lsx - london sustainability exchange
LSx Blog

For School Governors


We have built up a comprehensive resource base to help governors get all the information they need to install sustainability within their schools. Below you will find essential reading for Green Governors, and signposting to key documents and websites set out under the eight 'doorways'.

To start off here are three essential resources for any governor that wants to take action for a Sustainable School:

The Department for Education & Skills (DfES) has created a guide for Governors to help promote sustainability in their schools. Strategic, Challenging and Accountable is available free to download or order. The guide includes workshop templates that provide a useful method for conveying information to school stakeholders

The Department for Children, Schools & Families (DCSF) have published Planning for Sustainable Schools that is designed to be used with the s3 (Sustainable School Self-evaluation) tool in the school planning and improvement cycle

The s3: Sustainable Schools self-evaluation booklet created by the Department for Children, Schools & Families (DCSF) helps you to see where your school is now in terms of the Sustainable Development national framework and where it can make improvements

For more like these you might like to see the spreadsheet of key Sustainable Schools resources

Sustainable School Signposting: general

The Teachernet Sustainable Schools website provides information on what it means to be a sustainable school, case studies and more

Eco-schools is an international award programme that guides schools on their sustainable journey, providing a framework to help embed these principles into the heart of school life

London Sustainable Schools Forum is hosted by the Government Office for London and supports schools through a knowledge transfer network including bulletins and events

The Sustainable Development Commission has undertaken several studies into how schools can be more sustainable including the Six Stategic Priorities for Sustainable Schools and their contribution to DCSF’s consultation on a carbon management plan for schools

Sustainability and Environmental Education (SEEd) is a registered charity that identifies, promotes, enables and supports environmental education and education for sustainable development in the UK

For younger children, animated videos are a fun way of introducing them to sustainability. The Sustainability Hub has a range of great videos to engage and inform children in these issues.   

Sustainable School Signposting: by topic

We have categorised the resources and signposting for governors under the National Sustainable School Framework’s eight 'doorways' to make it easier to navigate. These include:

  1. Food and Drink
  2. Energy and Water
  3. Travel and Traffic
  4. Purchasing and Waste
  5. Buildings and Grounds
  6. Inclusion and participation
  7. Local well-being
  8. Global Dimension.

Food and Drink

Growing Grub provides a step-by-step guide for teachers who want to run a growing project in their school. It covers ground growing and container growing for those schools with limited outdoor space.

The Soil Association, UK’s leading environmental charity promoting sustainable, organic farming andchampioning human health. They have a selection of FREE downloadable curriculumresources for both primary and secondary schools, including the Food for Life curriculumpacks for Key Stages 1 and 2.

School Food Trust - Eat better do better aims to transform school food and food skills, promote the education and health of childrenand young people and improve the quality of food in schools.

Campaign for School Gardening (Royal Horticultural Society) to get your own school growing and help bring the joy of gardening toschool children across the UK. This website also provides curriculum resources, case studies and gardening advice.

Energy and Water

The Carbon Trust provides resources on using easy and cheap measures that could help schools to use less energy, save money on energy bills and also reduce their carbon emissions.

DfES tips for reducing energy and water use in schools.

Thames Water’s Wise up to Water is a resource to help students and teachers promote water savings in schools.  You can even apply for free water audits and water saving devices.

Solar4Schools awards grants from the Department of Trade and Industry to cover 50% of the cost of solar power, or photovoltaic (PV), installations across schools, housing authorities, housing associations and other public sector and charitable bodies throughout the UK.

EDF’s Green Fund through which they award grants to community, non-profit, charitable and educational organisations across the UK.

E.ON’s Sustainable Energy Fund awards grants of up to £20,000 for Local community groups and not for profit organisations

Community Sustainable Energy Programme provides grants to community-based organisations for the installation of microgeneration technologies, such as solar panels or wind turbines and energy efficiency measures including loft and cavity wall insulation

The Government, in partnership with Salix Finance and the Carbon Trust provided £51.5 million in interest free funding to help public sector organisations take advantage of energy efficiency technology however applications ended 31 December 2009. Keep an eye out for the next round!

Once your school has greened-up you can apply for an Ashden Award which are awarded annually and could potentially provide further funding as well as ‘bragging rights’.

Carbon Reducation Commitment (CRC) Energy Efficiency Scheme

The Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) and Partnerships for Schools (PfS) will provide a free Energy Display Meter for getting pupils and teachers excited about monitoring electricity use. It works by monitoring electricity use and displaying real-time results on your school's PCs / LCD displays.

To help you with your obligation to the Local Authority, your school buildings’ energy use can be easily monitored with SMEasure, the web-based building energy analysis and carbon monitoring tool, developed by Oxford University.

Capital Ambition has produced a useful leaflet, which provides a brief overview of the CRC and what it means for schools.

The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) website provides more detailed information on CRC, and includes a timeline and a user guide for those who want a broader understanding.

Details of the proposed change to Schools Finance Regulations for 2011-12 in relation to CRC are available at Teachernet.

For Environment Agency CRC guidance, join the mailing list and keep up to date on the latest developments.

Travel and Traffic

The Walk to School (Primary & Secondary) campaign helps to raise awareness amongst parents, pupils and teachers regarding the benefits of walking to and from school. They also campaign for better and more walking routes to schools.

The Department for Transport has a large amount of resources for sustainable school travel ranging from classroom materials to guidance on how develop a school travel plan.

Sustrans a leading sustainable transport charity provides support, resources and guidance on linking schools with national cycle networks and developing safer routes to school.

Walk-it provides a pedestrian route planner including information on carbon dioxide (CO2) and calories saved by walking as well as direct or less polluted route searches.

Purchasing and Waste

Local Authorities ought to be able to help with this.  Contact yours for creative ways of buying and reducing waste to landfill

If you can’t find the right person to help you make your vision come to life, try London Sustainability Exchange  or London Community Resource Network, we often know who can help you put your ideas into action!

Global Action Plan has a programme called 'Action at School' that helps schools save resources and money. Itis curriculum linked for Key Stages Three and Four and is recognized by UNEP.

Recycle Zone is a Waste Watch website for schools, children and teachers that tells you what's what in the world of waste! Pupils can visit the Fun Zone, Info Zone or Activity Zone and there is a section for teachers with resources, support and curriculum links.

Shoe Friends and Clothes Collectors is a recycling project that is easy to run and actually pays the school for all collections so you raise money whist recycling old shoes and clothes. They provide you with specially designed recycling bins. Contact the LMB Education Team for more details on 020 7474 2000 or

The Collect 4 School scheme will enable you to earn some money for your school whilst recycling empty printer cartridges and old mobile phones. The company will collect them for recycling, and pay you for them.

Want to make recycling fun? The has lots of school- and home-based recycling activities to try out. You can download ad print out resources like posters to help you organise these activitiies to minimise landfill.   

This eco-friendly guide to recycling electronic waste from Aerial Direct tells you all you need to know about e-waste. It is a comprehensive guide to what is included in the term, its health and environmental impacts and how you can manage it safely. 

Buildings and Grounds

Groundwork is an environmental charity works with schools stakeholders, including Governors, to provide advice on sustainability and how to turn school grounds into spaces for learning and fun. All of its work is linked to the National Curriculum.

Learning Through Landscapes helps schools make the most of outdoor spaces for play and learning by providing resources, programmes and training.

Wild about Woods has free packs of native trees (enough for a small grove or hedge) with guidance on planting and maintenance and curriculum activities through the Woodland Trust.

Building Schools for the Future is part of the government’s national programme to transform educational standards for secondary school students. A key strand of the programme is to rebuild or refurbish all secondary schools over a 15-year period.

BBC Breathing Place was launched to help children actively learn about wildlife while making a difference for nature in the UK. Schools are sent a free registration pack with all of the information needed to get started

Tools Shed offers free garden tools to schools. Old tools are donated, repaired and refurbished in the workshops and on offer for schools on distribution day

Inclusion and participation

Sayers Croft caters for primary and secondary schools by encouraging classes to explore the outdoors in new ways. It also offers geographical and biological studies and challenging high level adventure.

Envision is a charity supporting 16-19 year olds in schools and colleges, to develop their own social and environmental projects.

Youth Parliament enables young people to use their energy and passion to change the world for the better and is run by youn people for young people & held a campaign for free recycling for schools.

Local well-being

Royal Parks offer programmes for all ages with both formal and informal education activities linked to the National Curriculum.

Beauchamp Barge is the floating classroom offering lively, hands-on science, environmental and history lessons to school children from across London (and beyond). They currently offer 3 education programmes for Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 classes.

ZSL London Zoo gives free admission for London state schools. There is a schools programme available for both primary and secondary schools.

Vauxhall City Farm provides tours for schools and nursery groups with themes such as animal care, healthy eating and growing.

Global Dimension

International Schools Award is a free accreditation scheme open to all UK schools.

Peace Child International is inspiring young people (aged 8-12) to look at the way they live and empowering them to change habits to create a more sustainable lifestyle.

Traid visits primary and secondary schools in and around London. Through a variety of diverse participatory activities, students are encouraged to explore topics such as waste, reuse and recycling, climate change, ethical fashion and world poverty.

Global Dimension is a website offering a guide to books, films, posters and web resources which support global, intercultural and environmental understanding for all age groups and subjects.

DEA promotes education for a just and sustainable world. A charity promoting global learning working with schools and young people.


If you have any suggestions as to further resources that should be on here, or have any questions, we would be delighted to hear from you. Contact or telephone 020 7234 9400


All LSx-generated information is licensed under a Creative Commons License.
(E) (T) +44(0)20 7234 9400
London Sustainability Exchange is a registered charity, number 1122130, and a company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales, company number 5154010.


Site designed and developed by viplondon