Quality statement 5: Schools and early years settings

Quality statement

Schools and early years settings monitor and update travel plans annually to increase active travel.

Rationale

Active travel to and from schools and early years settings is the easiest and most acceptable form of physical activity that can be incorporated into everyday life for children and young people. It can also potentially follow into adulthood. Travel plans that are monitored and updated annually to increase active travel should reduce the barriers and increase the incentives to actively travel. This should result in positive health outcomes such as improved mental and physical health.

Quality measures

Structure

a) Evidence that schools and early years settings have travel plans that include performance targets to increase active travel.

Data source: National data on national school travel plans are available from Modeshift STARS.

b) Evidence that schools and early years settings monitor their travel plans annually to ensure these continue to be fully aligned with other local authority plans.

Data source: National data on school travel plans is available from Modeshift STARS. Local data collection, for example, school and early years settings delivery plans and travel plans.

c) Evidence that schools and early years settings update their travel plans annually to increase active travel.

Data source: National data on national school travel plans is available from Modeshift STARS. Local data collection, for example, school and early years settings delivery plans and travel plans.

Outcome

Percentage of children's active travel to and from schools and early years settings.

Data source: National data on children's active travel to and from school is available from Department for Transport's National Travel Survey: Travel to School and Sport England's Active Lives: Children and Young People Survey.

What the quality statement means for different audiences

Local authorities ensure that the travel plans of schools and early years settings continue to be fully aligned on an annual basis with other local authority plans that can have an impact on the infant, child and young person's physical activity. This includes local area agreements, local area play strategies and healthy school plans.

Schools and early years settings (such as school travel plan advisers, governors, parents, carers and pupils)monitor and update their travel plans annually, including specific performance targets to increase active travel. If needed, new initiatives should be included to the plans to further support active travel. For example, mapping safe routes to school, organising activities such as walk and bike to school days, walking buses, the daily mile initiative, organising cycle and road safety training, and helping children to be 'streetwise'. These plans should be reviewed annually to assess their progress against their set performance targets. If their targets are not being reached the school and early years settings should take action to address this.

Infants, children and young people are supported by travel plans to actively travel (on foot, by bike or scooter for example) to their schools and early years settings. Through these plans parents and carers should also be encouraged to allow their children to become more independent, by gradually allowing them to walk, cycle or use another physically active mode of travel for short distances.

Source guidance

Definitions of terms used in this quality statement

Schools and early years setting travel plans

A written document detailing a package of measures to support active travel, improve safety and reduce car use. This is backed by a partnership involving the school, education and local authority transport officers, the police and the health authority. It is based on consultation with teachers, parents, pupils and governors and other local people.

It must include information about the school, a description and analysis of journeys made and the associated problems, a survey of pupils' current and preferred mode of travel, consultation findings, clearly defined targets and objectives, details of proposed measures and a timetable for implementation, clearly defined responsibilities and proposals for monitoring and review.

[Adapted from NICE's guideline on physical activity for children and young people, glossary and the Department of Education's home-to-school travel and transport statutory guidance]

Active travel

Getting to school or early years setting by a physically active means, such as walking, cycling, non-motorised scooters and rollerblades.

[Adapted from Physical activity and the environment (NICE guideline NG90), glossary]

Equality and diversity considerations

Schools and early years settings should ensure that travel plans include accessibility considerations for infants, children and young people with limited mobility or disabilities.