"Our common aim has been to try our best to win. It's reminded children how much fun starting the day with a scoot or cycle is and helped them to understand the importance of promoting sustainable transport. We've even had lots of parents and staff getting their bikes out to join in the fun."

St Lawrence CoE Primary, Rowhedge

FAQ's

Frequently Asked Questions

Why should my school take part? What is the benefit? The Eco Race promotes active travel (cycling, walking and scooting) to school. Cycling, walking and scooting are a fantastic way of getting to and from school, enhancing physical activity, independence and contributing to the reduction of traffic on the nearby roads. If your school suffers from congestion and/or a "parking war" outside the school-gates, then you may want to give the Eco Race a try. 

Can any school take part? As long as your school is an infant, primary or junior school in Essex, YES (but NOT if it is within the Southend or Thurrock unitary authorities).

What do we have to do to take part? You need to fill in the online registration form and press send.  

Will the school have to pay to join or for anything else? No. It is absolutely free.

Where is the catch? There is no catch. Our aim is to encourage active travel and reduce the number of cars on the road. The only catch is that each school must run the race for 3 weeks each term and must submit all completed sheets by the deadline given in order to qualify for the prizes.

Is there a lot of paperwork to do before we can take part? Not really. The only thing you need to do is to fill in and send the online registration form.

Not many of our students cycle; most of them walk or come by car. What is the point in participating if we can never win the Race? The highest score is given to those who cycle, walk or scoot so, as long as you encourage your pupils (and their parents) to finding an alternative to coming by car, your school can easily be a winner. The point of participating is mainly to promote active travel and reduce traffic around the school roads. A new score for Park & Stride was introduced in 2016 to allow for those who "have to go to school by car" to park further away (1km) and walk the rest.

We don’t have much time in our school. Does the Eco Race take much time and effort? Most schools do not have much time as they are busy with the day-to-day running of classes. The Eco Race is very low maintenance if the responsibility is left to the pupils. The most successful schools tend to leave the collecting/replacing of class-score-sheets and the counting of scores to the pupils. It is good practice and most pupils love to be put in charge. Of course it requires coordination from a member of staff, but this is by no means hard work,

Do all classes have to take part? It depends on the type of school. If you are a primary school you may want to offer the race only to the KS2 pupils, or you might want to offer it to KS1 classes too and they would be entered in the up-to KS1 category. It is up to you. However, all KS2 classes must take part – no KS2 class is allowed to opt out. In order to collect reliable data on active travel, it is always better to offer the scheme to all classes. After all, it is only for three weeks each term... Besides, the Eco Race is a fun competition and it is highly recommended that all students are allowed to take part.

Can I choose the three weeks during which to run the race? No. The dates are set and non-negotiable  (but there is flexibility in cases where Ofsted visits and/or SATs get in the way).

What if the school cannot run one of those weeks due to some unforeseen impediment? In some exceptional circumstances the date of the Eco Race can be changed and the school is allowed to run the competition during a different week. Exceptional circumstances such as school closure due to weather for example or Ofsted inspection. The school coordinator needs to contact the Eco Race officer (aba.pifferi@sustrans.org.uk or ecoraceessex@sustrans.org.uk) ASAP to explain the circumstances and to seek approval for a re-negotiation of Eco Race dates.  

Who provides the resources for the Eco Race? All the necessary class sheets, posters and other resources can be sent to you by post by the Sustrans Schools officer but it is better/easier if you download them and print them yourself. Please go to the Downloads & Recources page. 

Do we give our own prizes or do you supply them? Sustrans supply the ALL main prizes: the ones at the end of each term and the ones at the end of the year to the winning schools. Each school is responsible for providing prizes at regular intervals (decided by the school) to the winning class, but prizes can be extra playtime, house points or other non-material incentives. 

How does it work? What do we do to run the race? Please read our "How to participate" page for a more detailed explanation on how the Race works. 

When do we need to send the class sheets to the Sustrans Schools officer? ASAP . By the end of the following week is the guideline. 

Who do I send the class sheets to? Details of how to send the class-sheets, as well as email address and WhatsApp number are clearly given at the bottom of each class-sheet.