Gleniffer High School

Pedal power in this Paisley school.

No cycling at school

Gleniffer High School has over 1,000 pupils and is based in an area of high deprivation in Paisley. Before engaging with Cycling Scotland, there was no cycling taking place apart from one or two staff, no pupils, and one outdated bike shed at the front of the school.

Cycling Friendly funding

The school had already started their journey towards Cycling Friendly accreditation when they applied for the development fund in 2018, being awarded £3,750 which allowed them to purchase bikes and run a variety of training and extra-curricular activities. This has been matched through the school’s funds, including pupil equity funding (PEF) to achieve a greater reach of the cycling offering.

The impact

In the summer months, there was a noticeable increase in the number of pupils cycling to school. The purchase of 25 pool bikes has provided access to bikes to those without, and the schools has run a number of Dr Bike sessions through Kibble Works and Custom Cruisers, which has allowed pupils with old bikes to get them back in working order at no cost. There are up to 30 pupils that take up the after-school cycling club, and it has helped disengaged pupils access opportunities that they wouldn’t have otherwise.

As well as providing access to bikes, the fund has helped provide opportunities to disengaged pupils with opportunities to qualifications, such as the John Muir Award and Cycle Led Ride training.

"A huge increase in engagement with hard-to-reach young people"

Chris Mollins, Inclusion Officer at Gleniffer High School, describes the impact that their cycling curriculum is having: “the fund has enabled us to support young people without the means to go out and buy a bike. There has been a huge increase in engagement with hard-to-reach young people. When we started our curriculum, some pupils were only coming in on ‘bike days’- but since then we have seen an increase in attendance. The alternative curriculum is structured around cycling, and we offer Cycling Qualification Level 3, Duke of Edinburgh & John Muir Award. We have also created a logo for our own bike award, to be offered to pupils who show basic awareness of road safety, M checks, and pupils who constantly achieve something through cycling.”

Gleniffer High School received the Cycling Friendly award in May 2019, and they have been sharing the success stories to other schools, such as Paisley Grammar, to give advice on how to run similar projects.

You can find out more about becoming a Cycling Friendly Secondary School here.