Winter 2023 STP Newsletter

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

the New Year 2023

newsletter Jan 2023 (download PDF)




Welcome to the Spring 2023 Edition of Buckinghamshire Council’s School Travel Planning Newsletter. The first one of the new year! I hope you all had a lovely Christmas and New Year holiday.

It’s that time of year when we look for the benefits to keep fit. Getting out and walking or cycling is a great way to keeping us fit and aiding our mental health. We are encouraging everyone to try to keep this up not just for the new year but the whole year, and to think about walking, cycling, scooting, or parking further away from school and walking the rest of the way. 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.

We are encouraging children and parents to think about the way they will travel to and from school, reminding them about safety as well thinking about the benefits to the environment. To help with this we have produced a range of banners designed to help you to run a promotion in your school. These are available for schools to attach on railings outside their school. Please read on to find out how you can borrow one for free!

Thank you for your time.

Emma James


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 of these initiatives offer free downloadable resources for schools.


Bus Behaviour -reminder secondary schools Anti-social behaviour on public transport: safety measures – GOV.UK (


Children’s Mental Health Week 6th – 12th Feb

Schools and Youth Groups – Children’s Mental Health Week (


World book Day 2nd March Schools and Nurseries – World Book Day
Beep Beep Day Home | Brake
Sustrans Big Walk and Wheel-20th – 30th March Sustrans Big Pedal – Deadline Accreditation 31st Modeshift STARS Login – Modeshift STARS


National Bike and Roll to school 4th May Bike to School Day | Safe Routes to School (
Walk to School Week 15th -19th May Walk to School Week | Living Streets
Happy Feet


Anti-idling Day/Clean Air Day Clean Air Day – the UK’s largest clean air campaign Brake Kids Walk Home | Brake


Transition Year 7 Walk to School | Secondary Schools | Living Streets Deadline Accreditation 31st July Modeshift STARS Login – Modeshift STARS


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 very important life skills they need to stay safe and healthy on their journey to and from school. These are just a few of the many benefits of an active STP.


For those of you new to school travel planning, STPs are developed, maintained, and monitored by the whole school community, to promote and facilitate sustainable travel. STPs offer a great 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

To find


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 school’s 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 don’t 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 me (Emma

James) can you please add me to your introduction tab under working with the local authority.

If you need to delete a user, please let me know by email. Please keep all contacts and email

addresses up to date. .



The Modeshift STARS national accreditation scheme offers 5 levels: Green, Bronze, Silver,

Gold, and Platinum. The more initiatives school organise, the higher accreditation they will be

able to achieve. The initiatives are split into two categories, 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 year I would like to congratulate all the 60 schools in Buckinghamshire that managed to get accredited for their School Travel Plan. Your awards and certificates have been sent out to your school. For those schools that were so close but didn’t quite get there don’t give up. You are doing amazing work to keep our children safe. It was lovely reading your STPs and looking through all the pictures that you used for evidence.

Modeshift now accreditate three times a year so you may well be able to get accredited this next time round. The dates are 31 March, 31 July & 31 December If you have the option to apply for more than one level of accreditation, please only submit the highest and remember to check your expiry date on the ‘Accreditation Progress’ tab first. 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, as well as ensure any working groups are included in the ‘Introduction’ tab. There’s no need to include children’s names, simply JRSO/Eco Representative for example, is fine.

As we start a new year, your staff and pupil numbers may have changed. This information needs to be updated, and can be found under the ‘Introduction’ tab. If you haven’t already had a look, log-on and see what you have on your STP at: This is a living document. You can download your STP as a PDF file and add this to your website or include it in your new prospectus.



Buckinghamshire Council tops Modeshift STARS league table!

Buckinghamshire Council has topped a league of 59 Local Authorities who are members of the Modeshift STARS scheme – with the council having the highest percentage of schools with a school travel plan. They are also ranked fourth highest in terms of the quality of the travel plans awarded. There are now 60 schools (a total of approximately 24,670 students) in Buckinghamshire with Modeshift STARS, an increase of 14% from the same time last year.

Steven Broadbent, Cabinet Member for Transport, commented:

“I’d like to congratulate our school children and staff for working towards and maintaining their travel plans. I’d also like to thank the Schools Sustainable Travel team – who have helped our schools with green initiatives such as Bikeability, FootSteps and the Living Streets travel tracker.

“It’s also important to recognise the fantastic work that our School Crossing Patrollers do by encouraging those who choose to walk, cycle or scoot by assisting them with a safe place to cross roads near their schools.

“Although we have an impressive 60 schools currently in the scheme, I’m aware that we have some schools in the county who have been quietly working away on active and sustainable travel plans but are not yet registered on Modeshift. I’d encourage these schools to contact us so we can help them get started with their registration.

Buckinghamshire Council launches 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.

If you are thinking about getting fitter this New Year, why not make the school run part of your active routine? Even small lifestyle changes can bring huge health benefits, and thanks to the new BetterPoints Bucks app, recently launched by Buckinghamshire Council, this can bring rewards too.

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

New Active Travel Route – St Peter’s Greenway (Aylesbury)

On Monday 10 October 2022 a new Greenway opened connecting Berryfields to Buckingham Park in Aylesbury.

The 1.7 km stretch of shared path has 158 solar eye lights, seats along the route and is having 4,000 trees and hedgerows planted along the route.

The traffic free route connects to other Greenways and key locations such as Aylesbury Vale Parkway station, Waddesdon Greenway leading to Waddesdon Manor, and access to the Platinum and Ruby Way routes.

Why not look at how it fits into the wider network and get your students/parents to plan a route to school using one of the nine Gemstone Routes. Click here to download the Gemstone Routes map.

Bike Register Event

On Tuesday 17 January 2023, there was a Bike Register Event held in Buckingham outside the Council Chambers. Bike Register is where your bike frame number and details are collected and uploaded to a national database. If your bike was to be lost or stolen it can be traced back to you. To find out more about Bike Register visit their website.

Bike Register Event

On Tuesday 17 January 2023, there was a Bike Register Event held in Buckingham outside the Council Chambers. Bike Register is where your bike frame number and details are collected and uploaded to a national database. If your bike was to be lost or stolen it can be traced back to you. To find out more about Bike Register visit their website.

School Travel Plan Coordinator Meetings

I will still be sending you regular emails and I will run one to one meeting for you over the school year. I hope to cover what you need to complete your School Travel Plan to help you get accredited. I will cover some trouble shooting on the Modeshift STARS system along with giving you some more information about initiatives. You will need to be logged on to Modeshift and be on Teams. This also ticks of consultation LA1.

I have also arranged some group online meetings for schools who are working together. It will be an ideal opportunity to share ideas as well as look at common problems you or your feeder schools may be having. Please let me know if you are interested in this.

If you would like a meeting in your PPA time let me know when is best for you by emailing me for a time slot that suits you.

Initiatives to Try

The following are examples of initiatives that schools can try. There are many more ideas on our website, see

WOW Travel Tracker from Living Streets (Travel W1, W2, W6, W7, Promotion PR1, PR2, PR6, PR7, PR13, Curriculum CU9, Consultation P3, S2, SM1)
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/wheel, cycle, or scoot) once a week for a month, they get rewarded with a badge. It’s that easy!

It’s 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.

WOW Travel Tracker is available directly from Living Streets and there are many ways to fund WOW. Some schools choose to use their PE and Sport Premium funding. WOW will only take up a small fraction of your funding (around £2 per pupils for a whole year) but will bring big results!

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 walking instead of driving all the way.

If you want to borrow one of the banners to display at your school, please email with your school’s name, address, and School Travel Plan Coordinators name. We do have limited numbers and banners will need to be returned to us after 4 weeks 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 doesn’t become blind to passers-by. Alternatively, please return it in your school’s green bag, remembering to include your school’s name, address, and School Travel Plan Coordinator’s name so we know where it has come from.

Primary school banner

Secondary school banner

Parking Problems?

Unfortunately, the Council is receiving more and more complaints from local communities about inconsiderate parking around our schools. Please highlight in your correspondence to families the dangers of parking unsafely around the school gates and encourage 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 run your own parking campaign?

Please contact me on for more information.

Child Pedestrian Training Footsteps (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 helps them live safely with traffic. Children are taken into the local area with a volunteer Tutor to observe the traffic and discuss road safety. There are three stages, stage one (red), stage two (amber) and stage three (green). Each build 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.

This is a learning journey; it may take a long time before children can cope on their own. As part of the new programme, we are keen to 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!

We are currently trialling Footsteps in a few schools. Please contact Corinne Randall at if your school would like to take part.

Bikeability Cycle Training (Road Safety & Training- Travel R 1, Promotion-Supporting PR 1,3,9) Bikeability is today’s cycle training programme. It’s 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: Tools for Schools – Presentations and leaflets | Bikeability.

Schools are invited to apply for Bikeability Cycle funding for Level 1, 2 and 3 training due to take place during the Summer 2023 term. The funding window is now open. 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: –

For more information, please contact Georgina Longley at

Examples of Initiatives

Tylers Green Jam-packed Road Safety Week Tylers Green Middle School had been busy last term. They had a jam-packed Road Safety Week running road safety lessons throughout the school, hiding decorated pebbles around the village promoting road safety and even writing their own Road Safety Song ‘Street Smart’. The children used their knowledge of staying safe to write some rhyming couplets that were put together by Miss Baker and recorded by their Music Teacher, Mrs Wood. They hope to release the song early in the New Year and can’t wait to share it! The school also encouraging safe and toughtful parking through School council and promoting anti-idling and car sharing through their own posters.

All this helped them with their school travel plan and they gained Bronze and the school are well on their way to get Silver now.

Roundwood Primary School

The JRSOs at Roundwood Primary School have been learning about the community speed awareness campaign that is running in the village of Gawcott. The JRSOs spent time with one of the coordinators learning about the reason for campaign being set up, and the impact it was having. They learnt that traffic through the village had increased due to the East/West Railway and HS2 diversions and construction vehicles. The JRSOs really enjoyed having a go with the speed gun and realised how tricky it was to not only record the speed but try to record the number plates too. They were interested to hear that the reasons that drivers often gave for speeding was because they were late. One of the JRSOs made the comment that ‘people need to leave earlier then..’ Thankfully, due to the high-viz jackets the JRSOs were wearing and their position on the side of the road, they found that most of the drivers were driving well within the speed limit.

After the event, the JRSOs put together an assembly to share with the school about what they did and had learnt. They were allowed to have the speed gun in school to show to the rest of the school too.

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 of their legal obligations to stop for the lollipop. The 1988 Road Traffic Act clearly states that as soon as a patroller raises their sign, even if they have not stepped into the road, drivers must be prepared to stop. Once the School Crossing Patroller is in the road displaying the sign, drivers must stop, and not proceed until the School Crossing Patroller and all those crossing have cleared the road. Drivers flouting the law could face a £1,000 fine, three penalty points and even disqualification. Banners are available to borrow, for schools that have patrollers.

Please help to support our patrollers and if there is an incident please contact: Corinne Randall Aylesbury Vale and Wycombe (West) or Georgina Longley Chiltern & South Bucks and Wycombe (East).


Please contact the School Travel Planning Team if you have any queries:

Emma James —                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      School Travel Plan Advisor

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

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

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

Partner News

The following pages provide some additional information from some of our partners relating to school travel. This includes Bucks Radio, Road Safety GB, and Thame Valley Police.

Promote your School Travel Plan (Promotion- Supporting PR 3)

Don’t forget if you are doing anything in your school and want to get noticed in Buckinghamshire you can promote your School Travel Plan to Bucks Radio through

Bucks Radio is the new sound of Buckinghamshire, aiming to bring local radio back to the county. Launched by local broadcasters Nathan Cooper and Richard Carr in February 2021. We’ve been overwhelmed by the support we’ve received so far and are looking forward to becoming a part of Buckinghamshire 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’re 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…. Also visit… when we are able! For more details check out our website:

Safe Drive Stay Alive

Thank you to all the schools that attended Safe Drive Stay Alive (SDSA) this year, we really appreciate your support especially after our enforced absence due to covid. There were 26 performances through the Thames Valley & Hampshire and over 23,000 young people attended shows this year.

Planning is already underway for November 2023, so do watch out for the booking site opening after Easter or for more information contact: Liz Johnson @ email:

The Honest Truth

The Road Safety Team are promoting a young driver campaign called The Honest Truth and we have free digital posters and flyers that you can use to reinforce the messages received at SDSA. The posters cover speeding, seatbelts, drink/drug drive, fatigue, peer pressure, mobile phones & distraction.

We have a number of free digital guides for young drivers and parents plus a guide to riding a scooter, moped or 125cc bike. If you would further information on any of the resources above or links and QR codes for your website or social media, then please do contact:

Liz Johnson @ email:

Mobile Phone campaign

February / March starts the National campaign against driving whilst distracted and the Road Safety Team will be promoting the ‘Driver Distraction’ campaign with a focus on mobile phones. The message is that any distraction will take attention away from the driving task, meaning that drivers using the phone, even hands free, are four times more likely to crash.

The team are encouraging all passengers to challenge their drivers if distracted. Do your part in keeping yourself and other road users safe by getting the driver to concentrate on the road, not be tempted to use their mobile phone or other devices.

The campaign messaging will be promoted on bus back advertising and running on social media: Facebook Travel Safe Bucks and Twitter @TravelSafeBucks

It also focuses on pedestrians: when crossing the road, remember “Eyes Up”, “EarPods out” so that you can look and listen for any vehicles when crossing the road and keep looking and listening until you have safely reached the other side of the road.

Clean Air Champions (Asthma and Lung UK)

Every year air pollution is linked with up to 36,000 early deaths in the UK. Short periods of high air pollution can trigger asthma attacks for people with asthma or cause difficulty breathing and coughing. In the long-term, air pollution can cause serious health conditions or worsen existing ones, like asthma or heart disease. Cars and other vehicles cause huge amounts of air pollution – emitting toxic gases and dangerous dust. Breathing this is can seriously damage our lungs and health. That’s why making as many journeys as we can by walking, cycling, scootering, and public transport can make a difference.

Clean Air Champions is all about capturing and amplifying the voices of young change-makers all over the UK, as well as them inspiring positive change in their local community.

Pupils become Champions by completing 3 activities: one to raise awareness, one to spread the word and one to fundraise to support those communities worst affected by air pollution. Pupils can choose what their activities are, and participating schools also receive a free accompanying educational resource pack to boost their pupils’ learning.

It’s all focussed on Clean Air Day in June so schools could do activities just on the day or throughout the month of June. There’s lots more info on our website here too – Clean Air Champions ( – and you can be flexible with the dates and run the scheme anytime, if June didn’t suit all schools. This summer with the scheme, if schools raise £250 or more, Asthma and Lung UK will send out some free air pollution monitors to your school as well.

For more information or you have any questions about the scheme,


Trucks and Child Safety (TACS) Trucks and Child Safety (TACS) is a road safety training programme run by the DHL business and funded by the DHL UK Foundation. Working with schools and community organisations, the TACS team teach children aged 7 to 11 years how to keep themselves safe around large vehicles. The team of trained demonstrators are all DBS checked and are fully committed to teaching children about road safety. Face to face demonstrations and classroom sessions are free of charge and offer a learning platform for young people to improve their safety awareness of this important issue.

More Information can be found at: TACS for Teachers – DHL UK Foundation