Primary school in Cannock receives award for raising awareness of air pollution

A primary school in Cannock has won national recognition for its work in promoting greener travel and combatting air pollution outside school.

Heath Hayes Primary Academy was handed the Regional School Travel Awards after work with Staffordshire County Council's active travel team.

It received the award for primary schools whilst St Edwards C of E Academy, based in Leek, claimed the regional accolade for secondary schools.

Both schools are involved with the council's Air Aware Project to raise awareness of air pollution and to help encourage more sustainable journeys.

Pupils and staff at Heath Hayes Primary Academy have been working hard to implement a school travel plan to make the journey to school less polluting.

And the Wimblebury Road-based academy have installed additional scooter and cycle storage and introduced a park and stride scheme. An anti-idling initiative encouraging drivers to switch off their engines when parked up outside the school has also helped reduce air pollution.

Headteacher Amy Fidler said: "We are extremely proud to have won this award for the second year in a row. We are working very hard with the support of our School Travel Advisor to encourage parents to make better choices on their journey to school. The health and well-being of our children is very important to us and we see this as a key part of that."

At St. Edwards Middle School, they have introduced more cycle and scooter storage and engaged with parents and pupils to raise awareness of air pollution and encourage sustainable travel on the journey to and from school.

Councillor David Williams, cabinet Member for highways and transport at Staffordshire County Council, added: "Air pollution is an issue that affects everyone, but as we can see from the amazing work done by the pupils at the schools, it’s something we can all help to reduce. Winning the awards is great news and the pupils should be very proud of their achievements.

"Most air pollution comes from vehicles on our most congested main roads and outside schools, which is why we are focusing on working with schools in the worst affected areas to raise awareness amongst parents and help them choose a more sustainable and less polluting mode of transport."

People can find out more about the small actions they can take to help reduce air pollution at airaware.doingourbit.info

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