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News 1 December 2021

The Foundation welcomes new board member and celebrates campaign success

Education has a major role to play in helping us achieve a net zero society. Energy is abstract and therefore a difficult concept for young people to define and grasp.

To help alleviate this issue, the Energy Saving Trust Foundation has a key goal to educate and inspire communities to increase their energy savings and make sustainable, energy efficient choices that will help address the climate emergency. In its first step towards achieving this goal, the Foundation formed a partnership with the Pod to work with its network of 20,000+ schools to deliver energy themed campaigns to schools and young people.

New board member Gill Collinson

The Foundation also welcomed Gill Collinson to the board of trustees in November 2021. Gill is Director of Education & Programmes at STEM Learning Ltd., which successfully manages a range of UK programmes supporting science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education and skills through the National STEM Learning Centre at York and wider network of providers across the UK.

She said: “I’m absolutely delighted to be joining the board of trustees at the Energy Saving Trust Foundation. In the coming decades, climate change will increasingly affect both livelihoods and infrastructure. This will require significant adaption and mitigation at a personal and societal level.

“Joining the Foundation was an opportunity not to miss – the Foundation plays a significant role in improving the understanding of climate change to enable us all, but especially all young people, to be better prepared and more resilient to address the challenges ahead. It’s a privilege to be part of the team!”

Successful Switch Off Fortnight schools campaign

The Energy Saving Trust Foundation proudly partnered with the Pod this year to deliver Switch Off Fortnight, an annual UK schools energy saving campaign running every November. The campaign caters to the diversity of schools across the UK by allowing flexibility on how schools participate. For some schools, the chance to save money on bills by saving energy is all too important, while for others, the fun, educational message around small sustainable changes to energy use is one with which they can easily engage their pupils.

A total of 1,332 UK schools joined this year’s campaign; just over 80% of participating schools were primary schools, while the remaining 20% were secondary schools. A total of 1,060 schools in England took part, with a further 113 schools in Scotland, 74 in Northern Ireland, 66 in Wales and the remainder from overseas.

According to some teachers interviewed, reasons for participating in Switch Off Fortnight range from showing pupils how to use less energy and reduce their carbon footprint, to making pupils aware of how important it is to care for the environment. Read more from the teachers’ responses in this blog.

You can find energy saving tips for schools and read about the 2021 campaign here or watch the two campaign videos below.

The Pod Energy Saving Dashboard

Schools participating in Switch Off Fortnight were encouraged to record their meter readings in a new energy saving dashboard created by Energy Saving Trust’s energy team. The dashboard has given schools, teachers and pupils the chance to measure the true impact that small steps like switching off lights and devices has in saving energy.

Having a dashboard with a visual representation of the savings made during Switch Off Fortnight has helped young people respond enthusiastically to the campaign. While regularly recording meter readings can be a big undertaking for schools, especially for schools where the meter box is located in a harder-to-access place, the benefits are worth it in terms of educating and engaging young people in energy saving.

The energy saving dashboard will be available for schools to use all year round and has been a great addition to the Switch Off campaign.

Real-world learning

Along with the Pod, we have been delighted with how engaged schools have been during Switch Off Fortnight. From decorating their school with posters, to engaging on social media and participating in the Switch Off Star competition, pupils have taken and recorded school meter readings, written poems, and performed songs, all against a backdrop of school disruptions from Covid-19.

“We absolutely love the campaign as it really empowers the pupils to promote the switch off message both at school and at home.”

– Clare Bunston, Coldfall Primary School

 “It was great fun and engaged students in taking part in small changes to create big impacts and also seeded a whole school community action.”

– Stella Wilson, Queen’s Park Primary School

The Foundation’s next campaign with the Pod launches in January. The ‘Pod for Homes’ campaign will centre around a new microsite for young people that is focused on energy saving measures in the home.

The Foundation

The Foundation works to educate and inspire communities across the UK to increase their energy savings and make sustainable, energy efficient choices that will help address the climate emergency.

Find out more

Last updated: 8 December 2021