On this page you will find frequently asked questions to Eco-Schools. Is your school already participating in Eco-School? Log in on your account to view the questions for participating schools.
Is Eco-Schools a certification, a program, a movement,…?
Eco-Schools is a program which offers an approach. The Green Flag is the certification that is linked to the program and the approach. Schools that participate in the program and work with the Eco-Schools approach are eligible for the Green Flag. Together these Eco-Schools form a community and a worldwide movement!
Do you also work with the 17 SDGs (Sustainable Development goals) in the program?
Absolutely! All the theme’s of Eco-Schools are intertwined with the SDGs. The main difference is that the SDG’s focuses on global challenges, while the Eco-Schools themes focuses on sustainability in and around the school. The SDGs outlined what the goals are, the themes of Eco-Schools offer concrete action perspectives to contribute to their realization. This way you can contribute as a school to the emergence of several of these goals, for example in the field of waste, food, biodiversity and climate.
What topics does the program deal with?
Students, teachers and other people involved at Eco-Schools work on the following themes: Climate change, nature, water, energy, transport, food, waste, items, money and people. All these themes emerged from the 17 SDGs and are without difficulty applicable. Working with these themes ensures that the Eco team can work in a focused manner. After all, that's what children and young people (and many teachers) love!
Do you also work with the Whole School Approach (WSA)?
We sure do! The philosophy of Eco-Schools consists of five pillars. The first two pillars form the core of Eco-Schools: pupils are central and the school continuously takes small or big sustainable steps. The other three pillars together give substance to a Whole School Approach. Pupils contribute to a coherent approach and are the driving force behind a Whole School Approach towards the school leader and facility management. The vision and policy of a school are not central at Eco-Schools. However, we emphasis on the enthusiasm and decisiveness of students and teachers.
What does ‘student-led change’ mean?
Eco-Schools is based on the principle ‘student-led change’. This means that students are central and play an important role in the sustainable development of the school. In this way, the students look for what can be improved with regard to various sustainability themes. They make plans, choose which themes they want to focus on and how they want to approach them. They are supported in the process by teachers, the concierge and others in and outside the school. Students get the possibility to take action and experience, how they can contribute to build a sustainable society. Through this program they discover their own values, interests and talents. They work on the development of important 21st century skills such as communication, collaboration, problem solving and creative thinking. In other words, Eco-Schools prepares students for the future!
Do I receive guidance as a school?
Yes! You are not alone at Eco-Schools. We ensure that every Eco-School is linked to an Eco-School counselor. The Eco-School counselor is a professional working at a center for nature and environmental education (NME), at a municipality or at another professional organization in the field of sustainability and education. In other words, this supervisor is completely up-to-date in the field of sustainable education. Our supervisors receive training that gives them the knowledge and skills to supervise Eco-Schools. The Eco-School Facilitator helps the school implement the Seven-Step Plan and the process changes that the school experiences.
Are there any costs for the program? If yes, how much does the program cost?
Yes, there are costs in the form of a subscription. The costs consist of an annual participation fee and a one-time registration fee. The registration fee is intended for extra support and audits in the first two years at the start of Eco-Schools. The amount of the costs vary for primary, secondary and secondary vocational education.
Why do the prices differ per type of education?
The costs depend on the degree of coaching for an Eco-School. Coaching a change process at a primary school is less labor intensive and complex than at a secondary school or an MBO institution, due to the short communication lines and the size of the school. Because of this we apply different prices.