Swindon schools are among 80 in the region to have sustainability education training funded by Thames Water.
The firm has partnered with Eco-Schools England at Keep Britain Tidy to help support schools as they work towards and achieve the internationally-recognised Eco-Schools Green Flag.
This, says Thames Water, will help the next generation play their part in protecting the environment and the UK’s water supply.
The Eco-Schools programme and Green Flag have 10 environment-related topics. The schools involved will be focused on the water topic, with students encouraged to develop an action plan to tackle issues such as water efficiency, more sustainable drainage and how to avoid causing blockages in the sewage system.
Paul Hampton, a former teacher and the Senior Corporate Responsibility Advisor at Thames Water, said: “We’re really excited to be funding this teacher training to inspire the next generation to be eco-champions.
"Protecting and enhancing the environment is extremely important to us, and we have committed to doing all we can to find new and innovative ways to achieve our net zero ambitions over the next 10 years.
"Working with Eco-Schools will help us teach as many children as possible about the vital role sustainability plays in our everyday lives and how they can help leave our planet in a better place for future generations."
Lee Wray-Davies, Eco-Schools Manager for England at Keep Britain Tidy, said: “We are thrilled to be able to continue our partnership with Thames Water who have in the past also funded Eco-Schools Green Flags for multiple schools in their catchment. Their commitment to supporting schools to make a real difference in lowering their ecological footprint is once again reflected in their funding to cover teacher training for the programme.
"Not only that, Thames Water have also created a fantastic, accompanying teacher guide that clearly shows how Thames Water resources and services can support schools through our Seven Steps. We look forward to celebrating with all 80 schools later in the academic year when they achieve their Eco-Schools Green Flag thanks to the support of Thames Water.”
Thames Water first committed to funding 40 teacher training applications. However, due to the programme’s popularity, funding was increased to 80.
All 80 teachers have now received full training. Their role will be to guide students in creating student-led Eco-Committees.
Members of the Eco-Committees will have a leading role in building a sustainability action plan for the school. The action plan will include goals for improving the schools water efficiency. Teachers will oversee this process, allowing students to gain leadership skills.
After finishing the seven steps of the programme, schools will be able to apply for Eco-Schools Green Flag accreditation. This confirms they have completed the course and the Eco-Schools Green Flag is also internationally recognised by UN bodies.
The schools involved are expected to achieve Eco-Schools Green Flag accreditation in April of next year.
Information for other schools wishing to apply for funding can be found at https://www.eco-schools.org.uk/