Monitoring and Evaluation gives your Eco-Schools programme its credibility.
To measure the success of your Eco-Schools programme and reach the targets laid out in your Action Plan, you must monitor and evaluate your progress. This process will also indicate areas where activities have been successful and highlight areas where a different approach may be required. Continuous monitoring will help you to make sure that interest in Eco-Schools is maintained. This will facilitate the transition from establishing an environmental programme to making it an integral part of the day-to-day running of the school.
As far as possible, students should be encouraged to undertake the monitoring set out in the Action Plan to help foster a greater sense of ownership of the programme and allow teachers to take a step bac
Monitoring and Evaluating - Why, What and How? will help schools understand the importance of this step and how to carry it out.
Monitoring and evaluating the progress of your Eco-Schools work is an excellent opportunity to incorporate curriculum links, particularly in the areas of Maths, ICT, Art, Geography and English, as well as developing other skills such as personal understanding, mutual understanding, personal health, moral character, spiritual awareness, citizenship, cultural understanding, media awareness, ethical awareness, employability, economic awareness and education for sustainable development.
As part of the Green Flag award process, schools are expected to supply some quantifiable data in relation to the topics they have covered. The methods of monitoring that you use will depend on the targets and measurement criteria set out in your Action Plan, as well as the age and ability of students, staff and helpers. The Data Zone is designed to help with Monitoring and Evaluation and should be your first point of reference, but here are some other suggestions:
YOU WILL BE REQUIRED TO UTILISE THE DATA ZONE AS EVIDENCE WHEN APPLYING FOR THE GREEN FLAG AWARD.
Once the monitoring/measuring data has been collated, it is important that you interpret and evaluate the information to determine the success of your activities.
Your monitoring data will help you to identify if your eco work is on target or not and whether it has been effective or ineffective. You can then decide if changes to your initial targets or activities documented in the Action Plan are required.
Make sure the whole school is aware of your progress by displaying any results and figures prominently in the school (e.g. on your Eco-Schools notice board, school newsletter, assembly, school website, etc.). Remember, successes should be celebrated loudly!
TOP TIP: It is important to quantify your Monitoring where possible, using a unit of environmental performance that is applicable to your school, e.g. number/volume of bins going to landfill weekly, units of electricity consumed per month, average cost of water consumption per student per month, etc. It is important to take before and after measurements so you can evaluate your progress.
To find topic specific tasks and activities, which show clear links to the curriculum, please see Resources where you can also find fact sheets and case studies.
For ideas on how to measure your environmental impact, analyse, evaluate and present the data you collect, click on to each of our Eleven Topics. You can find fact sheets and case studies in our Resources menu.
Our partner organisations can also offer advice and information on monitoring and evaluating the topics which they support.