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Gold, silver and bronze awards for top schools

Pupils and teachers can pedal their way towards a new national award by helping to create a lasting legacy of cycling at their school. Sustrans has unveiled a School Mark scheme for schools taking part in its Bike It project.

The charity coordinates 44 Bike It officers across England and Wales who each work to improve travel habits in 10-12 schools every academic year.

Bike It project director Paul Osborne said: “Cycling to school has multiple benefits for children’s health, their sense of independence and alertness in class – not to mention the easing of congestion on local roads.

“With this new School Mark scheme we hope to reinforce the praiseworthy efforts of teachers, children and parents to transform the school run by setting clear and achievable targets to bring about long-lasting change.”

The award scheme consists of three progressive levels starting with bronze, which will be awarded when a school has successfully worked with their Bike It officer to get more children cycling.

Schools can then work towards a silver award by demonstrating how it shares the ideals of Bike It beyond the initial year. Gold will be awarded to a school with an on-going commitment to the project over several years, with little or no input from the Bike It officer.

Bike It is supported by the Bike Hub - a cycle industry initiative developed by the Bicycle Association of Great Britain and the Association of Cycle Traders (ACT), to generate funds to support the future of cycling in the UK.

Phillip Darnton, of the Bicycle Association, said: “We need Bike It to become a way of life in every school, creating an enduring force for future generations – and that is where the Bike It School Mark comes in.

“The scheme aims to recognise those schools that work hard to build a durable cycling culture, making sure that it thrives long after their Bike It officer has moved on.”
For more info about Sustrans and Bike It visit www.sustrans.org.uk.