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Walking to school

Walking to school

Walking is a great way to get to school – it’s healthy, free and doesn’t create pollution. It also reduces traffic congestion during the ‘school run’.

Rule 7 of the Highway Code is the Green Cross Code and tells you how to cross the road safely. Children should be taught the Code and should not be allowed out alone until they can understand and use it properly. Children learn by example, so parents and carers should always use the Code in full when out with their children. They are responsible for deciding at what age children can use it safely by themselves.

Primary School

Schools can request our free Walkability courses where children learn practical essential road safety skills such as how to cross roads safely.

We can support schools set up a  Walking Bus. A Walking Bus is a safe and fun way for groups of children to walk to school together, accompanied by trained adult volunteers.

Secondary School

Walking to school also gives older children independence. Once they know their route and can cross roads safely, they can walk by themselves or with friends.

Travel tips for secondary pupils

  • Practise your child’s journey with them before they start secondary school
  • Make sure your child is aware of potential danger points – looking carefully before crossing busy roads, taking extra care at bus stops and getting on and off trains
  • Make sure your child keeps their possessions safe, eg mobile phones, keys and money
  • Talk with your child about what they would do if something unexpected happened, e.g. if there was a security alert on their train and passengers were asked to leave the train
  • Talk with your child about what they should do if they felt threatened, e.g. if they felt an adult was following them or behaving oddly on public transport


  • Walking to school can increase the concentration of children by up to four hours
  • There is a positive relationship between physical activity and academic performance
  • Good habits learned young are learned well. Teaching your child to walk safely to school will stand them in good stead for the rest of their life
  • If your child joins a walking bus, or is old enough to walk to school with friends, they will have extra time in the day to build friendships, and feel comfortable around other people. And most teenagers, like all of us, need time to themselves – walking home can be a great time to think, relax, and mull over their day.

For more support, tips or ideas see: