Norwich school gets an eco-hero

PUBLISHED: 07:35 18 May 2010 | UPDATED: 16:34 01 July 2010

Natalie Halsall.

Natalie Halsall.

Norwich's newest academy has drafted in an "eco hero" to help it out after bureaucratic rules left it labelled as the only school in Norfolk without a travel plan for its pupils.

Norwich's newest academy has drafted in an “eco hero” to help it out after bureaucratic rules left it labelled as the only school in Norfolk without a travel plan for its pupils.

City Academy Norwich (CAN) was named this week as the only one of the county's 450-plus state and independent schools to not have a plan to improve travel safety for its pupils.

The academy's predecessor school, Earlham High on Earlham Road, did have a comprehensive school travel plan. But the rules require that all “new” schools have a new plan, drawn up from scratch.

Now CAN has drafted in Natalie Halsall, who was named Eco Hero at the second Norwich Eco Awards, organised by Norwich City Council and the Evening News, earlier this year.

Miss Halsall, 29, is working with CAN to draw up a new travel plan as part of the lead up to the move into its new, £21.4m complex in September 2012.

As Norwich City College's travel plan co-ordinator, she has the perfect pedigree for the role, having helped hundreds of students get to and from the college safely and sustainably.

The link has come about because the college is the lead sponsor of CAN.

The academy was named as the only school to not have a travel plan in the agenda for Thursday's Norfolk County Council children's services overview and scrutiny panel.

Mark Ogden, travel plan officer for the county council, said: “City Academy Norwich has replaced Earlham High School and therefore requires its own travel plan.

“We have been working with the academy to try to ensure a travel plan is in place as this will be needed as part of the planning application process for the new building.”

A CAN spokesman said: “City Academy Norwich does have a travel plan in place, which was inherited from the predecessor school, Earlham High.

“A revised travel plan will be produced, in consultation with students, parents and staff, as part of the preparations for the new building into which the academy intends to move in 2012.”

Miss Halsall, a former Notre Dame High School student, has set up an internal college website which holds information on public transport options for students and staff. She has also started projects to raise green awareness across the college, including a competition where students from the school of foundation studies designed a green travel poster which was displayed on First buses across the region.

t Do you know an “eco hero” in your community? Call Steve Downes on 01603 772495 or email

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