As schools across the country recruit their Eco-Committees for the coming school year, so are we!
To emphasise how important it is that the Eco-Schools programme is youth led we are recruiting 25 young people from Years 5 in primary to Years 13 in college, to form the first ever National Eco-Committee in England. These determined young people aged 10-18 will support the Eco-Schools Team at Keep Britain Tidy as we try to ensure that all those in education have the opportunity to learn about environmental themes such as climate change, pollution and biodiversity loss. Working alongside ourselves, awarding body OCR and children’s author and environmental activist Georgina Stevens our National Eco-Committee will help green the whole curriculum and guide other young people on how to begin a career in the environmental sector. We actively encourage young people to apply who enjoy subjects that are not always considered to be ‘environmental’ and young people who may never have had the chance to join a school council or youth group before- all we ask is that you want to make a difference and help protect our planet!
Our Eco-Committees of today are the world leaders, innovators, educators and parents of future. Here’s one such young climate activist, Jessie Stevens- our founding, honorary member of the National Eco-Committee in England!
Apply for the National Eco-Committee
Please read all of the information on this page before using the correct application form for your age to apply to join the National Eco-Committee.
- Saturday 20th November 2021, World Children’s Day: National Eco-Committee application window closes at 4.00pm
- Week commencing 13th December 2021: Each school day Eco-Schools England will introduce five of the successful applicants on social media in our National Eco-Committee Advent Calendar.
Please note we will be using as many of the different, green curriculum ideas included in the National Eco-Committee applications as possible to create a new resource for Step 4 of the Eco-Schools Seven Steps that we will share with all Eco-Schools in England at the start of 2022.
Full application terms and conditions here.
National Eco-Committee Role
Between December 2021 and July 2022 the National Eco-Committee will be working on 4 exciting, environmental tasks.
Below are the outlines of the 4 tasks we will be working on with our new National Eco-Committee over the coming school year. We do not have any set plans other than deadlines for how these tasks will run nor are we setting any parameters for the outcomes of these tasks. We do not want our suggestions to stifle the ideas and creativity of our new National Eco-Committee. We will be guided by them!
TASK 1: Look for green themes in the current national curriculum. What are young people interested in learning about and how could their teachers help to bring these to life? How could education also help to prepare young people for green jobs such as a Rewilding Specialist, Environmental Lawyer or Green Product Specialist, that contribute to preserving or restoring the environment of the future. This task will be supported by awarding body OCR.
TASK 2: Create a national ‘eco’ prize. How can we celebrate a successful and impactful environmental based curriculum project? This task will be supported by awarding body OCR.
TASK 3: Run an online Green Careers week. Between Monday 18th and Friday 2nd April 2022 provide young people and their parents/ guardians with the information they need to consider a career in the environmental sector.
TASK 4: Create an Eco-Schools moving up day teacher pack. Our Eco-Coordinators have asked for a resource on climate action for June 2022 to help schools welcome new pupils and showcase how young people can lead environmental change. This task will be supported by Georgina Stevens.
National Eco-Committee Meeting Schedule
Pencil these dates in your school planner!
All online National Eco-Committee meetings will take place between 5.00pm and 6.00pm on Zoom. It is important to note that in order for your application to join the National Eco-Committee to be accepted you must commit to attend a minimum of three of the five online meetings.
- Monday 20th December 2021, Human Solidarity Day: First online National Eco-Committee meeting held.
- Monday 24th January 2022, International Day of Education: Second online National Eco-Committee meeting held.
- Thursday 3rd March 2022, World Wildlife Day: Third online National Eco-Committee meeting held.
- Week commencing 18th April: Green Careers Week (Task 3).
- Sunday 22nd May 2022, International Biodiversity Day: Fourth online National Eco-Committee meeting held.
- Wednesday 13th July 2022, International Embrace Your Geekness Day: Fifth and final online National Eco-Committee meeting and party held!
National Eco-Committee Questions
Please read carefully before submitting your application.
We have had lots of fantastic feedback since we announced news of our new National Eco-Committee at the end of August and have received many queries from young people, teachers and parents. Here are some of the most common questions he have been asked and our responses.
- Our school does not offer OCR qualifications can I still apply? Of course, it does not matter which awarding bodies are used by your school. Ourselves and OCR welcome students from secondaries, sixth forms and FE colleges who are studying from a wide range of specifications to help us green an even broader spectrum of the curriculum. This is also why the National Eco-Committee application is open to pupils from primary schools.
- I don’t like or study Geography/ Science can I still apply? Definitely, in fact you are exactly the young person we need for our National Eco-Committee! Environmental matters should not be confined to Geography and Science lessons they must also be included in Maths, Modern Foreign Languages, History, Performing Arts, Creative Media, Engineering, in fact all subject areas. Simply tell us on your application how you think your favourite subject could be made greener.
- As a teacher/ Eco-Coordinator can I apply on behalf of my student(s)? We certainly welcome you to help and support your student(s) to answer the application questions however we ask that each student applies themselves. The National Eco-Committee meetings will all take place outside of school time therefore students applying must have permission from their parent/ guardian to apply. We accept multiple applications from different students from the same school.
- My schools is not an Eco-Schools can I still apply? Yes, one of the main purposes of our new National Eco-Committee is to give young people who may not have had the chance to be involved in environmental action before the opportunity to do so. If your school is not a registered Eco-School this does not matter. We would however suggest that once you have applied to let one of your teaching staff know as they may be interested in registering your school with the programme. After all they already have at least one eager student to help them, you!
- I’m not a member of my school’s Eco-Committee can I still apply? Yes, as above we welcome all students who have an interest in environmental action to apply. If you are not part of your school’s current Eco-Committee this does not stop you from applying for our National Eco-Committee. Again, we recommend you tell the Eco-Coordinator at your school that you have applied, they will probably be very excited to hear this news!
- I have not had the chance to take part in climate action or environmental projects before does this matter? No, there are lots of reasons why you may not have been able to take part in environmental projects in school before before such as commitments to sports teams, drama clubs, music practice etc don’t let this stop you from applying to join our National Eco-Committee. This is your chance now.
- I’m home schooled can I still apply? Yes, young people who are home schooled (Like Jessie) can also apply.
- I will not be able to attend all of the online National Eco-Committee Meetings can I still apply? If you know in advance that you are not able to make one of the meetings due to other commitments then please let us know if you are picked to be a successful applicant. In order for the National Eco-Committee to be effective we need young people who are dedicated and willing to give up a few hours of time to help us green the national curriculum.
- How will I find out if my application to join the National Eco-Committee has been successful? The Eco-Schools team will be contacting the 25 successful applicants using the contact details provided on your application form the week commencing 29th November 2021.
- How much time will this involve and will it affect my studies? Attendance of the online Eco-Committee meetings will take up 5 hours of your time over the next academic year (please note the 4th online meeting is on a Sunday!) The work we ask our members to complete for the 4 tasks should take around 3-5 hours to complete between December 2021 and June 2022. If as a successful applicant at any point you feel your involvement in the National Eco-Committee is affecting your studies then please let us know.
- Can I use this as evidence on my college or UCAS application? Yes becoming a member of the National Eco-Committee will be a great addition to your CV and should definitely be included in your UCAS personal statement.
- What will happen at the end of the school year after all the tasks for the National Eco-Committee have been completed? During our last National Eco-Committee meeting (and party) we will discuss how you think we should recruit new members for the next National Eco-Committee in the following school year. You will become the first National Eco-Committee Alumni and we welcome you to stay in touch so that you can continue to advise us on developments to the Eco-Schools programme and so we can hear about the progress you are making in your studies.
If you still have any questions please email our team email@example.com