Seven steps to success

An Eco-School receives dedicated support from a Keep Wales Tidy Eco-Schools Officer and is guided through the Eco-Schools programme, application and awards process. The great thing about the programme is that there’s always room to develop and build on the incredible work that the students do, at every age.

To maximise success, all our Eco-Schools work through seven steps. Once a school has put this process in place and collected evidence of their progress, they can apply for an Eco-Schools Award – an internationally recognised accreditation.

For detailed guidance on the Eco-Schools process, download our step-by-step guide.

More information on the seven steps can be seen below or check out our informational videos which showcase each stage in action.

secondary school with green flag


The Eco-Coordinator facilitates the Eco-Schools programme within the school.

Eco-Coordinator role

New to Eco-Schools?

Start your Eco-Schools journey by registering your school today.

Register your school

Step 1:

Forming an Eco-Committee

Your Eco-Committee will represent the views of the whole school, and act as the focus to push forward actions and discuss progress. The Eco-Committee also work to keep the profile of the Eco-Schools programme high.

Key criteria
  • The Eco-Committee need to meet regularly
  • Adults and non-pupils should be involved, either by attending the meetings or helping with specific tasks
  • A record of meetings must be kept
  • The Eco-Committee make sure the rest of the school is told what they have been doing/talking about

Step 2:

Carrying out an environmental review

The purpose of the review is to help the Eco-Committee come up with ideas as to how the school can reduce its impact on the environment. Conducting a comprehensive review will ensure that no significant areas of impact are overlooked. These ideas then feed into the Action Plan.

Key criteria
  • All nine topic areas should be reviewed annually
  • The pupils must be involved in undertaking the review
  • The results are then discussed

Step 3:

Developing an action plan

Why have an Action Plan? It’s very important to organise your ideas into an action plan. Through the process of creating the plan you will be able to make sure that you include a realistic number of activities, and also work out how you will monitor and measure the progress of your actions. Having a SMART action plan will really help everyone to focus.

Key criteria
  • The Action Plan needs to clearly show proposed actions and how they will be undertaken
  • It needs to be appropriate for the age and ability of the pupils (or there needs to be another version that is)
  • It needs to be in a format that is understood by any other member of staff
  • The Action Plan must be supported by the Head Teacher

Step 4:

Monitoring and evaluation

Why Monitor and Evaluate? To find out if you are achieving the targets in your action plan you must monitor and measure your progress. This will allow you to evaluate the success of your activities and plan to make changes to ensure you are still working towards achieving your targets.

Key criteria
  • Monitoring should be meaningful to and appropriate for the pupils who implement it
  • Progress on the Action Plan must be discussed with the Eco-Committee and ideally discussed by the whole school
  • Some of the monitoring should be done as part of the class work

Step 5:

Informing and involving

Why inform and involve? It is important to ensure as many people as possible know about and are involved in your activities. Having more people involved in your Eco-actions will enable you to increase your impact and maximise the fun!

Key criteria
  • The whole school need to be aware of the role that the Eco-Committee play
  • All pupils should be given the opportunity to input ideas and suggestions if they wish to
  • The whole school must be made aware of what's included in the Eco-Schools Action Plan and its progress
  • The wider community should be informed about the aims of the school, and any progress made

Step 6:

Producing an Eco-Code

Why have an Eco-Code? The Eco-Code is a fun way of capturing the main objectives of the Eco-Schools Committee. It should be presented in a format that’s meaningful to pupils and the school community. It can be used to raise the profile of the Eco-Committee and the action plan targets, and should be reviewed regularly to ensure it remains relevant and recognised.

Key criteria
  • The Eco-Code should be developed by the pupils
  • It should be revised, or at the very least reviewed each year
  • The whole school must be made aware of the Eco-Code, and what it stands for

Step 7:

Linking to the curriculum

Why link to the curriculum? By ensuring that the Eco-Schools process links into the school’s curriculum, rather than being a separate activity for the small group on the Eco-Committee, ESDGC is delivered. It also ensures that other members of staff are involved in supporting the work. Pupils from throughout the school gain and understanding of how real life environmental issues are dealt with in a real-life setting.

Key criteria
  • Aspects of Eco-Schools should be undertaken as part of curriculum work
  • More than one class should be involved

A video guide to the seven steps to Eco-Schools

Looking for examples, more context or inspiration along your Eco-Schools journey? Then check out our introductory videos which illustrate exactly what is needed at each step of the process. These videos showcase real life examples of how schools across Wales have completed and benefited from each of the seven steps.

1. Forming an Eco-Committee

Step One
2. Carrying Out an Environmental Review

Step Two
3. Action Plan

Step Three
4. Monitoring and Evaluation

Step Four
5. Informing and Involving

Step Five
6. Producing an Eco-Code

Step Six
7. Linking to the Curriculum

Step Seven

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