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World first for Scotland in sustainable schools programme.
Scotland has marked its place as a world leader in sustainability by becoming the first country with 2,000 Eco-School Green Flags.
The 2000th Green Flag, the top award of Eco-Schools, the largest sustainable schools programme in the world, was presented to pupils and staff at St John’s RC Academy in Perth today (Friday 17 March).
Making the presentation, Deputy First Minister John Swinney said:
“I am delighted to present St John’s Academy with its Green Flag and congratulate all of the pupils and school staff on becoming our 2000th Eco School, making Scotland an international leader through all their hard work.
“It is especially impressive when you learn about how the Eco Group built up its numbers, encouraging children from nursery through to secondary, as well as school staff, to think more about their impact on the environment and how they could make positive changes within their school.”
Keep Scotland Beautiful trustee Bruce Robertson said:
“Awarding 2,000 flags is a significant achievement and testament to the success of the programme and we’re thrilled Scotland is the first country worldwide to reach this impressive milestone. Achieving a Green Flag is not easy because a school has to demonstrate that it has the correct ethos across everything it does to enable its young learners to understand what their part is in a sustainable global future.
“For more than two decades Keep Scotland Beautiful has committed to supporting our children to develop an understanding of the global and local environmental issues they face now and in the future. More than a million young people have benefited from environmental learning through Eco-Schools Scotland. We are particularly grateful to the Scottish Government for their funding of this activity and look forward to launching a refresh of the programme later this year.”
Foundation for Environmental Education chief executive Daniel Schaffer said:
“Eco-Schools connects over 15 million children, young people and educators through sustainable development education and is the biggest formal learning network in the world – with young people from 64 countries involved. It is wonderful that Scotland has achieved this milestone, the first in the world. It stands as proof for the huge possibilities that can be attained when civil society and government work hand in hand to reach common goals based on positive actions.”
St John's RC Academy headteacher Sean Hagney said:
"St John's RC Academy is delighted to receive our Green Flag - the 2000th in Scotland and our first as an all-through school. Our Eco-group grew out of our primary into both the nursery and the secondary, with some pupils being active Eco members for many years.
“This award recognises our commitment to sustainable education over many years and I congratulate the pupils, parents and staff of the nursery, primary and secondary on this achievement, as well as our wider community partners. It recognises the huge variety of learning which takes place in school to help make our world a better place for now and into the future, from planting vegetables in our community garden, to upcycling and recycling waste, to being a Fairtrade and Rights Respecting School."