Schools go green
A Green Schools Fund has been launched by the district council.
The fund, open to all primary and secondary schools in Aylesbury Vale, will award grants of up to £1,500 to support environmental projects initiated pupils.
Aylesbury Vale District Council has been working alongside the county council and Heart of Bucks – the Community Foundation for Buckinghamshire.
The formal launch took place at Royal Latin School in Buckingham which already has an impressive number of green initiatives, initiated by the student-led Green Touch Team.
These include including moving away from single use plastic bottles to cans that can be recycled; changing waste contractor so that waste can be separated into recyclable and non-recyclable bins; and working with the school authorities to specify a new heating system that includes the use of rooftop photovoltaics to generate renewable energy.
In recent months the Green Touch Team has been working on a tree planting project that will see each school house plant and nurture a number of saplings.
Applications to Heart of Bucks will be considered from schools councils and similar pupil bodies affiliated to schools within the area.
Applications will involve a two-stage process. An ‘expression of interest’ form will need to be completed before applicants are invited to make a full application.
Applications to the fund can be made several times during the year. The current EOI deadline and application deadline details are at https://heartofbucks.org/green-schools-fund.
The closing date for expressions of interest to the first round is Wednesday, 18 March.
Larger grants may be awarded where significant added value or match funding is demonstrated in the application.
Speaking at the launch Councillor Paul Irwin, district council Cabinet Member for Environment & Leisure said: ‘The Royal Latin School was an ideal location for the launch of the new Green Schools Fund. Students here have been leading the way in developing creative projects to improve the environment in and around their schools.
‘I hope that the launch of the Green Schools Fund, supported by Buckinghamshire County Council and managed by Heart of Bucks, the Community Foundation for Buckinghamshire, will enable many more of these projects to be implemented – contributing to a greener future for Buckinghamshire.
‘This is the first of a number of initiatives AVDC will be announcing in coming weeks, since it passed a comprehensive environmental policy late last year, designed to reduce CO2 levels and respond to climate change.’
Arif Hussain, Buckinghamshire County Council Deputy Cabinet Member for Education & Skills, also attended the launch event at the Royal Latin School. He said: ‘We are delighted to be able to have a practical impact by matching the contribution to the Green Schools Fund made by AVDC.
‘Although initially only schools in the Aylesbury Vale area will be able to apply for grants, we are confident that the success of this pilot will lead to it being taken forward countywide by the new Buckinghamshire Council.’
Henry Allmand, Heart of Bucks Chief Executive, said: ‘As the local Community Foundation, Heart of Bucks is delighted to have been asked to manage this new fund and to support local school students to realise their project ambitions by helping them through the grant application process.
‘While it is rigorous, to ensure the students have thought through their project before applying for a grant, we have designed it so it can be completed by students of all ages – with the support of their teaching staff.’
Pictured above: Student members of Royal Latin School’s ‘Green Touch Team’ support the launch of the Green Schools Fund