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Thomas Deacon Education Trust


Primary and secondary students from TDET’s seven academies came together with international, national and local businesses on Thursday 21 March 2024 to devise innovative new sustainability ideas for their academies.

TDET’s Sustainability Conference, held at Queen Katharine Academy (QKA), was attended by representatives from Thomas Deacon Foundation and TDET’s trustees as well as QKA’s Post-16 Student Leaders, Eco Leaders and Science Leaders, who did a fantastic job supporting the students.

The event began with a sustainability marketplace, where students discovered more about eco-friendly products and processes from a variety of visiting organisations, including Bakkavor, Jumped Up Theatre, Peterborough City Council, Pect, Staedtler, Stagecoach, and Edding. They then listened to inspirational keynote speeches, before heading off to practical, interactive workshops on food, travel and waste to demonstrate how some of these sustainability ideas work in practice.

All conference attendees were in for a surprise at lunchtime, with TDET’s Catering Team providing a delicious meal made entirely from plant-based foods, which was served on biodegradable edible plates and eaten using edible cutlery!

In the afternoon, students collaborated within their academy groups to put together a sustainability action plan for their academies, including composing interview questions for their principals about environmental plans, writing an article about what they had learned from the event, and planning a special assembly.  

Adam Stevens, TDET Director of Resources, said: “TDET’s first Sustainability Conference was a resounding success. The students attending were all incredibly enthusiastic and eager to make a difference, which was wonderful to see.

TDET has an excellent track record in pioneering sustainability initiatives, we’ve now installed low-energy LEDs across all our academies and switched the majority of our energy supplies to a renewable tariff, which reduced our carbon emissions by 350 metric tonnes per year.

“As part of our sustainability ethos, it is important to involve our students, as the next generation, in our next steps to become part of the environmental solution.

“Thank you to all the organisations and staff who have ensured this has been a day to remember for everyone. We are excited to see the changes the students pioneer in their academies using their knowledge and ideas from today.”