Scooting to the stars – Buckinghamshire schools recognised with Modeshift STARS awards

Seven more schools in Buckinghamshire have recently been nationally recognised for their work in getting pupils to school by using sustainable modes of travel during the 2021/22 academic year. This includes a brand-new primary school, Kingsbrook Primary, which achieved a recently validated Bronze accreditation.

There are now 64 schools in Buckinghamshire schools with Modeshift STARS (Sustainable Travel Accreditation and Recognition for Schools), increasing the numbers by 14% from the same time last year. The scheme offers schools an online tool to help them plan, monitor and develop a nationally recognised School Travel Plan against set criteria. This plan will later designate the accreditation they will be able to achieve.

The scheme is sponsored by the Department for Transport and encourages school aged children and young people to walk, bike, scoot or get the bus to school. The scheme awards gradings on a Platinum, Gold, Silver, Bronze and Green basis to promote sustainable, active, and safe ways of travel for families doing school runs.

David King, Deputy Cabinet Member for Transport Delivery, said: “It’s been a pleasure to see so many students, parents and teachers get active and work together to arrange sustainable and safe ways of travel to school. Walking is such an easy way to exercise – and it’s important that we emphasis the benefits from young age as it has so many profits for our health, finances, and the environment. I had the pleasure to see this first-hand as I joined schoolchildren from Widmer End Combined School in High Wycombe in May to take part in a walking crocodile as part of their Platinum Jubilee celebrations, which also promoted walking to school.

“Also, I would like to congratulate Gerrards Cross based Thorpe House School which achieved two special awards as the school was named STARS South East Secondary School of the Region 2021/22 and was listed on STARS Local Authority Secondary Schools of the Year 2021/22.

“Now over 60 schools in Buckinghamshire have active school travel plans in place – this alone is a cause for celebration!”

Buckinghamshire Council actively supports and encourages schools and individuals to take part in active travel as its part of tackling climate change and improving air quality within Buckinghamshire, aiming for carbon neutrality or net-zero in terms of carbon emissions by 2050. The council is also motivating children to create safe spaces around schools, such as Modeshift STARS Walking Bubbles, which can encourage families to park at least five minutes away from their destination, using a form of active transport to travel the rest of the way.

More information can be found on the Buckinghamshire School Travel Planning website.