WTA Education Services

Connecting Local to Global

 

Summary

The programme ran for two years in 30 schools and featured:

· The active participation of young people in helping to develop ideas for improving the use of energy in schools. Participating schools and youth groups researched and developed action plans and presented them to professionals, and discussed their findings.

· Curriculum-related ideas to stimulate projects that discussed, recorded and measured ways to encourage people to help develop ways the Council could support schools. Schools used the project as part of geographical, scientific and citizenship projects, with obvious links to literacy.

· Input into the council and energy saving groups: ideas generated were used by the Council to develop the support needed by schools. The young people were able to monitor the success of the strategy after its implementation.

Key results

· The project created a response in schools that had impacts at home, for example the realisation that switching a computer off could save up to £60 per year.

· Although schools received a lot of information for energy conservation, they appeared not to be using it, as teachers had no framework or support to implement them. The key to encouraging energy conservation seems to be active support and discussion rather than more literature saying the same thing.

· There was no evidence of an existing desire to join or develop action plans based upon information received, and a perception that simple actions do not have an impact. The development of action plans by the WTA project worker, coupled with technical surveys, provided the knowledge, confidence and support needed to take action.

· The key factor in reducing emissions is not technical but behavioural - something that the groups realised as a result of doing rather than reading. The use of audits to support the project, combined with action by the Council to provide support for buying simple energy saving devices, all reinforced this.

· The groups of students were more impressed by the fact that the project was followed up and that their opinions were being listened to. Any lack of action reflected a perception that their views were not important. A key factor appears to be developing the trust of young people and their leaders that their input will be listened to. This builds upon the recycling feedback from the Waste Action Project previously carried out by the WTA project worker.

· More time than anticipated was required in liaising and following up with schools via telephone and email to provide information. The postponement of visits by schools also lead to increased time commitments. The input of the WTA project worker and administrative support meant that any postponement was followed through, ensuring that the action planning was done rather than being ‘lost’.

· There is a need for a schools action pack from the Council to provide a simple way to support actions with: energy efficient light bulbs, lagging for water tanks and heating, thermostats and timing devices.

Energy Project

Engaging schools in reducing energy costs

For Bedfordshire County Council

To contact us:

Telephone: +44 (0)1223 208718 or +44 (0)7952 824467

Email: web@wtaeducationservices.com

 

 

 

Website updated October 2014.

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