Enviro Schools is Newcastle's own programme to deliver excellence in environmental education to support the sustainable development of our communities.
Enviro Schools began life in November 2001, when the Tidy Schools Awards Initiative was set up initially to deal with litter and improve the school environment. Tidy Schools quickly developed into a much broader programme of environmental education, involving many more internal and external partners.
By 2004, there were more than 50 schools involved out of a possible 108 (Local Education Authority and Private), some schools progressed to Eco School status as the programme developed offering a wide range of environmental education opportunities. However the programme was in danger of becoming a victim of its own success as demand from the schools threatened to overwhelm a programme which was co-ordinated from within existing resources.
Neighbourhood Services and Children's Services worked together to develop the programme through Neighbourhood Renewal Funding from April 2005 until March 2006; so the programme could be extended to all schools and ensure sustainability.
All Tidy Schools were renamed as Enviro Schools from April 2005 as the new programme was launched. Now in September 2010 we currently have over 120 registered Enviro Schools and over 100 internal and external partners supporting the programme.
Enviro Schools is committed to help the city's children and young adults to make a real difference to our local environment, through sustainable environmental education and an awareness raising programme throughout their education. Enviro Schools also gives children and young adults ways to link with their local communities on environmental issues as well as the chance to feed their views into Newcastle's environmental plans and priorities.
In the context of education, the outcomes of the programme are specifically relevant to key education strategies of Every Child Matters, Education Outside the Classroom, the Sustainable Schools Action Plan and also to corporate objectives and portfolio performance targets.