Mar 16 2015

School ‘Gold’ Travel Plans – Another Pointless PR Stunt

cyclingWhat a fabulous idea: encourage children to walk, scoot or cycle to school, and gain the “…prestige of being a STARS school, publically demonstrating a commitment to sustainable and safer travel” (says TFL’s STARS – Sustainable Travel: Active, Responsible, Safe – accreditation programme). And on paper, it sounds great: you can win “awards and incentives” such as funding to develop schemes, or certificates or plaques. And, of course, you can brag about what a ‘green’ school you are by using the logo on your website and letterhead. And that’s where the magic ends.

“To achieve a HSL [Healthy Schools London] Award, a school must demonstrate their commitment to encouraging active travel as part of the school journey,” says the website. “Schools are asked,” it continues,”to carry out yearly pupil surveys on how pupils travel to school to measure the success of their travel initiatives and to provide evidence that pupils are actively travelling. This information from the schools travel plan can help schools achieve an HSL Silver or Gold Award.” So how do you do that, then? I mean, you wouldn’t bribe children – and parents – would you?

Or would you. One school in Harrow (to remain nameless) announced the date for it’s annual survey as March 4th:

And then, a little further one, we see:

20150316_vs_2And then, a week later, we almost find the missing piece of the puzzle:


So, ‘encourage’ the parents to get their children to bike to school once per year, give them (and the children) a free breakfast – surely, a better use would be books or learning materials or something – and that’s you winning a stack of certificates, plaque and a logo for a year to declare what a green and healthy school you are.

Anybody else see the pointlessness in all of that? Thanks to R for the heads up on this.


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  1. Timeforchange

    Sets a really good example to children as to the correct way to behave

  2. richard ramirez

    here we go again agenda 21 its in your face people harrow like every other council in uk have signed up to it ask your mp next there will be no cars allowed this is whats called demographic transition all the parks will go next as part of the un rewilding programme and you thought libraries closing was bad whats coming your way is a nightmare DONT SAT YOU WERENT WARNED sue hall would rather skirt round the edge instead of finding all this out or does she know already?

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