Award Criteria

The Eco-Schools Scotland programme is made up of a set of Seven Elements that are used to plan action on environmental issues and that form the criteria for the Green Flag Award. To earn a Green Flag Award, your school needs to follow the Seven Elements, ensuring that Eco-Schools is pupil-led, linked to the curriculum and involves the whole school and wider community.

Printable copy of Eco-Schools Green Flag Award Criteria

Download a printable copy of the criteria list here.


  • Pupils put themselves forward, and are selected by their peers to be part of the Eco-Committee.
  • Pupils are given the opportunity to nominate some adult members on to the Committee for specific tasks
  • The Committee sometimes co-opts adult members on to the committee for specific tasks
  • The Committee meets at least once every half term.
  • Minutes are kept of meetings showing how decisions have been made, and pupils share the minute-taking responsibility with adults
  • Minutes are displayed on an Eco-Schools notice board
  • Reports of Committee meetings are presented at school board/Parent Council meetings
  • Pupil members of the Committee are responsible for taking ideas from the rest of the pupils and reporting back results of Committee meetings to all the classes or forms in the school

Environmental Review

  • Pupils and Adults on the Eco-Committee plan and carry out an Environmental Review of the School in consultation with some non Committee members
  • A review document is used that covers all areas of environmental impact
  • The results of the Review are collated into one document for display on the Eco-Schools notice board and website (if the school has one)
  • Pupil members of the Committee collect suggestions for action from school classes or tutor group
  • An Environmental Review is undertaken once a year to evaluate overall progress

Action Plan

  • The Action Plan is included in the school development or improvement plan
  • The Action Plan addresses litter and two other chosen topics as well as one SDG
  • Pupils on the Eco-Committee take responsibility for leading some action areas
  • The Action Plan prioritises targets
  • The Action Plan shows timescales and includes details of how progress of an action area will be measured and evaluated/developed
  • The Action Plan is displayed on the school’s Eco Notice Board in a clear, pupil-friendly format.


  • The Eco-Committee ensures that evaluation of action is ongoing, appropriate to the activity monitored and that some of it is carried out by pupils
  • The whole school is aware of progress of environmental action, and is given the opportunity to evaluate its effect through discussion and debate
  • The Eco-Committee meets to review progress and analyse the data collected
  • They build on successes and decide on remedial action when activities are not proving successful
  • Some monitoring data is used for curriculum work


  • The school has a named individual responsible for environmental education/sustainable development education
  • The school has a curriculum plan integrating a range of environmental issues into the curriculum across some year groups or classes in a range of subjects.
  • Aspects of Eco-Schools activities are integrated into a range of subjects across the curriculum for the majority of classes or year groups.
  • (Secondary Schools only) The school has conducted a comprehensive Curricular Audit for Sustainable Development Education.
  • The school has undertaken Education Scotland's Learning for Sustainability self-evaluation


  • Eco-Schools activities are displayed on a notice board inside/outside the school
  • Displays of Eco-Schools Activities are put up for the local community for example in the library, local shop, church or community hall
  • Eco-Schools activities are integral to the school and the whole school engages in an annual Day of Action (or similar activities)
  • The wider community is involved in the activities going on in the school; for example local council officers and members of local businesses, or environmental organisations
  • The school has approached the local press to cover its Eco-Schools activities.
  • Details of the school’s Eco-Schools activities are put on the School’s web site (if the school has one)


  • The whole school is given the opportunity to make suggestions for what they believe should be included in the Eco-Code
  • The Eco-Committee drew up a Code from suggestions collected, and presented it to the school for approval
  • The Eco-Code is displayed on the Eco-Schools notice board and in all classrooms. It is also displayed on any outside notice board and the school’s web site (if the school has one)
  • The Eco-Code is reviewed by the whole school every year to make sure it remains relevant

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