Lancashire schools premiere at Everyman Cinema to showcase work to reach net-zero

Submitted by ahmed.ali on Fri, 18/03/2022 - 18:26

(Left to right: Vaishni Patel, Suad Omer, Sam Johnson, Acting Director of Education, The Diocese of Blackburn, Nadim El Bakri)

The premiere of a film on the decarbonisation of schools in Lancashire took place at the Everyman Cinema Clitheroe on Friday 11 March.
 
The film showcased three schools in the diocese of Blackburn - Archbishop Temple CE High School and Church of England primary schools, Parish of St Laurence and Samlesbury – on their journey to reach net-zero.

Salix Finance, which supports energy efficiency in the public sector, provided the diocese with £8.4 million, which came from the Department of Business and Industrial Strategy as part of the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme (PSDS).
 
St Laurence had the worst energy efficiency in the diocese of Blackburn. The school’s headteacher, Emma Marquis said: “The funding we received meant we could do it properly and thoroughly and also it was something we could teach the children whilst also making our building more efficient. I was delighted and over the moon to be approached to do this.” 
 
The school’s fields were dug up to put in thousands of meters of pipework, and boreholes, to install a ground source heat pump. Roof insulation, LED lighting, double glazing and solar panels, which should generate the electricity for the ground source heat pump, will enable the school to reach net-zero. 
 
Local MP and speaker of the House of Commons, Sir Lindsay Hoyle, visited the school in October, to meet their eco ambassadors following the project’s completion.

Ms Marquis said: “The project is a platform to teach the children about how we can reduce our carbon footprint. There’s a lot we’ve learnt from it in terms of new equipment that can be used to heat a building. Taking that forward we want to educate our children further on how that might affect them in the future.”

Archbishop Temple CE High School in Preston is a 1960s building with a unique architectural style. The north-facing roofs meant solar panels could not be put on them so a solar canopy was installed in the car park. In addition, the building’s listed status meant bespoke glazing had to be installed. 
 
Samlesbury CE Primary School is exploring the potential of solar power to heat its building. 
 
Dr Sam Johnson, acting director of education, explained the diocese of Blackburn got involved with PSDS as the Church of England wants to be carbon neutral by 2030 and they had schools that they wanted to take on that journey. Twenty-four schools have been decarbonised – taking out gas and oil-fired boilers and installing heat pumps. 

He said: “A year on from the grant funding we’ve nearly completed all the projects, which is fantastic. 
 
“The projects have had a real significance within schools. Not only on the school environment but also on the curriculum and the development of the children and there’s been massive engagement, particularly with our primary schools. 
 
“The fact COP26 happened halfway through these projects was a win-win. It could give real-life examples of what was happening in their schools to help meet this agenda, which they could take to the parents and the community.
 
“We’re so pleased with how it’s all gone - we’re keen for the learning in Blackburn to be shared as widely as possible.” 

An exhibition on decarbonising schools was made by a team of post-graduate architecture students from the University of Sheffield. 

Nadim El Bakri, programme coordinator, Salix Finance, said: “It was an absolute pleasure and inspiring to see the premiere about the decarbonisation of schools in Lancashire. In addition, I meet the stars of the film too - Sam, headteachers, governors, contractors and the students - who all played a big role in helping the schools, and the communities they serve, reach net-zero.”

You can watch the film below.

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