This year, the Green Schools Project will open its doors to a Further Education college for the first time in a pioneering move to help rejuvenate City and Islington College's sustainability programme.
The UK-based Green Schools Project (GSP) develops environmental programmes in schools, currently working with 250 students and affecting around 19,000 young people. Aiming to make schools more eco-friendly while equipping students with skills for life, the programme has worked with 21 schools in the last year, and now looks to work directly with an FE College. This presents a new opportunity for students at London's City and Islington College to develop a clear sustainability plan for their centre as part of weekly enrichment activity.
Starting in October 2019, students at the Centre for Applied Sciences (CAS) will be able to volunteer to conduct an environmental audit of the college, with the support of an undergraduate studying a relevant degree at a top London University. The Green Schools Project aims to support the college by offering expert visits, providing support materials and organising aid from university students. The purpose of the programme will be initially to identify projects deserving of attention across the college, and then to encourage students to create viable solutions.
City and Islington College identified support for the programme following student campaigning across Islington earlier this year. In March, students from the college's Sixth Form Centre collected signatures as part of the Friends of the Earth outreach programme to change local attitudes to plastic use. The College has since introducing fountains and switching to paper and recycled plastic cups, and was grateful of the following support offered by the Green Schools Project. Programme leader Lucy Chapman, Lecturer in Dyslexia Support and Inclusive Learning at CAS, reported:
“The Green Schools Project is an opportunity to develop a culture of enrichment at the centre. Students care about sustainability and there is a lot of research into this across the college, so modelling that into a formal project-orientated programme is the goal.
"Our Animal Management courses already have modules on sustainability, and Engineering have to look at where materials come from and go, so not only is this ethically a nice idea, but gives students experience relevant to their studies, too.
"Collaboration between the GSP and the college is a wonderful step forward for our students, who can now try out their big ideas with expert support. We're very happy to be the first college to work directly with the Green Schools Project."
City and Islington College will hope to extend the project to other centres across the Group if the pilot year is deemed a success.