This research was qualitative and involved
several phases of fieldwork. Our overall approach to the study involved:
permission from Directors of Education;
interviews with Road Safety Units in Scotland;
schools that had used Your Call;
- interviews with
teachers in ten schools;
- focus groups
with pupils in the same ten schools;
- interviews with
national stakeholders; and
Rationale for qualitative research
2.2 Road Safety Scotland was clear that it wanted to obtain in
depth information about the ways in which Your Call has been used in secondary
schools. A qualitative approach was adopted, to gather this in-depth
information and to explore perspectives, attitudes, behaviours and experiences.
2.3 This study adopted a case study approach, focusing on
exploring the perspectives of different stakeholders in ten schools across
Scotland. This approach allows comparison of the views and experiences of
different individuals at the same school - including pupils, teachers, and Road
Safety Officers. It also provides a detailed picture of experiences, allowing
development of a rich story of the school's experience in relation to Your
2.4 Different schools across Scotland will use Your Call in
different ways, and this research was only able to explore a small number of
experiences. Although the research was designed to include a range of schools
with different experiences, the findings may not necessarily be transferable.
specific research questions and our approach are included as Table A1 in
Obtaining permission from Directors of Education
2.6 Our approach involved speaking with young people in a
secondary school setting. The Scottish Government has protocols in place for
research involving schools. This involves obtaining consent from the local
authority Director of Education, and then the relevant head
2.7 At the start of the research, Road Safety Scotland contacted
all Directors of Education across Scotland, informing them of the research and
seeking their permission to undertake research with pupils in secondary schools
in their area.
Interviews with Road
2.8 Road Safety Units (RSUs) across Scotland have responsibility
for promoting awareness of road safety issues with the public, and specifically
with primary and secondary school pupils. We conducted a semi-structured
telephone interview with 20 Road Safety Officers, with a remit covering 25
local authority areas across Scotland. The local authority areas covered by
these interviews are included in Table A2 at Appendix six.
2.9 The discussions with
Road Safety Officers informed our selection of case study schools as they were
able to recommend schools that were currently, or had been recently using Your
Call. A copy of the discussion guide is included as Appendix one.
Identifying schools that had used Your Call
2.10 Our approach involved an in-depth examination of how the case
study schools had used Your Call and their views on the resource, through
speaking to teachers, and pupils.
2.11 We deliberately selected schools which provided:
- a mix of rural
and urban areas (based on the Scottish Government's classification);
- a mix of levels
of deprivation (based on the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation);
- a geographical
spread across Scotland;
- a mix of levels
of ethnic minority pupils;
- different levels
of use of the resource; and
- different year
groups using the resource.
selected ten case study schools within nine local authority areas. This
included one school for pupils with Additional Support Needs. Our sampling
matrix can be found in Table A3 at Appendix six.
permissions from individual schools in the case study
2.13 A dedicated member of the research team contacted each of the
schools to ask for permission to include the school as a case study. We
liaised with the head teacher to agree whether the school would participate,
and whether parental consent was necessary. Because all of our focus group
discussions took place during school time, all the head teachers advised that
parental consent was not required for this particular research. Once permission
had been obtained, we liaised with the relevant member of staff – usually
the guidance teacher to arrange a suitable date and time to come to the school
to meet with the teacher and pupils.
2.14 At this stage, it became clear that while Road Safety Officers
believed Your Call was being used in schools; in reality, this was not always
2.15 In total, we contacted 31 schools in 19 local authority areas
in order to identify ten schools that were using the resource and willing to
participate in the research.
The final school
Final school selection
2.16 The final school selection provided a good mix of different
situations in which the Your Call resource was used, in terms of location,
level of deprivation, use of the resource and the age range it was used with.
2.17 At each of the ten case study schools, we held a face-to-face
interview with the teaching staff involved in delivering road safety education,
and using Your Call. This was typically a guidance teacher with responsibility
for the pupil year group we met with.
2.18 A copy of the discussion guide used with teachers is included
as Appendix Two.
2.19 We held a total of twelve focus groups with young people at ten
schools, plus one paired interview. Two focus groups were held within one
school which was keen for two classes of S4 pupils to participate. We also
conducted a paired interview with two S4 pupils at another school where the
researcher had undertaken the planned focus group discussion with the S1
class. This school requested that the researcher speak to the two S4 pupils
who were keen to share their views of Your Call.
2.20 In another school, we conducted two focus groups with pupils.
This school had used an innovative method for delivering the resource. Sixth
year pupils volunteered to deliver the Your Call resource to the S1 pupils as
part of a Peer Support programme. We conducted a focus group with S1s who had
received the Your Call resource, and with S6 pupils who had delivered it. A
total of 115 pupils were involved in the study.
2.21 The groups were designed specifically to be conducted during
one class period and lasted approximately 45-50 minutes. Therefore it was not
possible to discuss all the elements of the Your Call activities at every
group. We explored the elements of the toolkit each class had used. For
example, all the young people involved in the research had seen the DVD, and
this was explored in all groups.
2.22 Initially, we aimed to involve a mix of young people from S1 to
S3 in the research. In discussion with teachers it became evident that the
resource was more frequently used with S1 and S2 pupils. Therefore the
majority of the focus groups took place with the younger age groups.
2.23 However, in one school, the resource had been used exclusively
by S4. This school had not received any training on the use of the resource, nor
did they have a full copy of the toolkit – just a copy of the DVD. The
teacher at this school indicated that they found it a useful introduction to
the 'Safe Drive, Stay Alive' road-show and that it fitted with their topic of
'personal safety' within their PSE curriculum. The school did not use Crash
Magnets or any other road safety resource.
2.24 Despite our request for a small focus group discussion with up
to ten pupils, when our researcher arrived at the school, we were unexpectedly
presented with two large groups of S4 pupils. This means that almost a third
of our participants have come from S4 – despite the resource being aimed
at S1 to S3 pupils. S4 pupils did not always find the resource credible, as it
was not aimed at their age group. This will be discussed in more detail in
2.25 The table below shows the breakdown of participants for each
case study school and then by year group.
Table 2.2: Profile of focus group participants
|| Year group breakdown
|| Age Range
|| Number of participants
|| Number of groups
|| Year group
|| Number of participants
||S1, S2, S3
||1 + paired int
2.26 A copy of the discussion guide used with pupils is included at
Interviews with national
2.27 We contacted one
representative each from Road Safety Scotland, Education Scotland and HMIE to
take part in an interview to gather their views. We met face-to-face with the
representative from Road Safety Scotland, and conducted a telephone interview with
the representative from Education Scotland. Due to recent restructuring, HMIE
has become part of Education Scotland and so we did not conduct a separate
interview with HMIE – instead this was covered by the representative from
Education Scotland. Their views are incorporated into this report where
Analysis and reporting
2.28 The facilitator acted as a scribe at each of the interviews and
focus groups. None of the groups were audio recorded. Our experience of
working with young people has taught us that often they can become intimidated
by audio recording equipment, and so we took written notes to ensure the young
people were comfortable to participate.
2.29 Following each interview and group the facilitator typed these
notes up, complete with verbatim quotes. One senior member of staff
responsible for the research then analysed all the notes using manual thematic
coding. This was done through reviewing all of the qualitative information
gathered and sorting it under emerging themes. Similar themes were coded in
the same way, allowing us to see what themes were emerging, and how often.
Case studies were produced for each of the schools, detailing their use, and
views of the toolkit. These have been anonymised and are included as Appendix Five.
2.30 The following chapters present the key
findings from the focus group discussions with pupils, as well as the
interviews with teachers, Road Safety Officers and National Stakeholders.
Verbatim comments are included to illustrate key points. Where appropriate, we
have highlighted variations in findings based on the age, and/or location of
the school. Given
this was a relatively small scale qualitative study;
these should be used with