News Item

Walking and Cycling Super STARS

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

National STARS School Travel Awards

This October, during International Walk to School Month, schools from across the country will be recognised as pillars of excellence for their efforts to promote more walking and cycling to school.

In 2015, 347 schools nationally have achieved Modeshift STARS accreditation in recognition of their efforts to encourage their pupils to travel to school in greener, healthier and safer ways. The STARS scheme recognises schools that have demonstrated excellence in supporting cycling, walking and other forms of sustainable travel.

After receiving funding to become the National School Travel Awards scheme in November 2014, the Modeshift STARS scheme has expanded to include 52 local authorities and more than 11,000 schools nationally.

Speaking of the scheme, Jonathan Green, Head Teacher at Modeshift STARS Gold school, Archbishop of York's CofE Junior School in York, said "Modeshift STARS has brought our whole school community together. It is a brilliant scheme that has encouraged us to really look positively at how we travel to school and how we can take responsibility for our village".

Neil Hunt, Head Teacher at Ladycross Infant School in Derbyshire said "We have used the scheme as part of a wider ethos of being active and healthy as part of daily life. Modeshift STARS has really helped us focus on short term goals and embedding longer term changes in travelling sustainably as a whole school community. It's a wonderfully simple scheme, but so effective!"

During October, STARS Regional Awards events will take place across the country at which schools will be recognised and rewarded for their commitment to the scheme. Awards will be distributed to schools of excellence in promoting walking and cycling and other forms of sustainable transport, whilst from each Region, STARS Schools of the Region will be identified who will be pitted against one another to become the National STARS School of the Year.

The Bicycle Association is supporting these awards with a donation of £10,000 that will go towards providing 'money can't buy' prizes and incentives for the participating schools.

Ross Butcher, Chair of Modeshift, the scheme coordinator, said "Modeshift STARS presents a huge opportunity for us to collectively increase the number of children and young people that get more active on the journey to school. In a time of tight budgets and the Government's spending review just weeks away, it is vital that we recognise the efforts of our schools in making our communities happier, healthier places to live. In recent years, levels of walking and cycling to school have been in decline but it is not too late to turn things around. As our STARS schools have shown, by being creative and adopting a whole-school approach, we can increase levels of walking and cycling amongst young people bringing with it huge benefits in terms of reducing carbon emissions, fewer cars on the road and more active communities".

Notes to editors:

Schools are able to achieve three levels of Modeshift STARS accreditation – Bronze, Silver and Gold – and are rewarded with the Modeshift STARS plaque and certificate to display in their school, use of the nationally recognised Modeshift STARS logo and the opportunity to be put forward for the Regional and National School of the Year Awards.

In the summer of 2013, the Prime Minister announced a number of supportive measures for cycling to be delivered in the coming years. This included a National Schools Awards scheme to recognise schools that have demonstrated excellence in supporting cycling and walking. Modeshift was awarded funding in November 2014 to deliver the National School Travel Awards Scheme.

As of October 2015, 52 organisations representing approximately 11,000 schools in England are signed up to Modeshift STARS.

Photo opportunities:

Press are invited to attend any of our three Regional Awards events that will take place as follows.

  • Tuesday 6th October, The Camden Centre, Central London, WC1H 9JE
  • Thursday 15th October, The King's Hall, Stoke Town Hall, Kingsway, Stoke-on-Trent, ST4 1JH
  • Thursday 22nd October, Banquet Hall, Leeds Civic Hall, Leeds, LS1 1UR

Please note, all three events run from 10:30 – 13:30 and Awards will be presented between 13:00 and 13:30. Delegates will include pupils from STARS Award winning schools, school staff and local authority officers as well as staff from Modeshift.

Further information:

Contact Nick Butler, National Modeshift STARS Manager,, 07494397201

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