Title: Evaluation of the Stepping Out pedestrian training scheme
Organisation: Staffordshire County Council
Date uploaded: 15th August 2011
Date published/launched: October 2010
Stepping Out is a road safety training scheme offered by Staffordshire County Council to children aged 7 to 9 years. An evaluation of the scheme was commissioned to determine how effective it is in changing children's road safety knowledge and behaviour.
Stepping Out is a road safety training scheme for 7 to 9 year olds offered by Staffordshire County Council to schools across Staffordshire. It is also delivered in other areas of the UK. The scheme consists of 3 phases:
• Teacher-led classroom work.
• A practice walk with a Road Safety Officer.
• An observed walk in which children walk the same route independently under close supervision.
The evaluation explored children’s experiences of the scheme and sought feedback from teachers and parents. Ten schools were involved from varying demographic and socioeconomic areas. Control groups were included to identify the road safety knowledge of children not participating in Stepping Out(these groups took part in the training after the evaluation).
The research revealed the following about Stepping Out:
1. The scheme produced a statistically significant increase in the children’s road safety knowledge.
2. The children doing Stepping Out had a greater increase in road safety knowledge than those who did not.
3. Stepping Out was successful in closing the knowledge gap between groups of children who had undergone road safety training at age 5 to 7 and those who had not.
4. Stepping Out is equally effective on all children in its target group regardless of gender, age and socioeconomic background.
5. Stepping Out successfully helps children in rural schools and children from a school with a high proportion of ethnic minority pupils to close the gap in road safety knowledge scores between themselves and children in other schools.
6. After Stepping Out, children demonstrated correct and safe pedestrian behaviour and were able to explain the reasons for their actions.
7. The scheme is delivered at an appropriate time in children’s development when children are beginning to want more independence or are about to move to middle school.
8. The content of Stepping Out teaching resources are regarded as being of high quality, easily understandable and engaging for children aged 7–9.
9. The scheme is useful in highlighting the gaps in children’s road safety knowledge and skills to teachers and parents.
The research shows that Stepping Out increases children’s road safety knowledge. It also increases children’s confidence in their skills as pedestrians, and their sense of personal responsibility for their own safety. Parents are also more confident in their child’s skills as a pedestrian after Stepping Out, and as such the scheme plays a valuable role in enabling children to gain greater independence.
The evaluation highlighted some areas where some changes or improvements could be made. These included more use of differentiated materials and updating the pupil workbooks. These recommendations will be incorporated into the scheme in the near future.
Stepping Out also has wider benefits for children including increased confidence in their skills as a pedestrian, an increased sense of personal responsibility for their own safety, and pride in their achievement. Parents are also more confident in their child’s skills as a pedestrian after Stepping Out, and as such the scheme plays a valuable role in enabling children to gain greater independence. It is delivered at an age when children are about to become more independent road users and are increasing their risk of becoming road casualties.
For more information contact:
T: 0300 111 8011
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