School leadership

This domain of environmental sustainability action focuses on actions that may be undertaken by school leadership. ResourceSmart SchoolsExternal Link is a program that complements this policy and provides direct support to schools wanting to improve environmental sustainability.

School leaders may choose to embed environmental sustainability in their operations by following these steps (none of these are mandatory):

Establish an environmental sustainability committee or 'Green group' with teacher and student representation. The inclusion of parents or community members may bring additional expertise, capacity and capability.

Create an Environmental Sustainability Plan using the Environmental Sustainability Plan template (DOCX)External Link and actively involve students, staff, families and the wider community to complete it. It is recommended that the plan address all 6 priority areas of the Environmental Sustainability in Schools policy and specifies school actions under each priority area.

Communicate the school’s environmental sustainability plan with staff, students and the broader community. Schools can regularly report on school sustainability initiatives in the school newsletter.

Embed environmental sustainability where relevant across school strategic plans, annual implementation plans, maintenance plans and workforce planning processes. Environmental sustainability can be embedded into improvement plans as well as ‘business as usual’ for integrated and longer-term action.

Develop and implement a whole-school teaching and learning program and approach to enacting the Victorian Curriculum Foundation – 10 (Victorian Curriculum F–10) Sustainability cross-curriculum priority (SCCP). This includes ensuring the SCCP is visible in documents that describe classroom programs, and there is a documented whole school approach to teaching and assessing the priority. The VCAA document Learning about sustainability (DOCX)External Link summarises the organising concepts of the sustainability priority and outlines all sustainability-related content descriptions Foundation – Level 9 and 10 across all curriculum areas.

Integrate climate risks and hazards including extreme weather events into school risk management. The Emergency Management Planning Portal provides guidance on preparing for extreme weather events.

School councils can choose to take one or more of the following actions to address environmental sustainability by:

  • issuing a statement of support for environmental sustainability and/or climate action, including the need for school-level climate action, to demonstrate commitment to students, staff and the broader school community
  • prioritising environmental sustainability issues and climate risk within council decision-making by actively contributing to the planning, implementation and monitoring of environmental sustainability goals and actions
  • establishing a school council sub-committee or working group on climate mitigation, adaptation, and environmental sustainability
  • encouraging a member/s of the school community with expertise in environmental sustainability to become a member of school council.

See the Policy and Advisory Library for information about school councils, council elections, subcommittees and council powers and functions.

Includes information on actions that may be undertaken by school leadership relating to environmental sustainability

Reviewed 25 September 2023

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