3. Launch and Promotion of Your Call
3. Launch and Promotion of Your Call
3.1 This chapter explores the development and launch of Your Call and how it has since been promoted.
Launch of Your Call
The role of Road Safety Scotland
3.2 Your Call was commissioned and developed by a team at Road Safety Scotland in 2008. The team included a former teacher who was seconded from City of Edinburgh Council to help with the development of the materials.
3.3 The resource was officially launched at a high school in Edinburgh in April 2009. The audience for this event was a mix of invited professionals, school pupils and staff. Also present were Road Safety Officers and representatives from the Scottish Government and Road Safety Scotland.
3.4 Road Safety Scotland held a series of four Continuing Professional Development (CPD) training sessions in February 2009 to raise awareness of the new resource. These sessions were aimed at Road Safety Officers although others did attend from other related professions such as Fire and Rescue and members of RoSPA. These sessions were facilitated by a former teacher and were part of a wider programme of events. Fourteen of the twenty Road Safety Officers we interviewed had attended a training session and all reported that this was a positive experience as they were able to see the toolkit being used and participate in the activities themselves. This in turn made it easier for Road Safety Officers to introduce Your Call to their schools, having used the resource themselves.
3.5 During the sessions, participants were introduced to the Your Call toolkit and its contents. The training emphasised the need to be familiar with the different elements of the resource; the idea being that the Road Safety Officers could then effectively train teachers how to deliver the toolkit in the classroom. The flexibility of the toolkit was highlighted; allowing it to be delivered in a more interactive and engaging way. Participants also had the chance to use the resource themselves in order to become familiar with it.
The role of Road Safety Units
3.6 The resource was distributed to every Road Safety Unit across Scotland in May 2009. Road Safety Units were asked what their preferred distribution method of the resource to schools would be. Most wanted to receive the packs directly, so they could personally deliver them to their schools. A minority of packs were distributed directly to schools from the supplier. Each Road Safety Officer received a pack for their own training purposes, and each school was to receive one pack for every 1,000 pupils.
3.7 Our interviews with Road Safety Officers found that each Road Safety Unit took a slightly different approach to distributing and raising awareness of Your Call. The majority of Road Safety Officers interviewed said they had either visited schools individually to deliver the resource, or held a central training event for schools in their area.
Central training event
3.8 Four Road Safety Officers reported that their Road Safety Unit had invited teachers to attend an in-service training day where the resource was introduced and presented to staff. In some cases Road Safety Scotland had provided Road Safety Officers with PowerPoint materials to help introduce the resource, and then used exercises to support teachers to work through Your Call and test the different ways of using it.
3.9 At the end of these sessions, teachers were able to take away their own copy of Your Call and disseminate the learning at their own schools. Road Safety Officers indicated that generally, the majority of schools in their area were able to attend, but where schools were absent, these were followed up with individual training sessions afterwards.
Individual support for schools
3.10 Over half of the Road Safety Officers (twelve) we spoke to had contacted their secondary schools individually and arranged appointments to meet with the relevant guidance staff. Typically the Road Safety Officer sought to meet with the whole guidance staff, but sometimes this was not possible and only one or two staff could attend. A short CPD session took place where the Road Safety Officer showed the schools how to use the pack, and gave demonstrations of the activities. Packs were left with the schools with requests that if further information or training was required, schools were to contact the Road Safety Officer.
3.11 In three local authority areas, the Road Safety Officer had also delivered one PSE lesson using Your Call to pupils. Teachers were present during this session to observe the pack in use and to take notes on how the pupils' engaged with it. Some schools expressed a preference for the resource to be delivered by Road Safety Officers. We found that in Glasgow, the Road Safety Officers continued to deliver the resource where possible, but for many Road Safety Officers, changes in their remit or a reduction in staffing levels meant that this was not possible.
Delivery with reactive support
3.12 One Road Safety Unit reported that it had posted the packs out to local schools, with a covering letter explaining the nature and purpose of the pack. The letters contained a request for schools to contact the Road Safety Officer if they had any queries about the delivery of the resource. Two other Road Safety Units had used a combination of posting the packs and hand delivering them. These three Road Safety Units covered a large geography or had dispersed communities where schools could not easily be accessed to deliver face to face training to guidance staff.
3.13 Four Road Safety Units had hand delivered the packs to schools, with a covering letter for the attention of the guidance staff. These Road Safety Officers had not met with the staff directly to explain the research; but had left the packs with the school office. The letter encouraged schools to get in touch if they needed any further assistance.
Extent of distribution
3.14 Our discussions with Road Safety Officers found that Your Call was distributed to all mainstream secondary schools in their areas. But we found that the resource was not always distributed to schools for pupils with additional support needs. Four Road Safety Officers were able to say with certainty that special schools in their area received the resource, but none were able to comment on whether the resource had subsequently been used. Road Safety Officers were not able to say whether there were any other bodies that had used the resource, such as outreach centres, youth groups or fire services. In East Dunbartonshire, the Fire Service had been alerted to the content of Your Call in the hope that it could be incorporated or referred to in the Fire Service's own road safety programme, Cut It Out.
3.15 Similarly, Your Call had not always been distributed to local colleges. Some Road Safety Officers reported that they did not think the content was appropriate. One college in East Ayrshire had been using Your Call with new students (aged 16+) as part of an introductory course to student life. This was on the understanding that these students may not have undertaken road safety activities at school.
3.16 We also conducted an interview with a representative from Education Scotland. This representative had responsibility for the curriculum in secondary schools – but was unaware of Your Call before our contact for this fieldwork drew their attention. This representative was able to review the resource through the Road Safety Scotland website, but had concerns that Your Call had managed to 'go under the radar'.
"If I haven't heard of it – then I think there's a problem."
Training for the case study schools
3.17 Teachers at six case study schools had received training on the use of Your Call. There was positive feedback, with all the teachers stating that this was worthwhile. One case study school had contacted their Road Safety Unit for a follow-up session, and one other school had undertaken a refresher course more recently.
3.18 Four teachers at our case study schools indicated that they had not received any training on Your Call. In two of these schools, the staff we spoke to were new in post and had therefore not been around to receive the one-to-one training offered by the Road Safety Officers at the time the resource was launched. In one other of these schools, the resource was posted to the school by the Road Safety Officer. The teacher here suggested that training would have been helpful. In the fourth school, we were unable to speak to the Road Safety Unit and so are unable to say whether training was offered to this school.
3.19 In one of our case study schools, the teacher did not have the full toolkit pack. This teacher only had a copy of Donnie's Story on DVD and a photo copy of the teacher notes. The teacher had never seen any of the activity cards or exercises. The teacher commented that although she had not received any training, she did not think it was necessary. This could be explained by the lack of materials in her possession.
3.20 Another school, which received no training, had not been aware that there was a second DVD. This school reportedly had one copy of the pack, which had been reproduced electronically on the school's internal system so that there was no need for staff to share, or photocopy the resource. This teacher was not aware that there was a second set of materials for use with an older age group. This school used the resource with S1 only.
Ongoing promotion of Your Call
3.21 Our research has found that the extent of promotion of the Your Call resource since its launch in 2009 has varied between Road Safety Units. The majority have not had any ongoing contact with schools since its initial launch and were not able to say with any certainty whether the resource was being used in their secondary schools. A small number of Road Safety Units have maintained contact with their schools since the initial distribution of the resource:
- Every year since its launch, Your Call has been advertised in the East Dunbartonshire Road Safety Unit newsletter for teachers.
- Road Safety Officers in Highland took the resource to a local children's seminar to showcase.
- In East Lothian the resource was taken along to a school fair to publicise it to teachers.
- Every year since its launch, the Road Safety Unit in South Lanarkshire has promoted Your Call in its Education Newsletter for teachers.
3.22 Often, Road Safety Units took a reactive approach, providing Your Call to the schools and offering to follow up with any requests for additional support. Two schools are recorded as requesting additional support across all twenty-four local authorities that we spoke to. For most Road Safety Officers, following the initial distribution of the resource, there had not been any follow up contact with the school, and so few Road Safety Officers were able to say with certainty which schools were using the resource. Others had undertaken the following:
- In Highland, an email was sent to all 29 schools six months after the initial launch asking schools how they were getting on with the resource and to give the schools an opportunity to request further assistance. No schools requested further help.
- In Fife, a reduction in the number of Road Safety Officers prompted an offer of a 'refresher' course in Your Call and Crash Magnets. Four of the nineteen secondary schools in the area accepted the refresher training.
- This review prompted the Road Safety Unit in East Ayrshire to email all the schools in the area to find out who was still using the resource. One school confirmed their use of Your Call.
- In Orkney, one school contacted the Road Safety Officer to clarify whether some parts of the resource were missing; the teacher had not realised there was a second layer of materials in the case.
3.23 Road Safety Officers indicated that they had not been as proactive as they could have been at promoting Your Call. They quoted reduced resources and increased workloads as part of the reason they were unable to maintain a dialogue with schools about the use of Your Call.
"The difficulties for Road Safety Officers is that they are overstretched and do not have the time to promote the resource as they would like to."
Road Safety Officer
3.24 Education Scotland noted that there were also increasing pressures on the curriculum, making it difficult for resources to be given sufficient time in school.
"Schools are tied up; it is difficult to get anything into the curriculum."
3.25 Education Scotland commented on the 'toolkit' idea which was viewed with caution, as it was felt that a toolkit did not help to keep materials fresh and new. It was felt that more should be done to 'heighten curiosity' about the resource, so that when it is available – people want to receive a copy. Education Scotland are trying this tactic with some of their new materials, which are advertised in such a way as to generate interest, so that when the materials are released; schools approach Education Scotland looking to be involved.
"You have to entice them into it, and they come to us looking for materials and we say 'you can have it, but you need to take part in the training first' – this is the antithesis of a toolkit, which is posted out and then you hope for the best."
3.26 Road Safety Scotland provided four training sessions for Road Safety Officers when Your Call was launched. The Road Safety Officers consulted as part of this research were very positive about this training.
3.27 Road Safety Officers were confident that all mainstream secondary schools in their area had at least one copy of Your Call. This research found that Your Call was not always delivered to schools for pupils with additional support needs. Four Road Safety Officers were able to say with certainty that schools for pupils with additional support needs in their area received the resource, but none were able to comment on whether the resource had subsequently been used. The resource was also not always delivered to colleges, with some Road Safety Officers stating they did not think the content was appropriate.
3.28 Four Road Safety Units out of a total of twenty that we spoke to had held a central training day for schools in their area on Your Call.
3.29 The majority of the Road Safety Officers we spoke to had contacted their secondary schools individually and arranged appointments to meet with, and provide training to, the relevant guidance staff.
3.30 Teachers at six case study schools had received training on the use of Your Call. There was positive feedback, with all the teachers stating that this was worthwhile.
3.31 The majority of Road Safety Units have not had any ongoing contact with schools since its initial launch and were not able to say with any certainty whether the resource was being used in secondary schools in their areas. Road Safety Officers stated they had not been as proactive as they would have liked.