Northumberland schools step up for national initiative

Schools in Northumberland have once again stepped up to the challenge of a national initiative.

By David Sedgwick
Tuesday, 11 June, 2019, 09:00
Staff, students and parents of Northburn Primary School, in Cramlington, with Coun Wayne Daley during Walk to School Week.

A total of 32 county schools and nearly 5,500 pupils took part in Walk to School Week, organised by Living Streets.

The week-long challenge encourages parents and pupils to walk, cycle or scoot to school whenever possible, leaving the car at home.

Northburn Primary School in Cramlington was one of the schools to take part.

The school is active in promoting sustainable travel to and from school, and is also taking part in WOW, the Living Streets year-round challenge where pupils are rewarded for walking, cycling or scooting to school at least once a week.

It applied for and was awarded funding from the healthy pupil fund, using it to develop new parking and storage spaces for 40 to 50 bikes and scooters.

Tony Hall, deputy headteacher, said: “We are very keen to encourage as many children as possible to walk, scoot or cycle to school.

“Within school we speak to the children about the benefits, and pupils can earn reward badges by walking, cycling or scooting to school.

“We also work with the community to encourage safe and sustainable travel and have, for example, been working with the local sports and community centre to establish a ‘park and stride’ route from its car park to the school.”

Coun Wayne Daley, cabinet member for children’s services at Northumberland County Council, said: “Walking to school is a brilliant way to get active and healthy. It’s also a great opportunity for children to learn vital road safety skills and make sure they’re alert and ready to learn at the start of a new day.

“It’s fantastic that Northburn, like so many Northumberland schools, has got involved and is promoting these benefits to its families.”

Tracy Aitken, Northumberland County Council’s travel plan adviser added: “Walking to school has many benefits, including reducing traffic outside our schools and creating a safer environment for those who walk or cycle.”

Through Go Smarter Northumberland the council works with schools across the county to promote active travel for the journey to school.