School run congestion is a major headache, say Teachers

Walking to school can make children brighter and more alert, reveals a new Government survey.

Nearly three quarters of primary school teachers consider the morning 'drop off' by parents at the school gates a major cause for concern.

And all the teachers questioned felt that walking to school - instead of being driven - helps children stay fit and healthy.

The survey - released on the first day of Walk to School Week reveals that nine in ten teachers consider that the walk to school actually makes children brighter, more alert and ready for the first class of the day.

Some of the findings from the survey included:

87 per cent of teachers questioned believe that walking to school gives children a chance to wake up fully before they reach the classroom;

60 per cent believe that walking to school enables children to settle down once in the classroom;

90 per cent believe that walking to school enables children to become more aware of their local environment; and

93 per cent believe that walking to school makes children more aware of road safety issues.

Transport Minister David Jamieson said:

"We certainly hope that by walking to school, our children arrive brighter and more alert. Combined with so many other measurable benefits of walking, we hope this serves as further encouragement for children - and their parents - to consider leaving the car at home for the journey into school."

One hundred primary school teachers across England and Wales were quizzed for the survey as part of the Government's ongoing campaign to promote the benefits of walking to school safely amongst parents, children, teachers and local organisations.

Walk to School Week runs from 1-5 October 2001.

The booklet 'A Safer Journey to School', a guide to school travel plans for parents, teachers and governors, contains advice on how to encourage more sustainable ways of getting to and from school. It is available free of charge by phoning DfES publications on 0845 602 2260 quoting reference SRTS99.