Responding to our first Hands Up Survey

Sarah Adams

We have officially undertaken our first survey as part of our involvement in the Your Move program and the results are in.
We chose to create a survey link for all our Mentor Teachers across the school. Through a combination of whole school emails and use of our 'daily notices' we ensured all staff were aware of the survey day. We had 42 Mentor groups respond which represents 75% of our school community.

The Results
Overwhelmingly, our students are taking public transport to school with 60% arriving by bus. We have no train services locally and our enrollment catchment is spread over a large area so it isn't surprising that most students are choosing this option. Many students travel more than 10km to school and the 'up hill' journey make walking and bike rides more difficult.

Our second largest travel demographic is those arriving by car. Our survey showed that almost 30% of students arrived by car on the day of the survey. In a High School this includes some students who drive themselves and their friends, but predominantly this was shown in our middle school population. The students arriving by bike and scooters are certainly in the minority, representing just 1% of those surveyed. It is possible that the weather in Term 2 makes these transport methods less desirable so it will be interesting to compare with our end of year results.

Our survey shows that we have a large group of students who could be selecting more active transport options.
It also shows that we are very reliant on buses. Feedback from some students is that these can be packed and make public transport less attractive.

So where to from here?
1. We need to identify the reasons why so few students are choosing bikes.
Is it awareness of where to store their bikes? Is it a visibility or access issue? Is it a perceived safety issue? Do we need maps or education sessions?

2. We need to encourage students to select active transport options.
Our student committee will be guiding our effort to increase awareness of these options and will be having their first official meeting shortly!

3. We need to establish a conversation about sustainable travel within the broader school community. We have a range of avenues to reach the school population such as our daily notices and newsletters. We can explore ways to use these to our advantage.

4. We need to support students arriving by bus to make sure they don't opt out for less sustainable methods. Are we encouraging and rewarding this option? Do we have enough buses, or buses with sufficient capacity, to service this number of students?

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David (Your Move)

Thanks for the great analysis of your survey results Sarah. Having students on buses is definitely preferable to individual car trips, so the high PT results are encouraging. Making sure local students are aware of their bike storage and safety options is also a great idea. Finally, could you possibly look to encourage an 'Uphill Challenge' for students that live downhill from the school? Perhaps you could use the Tour De France as inspiration (starts July 6th)?

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James (Your Move)

Thanks for posting this stimulating reflection on your hands up survey Sarah - it makes a really interesting read. I really like David's idea of an 'uphill challenge' linked in with the Tour de France. I have re-linked your story to the 'Hands up survey' activity, for which you would have automatically received 20 points when you uploaded the data. Unfortunately that means you lose 25 points for the activity you had linked it to - but that is offset by a total of 25 bonus points I gave you for your the 'good read' nature of the post (10 points) and the high level of reflection you have made (15 points). Do let us know more about how your plans develop in response to your findings. Have a great weekend!

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