School praised for sustainability work

Ochil tower

Roseanna Cunningham MSP visited Ochil School in Perthshire to hear about the environmental work of pupils

27th January 2020 by Gareth Jones 0 Comments

A school has been praised for its commitment to sustainability.

The Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform and local MSP, Ms Roseanna Cunningham, today (27 January 2020) visited Ochil Tower School in Auchterarder to find out more about the activities and initiatives the school is undertaking, as an Eco-School and as a Fair Trade School, to continuously improve its environmental performance, and to help tackle global poverty and inequality.

Ochil Tower School was awarded its first Green Flag in 2010, and has received a further three Green Flags since then. The school has also been a Fair Trade School since 2014, and in 2017 was awarded its Fair Achiever School Certificate. Staff and students at Ochil Tower School are actively working to protect the environment, and to promote sustainable development.

During her visit, Cunningham heard firsthand from the staff and students about how Ochil Tower School’s environmental and fair trade projects are helping to protect the environment, to promote fair trade and to tackle global poverty.

Cunningham said: “I am very pleased to have had the opportunity to visit Ochil Tower and hear from its staff, pupils and young people about the actions and activities the school continues to drive forward to embrace and promote sustainability, and foster greater understanding of our natural environment across the wider community.

“The Scottish Government is committed to listening to the voices of the next generation, especially on vital topics like climate change. Young people will play an ever-more important role as we continue the journey towards becoming a net-zero society by 2045, and our schools are pivotal in educating and engaging pupils in protecting our environment”.

Stuart Provan, chief executive of Ochil Tower School, said: “Protecting our environment is something that we teach and promote each and every day with our young people. The mantra of positive environmental action through reducing, recycling and reusing are key tenets to the ethos of our school.

“Within our curriculum we regularly focus on Fair Trade and tackling poverty initiatives through engaging our children/young people in supporting others. We organise events to raise funds and this can involve dressing up, making events fun, selling goods that the young people have made themselves, or sponsored walks or running activities. We ensure the funds raised support local and global good causes, often in relation to environmental protection.

“Through our focus on these key themes we are able to support young people to become active citizens in their own communities around Scotland when it comes to the protection of our environment.”

Dr Neil Henery, director of Camphill Scotland, said: “For 80 years the Camphill movement has been guided by a strong environmental ethos and we have brought to life many modern ecological practices such as organic farming, community-supported agriculture and green banking. We are delighted to welcome the cabinet secretary to Ochil Tower School to see for herself how this ethos continues to inform the culture and practices of the school.”