Ealing schools best in west London

Clifton Primary children with Will Norman

Three schools in Ealing have been recognised as part of a Transport for London (TfL) programme to reduce car use, encourage walking, cycling and use of public transport and safer travel.

As part of the STARS (Sustainable Travel: Active, Responsible, Safe) schools programme, Clifton Primary and Brentside High were awarded Schools of the Region, while Beaconsfield Primary member of staff, Smita Moezzi, was praised for her dedicated work receiving the Long Serving School Travel Champion award.

West London’s top performers were presented with their awards on Tuesday, 5 December 2017 at City Hall by the Walking and Cycling Commissioner for London, Will Norman.

TfL’s STARS scheme helps primary and secondary school children adopt safe and sustainable ways of travelling. Now in its 10th year, accreditation to STARS has grown from 180 schools in 2006 to over 1500 in 2017. Schools are judged on their success in changing travel behaviour with each school awarded a Bronze, Silver or Gold accreditation.

The council wants more children to walk, scoot or cycle to school because it helps pupils stay healthy and get the right amount of exercise, reduces pollution and parking problems and is a great way of encouraging children to develop road safety skills.

Councillor Bassam Mahfouz, cabinet member for transport, environment and leisure, said: “It’s amazing to see schools across Ealing being rewarded for their dedication and continuous hard work to change travel behaviours. Ealing has 37 schools part of the scheme with 19 achieving gold accreditation and we hope to see more register next year.

“Having schools invest time into encouraging their students and parents to travel to school by walking, cycling and public transport is far more beneficial for their health and is almost always quicker than by car and helps makes our roads safer for everyone.”

Clifton Primary secured School of the Region and gold accreditation by having positive parental engagement and a wide range of promotional activities. Having the parents mindful of the School Travel Plan (STP) encouraged them to help raise awareness of the road safety issues, improve safety and participate in active travel.

Meanwhile, the promotion activities included an organised ‘step counting week’ inter-class competition as part of Walk to School Week in May.

For the second consecutive year, Brentside High was chosen as the west London School of the Region (high school). To the school’s credit, Brentside had very successful student participation in developing innovative campaigns to engage with their peers.

Meanwhile, Smita achieved her award thanks to more than three years work on the STP for Beaconsfield Primary School, Southall. Since 2014, she has managed to get her school to gold almost single handily. She has worked very hard and always kept her goal of gold in mind, even applying early for this before their silver award had expired.

As part of Smita’s work, she gave road safety presentations to parents who were new to the country. Given that ethnic and cultural diversity feature prominently in their school, she went the extra mile to make sure those who have not used British roads before were safe.

Further information on the TfL’s STARS scheme including how to register and accreditation visit stars.tfl.gov.uk.

The council is encouraging people to be more physically active to improve their health. See the council’s Get Moving campaign for further information and tips on how to become more physically active.