Bringing sunshine into our classrooms: Solar Schools announces new funding

A little sunshine can go a long way in boosting our energy levels. Now classrooms across the UK are set to feel that sunny feel-good glow all year round with the help of free solar funding.

Little Kingshill Combined School, Buckinghamshire (credit: 10:10)

Little Kingshill Combined School, Buckinghamshire (credit: 10:10)

A total of 20 fundraising toolkits and £9,000 of free solar panels are up for grabs thanks to a Solar Schools project. Schools can apply to receive a free comprehensive toolkit of training, materials and support to help raise money to buy their own solar panels.

Once the fundraising begins, details of a film-making competition will be revealed with prizes of £5,000, £3,000 and £1,000 worth of solar panels available for three participating schools.

Solar Schools – run by climate change campaign 10:10 and sponsored by the 100 per cent renewable electricity supplier Good Energy – is heading into its third year and has already helped 50 schools to fundraise over £350,000 from their local communities. The 20 new participating schools will be coached and supported across one academic year, receiving a full set of online and offline resources completely free.

Juliet Davenport OBE, CEO and founder of Good Energy said: “It’s really important for school children to be able to see science at work, and this partnership with 10:10 is a great opportunity to show pupils first hand how renewable energy can have a practical role in their lives.”

Langham Primary School has had solar panels installed on its roof. (credit: The Rutland and Stamfod Mercury)

Langham Primary School has had solar panels installed on its roof. (credit: The Rutland and Stamfod Mercury)

Staff and pupils at Liss Infant and Junior schools, in Hampshire, are currently fundraising for their own solar panels with the help of Solar Schools.

Adam Stanley, deputy head at Liss primary schools, said: “Yes, Solar Schools will save us money but we want it to be part of the curriculum. Having panels means we can track in real terms how much energy we’re saving, how much money we’re saving, how much we’re reducing the carbon footprint. That’s something very real that leads into all sorts of curricular subjects.”

The Solar Schools project uses innovative crowdfunding techniques alongside traditional events and activities to help schools raise the money they need to buy their own solar panels – cutting carbon, boosting budgets and rallying communities together.

Amy Cameron, Solar Schools campaign manager said: “The last few years of Solar Schools have seen communities from the Scilly Isles to Stockton-on-Tees achieve incredible things. Armed with our toolkit, training and support, they’ve raised over £350,000 to install solar PV on their roofs, while bringing people together to tackle climate change in a way that’s local, tangible and positive.”

How can your school apply?

Schools have until June 6 2014 to start an application to be involved. Only those schools participating in the Solar Schools project will be eligible to take part in the film making competition later in the year.

Find out more and apply now at: www.solarschools.org.uk/apply

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