Projects in the action plan must be monitored and evaluated by the Eco-Schools Committee on a regular and continuous basis. This is one way to find out what progress is being made by the school.
The results of the monitoring and evaluation will also highlight any problems with the programme and any necessary changes that the school needs to make.
Simple and accurate ways to assess progress include:
- A follow-up environmental review once a year;
- Meter readings and calculation of utility bill savings: to show the monetary effect of energy-saving/water saving actions;
- Weighing/counting litter items or waste collected for recycling: to show the effects of litter collection/recycling initiatives;
- Before, during and after photographs: to show the progress of specific initiatives;
- Before and after species lists: to show the effect of biodiversity/school grounds developments;
- The use of questionnaires and surveys to investigate opinions.
Schools are encouraged to involve students and the whole school community in project monitoring wherever possible. This will help cultivate a greater sense of ownership of the school’s work
The Eco-Schools Committee should make sure that:
- The results of monitoring exercises are displayed on the school’s notice board for everyone to see, this could be in the form of graphs, charts, reports, etc.;
- The entire school is kept up to date with the progress towards achieving objectives, results could be shared during staff meetings and general parents meetings or during school assemblies;
- Information gathered is continuously documented, so that when the time comes to apply for an Eco-Schools Award, it can be presented as evidence in the Eco-Schools portfolio.