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Information for Independent Schools

Why do Independent Schools develop a School Travel Plan?

School Travel Plans are documents produced by schools that consider the current ways students, staff and visitors are travelling to and from school and how this can be made safer, healthier and more environmentally sustainable. Many schools aim to encourage walking or cycling amongst parents and pupils. However, this may not be a realistic option for schools where pupils attend from a wide area, such as with independent schools, and often the car may be seen as the only option for the ‘school run’.

Despite these issues, there are still many reasons why independent schools can benefit from developing a School Travel Plan (STP). A STP can provide pupils with an opportunity to learn about their local environment and the impact that their travel plan choices may have on it. A school with a travel plan demonstrates both commitment to the immediate health and safety of their pupils and to providing them with skills and knowledge for future years.

School Travel Plans are living documents that change over time. During the process of a STP schools are asked to undertake surveys of pupils, parents, staff, visitors and local residents to help identify problems relating to school travel. Below are a few examples of initiatives which other schools have been able to address through the School Travel Plan process and the funding available on completion.

There are also some ideas on how to involve the whole school community in the STP process:

Examples of Initiatives
  • Improve lighting within the school and the vicinity of the school
  • Assess movement of buses and taxis within the school grounds
  • Assess movement of pedestrians and cyclists within the school grounds
  • Encourage car sharing amongst parents
  • Provide a sheltered waiting area for pupils waiting for buses and/or parents waiting for pupils
  • Provide improved school warning signs
  • Improve condition of footpaths within the school and in vicinity of school
  • Restrict parking
  • Introduce travel and environmental issues into the school lessons

 

Ideas for Involving the School Community
  • Involve the school council in the process and decision making
  • Plot children's routes to school and issues relating to those routes
  • Introduce a suggestion box available for staff, pupils, residents, and parents comments or ideas relating to travel.

When a STP meets the Department for Education and Skills (DfES) criteria, funding is available to schools from Hampshire County Council's Safer Routes to Schools (SRTS) Programme for measures identified within the plan.

Before you begin your School Travel Plan (STP) the team are available to visit your school and provide you with a resource pack, survey forms, maps of the local area and site, examples of similar school's travel plans and resources to help get you thinking. If you are unsure why your school needs a travel plan then the pack will develop your knowledge of a STP and how it links to health and physical activity, child safety and the environment.

Within the resource pack there are sections detailing:

Introduction
What a STP is, details of the team and why develop a STP.

How to prepare a STP
This section tells you what needs to be in a travel plan and the stages you need to go through

Good ideas
Features suggestions regarding cycling, walking, public transport, car travel, identifying solutions and developing initiatives.

Supporting materials
Includes ideas for working groups, sample travel survey forms, an example of an action plan, website links, funding links and much more.

For further information on developing a travel plan or to request a resource pack, please contact the School Travel Planning Team.