Scotland reaches thousand eco-school landmark

One thousand Scottish schools have now been awarded the country's Green Flag kite mark that requires them to meet a variety of sustainability standards.

St Joseph’s Primary in Glasgow suburb Milngavie was the 1,000th school to earn the award and received a visit from Scottish Education Secretary Michael Russell this week.

Almost a third of the country’s schools have now attained this standard, which requires pupil-led commitment to sustainability.

While visiting the school, the Education Secretary also launched Scotland’s second Action Plan under the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (UNDESD), which promotes and outlines the education actions needed to ensure our society becomes more sustainable.

Mr Russell claimed that Scottish schools are amongst the world’s leaders when it comes to sustainability.

He said: “Scotland has set the most ambitious climate change targets in the world and we all have a responsibility to live more sustainable lives that don’t compromise the quality of life of future generations.

“It’s highly encouraging, therefore, that our schools are demonstrating a real commitment to sustainability and greener thinking.

“Through the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development, Scotland is committing to driving forward changes and our schools have a key part to play – as demonstrated by our Eco-Schools.

“From Scotland’s first Green Flag school – Shetland’s Lunnasting Primary in 1995 – through to St Joseph’s Primary as the 1,000th award today, schools the length and breadth of the country have embraced the Eco-Schools message.

Kate Campbell, Eco-Schools Manager in Scotland said: “Reaching the award of our 1,000th Green Flag is a fantastic achievement and shows just how determined Scotland’s young people are to look after and enhance their environment.

“Pupils, staff, and the wider communities around them have put in a lot of hard work to gain these awards, and we’re constantly amazed by the ideas and imagination shown by pupils and staff when we visit schools. I am sure it won’t be long before we’re celebrating our 1,500th Green Flag!”

The Eco-Schools programme is an international initiative that encourages whole-school action for the environment and Scotland is one of the leaders among over 45 countries involved. Schools can apply for three levels of award – Bronze, Silver and finally Green Flag – the highest level and hardest to achieve.

Eco-Schools Scotland is funded by the Scottish Government and administered by Keep Scotland Beautiful.

Sam Bond

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