A concerted effort from across Prior’s Court has seen a near 60% drop in printing across the organisation in three years.

Over the school year 2021/22, the equivalent of 38 trees’ worth of paper was printed – down from 98.5 trees in the year 2019/20.

In real terms, this is around 821,000 pages printed in 2019/20 to approximately 381,000 pages printed in 2021/22, with associated savings of around £15,000 per year. These savings are being invested in other IT services across Prior’s Court.

This reduction is down to concerted efforts to reduce usage led by our IT team and the introduction of our Prior Insight data platform.

Launched in 2019 as our whole organisational digital recording and reporting system, Prior Insight harnesses the power of modern digital technology to store and interrogate large amounts of data. The system provides insights into the complexities of autism, enabling a better understanding and mapping of autistic behaviours.

This data used to be recorded on paper which, as well as being inefficient for data analysis and informed intervention for supporting our young people, was financially costly, environmentally damaging and resulted in increasing large archive spaces.

Mark Bailey, our Head of Service Management, said: “This huge reduction so far is something to be celebrated for its positive environmental impact, whilst the increased use of technology to replace paper is ultimately leading to better outcomes for the young people we support, and a more sustainable way of operating

“We’re aware around 300,000 pages of printing per year remains a substantial amount. Part of what makes our approach to supporting our young people successful is the use of schedules, work/activity systems and PECS which all necessitates the usage of paper. So there may always be a need for printing at Prior’s Court to a certain extent.

“We are actively trying to reduce our printing totals down further in 2022/23 with more targeted actions, such as the recent introduction of a new internal intranet system which reduces the need for printed communications.”

Prior’s Court is a Green Flag Eco-School, a status achieved last year as part of a project involving our young people and staff.

Read more about how we achieved the Eco-Schools Green Flag status.