No school run?

Back to school, and back to the school run. Or is it? One interesting read this week was the internet site by Living Street People and their campaign Walk to School, a national campaign launched in 1995 to encourage children to walk to school. They now have over 6,400 schools and 1.6 million children taking part.
What I found particular interesting was the organisation’s Living Streets position on walking to school without parents in England. Apparently there is no set age when a child is considered to be ready to walk to school independently. They say Parents should assess the risks associated with the school route and their own child’s confidence. Parents should work with children to build up their independence, while walking to school, through route finding, road safety skills and general awareness.

To be honest, I thought it was illegal for a primary school child to walk on their own. But it isn’t. A families’ guide to the law highlights a survey by Kidscape which found that most parents allowed children from age 9 to cross local roads independently. In Scandinavia most children walk on their own to school, from as early as 6-7 years. In other words, for me, walking our 10 year old 0.75 mile to our local school, only crossing one road seems a bit overprotective. We are now considering talking to her school about this matter and will clearly take their advice into account before deciding. But by law and recommendation, walking to school alone for Little B is a perfectly safe start on her independence.
I on the other hand still have some more years doing the school run with Little A age 6, but we can definitely start practicing route finding and road safety together.

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