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Information for Special Educational Needs Schools

Why do Special 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 try to reduce the number of car trips to the school and encourage walking and cycling amongst pupils. Due to the nature of special schools (large catchment areas and high levels of provided transport or car use and pupilís specific needs) it is not always possible for pupils and staff to walk or cycle to and from school.

There are still many reasons why special schools may benefit from developing a School Travel Plan (STP). A school with a travel plan demonstrates both commitment to the immediate health and safety of their pupils and to providing them with skills for the future.

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, drivers, 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. Overleaf, there are also some ideas on how to involve the whole school community in the STP process:

Issues and solutions raised through STP
  • Improve lighting within school and in vicinity of school
  • Assess movement of buses and taxis within school grounds
  • Provide separate entrances for pedestrians/cyclists and vehicles
  • Encourage car-sharing amongst parents or staff
  • Provide a sheltered waiting area for pupils waiting for buses and/or parents waiting for pupils
  • Provide improved warning signs
  • Widen footpaths/cut back hedges to enable staff and helpers to walk beside children
  • Improve surface and camber of footpaths within school and in vicinity of school
  • Restrict parking
  • Spread arrival times over a given time period
  • Introduce travel and environmental issues into the curriculum
  • Provide road safety skills for children to equip them for any trips throughout the school day
  • Provide observation mirrors near vehicle entrance to improve vision
  • Create a cycle track on-site that will enable cycle/road safety skills to be taught in a safe environment.


Ideas for involving the school community
  • 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
  • Hold a competition a design a cycle shelter or a banner appropriate to the school's issues
  • Link in the STP within the curriculum and include topics such as trains and buses, mapping, places to visit and personal safety.
  • Ask pupils to draw the part of their school journey they enjoy the most and explain the reasons why. Which part do they not enjoy and is there a need for pedestrian training?

When an STP meets the Department for Education (DfE) criteria, consideration for funding is available to schools from Hampshire County Councilís Sustainable and Healthy Access Routes 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 school catchment area and site, examples of similar schoolís 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 an STP and how it links to health and physical activity, child safety, the environment, and links with the National Curriculum and Ofsted.

Within the resource pack there are sections detailing:

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.