Q&A with Richard Brent, bursar at St Faith’s School, an independent prep school in Cambridge. They implemented HomeRun in July 2022.
Photo: Tatler By Pandis Nglasberg
What kind of school is St Faith's?
We’re a day school in Cambridge, with ages 4 to 13. We don't have a traditional recruitment zone: the furthest are 30 or 40 miles away, the closest around the corner.
Because we go from rather young to a bit older, we have both the independent traveller and the younger, rather dependent traveller. And in terms of our teaching staff, some come by train, some bicycle, some walk, some by car.
We're very conscious of the growth of Cambridge and the Greater Cambridge Partnership (GCP) and want to make sure that we support that. GCP is a council-led initiative which has created an opportunity to be strategic about the transport infrastructure in Cambridge. It’s about trying to reduce the number of car journeys and encourage more use of public transport, cycling and walking. Funding for it will come from things like congestion charges.
What led you to adopt HomeRun?
HomeRun struck us as something which was going to help us get further, faster. It gives us a way to connect reliably with our parent community by giving them an incentive for doing it. It isn’t just about carpooling, people can bike share, bike together, walk together, connect with people close to them, and it’s GDP compliant. Traditionally people would car share with children in their class, but it doesn't have to be just that. It may well be that we can use the year 8 prefect to take the younger year 4 child. It’s a nice buddy type thing.
We also have a travel directory on the app, which presents what travel options are available based on your location. If, for example, we know there's going to be roadworks, we can put something in about that. And we can have comments, replies - we can have a lively debate.
How engaged is the school so far?
We've already got 68% staff and 72% parent engagement. That’s given us very good data about where people live, how they travel, who's open to doing things differently. We've connected that data with a travel consultant who's helping us, and she really loves that we've got good quality, reliable information.
“It isn’t just about carpooling; people can bike share, bike together, walk together, the year 8 prefect can take the year 4 child.” Richard Brent, Bursar