Summer 2023 STP Newsletter

Welcome to the first School Travel Plan Coordinator’s Newsletter of

the New Year

Newsletter Summer 2023 (download PDF)


Welcome to the Summer ‘23 Edition of the School Travel Planning Newsletter

How children travel to and from school is more important than ever; we all know the benefits of walking and being outside for our own wellbeing and mental health.

The Council is encouraging children and parents to think about the way they travel to and from school, reminding them about safety as well as thinking about the benefits to the environment and their mental health. Please encourage everyone to walk, cycle, scoot, or park further away from school, and then walk instead of driving all the way to school. Also catching the bus or train is a great way to get to school and can be quite sociable. Often there is an element of active travel to get to and from bus stops.

There is a great free resource map on the Modeshift STARS system where schools can create their own Walking Bubble Maps. Why not launch it ready for Walk to School Week from 15th to 19th May 2023. There is more about this event later in the Newsletter.

Following the list of forthcoming dates, this Newsletter explains school travel planning, why we have School Travel Plans, Modeshift Stars, and its accreditation process. It then gives examples of initiatives for schools to try and school events from last term. Finally it includes news from some of our partners.

Key Dates for Your Diary

Here is a list of relevant events taking place this term, which you may want to promote in your school. Please follow the links, as many offer free downloadable resources for schools.


Walk to School Week 15th -19th May 2023 – Walk to School Week | Living Streets Living Street’s 5-day walking challenge is a celebration of the walk to school and the perfect activity to run as part of national walking month in May. Through this challenge, children will be well on their way to reaching their recommended 60 minutes minimum of physical activity per day before even reaching the school gates! Happy Feet – Platinum Way Route Launch 12th May from 2 pm in Hampden Square, Fairford Leys. (Please see more information below).


Bike Week 5th – 11th June 2023 – Cycling UK Bike Week

Anti-idling Day/Clean Air Day 15th June – Clean Air Day – the UK’s largest clean air campaign

Brake Kids Walk Home | Brake


Transition to Year 7 – Walk to School | Secondary Schools | Living Streets

Deadline Accreditation 31st July Modeshift STARS – Login – Modeshift STARS

Next School Year

International Walk to School Month 1st -31st October 2023 – International Walk to School Month

JRSO Fun Day(s) – TBC – October 2023.

Road Safety Week 14th -20th November 2023 – BRAKE Road Safety Week


School Travel Planning

The main aim of a School Travel Plan (STP) is to reduce single occupancy car use on the school journey. Increasing sustainable travel helps to reduce congestion and pollution, as well as improving the health and fitness of children and young people and helping to give your children the particularly important life skills they need to stay safe and healthy on their journey to and from school. These are just a few of the benefits of an active STP.

For those of you unfamiliar with school travel planning, STPs are developed, maintained, and monitored by the whole school community, to promote and facilitate sustainable travel. STPs are a notable example of partnership working by Ofsted. All schools should promote active, safe, and sustainable travel as an alternative to single occupancy car use for the school journey. An STP is developed and monitored by the school to:

• discover actual and preferred mode of travel for the school journey.

• identify issues to determine why people do not travel sustainably.

• set future targets to achieve or maintain modes of sustainable travel (for example to increase cycling; to maintain walking)

• lay out a plan of action for the tasks/initiatives that the school will carry out to achieve their targets and aspirations.

• encourage the whole school community to travel in a safer, healthier, and more sustainable way.

In Buckinghamshire we use Modeshift STARS to help us and you to develop and monitor our STPs. Please email to find out if your school has a Travel Plan. There is some useful information on our website School Travel Planning – Buckinghamshire Council

What is Modeshift Stars? Modeshift STARS (Sustainable Travel Accreditation and Recognition for Schools) provides a framework for the implementation of sustainable and active school travel activities. It is an online system that helps schools to input the information they need to produce a nationally recognised STP.

Established in 2007, Modeshift is a national membership organisation that specialises in sustainable and active travel and provides behaviour change support for those working with children, young people, families, school communities, educational establishments, and workplaces. It is a national schools’ awards scheme that has been established to recognise schools that have demonstrated excellence in supporting cycling, walking and other forms of sustainable transport.

To register on the system please go to the website and request a login. Please check with your Headteacher or School Office that they do not already have one. If you are already using Modeshift, please keep your school details up to date (children and staff numbers) and include your Headteacher’s information too. Also, if you have been working with Emma, please add this to the ‘Introduction’ tab under ‘Local Authority Officer Working with Site.’ If you need to delete a user, please email Please keep all contacts and email addresses up to date.



The Modeshift STARS national accreditation scheme offers five levels: Green, Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. The more initiatives schools organise, the higher accreditation schools can achieve. There are two categories of initiatives: Sustainable Travel (ST) and Supporting Initiatives (SI).

Sustainable Travel (ST) focuses on topics such as cycling (C), walking and scooting (W), road safety & training (T), air quality (AQ), public transport (PT). Supporting Initiatives (SI) focus on promotion (PR), curriculum (CU), and partnerships (P).

This term we would like to congratulate all 65 schools in Bucks that have achieved an accredited School Travel Plan. There were many more schools who were close, so please keep up the amazing work!

Modeshift now accreditate STPs three times a year on 31 March, 31 July, and 31 December. Please check the expiry date on the ‘Accreditation Progress’ tab and contact who can help with July submissions. For schools which have the option to apply for more than one level of accreditation, please only submit the highest level.

Why not plan events now then add them to the system? This makes life easier when you need to submit evidence for accreditation and could get you a Green Award.

Please remember to add evidence of anything you do, and ensure any working groups are added in the ‘Introduction’ tab. There is no need to include children’s names, simply ‘JRSO/Eco Representative’ for example, is fine.

Please check staff and pupil numbers are up to date. This can be found under the ‘Introduction’ tab. There are new questions on the ‘Introduction’ tab about your local area. Please update these before carrying out any 2022/23 surveys.

Modeshift has added a new tab about your school’s aims and objectives, and what you will do to embed the STP into your school community. Please view your STP at: . Your STP is a living document, and you will need to keep it up to date each school year. You can download your STP as a PDF file and add this to your website or include it in your new prospectus.

We really appreciate all the challenging work undertaken. This all helps to give children the important life skills they need to keep healthy and safe.


Initiatives To Try

Funding Available for Living Street’s WOW Travel Tracker

The Council has a limited amount of funding from Active Travel England for primary schools to register to use Living Streets’ WOW Travel Tracker. See Walk to School | Primary schools | Living Streets.

WOW is a pupil-led initiative where children self-report how they get to school every day using the interactive WOW Travel Tracker. If they travel sustainably (walk, cycle, or scoot) once a week for a month, they get rewarded with a badge. It is that easy!

It is simple to run, and children love taking part. Each year, the collectable WOW badges are designed by pupils in the annual badge design competition. On average, WOW schools see a 30% reduction in car journeys taken to the school gate and a 23% increase in walking rates.

Schools will need to undertake a baseline survey before participating in the challenge so that we can monitor the results and report back to Active Travel England. The welcome packs will include information about how to do this. The survey is really quick and easy to complete, it is just a hands up survey that needs to be completed for each class. It should only take 2 minutes.

The WOW Travel Tracker is an initiative on Modeshift STARS and will fulfil a number of requirements.

If you are not already using WOW and would like to start using it, please contact:


Please include your school name, address, lead contact for WOW at the school, their email address and also the pupil numbers, with WOW Travel Tracker in the subject line. We will allocate resources on a first come first served basis.


Modeshift Walking Bubble Maps

(Walking & Scooting – Travel W8; Promotions – PR7, 9, 17, Consultations – SM1)

Walking, cycling, or scooting to school is the best way to reduce congestion and pollution, while improving the mental and physical wellbeing of pupils. That is why Modeshift launched the Walking Bubble Maps, to encourage everyone who can to ‘Get Active’ on their journeys to and from school.


Walking Bubbles encourage families that must travel by car to park at least five minutes away from school, creating a safer space for walking, cycling, or scooting to the school. By encouraging park and stride/ride we also reduce the number of cars manoeuvring and parking outside and close to the school gates, which is one of the main concerns parents have when walking to school. Reducing vehicles and creating more space around schools will also make it much easier for families to feel safer. It is easy for schools that are registered with STARS to create their Walking Bubble map. Simply follow the steps below:

 Login

 Click on the ‘Perform Process’ button and select ‘Generate Walking Bubble’

 Ensure your map is centred on your school (if not follow the on-screen instructions)

 Select ‘Save’

A Walking Bubble map will then be created, and a PDF version of your map will be emailed and available to download from the ‘Walking Bubble’ tab. Why not launch it ready for Walk to School Week from 15th to 19th May 2023. For more detailed instructions, please visit the ‘Guidance’ tab and download the ‘How to generate your #StaySafeGetActive Walking Bubble Map’ guide #StaySafeGetActive Walking Bubbles – Modeshift STARS.


Parents’ Parking Promise (Promotions – PR 13, 16, 17, Air Quality-Travel AQ 8)

The Council’s Parents’ Parking Promise was developed to encourage parents and guardians to think about how they are parking around the school including ensuring there is enough room for emergency vehicles to pass. Parents sign a pledge to promise to park responsibly. The initiative works well in schools where there are problems with parents and guardians parking inconsiderately and dangerously.


How does the initiative work?

Parents are asked to sign a ‘promise’ to say that they will park responsibly around the school. The promise is returned to the school (usually someone in the school office) who will issue the parent a car sticker to show they have signed the promise. The sticker acts as a reminder to the parents that they should be parking responsibly near the school and as a reminder to others to do the same.

We can provide the schools with the following:

A sample Parents’ Parking Promise document – This document can be adapted to suit the specific needs of the school, for example it could include road names or locations, and it could also include further information on related issues that the school would like to resolve.

Car stickers for parents or guardians who have signed the promise – These stickers should be displayed in the windscreens of those that have signed the promise to highlight to others that they have agreed to park considerately. For more information and order your stickers

This is a picture of our parking promise sticker:

We also have images you can use on your social media channels and newsletters to support considerate parking:

Please contact for more information.

Banners (Promotion PR19)

We are encouraging everyone to think about walking, cycling, scooting, or catching the bus or train to school. If driving is the only option, please park further away from school and walk instead of driving all the way. We have designed some banners to promote this.

To borrow a banner, please email with your school’s name, address, and School Travel Plan Coordinator’s name. We do have limited numbers and banners will need to be returned to us, so they can be available for other schools to use. If you have borrowed one, please can you move it around the school site, so it does not become blind to passers-by. Alternatively please return it in your school’s bag, remembering to include your school’s name, address, and School Travel Plan Coordinator’s name so we know where it has come from.


We still experience inconsiderate parking around our schools, so we are also highlighting the dangers of parking unsafely around the school gates and encouraging parents or guardians to park carefully and considerately (should they need to bring a car to school) but even better, to park safely away from the school gates and walk the last section of the journey. Why not borrow one of our parking banners, and along with the parking promise stickers and social media pictures run your own parking campaign?


Child Pedestrian Training (Road Safety & Training – Travel R5)

Footsteps is a practical pedestrian skills training programme for children aged 4-7 years old, which helps to develop awareness of roads and traffic in a safe and controlled manner.

There are three stages, stage one (red), stage two (amber) and stage three (green). Each builds on the last stage, covering the basic “Green Cross Code” then adding other aspects of road safety.  Children receive a certificate at each stage to recognise their progress and achievements.

We are currently trialling Footsteps in schools and have already received some really helpful feedback. Schools may not have the time to teach all the three stages of the programme, and that volunteer parents may feel nervous about taking out other parents children to teach them on a road situation. As a result we now have different delivery options for the programme:

1. Stage one is the essential building block for learning how to become a safe pedestrian and stages two and three are further steps but are not essential for the schools to undertake. The sections of the programme relating to stages two and three can potentially be sent out to parents to teach their own children whilst out in the local community.

2. The Footsteps certificates will indicate, on the reverse, what the children have been taught at stage one, so this will further aid parents when helping their own children with the next stages.

3. Although it is important for children to be exposed to traffic in a safe manner, schools may wish to set up a road safety scene in the playground or carpark or even the school hall and encourage children, in a safer environment, how to understand for themselves why we do, or don’t do, a particular action and teach children about the consequences of their actions.

The new programme does encourage parents to continue with this training when they are walking their child to the shops or to the local park and help their children learn the skills to become safer, more confident pedestrians.  The new package will include a Parent’s Guide for Children. This colourful guide gives parents and carers ideas to help them teach their children to become more confident in road safety, one of the most important life skills a child needs to learn!

Please contact Corinne Randall at  if your school would like further information.

Bikeability Cycle Training (Road Safety & Training – Travel R1, Promotion- PR1, 3, 9)

Bikeability is today’s cycle training programme. It is about gaining practical skills and understanding how to cycle on today’s roads. Bikeability gives everyone the skills and confidence for all kinds of cycling.

The following link is to a suite of tools to help your school maximise the impact of Bikeability for all: Bikeability | Professional cycle training | Tools for Schools

Schools are invited to apply for funding a term ahead of when the training is planned to take place. All schools will be sent an email which will include the link to the Bikeability funding application form. Full Bikeability terms and conditions can be seen at the following link: –

Please contact Georgina Longley at

Examples of Initiatives

Tylers Green Middle School

Tylers Green Middle school, who was recently awarded a bronze level STP, has composed a catchy tune promoting safe travel to and from school. Bucks Radio thought it was so good they visited the school to produce a music video to go with their song! See Tylers Green Pupils create ‘Street Smart’ song – Bucks Radio.

Steeple Claydon Children at Steeple Claydon school are learning to become confident cyclists, thanks to the government’s Bikeability programme. Steeple Claydon School has engaged Cambridge-based Outspoken! Training to deliver the cycle training programme to pupils. Children from Reception to Year 6 are given the opportunity to gain confidence in cycling via the scheme, which teaches them how to use and enjoy this lifelong skill safely.

Pupils can progress through the three Bikeability training levels, from confidently mastering control of their bicycles off road to learning the skills for on-road cycling. From playground games where children learn to take control of their bikes in a fun and friendly setting to realistic experience of on-road cycling and takes place on local roads near to the school, equipping pupils with the skills they need to take short on-road journeys. Riders are taught about effective observation, understanding road priorities, communicating with other road users and correct road positioning.

A school spokesperson said: “By promoting and actively participating in initiatives including Bikeability and Cycle to School Week, as a school community we are dedicated to inspiring and providing future generations with the necessary knowledge and confidence to enjoy and regularly use this life skill for their daily commutes.

For further information about Bikeability Cycle Training at your school, contact Georgina Longley

School Crossing Patrollers

Buckinghamshire’s 60 School Crossing Patrollers are out in all weathers, twice a day cheerfully helping school children and adults across roads to and from their local schools However, they are experiencing rising cases of abuse and threatening behaviour from a minority of drivers who are potentially putting lives at risk.

This term we are reminding drivers to respect our beloved school crossing patrollers. Drivers must stop when they are shown the STOP ‘lollipop’ sign; failing to do so when requested can lead to a £1,000 fine, three penalty points, and disqualification. Vehicles must also remain stationary until the pole has been lowered and the patroller is back on the pavement. It’s really important that communities will continue to support their local patrollers to do their job safely.

Relief Patroller at St Michaels, Stewkley

The relief patroller at St Michaels Stewkley visited Foundation year to talk about crossing the road safely.

Chalfont Valley Eact Academy

The school children at Chalfont Valley Eact Academy surprised their School Crossing Patroller Wendy Higgs by dressing up as crossing patrollers and gnomes. Then Wendy was invited to the assembly where they presented her with lots of gifts in appreciation of her hard work looking after them on the crossing. Wendy has been a School Crossing Patroller at the school since 1996.

Buckinghamshire’s longest-serving lollipop lady celebrates 45 years of service at West Wycombe Primary School

After more than 45 years of guiding youngsters to school, Buckinghamshire’s longest-serving lollipop lady is still going strong. Christine Walker first picked up the iconic sign in 1978 and has helped thousands of children to school with a smile.

Christine has seen generations of schoolchildren head off for education, having seen youngsters grow into parents and even grandparents. Serving the pupils of West Wycombe Primary, Christine was honoured in a special assembly at the village school.

Back in 2021, Christine was awarded a British Empire Medal (BEM) by Her Majesty the Queen. It followed an invite to the Queen’s Royal Garden Party in 2018 after the 40th anniversary of her starting the role.

Christine said: “I love welcoming the children into school each day and have enjoyed watching them grow up and then bringing their own children and grandchildren along to the school.” When Christine first started her role, school crossing patrollers wore a simple, white dust coat.

Now they wear high visibility fluorescent and reflective clothing to ensure other road users see them, but they still carry their iconic ‘lollipops’ that give them their much-loved identity. Steven Broadbent, Buckinghamshire Council Cabinet Member for Transport who attended the assembly to thank Christine, said: “I would like to congratulate Christine and give my sincere thanks for her incredible dedication and hard work over the years.

“Our School Crossing Patrollers do a fantastic job helping children across the county to have a safe journey to and from school every day. Whatever the weather, Christine and her colleagues are there with a smile on their faces and a cheery greeting, carrying out such an important job in our local communities for which we thank them.

School Crossing Patrollers also play a key role in promoting active travel and encouraging families to walk to and from school instead of driving, by creating a safer environment to do so. This has a positive impact in multiple ways, from cleaner air to healthier lifestyles and important learning about road safety from an early age.


Platinum Way Route Launch

Please join us to launch the new and improved Platinum Way Route on Friday 12 May from 2 pm in Hampden Square, Fairford Leys.

The Platinum Way Route is one of the nine Gemstones Routes in Aylesbury starting/finishing at the Bus Station, running through to Aylesbury Vale Parkway, connecting to Waddesdon Greenway. Read more about the improvements to the route here.

We will have a whole afternoon of fun, with Bike Fix, Bike Register, information about the route and other services.

The location of the event is: Hampden Square, Fairford Leys, Aylesbury, HP19 7HT (What 3 Words Location: ///beside.return.misty).

The stalls, Dr Bike, and Bike Register will be open to all from 2 pm with the official launch happening at 4 pm by Cllr Broadbent. A guided walk or ride will follow after the launch.

Everyone is welcome!

The map below shows the Platinum Way (black line).

Healthy choices lead to rewards with the BetterPoints Bucks app

Please let your school community know about how the healthy choices they make can lead to rewards with the new BetterPoints Bucks app. They could join the 850+ residents in Bucks who have already downloaded the exciting app which incentives and rewards you for healthy habits.

The BetterPoints Bucks app rewards you with points for being active and for making other healthy changes. This could include walking or wheeling with your children to and from school, as well as other healthy lifestyle choices like giving up smoking or getting support to lose weight.

The points can then be redeemed with high street shops and local businesses or donated to a choice of charities and local food banks.

There are three simple steps to earn the rewards:

1. Download the BetterPoints Bucks app

2. Complete activities such as walking, cycling, or wheeling and collect points

3. Spend your vouchers on the high street or donate to charity

The app can be downloaded now at .

The picture below summarises the three simple steps to earning rewards using the BetterPoints Bucks app.

Love Exploring comes to Buckinghamshire

Please let you school communities know about the new Love Exploring app. It is a free to play smartphone App and is available across Buckinghamshire to encourage all residents and visitors to move more and get active by exploring local parks and trails and could be a great activity for the school holidays.

The App has games, mindfulness trails, walking routes and an interactive map full of useful information and locations. It is available to download in Buckinghamshire from May half term and there will be a range of games and walking routes available in various locations over the next 2 years.

Simply download the Love Exploring app on your smartphone, select a local park and scan away using the camera on your device.

School Travel Plan Coordinator Meetings (Consultations LA1)

If you would like a Teams Meeting to discuss your STP, please get in touch by emailing We can review your STP and your school’s needs, as well as discuss initiatives you can run at your school, and how these link to your STP. This will help your school to get an accredited plan. As this will include some training on the Modeshift STARS system, you will need to be logged on to Modeshift and be on Microsoft Teams or a hands-free phone.

The 2023 National STARS School Travel Awards and 2023 South East Region Winners!

11 Buckinghamshire schools were shortlisted for the 2023 National Modeshift STARS School Travel Awards. The national awards scheme recognises schools that have demonstrated excellence in supporting cycling, walking and other forms of sustainable travel.

The nominations follow on from the success of the schools achieving Modeshift STARS accreditation for the challenging work they have done to promote all forms of sustainable travel for the journey to and from school and developing individual school travel plans.

The eleven nominated schools include ten primary schools and one secondary school:

  • Long Crendon School
  •  Elangeni School
  •  Turnfurlong Infant School
  •  St Mary’s Church of England School
  • Newton Longville Church of England Primary School
  •  St Mary and All Saints Church of England Primary School
  •  St Louis Catholic Primary School
  •  High March School
  •  Green Ridge Academy
  •  Dropmore Infant School
  •  Amersham School

These schools attend the virtual Modeshift STARS Regional Awards, where they were joined by other nominated schools from the region.

Firstly Modeshift announced winners within each of the local authorities and for Buckinghamshire Council, the winning schools were St Mary’s C of E, Aylesbury (Primary) and Amersham School (Secondary). Congratulations to both schools!

Secondly winners were then announced for the regions (South East and South West).

It was fantastic to hear that Amersham School won best Secondary School for the South East Region. The other two awards were won by Fox Hill Infants (Hampshire) and Forest Park (Hampshire) who won Primary and SEND schools of the South East Region, respectively.

Amersham School will go on to represent the local area at the National STARS School Travel Awards in June.

The Big Walk and Wheel 2023 Well done to all of you that took part in The Big Walk and Wheel (previously called the Big Pedal). There were 2,772 schools registered this year and 918,149 pupils took part, with 2,666,937 journeys made. Haddenham Community Infant and Stoke Mandeville Combined School were top schools in Buckinghamshire, ranking joint 99th in the national table.

Bierton Combined School was the top Buckinghamshire small primary school, coming 57th in the national table. Please remember to add this to your STP Login – Modeshift STARS under initiative C5. It may also tick off other initiatives. For example if you held an assembly relating to the Big Walk and Wheel you can achieve initiative PR9. If you sent a letter out about this to parents, this would fulfil initiative PR1. If your JRSOs added this information to the website, then this will fulfil P4 and PR20. If you discussed the Big Walk and Wheel in a staff meeting, this would achieve initiative SM2. So many boxes to tick, if you took part!

School Travel Planning Contacts

The School Travel Planning Team is part of the Schools’ Sustainable Travel Team. If you have any queries, please contact:

Amanda Hayes –                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              School Sustainable Travel Team Leader

Emma Jackson —                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                School Travel Planning Advisor

Corinne Randall—                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Footsteps Training and School Crossing Patroller Supervisor – Aylesbury Vale & Wycombe (West) areas.

Georgina Longley—                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Bikeability Training and School Crossing Patroller Supervisor – Chiltern & South Bucks & Wycombe (East) areas.

You may also find information on our website useful or you can email

Partner News

The following pages provide additional information from some of our partners relating to school travel. This includes Bucks Radio, and Coombe Bikes.

Promote your School Travel Plan (Promotion- Supporting PR3)

Do not forget if you are doing anything in your school and want to get noticed in Bucks you can promote your School Travel Plan to Bucks through Bucks Radio Get in touch by emailing

Bucks Radio is the sound of Buckinghamshire, aiming to bring local radio back to the county. Launched by local broadcasters Nathan Cooper and Richard Carr it went live in February 2021. We have been overwhelmed by the support we have received so far and are looking forward to becoming a part of Bucks life. Between them, our team have been working, and broadcasting, in the area for over 40 years, so we understand what matters to you.

Right now, we are broadcasting online, via smart speakers and app, meaning you can take us with you wherever you go. We have the latest news, weather, and travel, and loads of community information, including our free What’s on Guide and features like Charity Friday.

We are especially keen to report on and promote any events and activities or positive news stories from schools across Buckinghamshire – and visit when we are able! For more details check out our website:

Work with

Us Are you a school based in Buckinghamshire? Are you looking to offer a safe and secure bicycle repair service for your budding youngsters?

We are now exclusively offering a chance to run 4-hour repair workshops, ensuring all children in the Buckinghamshire area are safely riding (or scooting!) to school. As safety is our top priority, we offer a full-on site workshop that works around you.

A 4 hour on site workshop costs £100. Simply bike to school, park up and we will do the rest.

What is included?

  •  Safety checks and minor repairs*
  •  Parts included (cables and inner tubes only, other parts extra)
  •  Expert knowledge and advice
  •  Thorough safety checks

We recommended up to twenty children’s bicycles per 4-hour workshop to allow all bikes to be thoroughly examined and safety checked. *Please note should any further repairs be needed, an advisory will be given on the day of workshop. Additional cost(s) may occur. For more information visit our website