We want every child to grow up with the ability and confidence to cycle on the road. Our “in school cycle training” pilot aims give teachers the skills to deliver cycle training which draws on the Bikeability syllabuses of Balance, Learn to Ride and Level One. The Bikeability Trust has developed bespoke instructor training for teachers and teaching assistants with our Recognised Delivery Centres. Five Local Highways Authorities and forty schools will be testing this over the next few months. We are now looking for five more LHAs and 110 more schools to take part – please email firstname.lastname@example.org to express your interest.
The annual cost to teach every child Balance, Learn to Ride, Level 1, 2 and 3 would be approximately £69 million. We must consider an alternative solution that offers government value for money, whilst ensuring every child can still learn the essential life skill of cycling. The aim of this pilot is not to take away work from instructors – it is to support instructors by ensuring riders are more able when they reach the age to receive level 2 training, and reach more children across the country.
We believe that this pilot will give instructors various benefits. You have told us that more and more children are attending Level 2 courses, who don’t have the right skills to take part. This pilot will ensure children can learn basic cycling skills before they attempt Level 2 – whilst keeping you, the experts, to teach on-road cycling. We hope that this will mean you can spend more time focused on empowering children to have the confidence to cycle, rather than time-consuming basics.
By training teachers to teach Bikeability, we hope they will better understand the importance of cycle training. This will embed Bikeability more effectively in schools and help teachers to embrace Bikeability as part of their school ethos.
Finally, schools involved in the pilot will also receive a fleet of cycles. We know that cycle ownership is a huge barrier to participation in Bikeability. The combination of available cycles and additional training from teachers should prepare children more effectively to cycle on the roads – and continue cycling for the rest of their lives.
We think that this approach will help more children to cycle better. But we don’t know. That’s why we’re testing it with this pilot. We’re working closely with Goldsmiths University to monitor and evaluate our findings, as well as gathering feedback from Recognised Delivery Centres, training providers, schools, instructors – and most importantly, children.
The pilot will take place until Easter, when the evaluation will begin. We look forward to sharing more with you as the pilot progresses.
Thanks to additional funding from Active Travel England, we need five more Local Highways Authorities to take part in the pilot. If you would like to hear more, please email email@example.com.