Way back at the start of 2012, the Solar Schools team at 10:10 decided it was time to take stock of where we were and where we wanted to take our little project with big ambition. In 2011, we had launched a pilot of the Solar Schools project, providing eight schools with tools, resources and support in the hope of enabling them to go out and fund-raise the money they needed to install solar panels. Why? Because solar can be an incredible investment for a school, helping them to cut carbon and energy bills while enabling pupils to get to grips with energy and climate change in a totally new, tangible way. Plus, thanks to government Feed-in Tariff incentives, they also provide a much appreciated boost to stretched budgets!
So, our eight pilot schools bravely agreed to trial the project, the resources and us! And, mostly because they are incredibly awesome, by the time it came to us working out if Solar Schools was something that 10:10 should continue to do… well the answer came pretty easily.
Using the crowd-funding model, not only did our schools raise the money they needed but they built a stronger community around themselves, developed new skills and totally reframed the way ‘green’ issues were seen, right across the school.
With our minds firmly made up, in May we opened our doors for schools across the UK to apply to take part. And now, after whittling them down, we’re left with a diverse bunch - small primaries to large secondaries, comprehensive to academies, Cornwall to Penrith via Angelsey! All of them have their own ambitions and circumstances but all of them share the same goal - to use the power of their communities to become cleaner greener places for their pupils to learn.
I can’t wait for them to get started!