member of the school board
  • Teachers
  • Parents or guardians
  • Non-teaching staff
  • A representative from the local community
  • A representative from a local environmental organisation

How is the Eco-Committee organised?

How often the committee meets is decided by the school, however some schools have found that they need to meet more regularly in the beginning, until the program becomes established, or during a big project.

Committees should keep records of their decisions in the form of minutes. These should be shared at school management meetings, with all classes/year groups and displayed on an Eco-Schools notice board. Key issues should be raised at school assemblies and with the wider community when possible. Wherever possible, it is recommended that pupils carry out the minuting process and the subsequent dissemination of information.

The sense of democracy involved, and the motivation in resolving initiatives brought forth by the students themselves are products of this process.

If your school is an infant school or kindergarten, you may decide that formal meetings are not practical with such young children. You can still, however, have Committee members who discuss issues, make decisions and update others regarding particular projects. Suitable avenues for disseminating such information could be via circle time or through practical activities.

Eco-Committee Awards Criteria

Bronze Award Eco-Committee Criteria

  • The school has an Eco-Committee that meets at least once a term
  • Members include:
  1. Students
  2. Teachers
  • Minutes are kept of meetings and progress reported back to class

 

 

 

 

 

Silver Award Eco-Committee Criteria

  • The school has an Eco-Committee that meets at least once a term.
  • Members include:
  1. Students
  2. Teachers
  3. Parent/governor representative
  • Minutes are kept of meetings and progress reported back to class
  • Students share responsibility with adults for running the committee, e.g. chairing, voting, taking minutes (at teachers’ discretion, based on age and ability of pupils involved)

 

 

Green Flag Eco-Committee Criteria

• The school has an Eco-Committee that meets at least once a term, and members include:
1. Students from a range of year groups
2. Teachers from 3+ classes or departments
3. The Principal or Principal’s representative
4. A parent and/or governor representative
5. School facilities staff member
• Minutes are kept of meetings and progress reported back to class and school governors
• Students take significant responsibility for running the committee, e.g. chairing, voting, taking minutes (at teachers’ discretion, based on age and ability of pupils involved)
• A list or photo of the committee members is displayed in school and there is an agreed method for electing and training new members to ensure continuity of the Eco-Committee.

It is also recommended that you think of ways in which to ensure the continuity of Committee plans and knowledge from one school year to the next. Student members could, for example, serve a 1.5 year term with an overlapping ‘handover’ phase to make sure that new Committee members are not ‘starting from scratch’. Continuity planning is also essential to ensure that a school’s eco work survives if a key member of staff leaves the school.