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Student STARS scoop sustainable travel award


The Phoenix Collegiate in Tipton has earned a top government award for supporting students and staff in sustainable and active travel.

The Modeshift STARS Award - Sustainable Travel Accreditation and Recognition for Schools - is a Department for Transport-sponsored scheme with a fund covering membership for all schools in England.

Transport for West Midlands’ (TfWM) education team work with schools towards the award - helping them achieve excellence in commitment to support for cycling, walking and other forms of sustainable travel.

Sandwell Council cabinet member for regeneration Cllr Paul Moore, TfWM education team’s Caroline Ind, Phoenix Collegiate assistant head teacher Gareth Kibby, head teacher Mike Smith and TfWM education team’s Jacqui Miller.
Sandwell Council cabinet member for regeneration Cllr Paul Moore, TfWM education team’s Caroline Ind, Phoenix Collegiate assistant head teacher Gareth Kibby, head teacher Mike Smith and TfWM education team’s Jacqui Miller.

Schools are encouraged to carry out various active travel incentives and log these on their Modeshift STARS travel plan.

The Phoenix Collegiate picked up a STARS bronze award after continuously promoting public transport to its staff and students by taking class groups out on the bus and informing young people about discounted travel tickets at induction events and parents’ evenings.

The school has worked with partners from Sandwell Council, the TfWM education team, West Midlands Police Safer Travel Team and cycling skills provider BikeRight, to educate students on travelling safely, easily and cheaply to and from school.

Head teacher Mike Smith said: “This ongoing commitment to the travel plan has been hard work at a time when the school is undergoing a major construction project to build a new school on the current site.  

“However that hard work has now paid off as The Phoenix Collegiate is the first mainstream school in Sandwell to achieve the Modeshift STARS Bronze award.

“Very well done to Graham Kibby and the students for this excellent achievement – obviously the next step is to go for the silver award.” 

WMCA lead member for fair and safe travel, Cllr Judith Rowley, said: “Many congratulations to the school and TfWM education team for achieving such great results in encouraging students and staff to make healthier and greener travel choices.

“It is so important for young people to get into these habits at an early age and understand the multiple health, environmental and economic benefits of active and sustainable travel.”