I have heard lots of horror stories about children being injured or knocked down right by their schools. I'm sure you will have your own stories too. And we all know that some schools are worse than others.
It's great that ratings like Ofsted allow us to choose the best schools for our children based on all sorts of things - quality of education, number of extra-curriculur activities, pupil's behaviour etc. But at the moment there isn't any easy way to assess how safe schools will be our children! I think this has to be just as vital in selecting a school.
If you'd like to fill in information about your local school, the survey is dead easy and quick to complete: svy.mk/102N3Xp. I've done it! Shall we try and get an assessment for every school across the country?
Thanks for your feedback. I think this survey is important - schools do have some control and options to improve immediate safety, such as providing separate pedestrian entrances away from main car parks or bus lanes.
I think there are also possibilities for this information-gathering to be used to encourage councils to maintain roads and road markings outside schools.
And as you very rightly point out, parents can be a problem too! Hopefully this will be able to gain momentum and change attitudes within the general public. Making sure that people park properly, and observe speed limits outside schools would just be the start.
There has been quite a bit of press attention around this campaign already - it could be a really powerful force for change, with enough data behind it.
Actually schools do not have really any control at all about thinks like entrances - that is the remit and responsibility of the local council which operates the school. Councils have a legal obligation to maintain roads and road markings and a survey will not have any impact on a local issue like that. If road markings are not clear or ignored; phone the council or the police up. Like redsky I am really not sure what the point of the survey is. Parents may choose a school based on many things but I doubt traffic control will ever be one of them; and of course all these parents driving to schools outwith their catchment area is one reason why there is now so much traffic outside our schools! The biggest safety issue around schools is the way parents drive and park. A survey will not change that, but once again makes it appear as if, somehow, the school has a responsibility for something beyond its gates and beyond its control.
Having had many conversations with our lovely Head about this, I know that schools really have very little control over this. They can ask the local traffic officers/police to patrol, which works for a day or so, but not permanently. Efforts such as leafleting cars parked dangerously just results in leaflets being torn up or thrown in people's faces. They can't move pedestrian entrances etc without LEA (and often planning depts) involvement usually, and most of the time it's not possible anyway - schools don't have the space to move things round optimally if they weren't designed that way.
The far more useful approach would be a campaign about road safety outside schools; the data will already exist re. accidents in or around schools. An unscientific survey based on individuals's perspectives isn't going to help and is just another stick to beat schools with, even when the problem isn't their fault.
I don't think I know anyone who would factor in how safe the roads are into their school decision.
My DC's school has a big problem with people parking inconsiderately - blocking in local residents, blocking in other parents, double parking in a dangerous fashion, using the disabled spaces when not entitled to do so, blocking the access to public footpaths into school so children have to walk across the path of traffic to get round.
Every single newsletter implores parents to park considerately, the local PCSO is in attendance every couple of weeks and the headteacher has personally spoken to parents perceived to be a particular problem. This has all had precisely no effect. I can't see what else the school can reasonably be expected to do?
I wouldn't factor in road safety into a school choice - even if I had a genuine choice which I don't living where I do (catchment school or nothing).