Here comes the Sun

It’s hard to believe, but it’s only six months since Solar Schools stepped gingerly out into the Sun.

For a (super cute) reminder of what it’s all about, watch the video below!

We’re thrilled to say that the schools on this site have already raised over £70,000 to become cleaner, greener places for pupils to learn. Against the backdrop of a recession and a turbulent time in the solar industry, we think that’s pretty incredible!

Of the eight trailblazing schools that set off on their fundraising journeys last September, five will have installed solar panels the end of March. That’s five schools producing their own clean power for 25 years, five schools boosting budgets by reducing bills and earning extra income from the government, five schools more connected to their community and five schools using solar panels as a fantastic way to teach energy and climate change.

So, how have our schools raised such large sums of money for green investment? Hard work, innovation and a touch of Noel’s House Party-esque teacher gunging! Events have played a huge part in the process (as you can see by visiting any of their roof pages) – testament to the 10:10 theory that carbon cutting can be fun. Plus, our schools have been out there, talking to parents, neighbours and local businesses, persuading them to give what they can to a great, green, local cause! Every step of the way the teams in each school have amazed us with their creativity and persistence.

To quantify what success means for a school, Newnham Croft primary school in Cambridge have installed a rig of just under 4kWp. The total cost to them was £11,000 and for that they are now the proud owners of 16 shiny solar panels (and some less shiny new roof felt!). Over the minimum 25 year lifespan, this system is set to earn back around £43,150.

We hoped taking part in Solar Schools would help schools invest newly generated funds into clean, profitable technology, but the benefits have spread far wider:

This increased engagement [with our school community] has the potential to have a real long term benefit for our school and we are delighted with the response that we have received.
— Mary Shorland, Bursar at E.P. Collier primary school
It is fair to say that Solar Schools energised those of us already working in Eco, and woke up those who were complacent. It has been a turning point.
— Sarah Sharrock, Governor and PTA member at Newnham Croft primary school
The success of our Solar Schools project has been hugely inspiring and motivating for the children.
— James Taylor, Teacher at E.P. Collier primary school

For some schools, the process has been transformative already! For others, they're still very much in the thick of it and sadly, for one of our schools, a full roof survey discovered that their site just wasn't suitable. No matter what the outcome, all our pilot schools are now part of the 10:10 family and we'll continue working with them to cut their carbon and get their pupils talking about climate change.

Right now, we're busy supporting our pilot schools while also mapping out plans for a potential national launch in September with stacks of schools.

However, regardless of what the future holds, we’re incredibly proud of what these schools have achieved. Hopefully news of their success has inspired you to cut some carbon in your own life!

Photo: 10:10, creative commons