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Schools recognised for inspiring sustainable travel

Two of the borough’s schools have been recognised for their exceptional efforts in promoting sustainable and active travel at a special awards ceremony on Monday, 22 May.

Brentside High School was crowned overall winner in the Biggest Impact category at the prestigious Transport for London TfL STARS Top Schools Awards 2023. Mayfield Primary School was a finalist their category, Most Innovative.

TfL Sustainable Travel: Active, Responsible, Safe (STARS) is a school travel accreditation scheme that encourages London schools and nurseries to develop a travel plan, inspiring young Londoners to travel to school sustainably and safely by walking, scooting, cycling and using public transport.

Ealing Council’s travel team offers a STARS reward programme so that the borough’s schools can apply for small grants to develop and maintain their STARS accreditation. For more information, please email sta@ealing.gov.uk.

Celebrating biggest impact in active travel

Brentside High School STARS ambassadors with the support of their teacher and STARS champion, Eddie Keal, delivered a wide range of activities to promote safe and sustainable travel in their community.

The initiatives included a step count competition, bikers’ breakfast, the golden lock reward and active participation in the Big Walk and Wheel challenge.

The school also focussed on road safety education through fun and interactive activities such as an obstacle course and a wall of pledges.

By using posters, comic strip competitions, tweets and newsletter articles, the ambassadors successfully educated the school community about active travel, including at school assemblies.

Their efforts led to an impressive 11% increase in active travel and a remarkable 19% reduction in car journeys to school.

Embracing innovation in active travel

Meanwhile, Mayfield Primary School, a STARS gold accredited school since 2016 and with a school street since 2020, was among the finalists in the category ‘most innovative’.

Mayfield Primary School, where the majority of the 410 pupils (88%) live within one mile, continues to encourage both children and parents to participate in sustainable travel and integrate it into the school’s culture.

The school’s aim is to ensure that every child becomes proficient in riding a scooter or bike before leaving school, empowering them to choose active travel options as they move to secondary school. The school purchased a fleet of 60 scooters and helmets to use for trips and during school hours. Children at Mayfield Primary School are also enjoying a new scooter track on the main playground.

Since January 2020 every class in the school can enjoy the scooters at lunchtime twice per week. The school’s junior travel ambassadors even organise fun scooter discos in the playground.

The project not only improves students’ balance, coordination and endurance levels but also brings immense joy as children whizz around the track, even those who have never scooted before.

School business manager and travel champion Alex Evans said: “We want everyone to understand that good choices around travelling to and from school can result in happy and healthier people and a better environment for all.”

Councillor Deirdre Costigan, the council’s deputy leader and cabinet member for climate action, said: “Huge congratulations to Brentside High School for winning and Mayfield Primary School for being a finalist. It’s wonderful to see schools in Ealing prioritising health, sustainability and safety by promoting active travel.

We would encourage other local schools to consider joining the STARS programme and contribute to reducing traffic congestion and air pollution, while also promoting road safety and physical activity for children and families. If your school wants to lead the way in making our borough healthier and safer, get in touch with our travel team to find out more.

Many STARS schools have also got involved in our successful school street programme which is making it easier and safer for young people in Ealing to walk, cycle and scoot to school.”

You can lead the way in healthier and safer Ealing

Did you know that STARS schools replace 13 million miles’ worth of car journeys with walking, cycling and scooting each year? Becoming a STARS school will help to:

  • Reduce congestion
  • Improve road safety
  • Improve health and wellbeing.

Improving the school run together with our community

Ealing Council’s school streets programme aims to encourage children across the borough to travel to and from school in a safe, fun and active way through their school streets programme.

A school street is where the streets around a school are closed to most traffic at school opening and closing times. School streets help to cut air pollution, create a safer and more pleasant environment around schools and encourage children to walk, cycle and scoot.

Ealing already has 21 schools with a school street including Mayfield Primary School and the council plans to introduce a further 29 so that by 2026 there will be school streets at 50 of Ealing’s schools.

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