Image demonstrating Tweedmouth Middle wins national award for sustainable travel

Tweedmouth Middle wins national award for sustainable travel

Tweedmouth Community Middle School has been named the Best Secondary School in England for the work it has done to encourage pupils to travel sustainably.

The National Modeshift STARS award has recognised a number of outstanding initiatives at the school and after winning School of the Region for the North East, Yorkshire and Humber areas the school travelled to Westminster last week to attend the national finals.

The National Celebration Event took place at Portcullis House, with the 12 STARS Schools  invited to attend, all with their eyes set on the coveted National School of the Year 2019 titles, with Berwick taking home the title for Best Secondary.

Over 40 schools nationally were nominated to take part in this year’s STARS Awards with the four categories being SEND School, Early Years Setting, Primary School and Secondary School.

There was also huge excitement the following day when Anne-Marie Trevelyan MP and the Prime Minister both congratulated Tweedmouth on winning the Modeshift STARS Secondary School of the Year award, and on their success in promoting sustainable school travel.

Headteacher Ben Hulbert said:  “The school is beyond thrilled to have been awarded the national Secondary School STARS Award

“As a school, we have been working very hard to improve the percentage of students, staff and parents who travel to school sustainably.  Our Green Ambassadors have played a vital role in promoting various initiatives, such as The Big Pedal, Bikers Breakfast and Walk to School Week.

“The school has created a School Travel Policy, and throughout the year we take part in initiatives including; The Big Pedal, Walk to School Week, Bikeability and Bike Week as well as taking opportunities to include road safety and public transport education within the curriculum.  Three members of staff have also gained their Level 1 British Cycling Ride Leader Award which allows us to take students on bike rides - and this is alongside the Bike Ability award already available in school to all Year 5 and Year 6 students.

“We were extremely proud to take the award back to school, and to share it with all the students, staff and parents who have been instrumental  in achieving it.”

Schools are nominated by their local authorities for demonstrating best practice in the promotion of sustainable school travel, in this case Northumberland County Council.

Cllr Glen Sanderson, cabinet member for the environment and local services at Northumberland County Council said:  “Tweedmouth is a shining example of a school which has made a real difference to its students and parents travel and transport habits - which is good for road safety, for the environment and for pupils’ health.

“It is fantastic to see one of our schools the national finals and I am pleased to offer huge congratulations to everyone involved.”

Cllr Georgina Hill, the local County Councillor said:  “I echo Glen’s comments. These sustainable transport schemes have a range of benefits and I am really pleased that Ben and all those at Tweedmouth Middle School have been recognised in this way.”

Modeshift STARS, which is supported by the Department for Transport, is the national school travel awards scheme that has been established to recognise schools that have demonstrated excellence in supporting walking, cycling and other forms of sustainable travel for the journey to and from school. Sixty-nine local authorities across the country participate in the scheme representing around 15,000 schools.

The awards were hosted by Maria Miller MP and presented by Jesse Norman MP.  Roads Minister, Mr Norman, said: “I was delighted to attend the National School Travel awards and meet students who have made a dedicated effort to improve air quality by walking and cycling to school.

“We want to make walking and cycling the natural choice for journeys, which is why we’ve committed funding for a further three  years to ensure the good work can continue.”

Ross Butcher, Chair of Modeshift said: “We are hugely grateful to the Department for Transport for their continued support of Modeshift STARS. Since they first began supporting the STARS scheme in 2014, the number of local authorities participating has grown from 22 to 69, whilst the number of registered schools has grown from 200 to over 3,500.

“Modeshift STARS is now making a significant difference to how children and young people are travelling to school with our latest figures for STARS accredited schools showing an increase in walking of 11.6% and an increase in cycling of 59% for those schools over the last 3-years.”

Modeshift STARS is supported by the Department for Transport and is free for schools to use. It is an online platform that can create a school travel plan, log sustainable travel activities and schools can work towards Modeshift STARS National Accreditation. For more information visit
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