NOTTING Hill and Ealing High School is celebrating receiving a Gold TfL STARS award.

It is now among the top 10% of London schools that have fulfilled the criteria of transforming travel habits, leading to a measurable reduction in the number of journeys made by car every day.

In addition, Bella Henry, the school’s facilities manager, was nominated in the Top Influencer category by Ealing Council for her work in helping the school qualify for the award.

In 2018-19, the school trialled the use of minibuses to transport pupils between school and central London and reduce the number of journeys made by private cars.

A 25-seater minibus soon had to be replaced by a 50-seater coach due to the high demand for places.

In September 2020, the school conducted a survey to determine the level of interest for an additional bus route, from south-west London.

Again, a 25-seater minibus was increased to 50-seater coach with another minibus providing transport for girls living in the Harrow area.

Very few girls travelled by bus prior to the introduction of this initiative.

Survey data for 2012-13 shows 527 (55%) of pupils travelled by car and 97 (10%) travelled by bus. Now, only 249 (28%) travel by car and 146 (16%) by bus.

Mrs Henry said: “Eco reps from Years 10 to 13 and students across the school have all contributed to the activities that helped us to gain the award.”

Eco reps are planning an assembly on sustainable travel methods, a survey to parents on how they get to school, a newsletter on car sharing and a scavenger hunt for pupils walking to school, to encourage more to come on foot.