Step 3 Action Plan

A working document to help your Eco-Committee plan and manage actions for 3 Eco-Schools Topics of their choice, which they will work on during the school year.

Action Plan Criteria

In order to achieve the international Eco-Schools Green flag award a school must meet the following criteria.

  • With adult support, your Eco-Committee produce an Action Plan influenced by their completed Eco-Schools Environmental Review.
  • Your Action Plan contains projects and actions for three of the ten Eco-Schools topics.
  • Each time an Eco-Schools Green Flag is renewed at least one of the three topics from the previous school year’s Action Plan must be swapped.
  • Your Action Plan is completed on one of the provided Eco-Schools templates, or contains all the information found on the Eco-Schools Action Plan templates.
  • Your Eco-Committee’s Action Plan is displayed on your Eco-Board (physical or digital), and your Eco-Committee share details of the Action Plan with the whole school.

Action Plan Criteria Guidance

Further information about the Eco-Schools criteria for Step 3: Action Plan.

  • Specialist settings, through schools, middle schools, prep schools etc. are free to choose which of our Action Plan templates they would like to complete (Early Years, Primary or Secondary).
  • Projects in the Action Plan should have started, but do not necessarily have to be completed before applying for an Eco-Schools Green Flag award between May and July. Some larger Eco-Schools projects may be used as evidence in two, or even three, Eco-Schools Green Flag applications.
  • We are more than happy to accept evidence of work on other environmental charity projects, such as RSPB’s Wild Challenges or Fairtrade Fortnight as evidence towards our Eco-Schools Green Flag award.
  • We recommend creating your Action Plan, and beginning the Action Plan section of your Eco-Schools Green Flag online application, in November then continuing working on the actions for the remainder of the academic year.

Eco-Schools Team Tip

When beginning your Eco-Schools journey, don’t put too much pressure on yourself, doing ‘little’ things well can be as impressive, effective and fun as completing much bigger eco-projects.

Action Plan Resources

A list of Action Plan resources you will be able to access when you login to your Eco-Schools account.

Please use our Free Action Plan Templates, you will need to submit your Action Plan when applying for or renewing your Eco-Schools Green Flag.


Action Plan Resources

  • Primary Action Plan Audio Guide. Advice on creating a successful Action Plan from a member of the Eco-Schools team.
  • Primary Beginners Action Plan Example. An example Action Plan for schools new to the Eco-Schools programme.
  • Primary Intermediate Action Plan Example. An example Action Plan for schools renewing their Eco-Schools Green Flag award.
  • Primary Advanced Action Plan Example. An example of an ambitious Action Plan for schools renewing their Eco-Schools Green Flag award.
  • Primary Eco-Fundraising Ideas. Inventive ideas for raising money for additional Eco-Schools projects, whilst simultaneously completing eco-actions.
  • Primary Topic Action Certificates. A certificate for each of the ten Eco-Schools topics that can be use to recognise change-makers.

Compulsory Action Plan Resources

  • Primary Action Plan A3 Editable. A version of the Eco-Schools Action Plan designed to be completed digitally on Word.


  • Primary Action Plan Template. A version of the Eco-Schools Action Plan designed to be printed and completed by hand.

Action Plan FAQs

Everything you need to know about Step 3: Action Plan.

How many topics do I need to develop an action(s) for?

You need to work on three of our ten topics. If you are renewing your Eco-Schools Green Flag you should substitute one of the topics from your previous, successful Action Plan.

Do we have to choose actions for the topics that we performed badly on in our Environmental Review?

We recommend you use the findings of your Environmental review to choose the topics to focus on, but it is not mandatory and is entirely up to the Eco-Committee to decide. If they have brilliant ideas for a topic your school has already performed well on; they are free to choose that topic.

Does our Action Plan have to use suggestions from the Environmental Review?

No, the Environmental Review was designed to provide children with ideas and get their own creativity flowing, none of our suggestions are mandatory.

How big do our Actions need to be?

Your actions can be as big or small as you choose, for example we don’t expect all our Eco-Schools to immediately invest in solar panels and a wind turbine – an action for 1st Green Flag could be as simple as appointing light monitors and displaying posters by light switches to remind people to turn the light off when not in use.

How many actions are required for each topic?

That is entirely up to your Eco-Committee a topic might have only one action or it might have numerous ones but please aim to be realistic with the number of actions you can carry out, otherwise you could face an overwhelming amount of work which causes a loss of momentum.

How long should our Actions take?

This is entirely up to your Eco-Committee; we only ask that on the Action Plan you try to be specific with how long you decide an action will take. If you miss the deadline you have set yourselves then you can change it at a later date, the Action Plan is designed to be a working document.

Remember that you can apply for an Eco-Schools Green Flag award even if an Action from your Action Plan is incomplete.

One of our actions has failed; can we still use this as evidence towards our Green Flag award?

Yes, as long as you are trying to make a difference and can provide evidence that you have implemented the action then the action counts towards your Eco-Schools Green Flag. At Eco-Schools we view failure as a fundamental part of learning.

One of our actions takes a long time to complete; do we have to wait till it is complete to apply for our Green Flag award?

No, as long as you can provide evidence that you have begun to implement the action then this can be used as evidence towards your Green Flag award. Some larger Eco-Schools projects can be used as evidence towards two or even three Eco-Schools Green Flag applications.

We have completed our Action Plan, what next?

You need to inform your whole school about your planned actions. You also need to display your Action Plan on your Eco-Board and upload a copy as evidence towards your Eco-Schools Green Flag award.


Action Plan Examples

Claremont School, East Sussex

The Eco-Committee at Claremont School decided to create an inspirational video to share with their school community, celebrate their journey to Green Flag and demonstrate their determination to care for our planet and all life that exists within it. The Eco-Schools team have decided to place their video as an example for Step 3: Action Plan, to demonstrate how environmental actions evolve and help inspire other Eco-Committee's Action Plans!
Originally, Claremont had just planned to increase recycling in their school, but this soon expanded to regular beach cleans with the Marine Conservation Society and plastic pledges to to drive single-use plastics from their school. This culminated in the Claremont Eco-Store which year 7 & 8 pupils were responsible for. Parents would bring in refill bottles for everyday consumables such as: body wash, shampoo and washing up liquid and eventually the store even stocked bamboo toothbrushes and toilet paper!
Students then used their profits to work with One Tree Planted to plant trees in areas of the world most in need - profits led to 225 trees being planted in Kenya and Australia, following bushfires.

School Website

Dubai British School

We loved this example from Eco-Schools United Arab Emirates so much that we decided to share their action on our website (especially as the photo features turtles similar to our new Marine topic).

The children were really concerned about reducing plastic pollution, especially as they had recently learnt about the devastating effects plastic is having on marine environments (Marine topic). They decided that reducing single-use plastic in their school was something they wanted to work on as one of their three topics in their Action Plan.

They did an Environmental Review (Step 2) of their school and identified plastic bags as the biggest source of single-use plastics, so they began thinking about ways to stop using so many. They decided that each child should write a letter to supermarkets (Curriculum Links in English) asking them to reduce their use of plastic bags (currently in United Arab Emirates there is no plastic bag charge). They also wanted to provide an alternative to plastic bags, so they decided to fund raise in order to buy every child their own bag-for-life that they could then design themselves (Curriculum Links in art). They decided a realistic time to complete their action was a term - as every child was involved in writing letters and fundraising it meant the whole school were engaged in their Eco-Schools work (Step 5: Informing and Involving).

At the end of their action, they reviewed they counted how many plastic bags were present in their school (Step 6: Monitoring and Evaluation) and noticed a vast reduction - great stuff!

School Website

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