In recent years, the people of Britain have become more environmentally conscious – around a third (32%) of adults aged 16 and over in England reported in 2010 that they were environmentally friendly in most – or everything – they did.
The rise of the eco-conscious citizen who strives for a better world for the next generation, has never been more prevalent however, a recent study has shown that when it comes to schooling, the environment isn’t such a priority.
The survey, carried out by eco-classroom construction firm Inspired Building Systems, found that whilst parents say they understand the importance of the environment, over 75% of them said that they had no idea that sustainable classrooms can have a 25% positive effect on a pupil’s grades – in fact 75% of those surveyed did not understand the effect the environment can have on children at all.
A similar study by Salford University also showed that the impact that classroom design has on pupil development is profound. A learning environment can attribute to a 25% impact on a student’s progress over the course of an academic year, and sustainable classrooms have the added ability to enhance mental well-being, health as well as learning development.
Gavin Wilkes, Director at Inspired Building Systems said: “Our survey revealed some surprising results. We really weren’t expecting to see that over 75% of parents who took part in the survey had no idea how much of an impact a well-designed, sustainable classroom could have on a child’s development. In fact, one third of parents admitted that sustainability isn’t something they thought about when selecting a school for their child at all. There’s a really important statement to be made here, and that is that parents simply don’t know enough about how we can improve our educational system. We’re going to make it our mission to make sure that schools and parents are educated as to how important a learning environment is and how easy it is to make big changes.’
The Inspired Building Systems survey also showed that over 96% of parents believed that a school should be inspiring, 92% of parents understood that natural light could increase a child’s mental well-being and 79% thought that the air quality in a learning environment would have an impact on learning.