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Schools to get help to green IT

Schools IT staff can now take courses in reducing the carbon footprint of operations, thanks to government technology education body Becta.

Becta has developed the Framework for ICT Technical Support (FITS) to improve the knowledge of schools IT staff on environmental issues.

The initiative includes the distribution of tools which help schools monitor their use of computing power, including a carbon footprint comparison tool that compares the electricity used by different IT products.

The framework makes recommendations on how environmental criteria can be embedded in procurement arrangements to ensure schools buy energy-efficient products.

Stephen Lucey, executive director of Strategic Technologies at Becta said:

"We are working with local authorities, schools, governors, heads and teachers to advise them on small changes that they can make to reduce their carbon footprint."

The agency estimates saving just one watt of power all day every day from each school computer would result in about £1.8 m in savings.

Last week schools secretary Ed Balls said at least four pilot zero carbon schools would be operational by 2016. And from 2013 schools must reduce CO2 emissions from new buildings by around 80 per cent on 2002 building standards.

All schools are to get digital energy display meters by 2020 to help them reduce their carbon footprint.

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