The ‘pupils’ in Owl classroom at Ashley school in Walton-on-Thames, Surrey were a bit bigger than usual on Tuesday. The year fives who usually occupy the room had given up their desks for the morning so that heads, teachers and bursars from ten schools in Surrey could attend the second of the Ashden Awards ‘LESS CO2’ workshops on becoming more sustainable.
The schools are taking part in a pilot programme of workshops where Ashden Awards staff are joined by three winners of the Ashden Schools Award to share how they made their schools more energy efficient.
Richard Dunne, head of Ashley School, Stephen Green Eco Coordinator from Ringmer Community College and Paula Owens former deputy head of Eastchurch primary all know how hard it can be to get schools and their communities on the path to energy saving – and to keep them there.
This was the second workshop and there was a real buzz in the room as school staff discussed the start they’d made on their journey to saving energy and cutting carbon. They had all carried out audits of their schools – from locating meters to assessing heating systems – and started weekly meter readings.
As well as guidance on the next steps to take, each participant received an electricity monitor which will enable them to see how much electricity they are using and monitor progress in reducing consumption over time.
Each of the Ashden award winners taking part are acting as ‘mentors’ for a group of three or four schools, available between workshops to answer questions and encourage them when things get difficult.
The next workshop will be in June when we will find out how much progress has been made.