Schools praised for transport plans

Janet Blake with representatives from Ashmead Combined, Bedgrove Infant, Broughton Infant and Junior, Stoke Mandeville Combined, Wendover CE Junior, Edlesborough, Cheddington Combined and High Ash CE Combined schools
Janet Blake with representatives from Ashmead Combined, Bedgrove Infant, Broughton Infant and Junior, Stoke Mandeville Combined, Wendover CE Junior, Edlesborough, Cheddington Combined and High Ash CE Combined schools

Twenty Bucks schools have been commended for their work in travel planning, training in road safety, safe cycling and walking to school.

At a special County Hall reception Janet Blake, county council cabinet member for planning and transport, presented ‘STARS’ accreditation awards to headteachers, travel plan co-ordinators and pupils who act as ‘junior road safety officers’.

Four schools collected their gold awards for outstanding work organising walk-to-school weeks, road safety and cycle training, and ensuring sustainable travel planning is integrated in their curriculum.

Five schools received high level Silver Awards and 11 collected Bronze Awards.

And Cheddington Combined School picked up the STARS south-east region School of the Year Award for excellence in the breadth of their work.

Buckinghamshire County Council launched STARS - the national initiative for Sustainable Travel Accreditation and Recognition for Schools - in March, and by the end of summer term the 20 schools had achieved accreditation awards.

It encourages schools to get their children walking, cycling or catching the bus or train to school, instead of travelling by car, and organising training to support this.

Mrs Blake said: “I’m really proud of our top 20,

“What a great achievement in such a short time. Road safety and sustainable travel help make a big difference in our communities, and I’d encourage our other schools to go for this!’

Schools receiving awards:

Gold: Edlesborough, Cheddington Combined, High Ash CE (Great Brickhill) Combined, St Nicolas CE (Taplow) Combined.

Silver: Broughton Junior, Burford (Marlow Bottom), Great Kingshill CE Combined, Hamilton Academy (High Wycombe), Widmer End Combined.

Bronze: Ashmead Combined, Bearbrook Combined, Bedgrove Infant, Broughton Infant, Farnham Common Infant, Pipers Corner, Speen CE, Stoke Mandeville Combined, The Chalfonts Community College, Waddesdon Village Primary, Wendover CE Junior.

What the awards mean:

To achieve bronze awards, schools had to: provide evidence of a range of sustainable travel initiatives, including walk to school weeks, road safety training and cycling activities, plus initiatives to support and promote their school travel plan in, for example, school newsletters.

To achieve silver awards, schools had to: complete bronze level activities, and work their school travel planning into the curriculum.

To achieve gold awards, schools had to: complete bronze and silver level activities, and carry out more in-depth consultation with the wider school community, and complete a sustainable travel activity that exceeded expectations.

What gold award winners did:

Cheddington Combined School organised regular themed Walk to School Days, linked to a charity or national event. These include Comic Relief, Pink Walk for Breast Cancer, Santa Stroll and Welly Walk.

Edlesborough School set up initiatives to reduce parking congestion and improve safety, be engaging with parents and promoting a Park and Walk site.

High Ash CE Combined School, Great Brickhill, organised an annual Perfect Parking campaign to encourage safe and considerate parking, supported by the Parish Council, PCSOs and the schools own Junior Road Safety Officers.

St Nicolas’ CE Combined School, Taplow, ran a cycling project to re-cycle bikes, selling them to raise funds for their school travel incentives.