Step 1 Eco-Committee

A group of young people who, with the support of an Eco-Coordinator and other adult staff members, are responsible for running the Eco-Schools programme in your school (or nursery).

Eco-Committee Criteria

In order to achieve the international Eco-Schools Green Flag award a school or nursery must meet the following criteria, which has been created for Early Years settings.

  • Optional for first Eco-Schools Green Flag: A broad age range from your nursery or school is represented on your Eco-Committee, when a group of children are too young to represent themselves they can be represented by a staff member from their room and/or a parent/guardian.
  • Optional for first Eco-Schools Green Flag: There is representation from managers and/or parents on your Eco-Committee.
  • Eco-Committee members are displayed on your Eco-Board (physical or digital).
  • Your Eco-Committee meet at least once every quarter.
  • Evidence from Eco-Committee meetings is recorded and demonstrates children’s involvement. This evidence is displayed on your Eco-Board.
  • When possible, children on your Eco-Committee inform other children in your school or nursery about your Eco-Schools work.

Eco-Committee Criteria Guidance

Further information about the Eco-Schools criteria for Step 1: Eco-Committee.

  • You don’t have to form a new Eco-Committee each year, in fact, we definitely recommend retaining the staff members on your Eco-Committee every year.
  • Ideally your Eco-Committees members’ name, age and a photo, picture or quote are displayed on your Eco-Board. If this is not possible due to safeguarding, or other issues, please skip this aspect of our criteria.
  • Manager or Parent Eco-Committee representatives do not have to attend every Eco-Committee meeting, but should be kept up-to-date on the progress of your Eco-Schools work.
  • Specialist settings are free to adapt aspects of this step’s (and any other step’s) criteria to make the programme manageable in their setting.
  • The Eco-Schools team recommends logging into your Eco-Schools account and beginning to answer this step’s assessment questions in September or October.
Eco-Schools Team Tip

Younger Eco-Committees will not be as formal as those in primary or secondary schools. Instead of formal Eco-Committee meetings have informal chats, take photos and use speech bubbles to document what was discussed (one of our resources provides a template for this). You can also make your Eco-Committee feel very important by giving them eco-responsibilities: they might be in charge of reminding teachers to turn lights off (when not in use) or helping adults take recycling to the recycling bin.

Eco-Committee Resources

A list of Eco-Committee (and pre-step) resources you will be able to access when you login to your Eco-Schools account.

Pre-Step Resources
  • All Ages Eco-Schools Timeline. A suggested timeline for completing the Eco-Schools Seven Steps.
  • Early Years Eco-Schools Letter to Families. An editable letter to send to children’s families with information about the Eco-Schools programme.
  • Early Years Calendar With Text. A printable calendar to help keep up-to-date with your Eco-Schools work, including suggested actions.
  • Early Years Calendar Without Text. A printable calendar to help keep up-to-date with your Eco-Schools work.
Eco-Committee Resources
  • Early Years Eco-Committee Certificates. A variety of printable certificates to recognise Eco-Committee members.
  • Early Years Meet our Eco-Committee Poster. A printable display to showcase your Eco-Committee members on your Eco-Board.
  • Early Years Meeting Timetable Editable. A digital timetable to keep a record of upcoming Eco-Committee meetings.
  • Early Years Meeting Timetable Handwritten. A timetable to keep a record of upcoming Eco-Committee meetings.
Compulsory Eco-Committee Resources
  • Early Years Eco-Committee Meeting Minutes Editable. A template to keep a digital record of Eco-Committee meetings.

or

  • Early Years Eco-Committee Meeting Minutes Handwritten. A template to keep a handwritten record of Eco-Committee meetings.

or

  • Early Years Eco-Schools Learning Journey A less formal way to keep a record of Eco-Committee meetings which includes spaces for: quotes, a picture and a description.

Eco-Committee FAQs

Everything you need to know about establishing an Eco-Committee

Aren’t the children too young to represent themselves?

We have seen children in early years settings actively involved in Eco-Committees, however, realistically we acknowledge that some children in nurseries are very young. When children are too young to represent themselves we would like to see a relevant adult representing them to ensure that these children are still involved in Eco-Schools work.

Does the Eco-Committee have to change every year?

No, this is entirely up to you, as long as you ensure a broad age range from your school or nursery is represented.

Do the Eco-Committee have to be displayed on the Eco-Board?

Yes, this provides evidence that helps the Eco-Schools team assess your Green Flag application, ideally you should include a picture of each committee member accompanied by their names and ages.

We understand that sometimes Safeguarding or other issues can make displaying children’s names or photographs difficult – if this is the case please just let the Eco-Schools team know when applying for an Eco-Schools Green Flag.

How often should the Eco-Committee meet?

This is entirely up to you, some Eco-Committees meet weekly, whilst other meet monthly or even less frequently. Our criteria asks you to meet at least once every quarter.

What adults should be on the Eco-Committee?

You choose the adults (that comply with your safeguarding policy) who you would like to invite to join your Eco-Committee. Additional adults may include: teachers, room leaders, learning support assistants, senior leaders/managers, site managers, lunchtime staff, parents or governors.

Do we have to record evidence from Eco-Committee meetings? 

Yes, this acts as important evidence towards a Green Flag application. You can either ask an adult to record meeting minutes or record more informal evidence in the style of a learning journey – we have a variety of resources listed above to help with this.

Do we have to display evidence from Eco-Committee meetings on our Eco-Board?

Yes, these should be displayed on your Eco-Board to inform your community about the progress of your Eco-Schools work. A photograph of your Eco-Board will be asked for when applying for an Eco-Schools Green Flag.

Register today

Start your Eco-School journey today

Register today