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Capita Percy Thomas school is eco-pioneer

A school in Liverpool designed by Capita Percy Thomas (CPT) is likely to become the template for the government's plan to build 200 carbon-neutral 'eco schools' over the next three years.

Education minister Alan Johnson has announced that £110 million will be made available to rebuild or refurbish every secondary school across the country in an effort to save five million tonnes of CO2 over the schools' lifetimes.

And a spokesperson from the Department of Education and Skills confirmed that The Academy of St Francis of Assisi in Liverpool's central Kensington area, which opened last year, was the focus of attention from ministers keen to find a suitable role model for the programme.

'It is likely that the St Francis of Assisi school will be a template for the programme,' said the spokesperson.

The school is the only one in the UK to have made sustainability and the environment its 'specialism' and in addition to the usual array of green technology, it features desks made of recycled yoghurt pots, individual gardens for each year of students and sedum-clad classrooms which are sunk into the ground.

Richard Woods, the CPT director behind the design, said that although the DfES was yet to contact the practice, he was not surprised by the interest being shown in the academy.

'We have learnt some good lessons that we would like to share and I will be contacting Alan Johnson,' he said.

by Max Thompson

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