Royal Latin School in Buckinghamshire continues its net zero journey following a green grant

Submitted by ahmed.ali on Thu, 07/04/2022 - 11:08

Project overview

The Royal Latin School in Buckinghamshire has been awarded more than £282,000 to decarbonise their school building through the installation of air source heat pumps. The funding, which is part of Phase 2 of the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme (PSDS), will also go towards installing energy efficient radiators to help modernise the 19th century building. Not only will the upgrades help the school lower its annual energy savings by £5,120, but it will also help it to reduce their annual carbon emissions by over 37 tonnes.

The 600-year-old state grammar school serves 1,300 pupils and started its decarbonisation journey in 2020, having been successful in receiving more than £268,000 of funding as part of Phase 1 PSDS. The school had identified that upgrading the old Victorian style heating system would bring greater energy efficiency.

Funding from Phase 1 PSDS paved the way for the installation of several carbon reducing technologies including solar photovoltaic panels, LED lighting, solar battery storage and roof insulation. The single glazed windows had become rotten, and interestingly, newspapers from the 1930s were found during the removal process, having been used as stuffing to keep the cold out.

"The Royal Latin School is delighted to have benefitted from the Public Sector Decarbonisation Fund's support. Teachers and students are pleased to be able to have windows that provide improved ventilation as well as the advantages of triple glazing. Our environmental group of students called 'Green Touch' has also appreciated the obvious improvements in our efforts to reduce the school's carbon footprint through the increase in the number of solar panels. It just shows that old buildings can still be warm, comfortable and energy efficient."

David Hudson, Headteacher at Royal Latin School

Ongoing sustainability initiatives

Before the 2020 lockdown, The Royal Latin School established a student body called ‘Green Touch’ which advocated for the school to become more environmentally friendly. This included identifying ways the canteen could become more sustainable, such as reducing the amount of single-use plastic and recycling food waste.

The students are educated about the importance of turning lights and electrical appliances off when not in use, both in school and at home. Eight years ago, the school relocated the science department to a state-ofthe-art building called the Discovery Centre with solar panels, demonstrating the vision towards a more sustainable future was already well underway.

Staff are encouraged to avoid using their own vehicles, with a cycle to work scheme in place. There are now two electric charging points for staff and visitors, with extra cycle racks having been added. The school is determined to set an example in the region with its sustainability initiatives and it is estimated that over 70% of staff and pupils travel to the school by either walking/cycling or using public transport.

Vaishni Patel, Programme Coordinator for Schools and Academies, Salix Finance said: “We’re delighted to see The Royal Latin School's commitment to decarbonisation, delivering various energy-saving and low carbon heating technologies. The school is a great example of how smaller public sector organisations can strive to achieve net-zero and pave the way to a sustainable future.”