Badge of Shame keeps Wirral teachers green

Wirral Globe: Student Anna Hunter presents the Badge of Shame to teacher Owen-Petkova. Student Anna Hunter presents the Badge of Shame to teacher Owen-Petkova.

A WIRRAL school recognised for its green credentials is going above and beyond to ensure its staff stick to their eco ways by shaming those who waste energy.

Wirral Hospitals School received the Eco Schools Green Flag award earlier this month in recognition of its successful programme of environmentally-friendly projects aimed at raising awareness of green issues and improving the school’s eco credentials.

Activities over a four year period have included making and placing bird, bat and bug boxes, developing a school garden to grow vegetables and insect-attracting wild flowers, and introducing a school composting and recycling scheme.

The school has also launched and promoted energy conservation campaigns including “Switch it Off” and the “Badge of Shame” – awarded by students to any staff who are found to be wasting energy in their classrooms or offices.

The initiative means staff are given an incentive to stick to the school’s eco policy.

Headteacher Derek Kitchin said: “It’s a fun thing – if staff leave the lights on in their classrooms or leave the computers on, then the students give them a badge of shame and they have to keep it for a week.

“Our school puts the ‘magic’ back into education for many of the most vulnerable children and young people on Wirral.

“I am proud of the students’ commitment to giving something back through their outstanding eco achievements, under the guidance and leadership of the student-led Eco Team, who have brilliantly demonstrated the values and resilience we aim to develop in them.”

A flag-raising ceremony took place on April 10, with Wirral’s mayor and mayoress, Cllr Dave Mitchell and Sue Mitchell attending the event.

Wirral’s cabinet member for environment and sustainability, Cllr Brian Kenny, added: “This award recognises the ongoing hard work that the teaching staff, pupils and governing body of Wirral Hospital Schools have carried out to support green initiatives and develop an understanding of environmental concerns in pupils and the local community.”

The school has previously received the Bronze Eco Award in 2011 and the Silver Eco Award in 2012.

Its successful pupil-led model has been highlighted by the national awarding body as an example of best practice for other schools starting out on their own eco journey.

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