A LEIGH school is celebrating after its environmental work resulted in picking up a prestigious accolade.

Darlinghurst Academy has been awarded the Green Flag, which is the highest award in the global Eco-Schools programme, after putting eco-friendly projects in place.

As well as regularly litter picking the school grounds and surrounding areas, each class has a designated Eco monitor who ensures fellow pupils are being environmentally friendly.

Emma Nicholls, principal of Darlinghurst, is overjoyed to have seen the school clinch the Green Flag accolade.

She said: “We are extremely proud of our award because it has been our aim to teach children to care for the environment.

“As far as we are aware, we are the only school across Southend and Castle Point with the Green Flag.

“We want our children to be active citizens and prepared for the environmental changes in this ever-changing world.

“Our aim is to make the children confident individuals and effective contributors, not just within the academy but the world around them.”

Assistant principal Emma Powell, who is also a UN accredited climate change teacher and Keep Britain Tidy litter hero ambassador, launched Darlinghurst’s Eco team in 2017.

Mrs Nicholls feels Mrs Powell deserves plenty of praise for Darlinghurst getting their hands on the Green Flag.

She added: “Mrs Powell is an exemplary role model demonstrating the impact you can have as an active citizen.

“Her passion and commitment has led to the success of our Eco team but also driving change in the next generation.

“I am extremely proud of Mrs Powell and thankful of the difference that she makes to our children and the environment. She deserves all the credit for us being awarded the Green Flag.”

Darlinghurst has also become the first school to feature in Eco Essex’s newsletter.

Mrs Nicholls, who has been principal for three years, admitted: “Being the first school in the Eco Education newsletter was a privilege because they recognised the contribution that Mrs Powell makes to the wider community and other schools.

“They wanted to celebrate our contribution in school, inspiring other schools. They also chose us as they awarded Mrs Powell the Eco Essex Award. They are proud of her achievements, as am I.”