WYRE Forest schools are taking part in an energy-saving campaign backed by an Olympic champion.

Beijing gold medal-winning cyclist Victoria Pendleton is backing the efforts of record numbers of schools for Switch Off Fortnight, organised by EDF Energy’s schools programme the Pod, to encourage schools to reduce their energy consumption.

More than 70 Worcestershire schoolshave signed up for the campaign, which runs from next Monday to December 4.

They include Kidderminster’s Foley Park Community Primary School, Wolverley’s Heathfield School and Barnabees Nursery in Kidderminster. Across the country, more than 4,000 schools are taking part.

EDF energy ambassador Victoria Pendleton said: “Encouraging children to think about the impact of their actions on the environment is really important.

“It’s fantastic to see over 4,000 schools taking part in Switch Off Fortnight and I hope it will inspire other schools, pupils, teachers and parents to get involved with EDF Energy’s schools programme, the Pod.”

Together with partner Eco-Schools England, the Pod is encouraging schools across the UK to take part in the campaign and to raise awareness of why it is important to save energy.

Schools that take part in Switch Off Fortnight use Pod activities like Goodbye Standby and Switch On to Switching Off. Each activity starts and ends with an audit so the students can track and measure the savings they make.

Robyn Broughton, EDF Energy’s schools programme manager, said, “Switch Off Fortnight is a great initiative that raises awareness of energy issues within schools and their local community.

“But this is not a one-off - it’s an initiative that allows children and young adults to truly embrace green issues and make a real difference over time. We have already exceeded our Sustainability Commitment of engaging with 2.5 million schoolchildren on green issues by 2012 and we hope that activities created by the Pod, like Switch Off Fortnight, will continue to grow levels of engagement with young people across the country.”

Schools have been sent free Switch Off Fortnight campaign packs, which include a tracking chart to add a competitive element and to encourage schools to continue to switch off all year round, fun posters, stickers and badges.

Schools can access lesson plans, games and activities at jointhepod.org, linked to the national curriculum.