Oakleigh State School at Ashgrove joined the AST program in 2012 with 33% of its students actively travelling to school. After working with the AST team for a year, they increased that percentage to 56% and also won the School of the Year award in 2012. This significant 21% increasing students actively travelling to school is most likely attributed to the two walking school buses that are still going strong today. The buses are led by the school Principal Grant Baker, Deputy Brian Marsden and the tireless parent volunteers.
Some of the positive changes the school has experienced since implementing AST are the improved energy levels of students as they enter class and the carnival atmosphere before school every Thursday (their active travel day). The walking school bus leaders have also noticed positive community engagement as a definite benefit.
Some challenges they’ve faced are teachers returning their weekly surveys on time, and coming up with new ideas to keep the program fresh and interesting for families and students. Sustainability has been achieved by maintaining regular AST committee meetings and adjusting the program to respond to other school based programs to help maintain a sense of vitality and importance over time.