STARS Europe Accreditation Scheme

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1 STARS Europe Accreditation Scheme Accreditation Guidance for STARS SCHOOLS Primary Schools This document brings together all the information needed for STARS schools implementing the STARS campaign Mobiel 21 Province of Noord Brabant December 2015

2 Content 1 INTRODUCTION STARS EUROPE GENERAL INFORMATION WHAT IS STARS EUROPE? WHY DOES STARS TARGET SCHOOL TRIPS? WHAT ARE THE STARS OBJECTIVES? STARS ACCREDITATION SCHEME WHAT IS THE GOAL OF THE STARS ACCREDITATION SCHEME? WHY PARTICIPATE? HOW DOES IT WORK? STARS ACCREDITATION CHECKLIST STARS ACCREDITATION FRAMEWORK LOCAL WORKSHOP? LETTER OF COMMITMENT STARS ADVISOR GUIDANCE STARS WORKING GROUP STARS ACTIVITY PLAN STARS ACCREDITATION AUDIT REPORTS AND AUDITS EXTRA SUPPORT Annex 1: Letter of Commitment Annex 2: Hands Up Survey for pupils Annex 3: Staff Travel Behaviour Survey Page 2 of 25

3 1. Introduction The Guidance for STARS Schools is a general document for all primary schools participating in the STARS programme, but it can be amended to city-specific needs. Parts in yellow are for the information of the STARS Advisor or need to be completed by them. These parts do not need to be translated and can be deleted in the final national guidance. Dear STARS school, Welcome to the STARS project! This guidance brings together all the information you need for implementing the STARS campaign. The document contains guidelines, templates, tips and tricks. A STARS Advisor will be available for support. If you have questions, want to discuss any issues, or want to share results, please contact your local STARS Advisor. Organisation Name of STARS Advisor Address Phone Any additional information the STARS Advisor wants to include for the schools. Good luck! Page 3 of 25

4 2. STARS Europe General Information Sustainable Travel Accreditation and Recognition for Schools The Origins of STARS STARS started as a result of an initial concept idea between LEPT and Transport for London (TfL), the regional transport authority for London, UK. Through the PIMMS TRANSFER Project which ended in 2011, London engaged with several other cities to exchange experience in cycling and school mobility. As result, London saw a gap in the market, and thus potential to improve upon and implement a common action centred on accreditation and peer-to-peer engagement. Therefore, the premise of this project was to bring together a range of EU cities, each with similar objectives and issues, and bringing a wealth of proven knowledge to implement STARS. The STAR (Sustainable Travel Accredited and Recognised) accreditation scheme evolved out of high quality knowledge sharing between Local Authorities in England between 2006 and 2009, facilitated by Transport for London and Modeshift. Best practices were codified into the accreditation standard by Transport for London in 2007 and adapted nationally in 2008 by Modeshift (http://www.modeshift.org.uk/). In 2014, Modeshift STARS became the National STARS School Travel Awards supported by the Department for Transport and is now delivered by 52 organisations across England (outside of London). An accreditation framework is based on four award or recognition levels (engaged, bronze, silver, gold). Accredited schools in London have shown on average an 8.08% modal shift away from the car since 2004 to other modes of travel. Comparable to TfL and Modeshift STARS, Noord Brabant in The Netherlands has implemented the project Brabant Road Safety Label (BVL) toimprove road safety among children and young adults by paying structural attention to road safety education in schools since BVL is a road safety quality mark that schools can obtain by meeting a number of criteria, both educational and extracurricular. BVL wants to enable children and young adults to participate in traffic safely and independently. Many activities in the BVL process are aimed at cycling safety and bicycle visibility. At present 800 schools in Noord Brabant participate with 500 already being awarded the label. The Case study Youth Travel Ambassador Scheme is based on the principle of peer education giving pupils ownership to develop and implement projects for their peers that will address sustainable mobility issues. The scheme had been piloted in five schools in Page 4 of 25

5 London at the time that this project started and has since been expanded London-wide after a successful pilot phase. In the City of Rotterdam in The Netherlands the Ride2school cycling project aimed on raising cycling percentage especially amongst students in the lowest secondary school level (VMBO), focussing on the peer-to-peer engagement. All these case studies served as base to create STARS Europe. 2.1 What is STARS Europe? STARS Europe is a behaviour change programme to increase the number of pupils cycling to and from school, who would previously have been escorted by car. STARS Europe focuses on delivering two proven initiatives, building on several ongoing programmes, some of which were started by STARS partners: Accreditation focuses on empowering the primary school community (pupils, teachers, and parents) to engage in cycling. The programme is different because it centres on the principle of recognition schools can work their way up an awards scale based on how much they are doing to promote cycling (and other modes) and the mode shift they achieve. Peer-to-peer engagement specifically targets secondary school children and young adults (11-19 years). It encourages them to devise their own campaigns to promote cycling, thereby using their own ideas and solutions to persuade their peers to adopt cycling and other sustainable modes. 2.2 Why does STARS target school trips? Driving children to school accounts for a large proportion of travel by households, and therefore contributes to congestion and increased carbon emissions, especially in the peak periods. School journeys have the same destination every day and so are easy to target. The journey to school is most often a short distance, i.e. under 5 km, which can easily be cycled. To ensure a long-term change in travel behaviour, children and young people should be our key priority. 2.3 What are the STARS objectives? 1. To achieve at least an average of a 5% modal shift from the car towards cycling through the overall STARS programme. 2. To increase children's autonomy and create more liveable cities 3. To set up a pan-eu programme of accreditation to allow primary schools to work independently to deliver increased cycling levels and commit to monitoring and evaluation. Page 5 of 25

6 4. To develop a network of Youth Travel Ambassador Schemes, which provide a set of tools and encourage secondary school students to increase cycling levels amongst their peers. 5. To share knowledge amongst cities, regions and schools, and develop a pan-eu agenda to improve sustainable mobility for the journey to school. In the long term: 1. To see continued modal shift from the car towards cycling (and other sustainable modes) with more schools reaching higher levels of accreditation and modal shift above 10%. 2. To share the legacy model and programme results in order to see an increase in uptake of the STARS programme in other cities and countries of the EU-27. Page 6 of 25

7 3. STARS Accreditation Scheme 3.1 What is the goal of the STARS accreditation scheme? The Accreditation Scheme audits schools on their activities and efforts to motivate children and their parents to cycle to school as much as possible. In the end the project aims to achieve a modal shift away from the car of 5% on average. STARS Europe aims to - Reduce the number of pupils travelling to school by car - Increase the number of pupils walking and cycling - Provide information for parents and pupils about the different modes for travelling to school - Improve the safety of routes to and from schools - Improve the health and wellbeing of children through exercise - Improve accessibility to, from and between schools - Increase children s autonomy in relation to mobility 3.2 Why participate? There are many reasons to promote active sustainable travel at your school: - Health benefits - Fun - Children s autonomy - Environmental benefits, i.e. CO2 reductions - Traffic safety - Cost effective - Good for the school s image, i.e. to stand out from others - A safe and traffic-calm school area. - Neighbourhood sustainability improvement - And many more Each school will have its own prioritised objectives and reasons for implementing STARS. 3.3 How does it work? STARS schools are encouraged to organise lessons and activities to promote cycling to and from school. A STARS Advisor gives advice, suggests tips and tricks, and develops STARS activity plans together with the schools. They will be completed and saved online, available at any moment for both the school and the STARS Advisor. The STARS Europe programme has developed a standardised checklist with criteria, based on which the schools can achieve an Page 7 of 25

8 accreditation level of Bronze, Silver or Gold. The STARS Advisor fills out this checklist with the information provided in the activity plans. The activity plans are available online via Page 8 of 25

9 4. Accreditation Checklist The accreditation checklist has six themes (first table), each of which is comprised of a set of criteria (next tables). Schools receive a score based on the degree to which they have fulfilled the criteria, in order to attain one of the three levels. Some criteria need to be met for all levels, while some only need to be completed to reach the Silver or Gold levels. In most cases, the difference between Silver and Gold is the extent to which the criteria are fulfilled. OVERVIEW THEMES NUMBER OF CRITERIA Bronze Silver Gold A. Implementation in school policy / organisation B. Surveys, modal shift and targets C. Mobility issues D. Travel and road safety initiatives for students and families E. Communications and promotional initiatives F. Funding (if applicable) (1) (2) (3) Total 13 ( +1) 19 (+2) 19 (+3) A. Implementation in school policy / organisation 1. The school officially participates in STARS Europe by signing the Letter of Commitment. 2. Participation in STARS Europe is mentioned in the school guide, on the school website, or in other communications to parents. 3. The school includes STARS Europe in the school plan and/or the school has (in)formal policies regarding walking, cycling, children s autonomy, and road safety. 4. Years / classes are involved in the school s travel and road safety activities, its targets and actions. 5. The school develops a STARS Europe activity plan each school year. x x x Min. one year / grade x Informal All years / grades x x x x Formal The whole school community Page 9 of 25

10 6. The school has a STARS Working Group which organises awarenessraising activities at school and is in regular contact with the STARS Advisor. Min. 2 members Members represent school community Members outside school (police, city, etc). Subtotal 4 criteria 6 criteria 6 criteria B. Surveys, modal shift and targets 7. The school records student travel to and from school twice annually (at the start of the new school year and before the end of May) using the Hands Up Survey. See Annex 3 for guidance on data collection. 8. The school has set modal shift targets for the pupils. 9. Modal shift away from the car or public transport to active travel has been achieved for pupils (measured against baseline or a previous survey / monitoring moment). 10. The school records staff travel to and from school twice annually (at the start of the new school year and before the end of May). See Annex 4 for the Staff Travel Behaviour Survey. 11. The school has set modal shift targets for staff. 12. Modal shift away from the car or public transport to active travel has been achieved for staff (measured against baseline or a previous survey / monitoring moment). 13. The school has filled in the modal shift data for pupils (and school staff, where applicable) on the STARS website twice per school year, at the beginning of the school year and before the end of May. x x x x x x x x X deleted x x x x x x Min. 5% shift or 90% sustainable travel modes x Min. 5% shift or 90% sustainable travel modes Subtotal C. Mobility issues 14. Issues identified with sufficient detail and a possible solution provided. The school indicates: x x x Page 10 of 25

11 which supports the school or community provide for walking and cycling to school what barriers make it difficult for pupils to walk and cycle to school Subtotal D. Travel and road safety initiatives for students and families 15. Initiatives for pupils on walking, cycling, smarter driving and/or road safety included in class lessons, school projects and/or practical exercises outside the classroom. 16. Initiatives for pupils on walking, cycling, smarter driving and/or road safety included in the curriculum or official class programme. 17. Initiatives involving parents in walking, cycling, smarter driving, children s autonomy and/or road safety issues. Min. 10 initiatives completed Min. 1 initiative in curriculum Min. 1 initiatives completed Min. 20 initiatives completed Min. 2 initiative in curriculum Min. 2 initiatives completed Min. 25 initiatives completed Min. 5 initiative in curriculum Min. 5 initiatives completed Subtotal E. Communications and promotional initiatives 18. Initiatives promoting safe walking, cycling, or automobile pickup/drop-off locations to parents. 19. Initiatives in partnerships outside the school. Min. 1 initiatives completed Min. 1 initiative completed Min. 3 initiatives completed Min. 3 initiatives completed Min. 5 initiatives completed Min. 5 initiatives completed Subtotal Page 11 of 25

12 F. Funding (if applicable)* 20. Details on how the original capital x x x grant/funding was spent. 21. If applicable, details on how other x x grants/funding have been spent. 22. The school has identified and obtained x other sources of funding aside from (or instead of) that available from the local authority. Subtotal Page 12 of 25

13 5. Accreditation framework The accreditation framework in 10 steps 5.1 Local Workshop In a first step the school gets all information during a local workshop or information session. A detailed presentation will be given about the project at the workshop and will provide schools with the opportunity to sign up to the programme. Schools that are unable to attend can get the information from the STARS Advisor at a one-to-one meeting or by phone. Schools will also have a briefing with the STARS Advisor at their kick-off meeting. 5.2 Letter of Commitment The school formally expresses its participation in the STARS project by signing the Letter of Commitment (Annex 1). Once this letter is signed, the school will be assigned a personal STARS Advisor and will then be able to access all STARS supporting documents for free! 5.3 STARS Advisor guidance STARS Advisors will contact the schools at least once a month during the programme, either via face-to-face meeting or by phone. The guidance provided by the STARS Advisors will depend on the needs and expectations of the schools. STARS Advisors and schools have access to the Accreditation Toolkit, which includes examples of best practices as well as tips and tricks to support schools. STARS Advisors will help the schools to design and implement awareness-raising activities and actions for accreditation and will also conduct the auditing. They will advise the school on procedures and provide the necessary tools to measure success (surveys, checklists, reporting framework, etc.): STARS Advisors will - Help the school develop the activity plan. - Provide training on relevant actions when needed (e.g. cycle training, how to deliver certain campaigns, how to analyse travel behaviour, etc.). - Identify and liaise with the school contact persons. - Provide advice where necessary throughout the school year. - Take part in school assemblies or workshops as appropriate. - Audit the school s activities in order to assess what level of accreditation has been achieved (Bronze, Silver or Gold). Page 13 of 25

14 5.4 STARS Working Group The Working Group will be the motor of the STARS project at the schools. Members can be teachers, representatives from the school board, pupils, other stakeholders, etc., but there should be a balance between all members. Together with the STARS Advisors, they determine the baseline, set targets, and plan and implement activities to reach the school s objectives on sustainable travel behaviour. The Working Group is responsible for passing on all necessary documents to the STARS Advisors. Page 14 of 25

15 5.5 STARS Activity Plan In order for schools to achieve one of the accreditation levels, a STARS activity plan must be drawn up. Baseline The STARS Advisor visits the schools once they have decided to participate in STARS Europe. The starting point will be discussed with each school, and a baseline report will be produced to give an overview of their status. The Hands Up Survey for pupils (Annex 2) and the Staff Travel Behaviour Survey (Annex 3) provide a baseline from which the targets are set. The results will be included in the Activity Plan. The Activity Plan is an online tool and can be adapted at any time during the school year. It helps schools to determine where they already qualify on the STARS criteria, as well as to plan and report on their activities. After each accreditation round (i.e. audit), schools review their activity plan and make any necessary changes and updates to it for the following school year. The activity plans of former school year are still available, but not adaptable any more. Although the information of the previous school year will be automatically inserted in the new activity plan. Online reporting Each school will have their own account on the STARS Europe Accreditation website, where they will enter all information pertaining to their activities directly online in order to generate their Activity Plan. This then gives an overview of their current status, which allows them to see where additional effort is needed and which of the criteria to focus on in order to reach their desired accreditation level. Within the website account, the school will have a directory in which they keep electronic versions of any documents and outputs from their STARS activities (any documentation that can not be uploaded to the website should be kept in hard copy in a STARS file). When the STARS Advisor performs the audits at the end of the year, each school will need to provide all documentation as evidence of the initiatives they have carried out. Without this, a score will not be given and the appropriate level of accreditation may not be achieved. Tips & ideas Additional tips and ideas on how to set up fun activities are listed in the Accreditation Toolkit, available on the STARS Accreditation website. 5.6 STARS Accreditation Audit STARS Advisors will assess the school in May to determine what level has been achieved. The school will receive a personal visit, letter or phone call to notify them of the level they have been awarded and to explain the results. To qualify for the Bronze, Silver or Gold level, the school must be able to show that they have been actively participating in the STARS programme, and that there was ongoing attention to traffic education, a safe environment, and activities that promote the switch from car travel to Page 15 of 25

16 cycling, walking or public transport. This progress will be updated annually in the Activity Plan. The criteria are grouped into six categories. 1. Implementation in school policy / organisation 2. Surveys, modal shift and targets 3. Travel and transport issues 4. Travel and road safety initiatives for pupils and families 5. Communications and promotional initiatives 6. Funding (if applicable) 5.7 Reports and audits STARS schools are responsible for delivering the following documents to the STARS Advisor: - Letter of Commitment (Annex 1) - Hands Up Survey (Annex 2, results to be filled out online) - Staff Travel Behaviour Survey (Annex 3, results to be filled out online) - Activity plans annually Online All templates will be available on the project website. 5.8 Extra support Local or regional accreditation workshops and mentoring Each partner will organise local or regional accreditation workshops having three key aims: - To present the accreditation awards to schools in the scheme - To transfer best practice between schools - To mentor other schools in achieving accreditation Attendance at the local or regional accreditation workshops will be mandatory for accredited schools. They will also be open to other schools and local stakeholders (e.g. police, youth groups, etc.). Teachers and a small number of pupils from each school may also attend. The workshops will cover the following: - Awarding accredited schools schools that have fulfilled the criteria to reach one of the accreditation levels will receive a plaque and certificate. Their actions will be showcased throughout Europe. - Structured workshops for teachers and pupils to discuss current travel issues, find common solutions, think about initiatives to increase cycling and walking and improve road safety. - Opening up of opportunities for further mentoring between schools beyond the first year of the process, e.g. providing the mechanism for schools that have obtained a higher level of accreditation to mentor schools at a lower level. Page 16 of 25

17 Pan-EU STARS Accreditation Awards Ceremony As an additional incentive to participate in the accreditation process, top-performing schools from each partner city will be invited to the STARS final conference to present their activities and will have the chance to receive an award. The schools to be invited will be determined according to the number of success factors they have achieved as a result of accreditation: - Highest achieved modal shift and highest level of accreditation obtained. Each school will be able to send one teacher and two pupils with the costs covered by STARS. Page 17 of 25

18 6. ANNEX 1 Annex 1: Letter of Commitment School name Address Postcode Municipality School phone number School address School website STARS Champion STARS Champion phone number STARS Champion address By signing below, I declare on behalf of our school that we will participate in the STARS project for a minimum of one school year. In that period, we will commit ourselves to organise and implement activities for shifting children from the car to more sustainable travel modes, such as walking, cycling and using public transport. In order to achieve the STARS goals, we will receive local help and support from the STARS Advisor when we need it. Principal s Name Date Principal s Signature Page 18 of 25

19 Please send the Letter of Commitment to your STARS Advisor <Name> <Address> <Municipality> <Postcode> <Phone number> < address> Page 19 of 25

20 7. ANNEX 2 Annex 2: Hands Up Survey for pupils Guidance on data collection Completion of the annual School Travel Survey is an essential requirement for keeping the STARS Activity Plan up to date. The school s data should be collected by the school s STARS Champion and reported as follows: 1. The school s STARS Champion prints the class travel survey for each class along with the guidance for teachers on how to conduct the survey. 2. The STARS Champion distributes the documents to teachers, who then conduct the class survey. Only one answer per pupil is required. Once completed, teachers should return the forms to the Champion. 3. The STARS Champion checks that all class surveys have been returned, confirms that they are complete and accurate, and then enters the results on the STARS website in the online Activity Plan, which then generates the Student Travel Mode Total Score. Instructions to teachers on how to conduct a Class Travel Survey School Name Teacher Class Number of pupils Date Please carry out this survey on a normal school day, i.e. when most pupils are in class. All pupils should be surveyed. If any children are absent, fill in their mode of travel the next time they attend class. If pupils are too young to answer reliably, please ask parents at the start or end of the school day when they are dropping off or picking up their children. Or try asking, How did you travel to school just now? at the moment they arrive at school, instead of generalising the question to How do you travel normally?. Recommended method 1) Ask all pupils in the class to remain seated. Explain that you are doing a survey to find out the way pupils normally travel to school. 2) Tell them you are going to read out a list of different travel options and then ask each of them to tell you how they usually travel to school. Page 20 of 25

21 3) Tell them to choose only the mode that covers the greatest distance. For example, if a child takes a bus and a train, the train is likely to be the longer journey; rail is therefore their mode of travel. 4) Read out the list of different travel options (see table below). 5) Call out the register name by name, and using the hands up method, record the pupil s mode of transport on the classroom survey form. 6) Repeat steps 2-5, this time asking pupils how they would prefer to travel to school. They have to choose only one option per pupil. 7) Delete Q7A/B 8) Return the completed classroom survey to the STARS Champion, who will then collate the results and submit to STARS Advisors the documents. Table for travel behaviour How do you normally travel to Score How do you prefer to travel to Score school? school? Walk (or scooter) Walk (or scooter) Cycle Cycle Public transport Public Transport Car pooling/ride sharing* Car pooling/ride sharing* Car Car Other Other *Car pooling or ride sharing is where children from more than one household travel in the same car for the school journey. Table for children autonomy Autonomy How many pupils come alone or with friends How many pupils come escorted by adults Number of pupils Table for travel distance to school Distance Number of pupils Less than 1 kilometer Between 1-2 kilometres Page 21 of 25

22 Between 2-5 kilometres Over 5 kilometres Methods for measuring the distances: - Method 1: Google maps. The teacher asks the pupils to check this information in google maps. This could be a homework or an activity class. - Method 2: In a map where the school is in the centre of different circle-distances, the students can mark the situation of their home. - Method 3: The school provides the addresses of the pupils and with this data Advisors can figure out the distances. Page 22 of 25

23 8. ANNEX 3 Annex 3: Staff Travel Behaviour Survey* 1) How far do you travel to school (one way)? o Less than 1 kilometre o Between 1 and 2 kilometres o Between 2 and 5 kilometres o Over 5 kilometres 2) How do you travel to school (travel mode)? o Walking o Cycling o Car (as a driver) o Car (as a passenger) o Car pooling / ride sharing o Public transport o Other: 3) What would be your preferred way to travel to school? o Walking o Cycling o Car (as a driver) o Car (as a passenger) o Car pooling / ride sharing o Public transport o Other: 4) If you do not already do so, what would encourage you to cycle to work? o Secure cycle storage o Owning a bike/use of a bike (sharing, hiring, etc.) o Shower facilities Page 23 of 25

24 o Being more confident riding on the road o Incentives to cycle o Other: 5) If you do not already do so, would you take public transport to work? o Yes o Possibly o No 6) If you drive to work, would you consider joining a car pooling / ride sharing scheme? o Yes o Possibly o No 7) Do you have any other ideas to improve the sustainability of your travel to school? o Yes o Possibly o No 8) Your school is working to make the journey to and from school safer and more sustainable. Would you consider joining the School Travel Plan Working Group? o Yes o Possibly o No Thank you for completing this questionnaire * Include the results of the Staff Travel behaviour survey in the online Activity plan. Page 24 of 25

25 Deliverable No. 2.4 Title Accreditation guidance for STARS SCHOOLS - Primary Schools Work Package WP2: Development and Knowledge transfer Author(s) Mobiel 21 Province of Noord Brabant Status (D: draft; F: final) F Date December 2015 Revision History / Page 25 of 25

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