Want to help save the Enviroschools programme?

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The work of 670 other Enviroschools around NZ, is seriously threatened by recent central government funding cuts

The recent central government budget included cuts to programmes and projects currently supported by the Ministry of Education, including:

  • The Enviroschools Foundation (who coordinate the programme nationally)
  • Education for Sustainability Advisory Services (Team Solutions EfS Advisors
  • Matauranga Taiao (EfS supportfor Kura Kaupapa Maori)
  • The Environmental Education Guidelines Review Project

“The Enviroschools Programme is a partnership programme between the national Enviroschools Foundation, EfS Advisory Services, Regional Councils, Local Councils and NGOs.  The funding cuts proposed above will have an impact on the overall implementation of the Enviroschools Programme because there will be no more funding for the national Enviroschools Foundation (office, staff & projects), and there will be no more EfS Advisors who directly facilitate up to half Enviroschools across the country.

These cuts will impact directly on schools in the Auckland region

The schools will lose facilitation support

Without the EfS Advisors (Bridget Glasgow, Beryl Oppert, Sandy Bell, Trish Irvine, Evan Shewchuk, Marty Taylor & Carol Young) there will be a 50% decrease in the direct support available to Auckland’s Enviroschools. This will mean significant changes to the nature and level of support available to all Auckland Enviroschools. The remaining 50% of facilitators are funded through local councils. This adds extra uncertainty in Auckland as we do not know if the new ‘super-city’ council will provide funding for the Enviroschools programme during these leaner economic times.

You will lose access to Enviroschools teaching resources and programme support

The Enviroschools kit, DVD, handbook, scrapbooks and website are all developed and published by the Enviroschools Foundation. These will no longer be available due to the central government funding cuts. The Enviroschools Foundation also directly fund other initiatives that you may value, including:

  • the Measuring Change internet tool for schools to track their progress and compare themselves with other schools nationwide;
  • ecobuilding and energy projects and resources; and
  • support for secondary schools through the Youth Jam and Regeneration projects.

These projects are unlikely to continue due to the central government funding cuts.

You will lose the opportunity to participate in a successful, nationwide programme that is internationally recognised

670 Enviroschools across New Zealand are able to connect with other schools in the network to develop best practice, and to share ideas and achievements. This national network will no longer be supported due to the central government funding cuts.

At the same times as the Enviroschools programme is being cut in New Zealand, governments in Chile, Brunei and Singapore are working with the Enviroschools Foundation to develop the programme in their countries. Opportunities for your students to network internationally and to share their knowledge and experiences will no longer exist due to the central government funding cuts.

You must act now to ensure Enviroschools continues

What we need you to do

Enviroschools across the country share a vision – of a generation of innovative and motivated young people, who instinctively think and act sustainably. We believe that if you act now to protect this vision, and let politicians and the public know why you support Enviroschools, that the government will listen.

Across New Zealand, hundreds of Enviroschools and their communities are going to act. This is what you can do.

1. Distribute this message as soon as possible to everyone in your school community and beyond (staff, BOT, PTA, school newsletters, parents, friends, sponsors, local businesses, friends, neighbours and supporters) encouraging them to take action.

2. Write a letter by Friday 19 June (preferred date) urging the government to continue to support these programmes. Please use your own words and make your letter positive, focusing on the benefits you have personally seen for students, their school and your community. Describe examples of environmental, economic, social and educational benefits. It would be especially valuable to describe examples of how Enviroschools has contributed to student achievement. If you can’t meet this deadline still write the letter as questions will be asked in the house in late June.

3. Send copies to the following people:

  1. The Prime Minister. RT. Hon John Key, (Freepost Parliament, Private Bag 18 888, Wellington 6160 john.key@parliament.govt.nz)
  2. The Minister of Education, Hon. Anne Tolley (Freepost Parliament, Private Bag 18 888, Wellington 6160, anne.tolley@parliament.govt.nz)
  3. Your Local Member of Parliament (Freepost Parliament, Private Bag 18 888, Wellington 6160) . Particularly target NATIONAL Party Members http://www.parliament.nz/en-NZ/MPP/MPs/MPs

4. Support other people in your school community to write their own letters (parents, staff, teacher aides, BOT, and if appropriate, students), with a goal of at least 4 people in each Enviroschool writing a letter.

Numbers of letters received by Government matter!

5. Write a letter to:

a. Your local paper

b. The New Zealand Herald (short and to the point)

6. Go and visit your local MP to discuss your letter. We all know that talking with people one-on-one can be very effective at communicating your message.

Yours sincerely,

Hilary Chidlow & Shirley Dephoff

Regional Enviroschools Coordinators (Auckland Regional Council)

Nicky Elmore – Auckland City Council

Chris McLean – EcoMatters Environment Trust, Waitakere

Jo Newman – EcoMatters Environment Trust, Waitakere

Anna Baine – Manukau City Council

Cate Jessep – Auckland Regional Council

Kate Jackson – North Shore City Council

Monique Zwaan – North Shore City Council

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