A Hampshire special school has won a national award for sustainable travel by encouraging pupils to travel independently and staff to walk, cycle or car share to school.
Forest Park School, in Totton, was crowned national SEND School of the Year at the Modeshift STARS National Awards at Portcullis House, Westminster by Transport Minister Jesse Norman.
The school worked with Hampshire County Council’s Travel Planning Team and other organisations to develop its travel plan while promoting inclusive cycling events to families and encouraging staff to walk or cycle on their daily commute.
Councillor Rob Humby, Hampshire County Council’s Executive Member for Environment and Transport, said:
Well-deserved congratulations to Forest Park’s staff, pupils and parents for this national recognition. This special school, where many of the pupils have reduced mobility, is leading the way in encouraging staff and parents to leave the car at home for the school run, helping reduce local traffic congestion at busy times and improve air quality while encouraging a healthier lifestyle. Also, I’d like to add a massive well done to Sarisbury Junior School, who won the regional award for the South East in the school of the year category.
Across Hampshire, we have achieved national accreditation through Modeshift STARS by working with schools to develop sustainable travel plans. Travel to school by car alone in Hampshire has already reduced by approximately 20,000 journeys every day in over a decade.
Head teacher of Forest Park School, Rob Hatherley, added:
Forest Park is absolutely delighted to win this award. We are always striving to give the best opportunities to our pupils and this achievement is the recognition of the dedication and enthusiasm of the Forest Park staff, pupils, parents and the local community. We are thrilled.
Schools were nominated by their local authorities for demonstrating best practice in the promotion of sustainable school travel.
Modeshift STARS, which is supported by the Department for Transport, is the national school travel awards scheme that has been established to recognise schools that have demonstrated excellence in supporting walking, cycling and other forms of sustainable travel for the journey to and from school. Across the country, 69 local authorities participate in the scheme representing around 15,000 schools.
Schools across Hampshire can work towards the Modeshift STARS accreditation at bronze, silver or gold level. These are awarded based on initiatives and an achieved greater modal shift.
For more information visit www.modeshiftstars.org
Photo: Rob Hatherley, Head Teacher, Forest Park School