Bobby McHale, A teenager waiting to receive his GCSE results, was surprised to learn he had been awarded a certificate – for getting the bus. The 15 year-old was posted the award, titled "Using Public Transport (Unit 1)", by AQA, the exam board.
He was one of 920 11 to 15-year-olds on the council run Bury and Rochdale Activity Generation outdoor activities scheme, with about 300 getting a certificate. The award recognises Bobby's ability to walk to the local bus stop, stand or sit at a bus stop, wait for the arrival of a public bus and sit on the bus and observe through the windows.
Bobby, from Bury, Greater Manchester, who was not even aware he had sat the test, got the certificate in the post this summer after attending a three week holiday scheme run by Bury Youth Services. Some of his friends also received the qualification, although others, including his younger brother Joe, 13, did not. "Maybe he wasn't up to it," said Bobby. "It just seems really silly to me."
His father Andy, 44, said: "To be honest we are all a little bemused. "The Bury Youth Scheme is excellent and I can only suppose this comes from some box they have to tick in order to get funding.
"As part of it Bobby certainly travelled by bus. Maybe it's boosted his confidence because he was nominated as head boy. We think he may go far ... so long as he gets the 135!"
Barbara Lewis, Youth Support Services Manager in Bury, said: "The idea is that it's about teaching young people self reliance and emotional wellbeing through fun and challenging activities. We try to reward young people for their achievements and their social and personal development."