School Spotlight aims to highlight each and every one of the unique schools within the Solar Schools program. This month we caught up with Ipswich State High School (Queensland) in Ipswich, known traditionally in the Yagara language as Tulmur, and located southwest of Brisbane. School Business Manager, Jenny Shard, was kind enough to answer our questions.

How would you describe your school?
Our 1960s campus is a rapidly growing Secondary School in a low socio-economic area. We specialise in alternative learning and career pathways in an inclusive and supportive environment. We have over 2000 students with lots of building growth happening on the site at present as we strive to accommodate the local growth. We have been able to install solar panels on our new roof tops.

Did your school have Energy & Sustainability measures put in place before joining the Solar Schools program?
The school had in place no energy and sustainability measures except a recycling program. Even though we value highly educating our community about energy and sustainability measures the cost of a program had always been unachievable for us.

How did you first hear about the Solar Schools program and what prompted your school to want to join?
We were approached by the department regarding the Solar Schools program and believed this matched our values.

Does the Solar Schools program help your teaching team achieve education objectives?
The Solar Schools program provides live data for our teaching team to share with students and gain an understanding of their actions around energy usage and resulting impacts.

Does the Solar Schools program help students achieve energy/sustainability goals at school and
home? If so how?
The solar schools program helps educate our students about energy/sustainability goals at school and home.

Has Solar Schools helped your school reduce electricity usage and costs? If so do you know by how much?
Solar Schools has reduced electricity usage and costs.

What activities has your school/classrooms undertaken that are changing behaviours around energy and energy efficiency? Have you noticed a difference before and after the Solar Schools program was implemented?
The positive conversations around energy efficiency and behaviours have been a change that we have noted.

What would you like to see added to the Solar Schools program that would benefit your school/students? Is there anything you would remove?

Would you recommend Solar Schools to other schools (or organisations)? If so, what would you tell them about Solar Schools and, want them to get from the program?
We would recommend Solar Schools program to other schools as it is a great opportunity to educate future generations and reduce expenditure.

Every school has an interesting story and we love to hear them! Please contact us via if you’d like to be featured.