7. Key Findings and Recommendations
7. Key Findings and Recommendations
7.1 This chapter sets out our key findings and recommendations from this research.
Distribution and promotion
7.2 Your Call was distributed to schools through the network of Road Safety Units in Scotland. Each Road Safety Unit took a slightly different approach to distributing and raising awareness of Your Call. Road Safety Units have distributed the packs, provided training for teachers, and offered ongoing support on request. However, the extent of promotion and training on the Your Call resource since its initial launch has varied by Road Safety Unit. The majority of Road Safety Units have not maintained ongoing contact with schools since its initial launch, and so Road Safety Officers were unable to say with any certainty which schools in their areas were using the resource. However a small number of Road Safety Units have maintained contact with their schools since Your Call launched in 2009.
7.3 Road Safety Officers indicated that they had not been as proactive as they would have liked at promoting Your Call. Reduced resources and increased workloads were cited as reasons for being unable to maintain a dialogue with schools about the resource.
7.4 The lack of ongoing promotion in many areas has impacted on awareness of the toolkit. It is clear that although most (if not all) secondary schools did receive a copy of Your Call when it was launched; some current teachers are unaware of the resource.
Use of Your Call
7.5 Your Call is predominantly used with S1 and S2 pupils, although we did find examples of the resource being used with S3 and S4 pupils. Schools that use Your Call generally do so for two or three periods. Your Call is used exclusively in Personal and Social Education.
7.6 By far the most commonly used part of the resource is the DVD. But nine of the ten case study schools had used other elements of the pack. Where schools had not used the activities in class, some were tested during our groups where initial pupil responses were positive. This would indicate that Your Call is not currently being used to its full potential.
Pupil engagement with Your Call
7.7 Teachers reported that Your Call engaged the pupils and prompted discussion. This was also evidenced in our focus group discussions, with pupils reacting well to the activities. Views on the extent of engagement with the DVD were more varied.
7.8 There was also a good recollection of the resource among the pupils. In five schools, Your Call was mentioned spontaneously, despite some pupils having used the resource several months earlier. There was good recall about the storyline and they praised the content for including topics such as distractions and consequences.
7.9 Younger pupils (S1 and S2) stated they were able to connect with the characters; they found them relatable, particularly because of their age and the storyline, which younger pupils stated made the characters more likeable. S3 pupils were more likely to describe the characters as "cheesy" and had more negative comments relating to the acting and storyline.
Learning from Your Call
7.10 Pupils and teachers agreed that the messages in Your Call reinforced messages that the pupils had heard before, and that they were not necessarily learning anything new. However some pupils commented that despite this, the style of the toolkit made learning more interesting. There were two pupils who commented that they had learned something new from Your Call.
7.11 Despite most pupils stating that they had not learned anything new from the resource, the younger pupils agreed that Your Call had influenced them to change their attitude and behaviour while out on the roads. Pupils stated they were 'more cautious and aware' particularly in relation to distractions such as being on their mobile phones, or wearing headphones. Older pupils however did not think that Your Call was powerful enough to change their attitudes or behaviour.
Format of the resource
7.12 Road Safety Scotland might wish to consider developing a complimentary online resource for Your Call. Pupils spontaneously suggested an interactive resource for use in the classroom, where pupils could make decisions about the fate of the characters. Teachers had mixed views about having the resource available online; although concerns were attributed to the reliability of the school's broadband, rather than the benefits of having the resource available interactively.
Developing the content
7.13 Your Call could be enhanced and developed in a number of ways. We recommend that Road Safety Scotland consider the possibility of:
- Producing a new DVD – The DVD is by far the most used element of the pack, but is felt to be outdated. Road Safety Scotland should consider producing an updated DVD with more modern technology in order to keep the interest of the pupils.
- More hard hitting content - Overall the messages of the DVD should remain the same, but pupils felt strongly that the images of the DVD should be more hard-hitting in order to get the message across. Suggestions included more information about what happens to the characters after the accident – to get an insight into the impact on their lives and the consequences they are left to deal with. This might include scenes of the crash, scenes of the characters in hospital after the accident and more information on how the accident impacted on the friendship of the characters. Research has shown that when designing Young Driver Interventions shock tactics are not effective at changing behaviours. However, for the context of this research; the feedback on these DVDs was that they would be more likely to resonate with young people aged 11-14 if they contained more hard-hitting content. Road Safety Scotland will wish to decide whether this route is appropriate for Your Call.
- Including statistics – Some pupils and teachers requested the inclusion of more real life statistics, which relate to the number of young people killed on the roads each year. Pupils reported that this sort of real life information would be more likely to stay with them.
7.14 We do not believe that Your Call has been used to its full potential by schools. Road Safety Scotland should consider a national re-launch of Your Call, taking account of suggested updates to the format and content. This would ideally involve some national promotion, coordinated by Road Safety Scotland. For example:
- check that the school has as many copies of the resource as required;
- provide any new elements of the pack – such as an updated DVD or teacher notes;
- explore whether any additional parts of the resource are required; and
- offer training on use of the resource.
7.15 This would be a significant undertaking for Road Safety Units, which we know are already under pressure with reduced resources. Road Safety Scotland could explore opportunities to work with other bodies, such as Education Scotland who have resources such as Glow and Glow TV to promote and advertise the toolkit.