Social Research Transport Research Summary 2011 - Cycle Training in Primary Schools Research
There was broad support for on-road cycle training and common agreement that it was superior to playground based training – offering a more realistic experience and faster and more effective learning.
Schools with on-road cycle training programmes were generally content with these, and felt that they were sustainable. The biggest concern for schools relating to on-road training was being able to ensure pupil safety.
A key component of delivering safe on-road training was having an adequate number of volunteer trainers to ensure a reasonable ratio of adults to children. Identifying volunteers to deliver on-road training was the most significant and common barrier to on-road training.
Some schools asked staff to volunteer as trainers alongside parents, or involved Road Safety Officers or other local authority staff temporarily. This reduced parent responsibility and built staff expertise in on-road training.
Other key barriers include identifying a suitable safe site, and resistance to change amongst school staff. Some schools had enhanced volunteer confidence through taking a phased approach to moving from the playground, to a quiet road and on to a busier environment. Signs and fluorescent tabards were also used to alert drivers.
Some schools in areas of high deprivation identified barriers to introducing any kind of cycle training – with challenges ensuring adequate supply of bicycles, safe storage of equipment and identifying suitable locations.
Parent councils were positive about and supportive of on-road cycle training, but had limited involvement in planning training at the case study schools.