DROVE Primary School is launching an ambitious fundraising campaign to raise £20,000 to install their own solar panels.

Today, the school will launch months of exciting fundraising activities to secure enough money to buy the panels as part of the innovative Solar Schools project.

The fundraising drive will kick off with a whole-school assembly and a parents information meeting.

Once installed, the panels will generate clean electricity, help cut the school’s energy bills and generate additional income which will be spent on school resources and equipment.

The school hopes to raise enough to buy 40 panels which could earn £2,016 annually for the next 20 years.

Headteacher Helen Swanson said: “We are thrilled to have been chosen as one of this year’s Solar Schools. Having solar panels will save us £2,000 a year which we plan to spend on books, school trips and resources.

“We’re hoping the whole community is going to get behind us, doing our bit to tackle climate change and teaching our pupils about the importance of saving energy.”

Drove Primary School is one of only 15 schools to gain a place on the Solar Schools scheme this year, after more than 260 registered their interest.

The project, run by the carbon cutting campaign 10:10 in partnership with 100 per cent renewable electricity company Good Energy, provides schools with all the free tools and training they need to fundraise the cost of installing solar panels.

Amy Cameron, Solar Schools campaign manager, said: “Drove more than earned their place on the Solar Schools project thanks to their passion, commitment and some great ideas for raising that cash.

“It’s going to be a big challenge, but we know, if Swindon gets behind them, they’re more than capable of doing it.”

Drove will be giving their whole community the chance to get involved in their solar powered efforts, with a variety of activities and events throughout the year including discos, cake sales and non-school uniform days.

Fifty schools have already benefited from Solar Schools’ package of on and offline resources and training, including a website which enables parents, local businesses and others to donate virtual solar panels to schools and follow their fundraising progress.

So far, schools on the project have raised more than £400,000 and it is expected they’ll break the half-million barrier this academic year.