Frequently asked questions about the Eco-Schools program.
Eco-Schools is an environmental education and accreditation program for educational institutions that was initiated by the United Nations in the 1990’s. It runs in around 60 countries. It is led by The Foundation for Environmental Education in Copenhagen, Denmark, and by Keep Australia Beautiful in Australia.
The program offers a 7 Step framework with accompanying guidelines and resources and an opportunity for participants to gain formal accreditation with Bronze, Silver and Green Flags. An overview of the 7 Steps and accreditation criteria can be found here on The Program page of our website.
Schools can access phone / skype and email support from KAB staff (call KAB National 02 8626 9396 for advice).
Eco-Schools Australia website and the international program websites provide a huge bank of guidance and resource links for Eco-Schools participants.
Teacher orientation workshops for registered schools may be organised on request where teachers across a region are able to form a group. Contact us for more information.
Minimum estimated times for teacher input on essential, non-curriculum-based program tasks are listed below, based on Bronze Award level. Apart from that, everything can be curriculum linked, so not more extra work. Schools can choose to dedicate as much or as little time as they like to each step, depending on their goals and their resources.
Registration - 15 minutes
Baseline Survey - Up to 2 hours, to compile and input information
Eco-Schools Portfolio - Ongoing collection of completed project work & photos
Award Applications - 1-3 hours, approx. annually
Eco-Committee Meetings 1 - 2 hours per term to review, action-plan & evaluate
Curriculum - Integrate ‘Eco-Schools’ into existing curriculum planning
Projects - Depends on action-plan aims, which are set by school
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Our business supplies goods or services that are relevant to an Eco-School. Is there an opportunity to introduce our products to Eco-Schools?
Usually no, but this can be discussed on a case-by-case basis if the product supports sustainability education and environmental management.
Eco-Schools program is open to any educational setting. The program can be modified to Primary Schools, High Schools, K-12 Schools, Early Years settings, International Schools, Schools of the Air, Distance Learning Schools, Children's Centres, Out of School Hours play and care settings and Environmental Education Centres and more.
Registration is via a simple online form.
If you're a local council, sustainability education provider, or other regional body that assists schools with sustainability education or environmental management, you can assist your network of schools to participate via the group registration model. This includes complimentary registration as a Support Organisation.
See our membership options for more information.
It is AUD $100 + GST per school, per year for an individual school registration.
It is AUD $60 + GST per school, per year for a group registration facilitated by a local council or other support organisation.
Following registration, participants receive a welcome letter, getting started checklist, certificate, and weekly emails containing information, ideas, support and resources.
Registered schools are eligible to apply for Bronze, Silver & Green Flag accreditation and Eco-Schools grants which provide financial assistance towards Eco-School activities and projects.
Your nominated main contact is provided with a login to the online accreditation application forms.
How long does it take to become an Eco-School and get a Green Flag? How do we progress through the levels?
You can commit to the program and become a registered Eco-School right away by applying for membership.
With regards to Bronze, Silver and Green Flag accreditation, every school is different, but a recommended approach is 1 level per year, for example Year 1 = register and work towards Bronze, Year 2 = Silver, Year 3 = Green Flag. Have a read of the Awards page for further information about this rationale and progression routes. Schools are also welcome to repeat a previously achieved level to build skills and confidence in a new cohort.
There are some Australian schools who are very advanced in their sustainability approaches and may wish to look immediately towards Silver or Green Flag Eco-School accreditation – please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to ask about this.
You’ll be sent a Green Flag to fly at school and will be assisted to celebrate and promote your achievement. Green Flag schools are sustainability leaders so you will develop a mentor role in your region by doing activities like Eco-School tours, inter-school partnerships and enabling your team to develop communication and coaching skills with Eco-Committees in other schools.
Once the Green Flag has been raised, you’ll be expected to provide updates to show the framework is being maintained in order to promote continual improvement.
Bronze and Silver levels require submission of an online form and every submission is desktop assessed by the Eco-Schools Australia team at KAB. The judge will provide a feedback report with recommendations for progressing to the next level.
Green Flags are require submission of the same form, and also involve an on-site assessment by a Green Flag judge.