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"Sustainable Travel Recognition and Accreditation for Schools" (STARS)

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STARS have developed a pan-EU behaviour change programme that delivers a modal shift in the number of school pupils cycling to and from school in nine EU cities.It seeks to foster a life-long positive attitude to active travel in children, and at the same time encourage parents and families to reconsider how they travel, specifically how they get children to school. Removing car journeys to schools and encouraging sustainable travel options offers an efficient method to cut congestion and decrease emissions.The project has two tiers, allowing it to reach both primary and secondary school pupils in different ways: an accreditation system to empower the whole school community to engage in cycling and a peer-to-peer engagement programme targeting secondary school children and young adults to devise their own campaigns to promote cycling; the idea being that their ideas are more likely to be adopted by their peers.The project aims to achieve at least an average of a 5% modal shift from car use towards cycling, to set up a pan-EU programme of accreditation to allow school to work independently to deliver increased cycling levels and commit to monitoring and evaluation; to develop a network of Youth Travel Ambassador Scheme; to share knowledge amongst cities, regions and schools and develop a pan-EU agenda to improve sustainable mobility for the journey to school. 

Results

  • The STARS Accreditation programme was delivered by all partner cities (minus Brussels). In total 188 primary schools were recruited across the project lifetime. An impressive 126 on these primary schools have been accredited during the first two years: 20 Gold level; 39 Silver level schools and 67 Bronze level.  114 primary schools have continued to implement the STARS project for a third year showing the legacy of the project. Including these third year schools we now have 144 accredited schools.
  • The STARS Peer-to-Peer programme was delivered by all partner cities with the exception of partner city Noord-Brabant. In total 89 schools set up Youth Travel Ambassador Schemes. More than 51,000 students have been involved in the campaigns, across 2,228 classes, developed by 882 students appointed as Youth Travel Ambassadors. They carried out 974 activities. 4,089 staff members have been involved
  • Nine cities have been successfully trained and have delivered the STARS programme in primary and secondary schools with overall positive impacts on modal shift.
  • Pan-EU STARS accreditation toolkit, guidance and website were developed, with 43 regional accreditation workshops and a pan-EU STARS accreditation awards ceremony.
  • Over the course of the project a 6% decrease or 2.1 percentage point modal shift from motorised modes to active modes of transport has been recorded in STARS Primary schools and a 6%, or 2.5 percentage points shift in modal share from motorised modes to active modes of transport has been recorded in STARS Secondary schools. A total of 1014 ton CO2e was saved by all the STARS schools in two years (2013-2015)
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Lessons learned

  • School recruitment and engagement is much more effective if it is done at the end of the previous school year. Schools usually set their schedules for the following school year in the spring and so approaches should be made before this time.
  • A lot of time and effort is required at the beginning of the programme from the city staff and STARS Advisors, as well as from the schools and staff. Once the programme is up and running, it has a lot of momentum and can grow quickly. It also then becomes easier to attract new schools and secure their commitment and participation.
  • Workshops with teachers/school staff all together on an ongoing basis allowed for constant revision of the approach and method, continued enthusiasm and real buy-in to the programme, and enrichment and strengthening of the strategies developed.
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Partners and coordinator

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Contact

London Councils
United Kingdom
Contact point: 
Name: 
Andrew Luck
Tel: 
0207 934 9646

Budget

In brief

Duration:
08/03/2013 to 08/03/2016
Contract number: 
IEE/12/804

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