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Low Carbon Schools

Students Teach us how to Reduce Carbon Consumption

Bedford Borough Council has been working with ten pilot schools from across the borough to help them reduce their energy consumption through a series of resources developed by the Carbon Trust. The Mayor of Bedford Borough, Dave Hodgson, presented each school involved in The Collaborative Low Carbon Schools Service with certificates of achievement this week, in the Mayor’s Parlour.


The Mayor, Dave Hodgson, said: “It is great to see how children from schools involved across the Borough have taken part and helped their school help the environment, and it’s thanks to their efforts and those of school staff that such good results have been achieved.


“The Council has been installing Automatic Meter Reading devices across Bedford Borough, including within schools. These will enable schools to see exactly what energy they are using and when, helping them to identify how to cut their energy use further and save money.”


Below is an overview of activities adopted by the schools:


Shackleton Lower -

  • Held a ‘Green Day’ and a ‘Switch Off Day’ where they used no electricity and even had a picnic lunch instead of a cooked dinner
  • The Green Team have placed red stickers on all their light switches to remind staff and pupils to switch lights off if they are not needed
  • Placed red stickers on all computer monitors to remind the users to turn them off when not in use
  • The school is also regularly reporting on their energy use by distributing newsletters to staff about the outcomes of the energy saving checks


Castle Lower -

  • Focused on switching-off light switches and have placed their own notices and stickers on switches to inform staff and pupils what they can and cannot switch off
  • Both Shackleton and Castle Lower have used a character called ‘Mr. Switch’ to spread the message about turning off light switches


Queen’s Park Academy -

  • Took control of their heating and looked at ways by which they could reduce the amount of hours the heating was on, and its temperature
  • The school invested in individual thermostatic controls which staff could control in their classrooms. This has addressed the issue of teachers turning radiators up, bringing electric heaters in when it is too cold, and opening windows when it is too warm
  • The site manager was also able to reduce the starting and finishing times of the heating system, reducing heating times by 2.25 hours per day and reducing water heating times by 1.25 hours per day
  • The school has also labelled their light switches with green and red stickers to show which lights can be switched off if not needed and when not in use
  • This project supports the work they are doing as part of the Eco Schools programme and supports their Green Flag status


Grange Specialist School -

  • Staff and pupils completed a school energy walk around and identified areas that needed to be addressed in terms of energy consumption
  • The ICT suite was one of these areas and therefore posters were put up reminding users to turn off the computers
  • The school also made more effective use of their skylights by painting the inside walls white, so that the light was reflected. This made an immediate impact on the corridors lighting and they found that indoor lights were less likely to be on if the external light was bright enough


Wootton Lower -

  • Have now disbanded their I.T suite and disconnected the computers in this room and replaced them with 30 laptops for classroom use by pupils
  • Light switches were also labelled up with a red sticker showing that they do not need to be turned on at all times
  • In the newly built part of the building, automatic motion sensor lighting has been installed


Biddenham Upper School -

  • Replaced old lighting with T5 efficient lighting and controls. Match funding was provided for the project from the Mayor’s Climate Change Fund
  • In just 3 months Biddenham saved over £1,000 in electricity by completing this lighting project
  • The school has recently put another bid in to the Fund to install more of this lighting in the school


If you would like any further information on the Collaborative Low Carbon Schools Service contact Samantha Guy, at Bedford Borough Council, on 01234 718286.

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