Students at the University of Reading who take part in the successful Students in Schools scheme will benefit from free travel in a new partnership arrangement with Reading Buses.
From January 16 all eligible students taking part in the scheme will be offered two free day tickets and provided with specific route and journey information by Reading Buses to help them with visits to their allocated school.
Gemma Redson, Business Development Manager at Reading Buses, said today: “We are very happy to be able to support this fantastic cause as well as show students, many of whom are new to the area, just how comprehensive our network is and how easy the app makes it to travel around Reading.
“As students will be making often new or unfamiliar journeys to their allocated school, this is a great way to encourage travel on public transport and make the scheme accessible to as many students as possible.
“Once training has been completed and students have been allocated to a school, they will receive their free tickets via the mobile app where they will also be able to plan their journey, track their bus and see live departure information.”
The Students in Schools scheme is a long-standing and successful project in which university student volunteers work alongside teachers in local schools.
The aims of the scheme are to raise the schoolchildren’s awareness of higher education, their aspirations and attainment levels.
Last year saw 400 students volunteering across 45 local schools where they gave over 6,500 hours of their time. They supported virtually every subject on the curriculum and many overseas students were able to offer invaluable 1:1 language support to children with little or no English.
It is a mutually beneficial programme for everyone involved. Teachers benefit from the extra pair of hands in the classroom, schoolchildren benefit from the extra 1:1 support and University of Reading students gain valuable experience and highly transferable skills.
Judy MacDevitt, the Students in Schools Co-ordinator at the University of Reading, said: “Our students have limited free time as well as very tight budgets which makes it hard for them to get to many of the schools wanting our support.
“We are delighted that Reading Buses will be giving our students free tickets and helping to provide them with tailored travel information for their school. This will be of great help to our students and means we will be able to increase our outreach to more of Reading’s schools.”
Mary Morris, Deputy Headteacher at Prospect School, said: “The Students in Schools’ volunteers contribute a huge amount to our school. Our pupils look forward to the visits of the volunteers each week, as well as our teachers, who are also appreciative of the support.
“We realise that students need to spend valuable time and money travelling to our school, so this support from Reading Buses is very welcome and will help us get even more volunteers in the future.”
Sarah Phillips, Headteacher of Loddon Primary School, said: “We are very pleased that Reading Buses will be supporting the local community by sponsoring such a worthwhile scheme. As our school is not that close to the University campus this will be a great help to our volunteers.”
For more information about the Students in Schools scheme visit www.reading.ac.uk/sis. The Reading Buses app is available to download from your app store.