Central Bedfordshire Council news and press releases

Green travel award for two schools

Friday, 22 November 2019

Sandy’s Robert Peel School has been awarded Modeshift STARS School of the Year Award, with Dunstable St Augustine’s Academy being awarded runner-up, for their commitment to sustainable travel.

Modeshift STARS is a national awards scheme established to recognise schools who demonstrate excellence in promoting, supporting and increasing sustainable forms of travel to school, in order to improve the health and wellbeing of children and young people.

Both schools were presented with their award on Wednesday (14 November) at the National Modeshift STARS Awards Ceremony.

To achieve the award, Robert Peel School has been working closely with Bike It Officers from Sustrans, who we fund, to take part in many initiatives which encourage their pupils and staff to walk, cycle and scoot to school. The school, with our support, has also set a standard which involved all year five and six pupils being proficient at riding a bike before moving to secondary school.

The school has shown a significant increase in pupils cycling to school from 5.9% in March 2016 to 10.2% in July 2019, and pupils being driven to school has also seen a 10% decrease.

St Augustine’s Academy, which has already achieved the Modeshift STARS bronze award, has also been working closely with Bike It Officers to run Dr Bike sessions, so that pupils’ bikes have been serviced and kept in a safe, useable condition.

They have been regularly taking part in sustainable travel challenges including the Santa Challenge, Big Pedal and Walk to School Week and the through our Travel Choices scheme the school has also received a set of refurbished micro scooters which are used regularly.

Over the 10 days of the Santa Challenge, the school accumulated 4,940 miles (with 80 pupils achieving all 10 days) which is hugely impressive for a school of around 170 pupils. During the Big Pedal 2019, the school also achieved a top 200 placing nationally.

Every school in England (outside of London) has the opportunity to take part in the Modeshift STARS initiative for free and help pupils be more active and stay healthy. Schools can reach three levels: bronze, silver and gold. Schools interested in joining the scheme should contact our Travel Choices team on travelchoices@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk.