Frequently asked questions

Please find answers to our most frequently asked questions below.

Is there a cost?

There is no cost to register with the Eco-Schools programme. Should you choose to apply for an Eco-Schools Green Flag your school will be sent an invoice and charged £200 +VAT after your Green Flag Assessment.

Eco-Schools is a charity and this payment covers the cost of: Green Flag desk assessment; a school’s Green Flag and certificate (including P&P); and programme administration costs. In essence this payment means the Eco-Schools programme can continue operating in England: recognising the fantastic environmental actions of young people throughout the country and helping the Eco-Schools team engage new schools in environmental action and education.

I am having problems logging in to my Eco-Schools account, what do I need to do?

First, click Forgot Password on the registration page. This should immediately trigger an e-mail that will enable you to reset your password – if you don’t receive this e-mail immediately, check your spam or junk folder. If you still can’t log on then get in touch with the Eco-Schools team who will be happy to help.

What type of schools can join Eco-Schools?

Any type of school can join Eco-Schools. This includes nurseries, primary schools, secondary schools, colleges, special schools and pupil referral units. If you are unsure whether you are eligible to join the Eco-Schools programme please get in touch.

I have decided to move on from my current role and another staff member is taking over my Eco-Coordinator duties, what should I do?

Get in touch with the Eco-Schools team, who can update your school’s account with the details of the new Eco-Coordinator.

I want to participate in Eco-Schools online training, but there are currently no dates available - what should I do?

We announce new Eco-Schools online training sessions every academic year, if you can’t wait to get started contact the Eco-Schools Team who will be happy to answer questions and offer advice.

It’s also worth noting that we are also able to create and deliver bespoke Eco-Schools online training sessions for nursery and academy chains- please just get in touch if this is something you would be interested in setting up.

How long does it take to achieve an Eco-Schools Green Flag?

Achieving an Eco-Schools Green Flag can be done within one academic year gathering our self-assessed Bronze and Silver awards along the way.

How big should our Eco-Schools projects be?

One of the key features of the Eco-Schools programme is it’s flexibility, meaning that each Eco-Committee is entirely free to decide on how big (or small) the actions in their Action Plan are… We are just as excited to recognise the appointment of junior energy monitors as we are the installation of solar panels.

We can't meet an aspect of the Seven Step criteria, what should we do?

Get in touch with the Eco-Schools team, whilst we try to make our criteria as flexible and inclusive as possible we also realise that each school is unique and there might be aspects of our criteria a school can’t meet for reasons entirely beyond their control. If this is the case in your school, get in touch and explain why you can’t meet this aspect of our criteria – we will take this into consideration when assessing future Green Flag applications.

Does a school have to go through each award stage?

In short, yes! The Bronze and Silver awards are stepping stones on the way to Eco-Schools Green Flag and our application system would not let you apply for a Green Flag if you have not already completed the simple Bronze and Silver award self-assessments.

Bronze award is applied for after creating an Action Plan (step 3). You apply for our Silver award after gathering evidence of curriculum links (step 4) and informing your school community about, and involving them in, your Eco-Schools work (step 5).

One of our projects will take a long time to complete, can we apply for an Eco-Schools Green Flag in the meantime?

Yes! Some of the bigger Eco-Schools projects might span several Green Flag applications and this is great – we love ambitious, pupil-led environmental projects! As long as we can see the action has begun (even if still only in the planning stages) you can successfully apply for an Eco-Schools Green Flag award!

One of our projects wasn't successful, can we still apply for an Eco-Schools Green Flag?

Yes! The pupil-led nature of the programme means that sometimes an Eco-Schools project may not go to plan, however, the pupil-led nature of the Eco-Schools programme is also what makes the Eco-Schools programme so fantastic. Whilst a project may not have been entirely successful it will have still engaged, empowered and educated the young people involved… and this is something worth recognising.

I'm concerned I haven't done enough to achieve an Eco-Schools Green Flag, any advice?

In our experience, most Eco-Coordinators who worry they haven’t done enough often don’t realise the fantastic impact they have had. The Eco-Schools Green Flag focuses on what you have achieved, not what you haven’t achieved yet, if you’re worried get in touch with the Eco-Schools team who are always happy to talk about your Eco-Schools work.

What if my original application requires additional evidence?

If your school does not meet the criteria upon desk assessment, the Eco-Schools team will simply let you know what additional evidence is required and you will be given the opportunity to submit further evidence.

Will I be charged if the school is unsuccessful in achieving the Eco-Schools Green Flag?

If your school does not meet the criteria upon desk assessment you will be given the opportunity to submit further evidence. If you are unsuccessful following a visit by an assessor, you will be given the opportunity, with support from the Eco-Schools team, to be reassessed within six months of the original assessment visit. You will not incur another charge for the reassessment.

If upon this reassessment it is felt that you should apply at a later date with a ‘first time’ application, your school at that point will be eligible for the full charge.

How long will the assessment visit last and what does it involve?

The assessment visits usually lasts between one and two hours – depending on how much you wish to show our Assessor. The Assessors will want to have a tour of the school to see evidence of your eco-projects and speak to members of the Eco-Committee, as well as staff and if possible a member of your senior leadership team.

What does a school receive when they have achieved an award?

Our Bronze and Silver awards are stepping stones on the way to Eco-Schools Green Flag. They are self-assessed and schools receive an e-certificate (which can be downloaded from their school login) once they complete their self-assessment.

When schools achieve Eco-Schools Green Flag accreditation, and upon payment of invoice, they receive a letter, certificate and one of our internationally recognised Eco-Schools Green Flags! Schools will also able to download the Eco-Schools logo when they login into their account- which can then be added to their school website and letter headed paper etc.

What is the size of the Eco-Schools Green Flag?

The Eco-Schools Green Flag measures 100cm x 150cm. The diameter of the Eco-Schools logo is 75cm.

Does the school need planning permission to fly the flag?

Flying your flag no longer requires planning permission. Following the 2012 Olympics the rules on flying certain types of flag were relaxed and Eco-Schools Green Flags now have ‘deemed consent.’ You can find Government guidance on flying flags here.

How often do I need to apply for the Eco-Schools Green Flag?

The Eco-Schools Green Flag needs to be renewed every two years. If you are unsure of your renewal date, or worried you will be unable to meet your renewal date please contact the Eco-Schools team.

Can I use the Eco-Schools logo?

Schools can only use the Eco-Schools logo once they have achieved their Eco-Schools Green Flag – schools will then be able to download a copy of the logo via their school login, or you can obtain a copy by getting in touch with the Eco-Schools team.

If you would like to feature the Eco-Schools logo in a magazine article or on a web page, then please contact us with the request and the text you intend to use.

We retain the right to ask schools to remove our logo from their website if we believe they are no longer following the Eco-Schools Seven Step criteria or taking part in activities which are harmful to the environment such as balloon releases.

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