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Rushcliffe Spencer receives 2023 Eco-Schools Award

The secondary academy is one of only four schools this year to receive the award from Keep Britain Tidy, which are given to schools that demonstrate commitment to environmental action.

Eco-Schools, a part of Keep Britain Tidy, has awarded Rushcliffe Spencer Academy with one of only four Eco-Schools of the Year awards for their ongoing commitment to environmental action.

The Eco-Schools awards are presented to a small number of institutions that have earned the Eco-Schools Green Flag, an accreditation bestowed upon schools that demonstrate a strong commitment to ecology and addressing environmental issues.

Francis Hyland, on behalf of Eco-Schools, said, “For several years Rushcliffe Spencer Academy has been at the forefront of school-based environmental action, and each year their engagement, enthusiasm, and impacts continue to grow.

“Key to their achievements is their ability to work with others to expand the reach of their Eco-Schools work, whether that is planting trees with landscape architects, promoting plant-based options with their Trust’s catering operations manager, or discussing world issues with a partner school in the Philippines.

“Rushcliffe Spencer Academy’s determination, teamwork, and positivity places them as a leader for change in their community and across their entire academy trust, allowing their impacts to stretch way beyond school boundaries!”

Toward the end of 2021, the Eco Committee at Rushcliffe Spencer partnered with the Woodland Trust and Urban Wilderness to plant 420 trees around the school site in order to facilitate the flourishing of local wildlife.

Students at Rushcliffe have also worked closely with the Trust catering team, headed by Tanya Flinders, to implement sustainable practices across all Trust schools. Their initiatives include a shift toward plant-based food containers, a near-total elimination of single-use plastics and a focus on working with suppliers that are as local possible.

Mrs Flinders offered as a guiding principle, “Be part of the solution; the world is changed by example.”

Her sentiment is echoed by Evie G, member of Rushcliffe’s eco committee. “We’re so happy that we received this award. Helping in the eco committee is really rewarding, we feel that we are really making a difference,” she said.

Jack Lakin, Eco Lead at Rushcliffe Spencer Academy, said, “To achieve this award is a huge honour and is testament to the hard work and dedication from our students and staff getting behind our enthusiastic and diligent eco team who have helped guide the school in being as sustainable as possible.”

Head of Geography Laura Lacey emphasised the teamwork both across the school and within the community that contributed to Rushcliffe Spencer Academy’s success: “Our eco team has gone from strength to strength over the last few years with incredible engagement from students, staff, parents and the wider business community.”

Principal Damian Painton said, “Care for people and planet is engrained in our school values. I’m pleased that the great work, led by our eco-committee and wholeheartedly supported across our community, has been recognised with this prestigious award. A huge well done to everyone involved.”