Brighton & Hove has released a report reflecting on the activities that took place during Walk to School of May this year. The report contains Information about both the Walk to School resources (that the School Travel Team sends out every year) and the Pedometer Challenge (an occasional event). The city wanted to find out if the Walk to School resources were well received by children, teachers and families.
They also wanted to evaluate if these activities had an effect on the number of children that walk to school during Walk to School Week and whether having an additional challenge such as the Pedometer Challenge made a significant difference to walking figures. The Brighton & Hove City Council works directly with schools and nurseries in the CIVITAS area of the city to develop and implement school travel plans. The plans set out a range of measures that will promote and support sustainable travel.The objective is to achieve a sustained increase in the number of safe, sustainable journeys to and from school. The Measure also increases awareness of the importance of exercise, contributing to a reduction in childhood obesity levels. Sustainable travel incentives the ‘Pedometer Challenge’ and the ‘Walk to School Week Sticker Challenge’, for example, have been developed for use with schools.The Evaluation contains both quantitative and qualitative data. Hands up surveys have been used to assess the difference between the number of children who walk to school before, during and after the Pedometer Challenge and Walk to School Week events. Focus Groups were used to get more information from the children about the schemes. Interviews with staff and parents were also used to get feedback.Some of the main points in summary:The Walk to School Week Resources made a difference to walking figures. During the Walk to School Week Event (of the schools surveyed), the number of children who walked to school increased by 9%. Five weeks after Walk to School Week, the increase in walking figures had still increased by 4% compared to before Walk to School Week The Pedometer Challenge adds an element of excitement to the Walk to School Week event. The children from the focus group were very motivated by the Challenge. In general they were more motivated by inter-school competitions than being in competition with other schools. There was a recommendation that where older primary aged children are not motivated by stickers that the Pedometer Challenge may be successful in engaging this age group. One of the main recommendations is that having a dedicated member of staff within the school makes all the difference to what extent the children engage with the Challenge.