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Eco school action plan example

May 27, 2018

Ensure young people have power to be the change for sustainability that our world needs by engaging them in fun, action-orientated and socially responsible learning.

The programme’s greatest achievement is arguably the fact that it produces generation after generation of sustainably minded, environmentally conscious people. These individuals will carry the behavioural patterns they uptake under the auspices of Eco-Schools with them through life, in turn teaching the next generation the habits to make a difference.

The Action Plan sets goals and provides a structured timetable for the reduction of the environmental impacts identified in the Environmental Review.

The Action Plan is the core of the Eco-Schools programme.  It is a timetabled series of specific goals for improvement over a fixed time scale.  Quantifiable targets should be set where possible e.g. 50% reduction in waste in 6 months; 100% recycling of plastic bottles in 8 months; 10% reduction on electricity consumption from previous year, etc.  Using our map and road-trip analogy, the action plan is our route planner, giving the finer details on how we aim to reach our destination.  It should always be developed from the results of the Environmental Review.  The sample Action Plan excerpt given describes the actions taken by a school to achieve their goal (i.e. recycle all plastic bottles sold in the school by June of that year) in a clearly defined step by step process.

Example Action Plan Excerpt:

Goal: recycle all plastic bottles sold in school by June


ActionPerson/Group ResponsibleTiming Find someone to take the plastic bottlesEco-CoordinatorSeptember Devise way of monitoring plastic bottle numbersP4 MathsOctober Survey pupils to find best place for recycling binsP6 English / Maths
October Site BinsCaretaker
November Publicise scheme to all staff and pupilsP7 English / PDP
November Calculate percentage recycled; display results on NoticeboardP5 MathsJanuary Decide on remedial action if targets not reachedEco-CommitteeJanuary

The Action Plan should be linked to curriculum work and have realistic and achievable goals. These goals should be specific and quantifiable where possible, with proposed completion dates that will show real success. Do not be tempted to be too ambitious at first as failure is very demotivating!

It is crucial to work out how you will monitor and measure your progress and this should be integrated into your action plan.  Try to involve all the committee members in the development of the action plan, and as much of the school as possible in its implementation.

Top Tip:  The Action Plan is not a review of the work that has already been carried out, but a list of future targets and goals of your programme and a detailed description of the actions to be implemented (and by whom) within specific time frames in order to achieve those goals and targets.

In summary, your Action Plan should:

Sustainable development goals

Eco-Schools and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

The Eco-Schools topics compliment many of the United Nation's 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Once you have chosen your 3 topics try linking them to an SDG in your Action Plan (see how the topics fit with the SDGs). For more information on the SDGs and useful resources visit the Sustainable Development Goals page.

For more information email [email protected] or call (01273) 292357.

What is a School Travel Plan?

A School Travel Plan (STP) is a document which sets out how a school will promote safer, active and sustainable travel to school, with the main emphasis being on reducing the number of children being driven to and from school. A good STP should be based on consultation with teachers, parents, pupils and governors and other local people. In order to ensure that the plan remains relevant and appropriate to changing circumstances it is essential that the plan is reviewed and updated regularly. 

An effective school travel plan puts forward a package of measures to:

Visit your school's web pages or ask at your school office to see a copy of your School's Travel Plan.

Why have a School Travel Plan?

Encouraging active travel at schools has a wide range on benefits, both for the school community, but also for the area around the school and for the whole city in terms of less traffic and congestion. The benefits of having an active School Travel Plan include :

For the pupils

For the school​

For parents

For the local community

The more schools in the city which are developing and implementing the measures in their school travel plans, the greater cumulative effect there will be across the city, reducing the reliance on and impact of cars on the school journey, leading to less traffic and congestion in the city around the ‘school run’ period.

School Travel Plan guidance

This guidance is both for schools working on school travel plans (STPs) to promote safer, active and sustainable travel to school, as well as for schools or developers preparing a STP for submission as part of a planning application.

These guidance notes, together with the example travel surveys below, should include all the information you need to write/review your STP.

School Travel Plan development

Carrying out school travel surveys

Finding out how people are travelling to your school is a key part of developing a successful School Travel Action Plan. Before writing your School Travel Plan, travel surveys of pupils, staff, and parents/carers can be carried out. 

Ideally all the surveys should be done on-line, including both infant and junior pupil surveys, for speed, accuracy, and ease of reporting.  We can help you by putting surveys on-line for your school on the Brighton & Hove Council Consultation Portal, but we will need at least 2 weeks notice before the date you intend to survey. The surveys should usually be live for 2-3 weeks. See the example on-line surveys below.

These surveys are examples only and should not be used for your real surveys. You are, however, encouraged to try them out fully, including submitting them, but the answers will be deleted.

Travel plan surveys - on-line example versions

Travel plan surveys - Word versions

Lesson plans and teaching resources

Promoting health and physical fitness

Transition resources

Other resources

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