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Northamptonshire County Council shortlisted for national Bikeability award!

Northamptonshire County Council have made it onto the shortlist for Bikeability 'Local Authority Partner of the Year' with the awards ceremony taking place during the TABS 2018 Bikeability conference

Northamptonshire County Council are proud supporters of Bikeability training and are proactive in supporting the aim of getting more people cycling, more safely, more often.

Over the years, the commissioning local authority have contributed significantly to the year on year increases in Bikeability training participation throughout the county together with their delivery partner, Outspoken Training. Specifically, the council have raised the profile of Bikeability training amongst, schools, pupils, parents/guardians and local residents through:

  • Using their Cycle Northants brand and activities to continuously promote Bikeability training coordinated by their Cycling Officer.
  • Utalising Bikeability instructors to promote Bikeability training at their cycling summer festivals. The council run around 15 cycling events per year, all supported by local instructors who are given the platform to promote cycle training in schools.
  • Rewarding schools for participating in Bikeability training through their Road Safety Heroes programme.
  • Promoting the success of Bikeability training in Northamptonshire through their social media feeds. Their Cycle Northants channels always engage schools and repost success stories.

 

In 2016, with the demand for receiving Bikeability Level 2 training exceeding the grant funding received, the council were keen to work with Outspoken Training to find a solution. The aim was to guarantee that any pupils wishing to receive Level 2 could participate without the need to reallocate funding from other Bikeability services such as the Bikeability Plus modules.

Following discussions, it was decided that the best option would be to ask schools for a contribution towards the cost of training. This would allow the council to claim less per place from the Department for Transport, enabling Northamptonshire County Council to stretch the funding they had received further. The decision was made to try and implement this in time for the beginning of the 2017-18 academic year where the increase in Sports Premium funding would be introduced. This would give schools the option of either utalising this funding or charging parents to fund their contribution towards Bikeability training.

Following higher management approval within the council and Outspoken Training investigating the best way to administrate the collection of contributions, a decision was to made to proceed with asking schools for contributions from September 2017.

The results of asking schools for contributions were fantastic with an additional 260 Level 2 places delivered over the initial number of grant funding places received. An additional 5 schools who never received training in the past, also receiving training for the first time. An average feedback score of 9.6/10 from the previous financial year was also maintained across the 2017-18 financial year demonstrating how successful the introduction of contributions had been.

Moving into the 2018-19 financial year, it is anticipated that the contributions will enable an additional 769 pupils (30+ schools) to receive Level 2 funding, who previously would have missed out due to lack of funding. 

Fingers crossed that Northamptonshire County Council receive extra recognition for their work enabling as many children as possible to receive Bikeability training!

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