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Walk to School Week – 21st – 25th May

Published on 19/04/18

When I think back to my time at school, one of the standard parts of almost every day from reception to sixth form was walking there in the morning and home in the evening. I remember walking firstly with my Dad when I was too little to go on my own and then, as I got older, either by myself or with friends.  

Whilst for many of us, walking to school used to be a staple part of our school day, research has shown that in today’s society, this mode of travel has taken a downturn.  

The National Travel survey by the Department for Transport, commissioned in September 2016 revealed that whereas during the 1970s, 70% of primary school children walked to school, recent results put this number at only around 51%1.  

Walking to school unaccompanied has also decreased, with a 2013 study highlighting that only 25% of pupils walk to school on their own, compared with 86% of pupils in 1971.2 When adults were asked why they chose to accompany their child (aged 7 – 13) for either all of the journey, or some of it, the most common reasons cited in 2016 were ‘traffic danger’ (61%) and ‘fear of assault/molestation’ (34%)3. Shockingly, another 2013 study also showed that 1 in 4 parents would not consider walking their child to school and would automatically think about getting in the car instead. 4

To combat this thought process and to help reverse the walking decline, a UK charity called Living Streets are working hard to energise and empower children and parents to make walking to school the natural choice.

As part of this campaign, they hold Walk to School Week annually each May which aims to get pupils out and about, walking to and from school. This year, the country-wide celebration is being held between the 21st – 25th May and both parents and pupils are encouraged to leave the car at home and hit the pavements instead.

To help boost the walking figures during this week and motivate pupils and parents to participate, Living Streets have come up with three challenges that schools could take part in;

  • Happy Shoesday – Wear your ‘happy shoes’ to work or school on the 22nd May and donate £1 to the Living Streets campaign.
  • Free Your Feet – secondary school students are invited to complete details of their walking habits during the week and then submit their information for the chance to win a £50 voucher.
  • The Five Day Walking Challenge – aimed at primary school teachers and designed to boost primary school walking activity during the week.

Will your school be doing anything for walk to school week? We’d love to hear what you’re up to, so please do tweet us @e4education and let us know how you get on.

And if you’re an existing e4education customer, don’t forget that you can use the school calendar and/or latest news functionality available on your website to remind your parents and pupils that you have an event coming up! If you need any help setting up either of these; please don’t hesitate to contact our lovely Support Team on 03453 191 039 – option 1 who will be more than happy to assist you.

Resources: 

1 https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/633077/national-travel-survey-2016.pdf

2 https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/only-25-per-cent-of-children-walk-to-school-alone-compared-to-86-per-cent-in-1971-what-went-wrong-8452266.html

3 https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/nts06-age-gender-and-modal-breakdown#table-nts0617

4 http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-22570898

Katie Sixsmith

Katie is the Production Team Supervisor and Resident Blog Writer here at e4education. She graduated from the Open University in 2016 with a 2:1 in English Language and Literature.