To fully understand how to support the school to increase active travel, I created a parent survey. Using the resources pack, I adjusted the supplied paper survey to an online Microsoft Forms survey to collect responses. MS forms provides a QR code which you can use to easily find the survey online via a phone camera. We advertised the survey on a poster that we placed around the school and were able to add the QR code onto the poster. We also sent a link via the school communications app and on the P& F facebook page.
We had a response rate of about 30% of families, which is a level of engagement that is pleasing - maybe next time we will use an incentive to get more responses, such as a voucher from the your move store.
MS forms has a great in built graphing tool which makes it really simple to review the results. We asked parents how their children usually get to school. Currently 62% of our families use a car as their main method of transport to school. That means that 38% are already using active modes of transport, with walking the most popular and cycling after that.
We asked parents what was the motivation for encouraging active travel and the highest response was that it provides physical activity. Other popular choices were 'the opportunity to learn road safety skills' and 'the time that parents get to spend with their children outdoors'. Active travel being 'better for the environment' and an 'opportunity to learn independence' were also highly valued among the parents of St Augustines.
We asked parents how they would like to be supported to increase their regular active travel. The responses to this question will be what drives our planning going forward:
- The stand out response was to have excursions and incursions about safe travel. As a school, this year we have had constable care incursions for PP-Yr 3, we have taken our year 4 & 5 classes to constable care safety school, we have had an incursion from TransPerth for the Yr 6s and the Kindy class have been on a Kindy Walk excursion through the neighbourhood! Still, the survey speaks and since this is such a popular response we will investigate the adding the RAC Little Legends Incursion as an additional incursion for all classes next year as well as continuing the current suite of excursions and incursions for next year's classes.
- Another very popular response was to have a cross walk attendant at a major intersection. The last time we investigated this option was in 2017, so we could definitely do with a revisit of this. There is a very busy cross road at Kooyong Rd and Newey St, which links many of our families to the school. I have done some preliminary research into Traffic Warden applications. I would estimate that the satisfying the requirement of a minimum of 200 vehicles would not be an issue, but the minimum 20 students could be tricky as it is an unpopular route while there are no safety measures in place - families simply avoid crossing this road during peak hour - a chicken and the egg scenario. I hope that we could at least be eligible for a Type B (volunteer) Traffic Warden (requirement of 10 students and 100 vehicles) which could boost the usage of the intersection and in the longer term we could then re-apply for a Type A (paid) Traffic Warden. I have contacted a friend on the Lathlain Primary P&C as there are a few of their students who also use this route to school, so we can work together and hopefully come up with a solution and make an application.
- Improved bike / scooter parking was also a popular choice. Since the survey results have come in, the Assistant Principal and I have discussed this issue, and unfortunately there is no quick and easy solution to the problem. The parking facilities we currently have are small and difficult to reach, but they are also the most secure. Previously we have had bike thefts when bikes have been visible to the street and with limited space on the school grounds, the current solution is the way to go. We are looking to expand our school grounds in the next year or two, so bike / scooter parking will be on the agenda for the new useable space. We chatted to Carol-Ann about this during our Kick-off meeting for this years Gold Grant. Fingers crossed next year we might be able to unlock a Double Platinum Grant to assist with a new bike shed on our new land!!🤞🤞🤞
- Walking school bus and walk together from a local park were popular choices. On World Car Free Day and PARK(ing) Day we advertised this as an option for those who were interested and had a few people take up the opportunity. This would be a good initiative to start next year as we are very busy actively travelling with Bike Month this term.
- Zebra crossing at the school gate. This was also a popular choice and one that seems pretty simple to achieve. We have great support from the City of Belmont and as the area in question is a cul de sac, which is only used by school families and a handful of residents, I'd like to think that the City would have little issue with adopting the idea. I will follow this up over the coming months.
It was encouraging to find that many families who are currently coming to school by car are willing to try active travel as a new mode of transport.
Running this survey has given our YourMove team fantastic direction and inspiration on how to improve active travel at St Augustine's Primary.
I have also create a template link for anyone interested in creating a similar survey.
This story is related to Conduct your first parent surveyFor more information on how to do this, click here
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