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Hethersett school launches campaign for solar panels

PUBLISHED: 06:30 10 October 2012

Head Andy Whittle launching the Solar School initiative with pupils at Hethersett junior.  Photo: Bill Smith

Head Andy Whittle launching the Solar School initiative with pupils at Hethersett junior. Photo: Bill Smith

Archant © 2012

Green-thinking youngsters are today helping their school launch a campaign to raise £10,000 for solar panels.

Hethersett Junior School is one of two in Norfolk and about 30 schools nationwide to be selected to take part in the Solar Schools initiative.

The scheme, launched nationally today, will see carbon-cutting organisation 10:10 provide selected schools with free online and offline resources, training and staff support to help them raise the funds they need. Schools will also feature on the Solar Schools website.

Andy Whittle, headteacher at Hethersett Junior, said: “With the type of building we have with a flat roof, the energy bills are high. We’ve been working with the children to reduce our energy use by making sure the lights are switched off when not needed and equipment is turned off.

“We’ve installed double glazing and put in more efficient lighting. When we heard about Solar Schools, we thought it was an ideal time to get solar panels.

“And as well as cutting down our energy use, we can use them to educate the children, families and the local community about the importance of cutting back on carbon emissions and we will be saving money which we can then put back into the school.”

It is hoped the solar panels will be installed at the Queens Road school by June 2013. The school will approach local businesses and use social networking sites Facebook and Twitter in its quest to raise £10,000.

Elsewhere, Catfield Primary School, near Potter Heigham, has also had its application to take part in the scheme accepted. It will need to raise £10,000. Headteacher Mary Blackie, said: “We are extremely pleased. We are working towards our Green Flag award and this will work very nicely with the things we have done over the last nine years.”

Maddy Carroll, Solar Schools campaign manager, added: “Solar panels are an incredible investment and a great way to teach pupils about energy and climate change. But with budgets squeezed, many schools struggle to afford the up-front investment.”

Do you have a story about a local school? Call reporter Victoria Leggett on 01603 772468.

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