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Sustainability education support for schools

Schools in County Durham have a broad range of support available to them to engage with sustainability education. This support is provided by the Outdoor and Sustainability Education Specialists team (OASES), a partnership between ourselves the regional charity North East Environment Network (NEEN).

Whole School Programmes

Schools can use a number of different programmes to engage with education for sustainable development. The main ones are:


This programme is used by schools around the world and has been established in our county for over 20 years. For more information visit the Eco-Schools England website. It is free to register and has lots of information available on the website.

Sustainable Schools Framework

The sustainable school's ethos is based on the concept of care which is at the heart of all schools:

  • care for oneself (own well-being)
  • care for one another (near, far and future generations)
  • care for the environment (locally and globally).

Integrated approach

Teaching and learningOperating and capital budgetsParental involvement
Pupil achievementPupil and staff involvementLocal influence
Pupil wellbeingBuilt and natural environmentGlobal community

This framework is supported nationally by the Sustainable Schools Alliance of which OASES is a board member.

Other programmes

Schools may also use other whole school initiatives such as:

Eco2 Smart Schools 

Eco2 smart schools logo

This is the new name for the School Carbon Reduction Programme. It was officially launched our Chairman Councillor John Lethbridge on 6 September 2018. The new name and logo is a combination of the entries from Sophie Evans and Lucy Nattrass.

The programme is offered to all schools that are part of the Energy Management Service Level Agreement. It offers tailored support to meet a school's individual needs, such as:

  • whole school audit - in conjunction with caretaker and business manager 
  • detailed report highlighting potential actions
  • pupil sessions with specific groups or whole classes/year groups/assemblies to develop and implement an energy awareness campaign
  • teacher twilight training to highlight the opportunities for using energy data within lessons  
  • access to Systemslink; the online portal providing up to date accurate energy and water usage monitoring data

Through our programme we are constantly seeking opportunities to engage in innovative projects and ways to source effective capital funding. Since the programme started in 2010, nearly all of our schools in County Durham have been supported and at present we have over 240 schools involved. As a result of this intervention, our schools have identified their energy usage and how to reduce it. This has led to significant carbon emission reductions and savings in energy costs. 

Eco2 smart schools presentation

Contact us
Outdoor and Sustainability Education Service
03000 260 535
Our address is:
  • The EWE Centre
  • Esh Winning Primary School
  • Esh Winning
  • County Durham
  • United Kingdom
  • DH7 9BE