Term 5 ended on a high for the Post 16 students of Laleham Gap School in Ramsgate. On the last day of term two of the panel of judges from the Young Travel Ambassadors Scheme came in to give their assessment on a bid made by the students.
Laleham Gap students had done a survey of students, identified potential travel improvements and bid for the maximum £250 to “Transform Thanet Travel.”
The funds requested are to develop bike maintenance among students, increase bike skills and bike and road safety education.
The judges, Lorna Smith and Jo Lazenby , Safer Road User Officers, said the Laleham Gap bid was the best they had seen and head and shoulders above others. It was so good they would award the students the maximum £250 and a further £50 on top to carry out their plans.
Lorna Smith said: “The students should be so impressed with what they have achieved. It was a really amazing bid.”
The Young Travel Ambassadors Officers were so blown away that they intend to use the Laleham Gap bid nationally as an exemplar of excellence.
Teacher Paul Ursell said: “I’m really proud of my students. They have come such a long way. At the start of the year we had some students who couldn’t cycle. By the end of the year they all can, they have completed a Young Drivers course, a Bikeability course, can hand signal and they have cycled to the local shopping centre and back. And now they have gone on to make a plan to improve travel for others that has been praised as the best!
“My students have gone from Travel Trainees to Travel Trailblazers.”
Mr Ursell explained that ‘travel training’ is one core part of the Laleham Gap Post 16 curriculum.
He said: “We want our students to be as independent as possible and getting around, cycling and negotiating roads, is an important part of this. It is liberating for my students.”
The award means Post 16 at Laleham has just booked a bike maintenance expert to come in regularly to teach students, starting from June.