Brighton primary school pupils raise £13k to fit solar panels

Posted On 09 Jul 2015 at 1:17 pm

Pupils at a Brighton primary school helped raise £13,600 to pay for solar panels to be fitted to the canteen roof.

And today (Thursday 9 July) Brighton Pavilion MP Caroline Lucas went along to St Luke’s to congratulate the school’s “Eco-Warriors”.

The Green MP had a chance to see the solar array which is expected to bring £2,245 a year in financial benefits for the school.

St Luke's Primary School eco warriors with Caroline Lucas, parent Stella Pentecost, teacher Fiona Byrne, head Jonathan Cooper and Zoe Forbes from Ecosphere

St Luke’s Primary School  Eco-Warriors with Caroline Lucas, parent Stella Pentecost, teacher Fiona Byrne, head Jonathan Cooper and Zoe Forbes from Ecosphere

And she met parent Stella Pentecost, who came up with the idea of installing the panels, teacher and parent Fiona Byrne and head teacher Jonathan Cooper.

The project has been supported by the carbon reduction campaign group 10:10 and the panels were installed during the May half-term holiday by Lewes company Ecosphere.

The school has used the project to help them learn about maths, science and the environment.

Mr Cooper said: “It’s absolutely wonderful that we’ve reached our total and have now installed solar panels.

St Luke's Primary School solar panels“I would like to say thank you to 10:10, our solar school team, parents, carers and our generous donors. We’re very lucky to have such a caring and committed community.

“Our Eco-Warriors have worked tirelessly too, organising many fundraising events from comics to cakes to talent shows.

“It’s been an amazing journey, leaving us with many happy memories and truly enriching the children’s understanding of green issues and sustainability.

Caroline Lucas said: “This project at St Luke’s is truly inspirational. Thanks to the hard work of parents, carers and the PTFA, St Luke’s now has a fully operational solar array that will create electricity, cut carbon emissions and serve as a fantastic learning resource for pupils at the school.

“I’m very proud to be part of the launch of this project and I hope that it serves as an inspiration for other schools in Brighton and across the UK.”

Ecosphere’s director of communications Zoe Forbes said: “At Ecosphere we believe the children of today are the planet’s caretakers of the future.

“St Luke’s students have learned how important renewable energy is for our planet and it has been wonderful to see how proud the children are of the solar panels.

“We would delighted if every school in Brighton installed solar and hope to work with Caroline Lucas to help realise this dream.”

For more information about the project and funding options, visit

  1. Gerald Wiley Reply

    Nice to see Caroline getting even more coverage in the press. Just 2 questions:

    1. I thought most schools had electrical solar panels (Solar PV)already as the cost benefit of them is excellent if you have a suitable roof. Why has it taken St. Lukes so long, and why did they have to do fund raising?

    2. What is Caroline doing ‘electioneering’ in Simon Kirby’s Kemp Town constituency?

    • Miles Cheverton Reply

      Seriously – Why so seemingly bitter? This is a god news story right?

      Firstly St Luke’s is on the boundry between constituencies. My children go to St Luke’s but I’m in Caroline’s constituency.

      Secondly she’s the only green MP (even though there should be 20) and green stuff is sort of their thing?

      Thirdly – what makes you think she’s electioneering? Given we have another 4.5 years?

      Lastly – maybe St Luke’s can’t or aren’t allowed to spend their money like that – I don’t know but wouldn’t presume so much knowledge about educational funding and infrastructure projects 🙂

      • Gerald Wiley Reply

        @Miles Cheverton – Please don’t get me wrong – I am a very pro-ecological person, and I do as much as I can do help the environment in a realistic, pragmatic, economic way. I have had a solar PV system for almost 5 years.

        However, I do have an unswerving hatred of the far-left anti-capitalist Green Party; of the immature publicity seeking Caroline Lucas and especially of the cronyistic disciples who support her teachings blindly.

        If either of the MPs for Hove or Kemp Town had been involved in supporting this article I would have been equally derisory about their actions. However, as both of them have real roles in the government and probably don’t have the time, whilst Caroline has (AFAIK) no role and has to resort to getting whatever publicity she can – either on her own or by latching herself onto Russell Grant or Parish Church.

        I repeat, that many other schools already have solar PV systems and did so without articles appearing in the press.

        I do not see why the school had to raise money for the project, considering that there are many companies that will install systems for free and then the school has the power for nothing.

        BTW – loved your web site and associated self-congratulatory CV – are you by any chance a friend of Christopher Hawtree?

  2. Cath Jurkovic Reply

    Well done to all of the Solar Panels team. It looks amazing and the children have been inspired by the whole project. I hope it saves the school a worthwhile amount of money too!
    Maybe Simon Kirby was too busy today with his chums?

  3. LCD Reply

    Brilliant! Well done to everyone involved. It really has inspired the children – they are so proud of the panels. And so they should be – amazing fundraising.

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