Step 1 Eco-Committee

A group of young people who, with the support of an Eco-Coordinator, are responsible for running the Eco-Schools programme in your school community.

Eco-Committee Criteria

In order to achieve the international Eco-Schools Green Flag Award your school must meet the following criteria.

  • Optional for first Eco-Schools Green Flag: At least one student from each year group is on your Eco-Committee.
  • Optional for first Eco-Schools Green Flag: There is representation from parents, governors or your senior leadership team on your Eco-Committee.
  • Eco-Committee members are displayed on your Eco-Board (physical or digital).
  • Your Eco-Committee meet at least once every half-term.
  • Students are involved in running and keeping meeting minutes for Eco-Committee meetings, these minutes are displayed on your Eco-Board (physical or digital).
  • Students on the Eco-Committee ensure the rest of the school are kept up-to-date on the progress of their Eco-Schools Work.

Eco-Committee Criteria Guidance

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

 

  • It is entirely your decision whether you decide to appoint a new Eco-Committee every year or retain your previous Eco-Committee. In the Eco-Schools Team’s experience, it has worked well when school’s have retained an Eco-Committee from the previous academic year whilst inviting additional members to join. This has ensured continuity and helped to increase the scale of Eco-Schools work.
  • Ideally your Eco-Committees members’ name, year group 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.
  • Parent, governors or senior leadership team 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. Some Eco-Committees choose to prepare an annual (or termly) Eco-Schools presentation(s) for these members.
  • 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

Choose your Eco-Committee however you want. You may decide to choose the most passionate young people, those students in need of a confidence boost or you might make students complete an application form, deliver a speech and be democratically elected – do what works best for your school and its students.

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.
  • Secondary Assembly With Narration. An editable PowerPoint designed to introduce the Eco-Schools programme, with voiceover from one of the Eco-Schools Team.
  • Secondary Assembly Without Narration. An editable PowerPoint designed to introduce the Eco-Schools programme.
  • Secondary Eco-Schools Letter to Families. An editable letter to send to student’s families with information about the Eco-Schools programme.
  • Secondary Calendar With Text. A printable calendar to help keep up-to-date with your Eco-Schools work, including suggested actions.
  • Secondary Calendar Without Text. A printable calendar to help keep up-to-date with your Eco-Schools work.
Eco-Committee Resources
  • Secondary Eco-Committee Certificates. A┬ávariety of printable certificates to recognise Eco-Committee members.
  • Secondary Eco-Committee Poster Advert. A printable poster to advertise for Eco-Committee members.
  • Secondary Eco-Committee Job Application Handwritten. A printable job application form for Eco-Committee members.
  • Secondary Eco-Committee Job Application Editable. A job application form for Eco-Committee members that can be completed digitally (Word).
  • Secondary Eco-Committee Ballot Paper. A printable ballot paper to be used if you choose to democratically elect your Eco-Committee.
  • Secondary Eco-Committee Ballot Paper Editable. A digital ballot paper, editable on Word, to be used if you choose to democratically elect your Eco-Committee.
  • Secondary Eco-Committee Display. A printable display to showcase your Eco-Committee members on your Eco-Board.
  • Secondary Eco-Committee Meeting Timetable Editable. A digital timetable to keep a record of upcoming Eco-Committee meetings.
  • Secondary Eco-Committee Meeting Timetable Handwritten. A timetable to keep a record of upcoming Eco-Committee meetings.
Compulsory Eco-Committee Resources
  • Secondary Eco-Committee Meeting Minutes Editable. A template to keep a digital record of Eco-Committee meetings.

or

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

Eco-Committee FAQs

Everything you might want to ask before setting up an Eco-Committee.

Does a student from every year group have to be on the Eco-Committee?

This aspect of criteria is optional for schools applying for their first Eco-Schools Green Flag. For schools renewing their Eco-Schools Green Flag, every year group must be represented by at least one student on the Eco-Committee. We acknowledge that some year groups might not be able to attend every Eco-Committee meeting (e.g. Year 11 or 13 may be busy with revision), we recommend they just attend when they are available.

Does the Eco-Committee have to change every year?

No, that is entirely up to your school. Obviously, large groups of students leave school each year and these students will no longer be able to be on the Eco-Committee, we recommend you replace these students with new students who join your school. Not having to re-elect a full Eco-Committee every September will also save a lot of time!

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

Yes, this provides evidence towards your Green Flag award. You need to display their names and year group. You can also choose to add photos of the students or even ask the students to draw their own self-portraits or write a quote for your display.

We understand that sometimes Safeguarding or other issues can make displaying student’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 individual schools. Some school’s Eco-Committees choose to meet as often as once a week, whilst others meet only once every half term. We recommend an Eco-Committee meet no less than once every half term.

What adults can be on the Eco-Committee?

Adults from all aspects of the school life can join the Eco-Committee. Adults can include teachers, learning support assistants, senior leadership, site managers, administration staff, parents or governors as long as they comply with your school’s safeguarding policy.

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

Yes, we ask that Eco-Committee members take a record of events from their meetings. We have templates available on your school login to help. It does not have to be neat or perfect, please don?t type up or redraft notes as it is totally unnecessary.

Do we have to display minutes from Eco-Committee meetings?

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

Eco-Committee Examples

Birchwood Community High School, Cheshire

The Eco-Committee at Birchwood High School decided to allocate different roles and responsibilities to their Eco-Committee.
Students in year 7 and 8 are simply Committee Members, involved in all aspects of Eco-Schools work, but not given specific responsibilities, whilst they develop an understanding of how the Eco-Schools programme works in Birchwood.
Students in Year 9 and 10 graduate to share a variety of more formal roles. The Chair and the Secretary work together to ensure meetings run smoothly, the Chair presiding and the Secretary completing Meeting minutes. The Communication Director is responsible for updating the Eco-Board and working with staff members to write articles for school newsletters and construct messages for school social media accounts. The Primary Liaison works with school staff to communicate with primary schools in the local area creating collaborative eco-projects. Finally, the Evaluation Officer is responsible for ensuring projects on the Action Plan are successfully monitored and evaluated.
When students move to year 11, it is understood other commitments, such as exam revision sessions, may prevent them from attending every Eco-Committee meeting. So, they become Senior Eco-Committee members who, when available, are responsible for mentoring and guiding younger committee members.

School Website

Moreton Hall, Shropshire

At Moreton Hall the Eco-Team is made up of girls (Moreton Hall is a single-sex school) from each year group, who have chosen to be in the team. The Eco-Team meets each week and meetings are led by girls in the sixth form who have been in the team for several years. The Eco-Committee is made up of the Eco-Team student leaders, parents, a member of SLT, the school's Head of Maintenance, Financial Controller and Chef. In addition, the teachers who support the Eco-Team are also members. By including all of these people Moreton Hall can discuss projects and make decisions even when there is cost implications, for example they discussed changing recycling providers and creating a wildflower meadow within the school grounds.

School Website

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