Energy-efficient Behaviour (Education)

Scottish Executive Question Time – in the Scottish Parliament at 11:40 am on 15th April 2010.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Christopher Harvie Christopher Harvie Scottish National Party 11:40 am, 15th April 2010

To ask the Scottish Executive what measures are being undertaken to train primary and secondary school children about energy-efficient behaviour and provide them with a general understanding of scarce resources and fuel poverty. (S3O-10112)

Photo of Fiona Hyslop Fiona Hyslop Scottish National Party

The curriculum for excellence puts a strong emphasis on developing responsible global citizens and includes specific outcomes on energy sources and sustainability at every stage. Pupils also benefit greatly from participating in the hugely successful Scottish Government-funded and world-leading eco-schools Scotland programme, in which more than 97 per cent of local authority education establishments are registered, and make use of the global footprint resource to understand and act on energy use. A range of resources are available through Learning and Teaching Scotland and other partners, and schools regularly use energy as a context for enabling young people to make informed, ethical choices.

Photo of Christopher Harvie Christopher Harvie Scottish National Party

Is any specific support available to organise small school workshops or courses to further the understanding of energy efficiency and renewable energy and to exhibit and publicise installations and achievements that result from such workshops?

Photo of Michael Russell Michael Russell Scottish National Party

As I have said, energy is a specific topic in the eco-schools programme.

Through that, schools assess the impact of energy use and demonstrate plans to improve efficiency. Some of the eco-schools that I have visited have working wind turbines; others experiment with a variety of energy generation sources.

The Government funds two school renewable development officers to work with local authorities to promote and support the increased uptake of sustainable energy measures in schools, specifically microrenewables and any accompanying energy efficiency measures.

The global footprint resource is available to all schools and should lead to innovation in schools on energy matters. In addition, many schools receive funding directly through Mr Lochhead's department's climate challenge fund, and many wider community projects include the participation of local schools in the climate challenge fund. In all those regards, and many others, the point that Professor Harvie raises, which is a good one, is being met.

Photo of Sarah Boyack Sarah Boyack Labour

Has the Scottish Government yet set a target to implement its manifesto commitment that every school would have a renewable device fitted? How many schools have had renewable devices installed since the Scottish National Party came to power?

Photo of Michael Russell Michael Russell Scottish National Party

We learned the lesson of not being target driven. [ Laughter .] It has been an important lesson to learn, considering the failure of the previous Administration to meet any of its education targets. [ Interruption .]

Photo of Michael Russell Michael Russell Scottish National Party

I like to view these things in a green and organic way. I am sure that the member would agree with that approach, as I know that she is green and organic herself and has those enthusiasms.

We are making good progress. Many schools are innovating in this area and are installing new generation sources, from photovoltaic panels to wind energy, and many more will do so in the years ahead.