School paying children to wear helmet

This sub-forum all discussions about this "lively" subject. All topics that are substantially about helmets will be moved here, if not placed here correctly in the first place.
thelawnet
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School paying children to wear helmet

Postby thelawnet » 17 May 2016, 3:13pm

Received from my son's school:

"Dear Parent

Bikers’ Breakfast: Tuesday 24 May 2016

With the sun beginning to come out, the School’s Environment Committee has decided to take the opportunity to organise another Bikers’ Breakfast next Tuesday 24 May.

Using funding from Transport for London, the purpose of this event is to promote exercise and a healthy lifestyle. On Tuesday next week, all boys who cycle to School will be given a voucher worth £1 towards breakfast in the Dining Hall. These will be distributed at 4.00pm as the boys leave School and can be redeemed any day after that next week.

The School places the highest priority on the safety of the boys and if your son cycles to School on this day, or more regularly, it is of the utmost importance that he does so safely. Whilst we cannot be responsible for how boys behave on their way to School, we do encourage everyone who uses this method of transport to wear a helmet and reflective clothing and follow the cycle safety guidelines, which can be found on the following website: http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Roadsafety/P ... lists.aspx . Boys not wearing a helmet will not be given a voucher."

It's the usual 'magic hat' message.

The school runs buses from as far as 15 miles away, and there are inevitably some very hostile roads on the way from many destinations. But no worries, strap on your magic hat and reflective clothing and we'll give you a free breakfast. Actually scratch that, don't worry about the reflective clothing, the magic hat is much more important than the reflective clothing, which might stop you from being hit in the first place.

From what I can see the school has basically decided to undermine the (rather more sensible) TFL package, which is available here:
https://stars.tfl.gov.uk/PublicPages/se ... lkits.aspx

They suggest a 'Dr Bike' session, which can apparently be organised via the local council, and conducting route mapping using TFL's cycle map resources. (TFL generally divides trips into <2km, 2-5km, 5-8km, and 8km+, with all but the latter regarded as 'potentially cyclable'.)

TFL suggest a process of:

"Big Bikers’ Breakfast event process
1. Pupils arrive at school, park their bikes and receive an ID tag from pupil assistants
2. They take the ID tag to the Big Bikers’ Breakfast room, and use it to complete the cycle mapping activity
3. On completion, they receive an ‘I cycle to school’ sticker
4. The sticker then entitles the pupil to breakfast and other activities"

Providing a £1 voucher at the end of the day doesn't really seem a great idea, when the concept is presumably that you might like to eat something directly after riding your bike to school. (I am not quite sure if £1 covers the cost of breakfast in the first place.)

And there is nothing in the TFL guidance that makes anything contingent on wearing a helmet - their goal is to increase cycling, whereas helmets are very clearly proven to reduce the numbers of people cycling.

It seems that TFL provide a grant (of public money to a private school) on the basis that the school spends some hours performing various tasks (cycle counts, surveys of bike parking facilities, route mapping, bike safety checks). However, they appear to have abrogated all of those useful activities in favour of the 'magic hat', which doesn't require them to spend any time at all, say, analysing safe routes to school.

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mjr
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Re: School paying children to wear helmet

Postby mjr » 17 May 2016, 5:31pm

Clear explanation. It seems that you should be writing to whoever runs the schools these days (probably not the LEA) and TFL (about this subversion of their funding), as well as talking to other parents.

I'd go easy on the hi-viz bit though - there's not much evidence in favour of that, either.
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Cunobelin
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Re: School paying children to wear helmet

Postby Cunobelin » 17 May 2016, 7:33pm

Slightly OT

I love the "Walking Buses"

Hundreds of kids leave school every day, but as son as the same children leave in an organised group... out comes the Hi Viz


Image

thelawnet
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Re: School paying children to wear helmet

Postby thelawnet » 17 May 2016, 7:36pm

mjr wrote:I'd go easy on the hi-viz bit though - there's not much evidence in favour of that, either.


I was merely baffled as to the thought process. If they think hi-viz is good, then why don't they make the free breakfast contingent on that as well.

If they had said 'you get a free breakfast subject to a bike inspection' then I'd be all in favour.

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pjclinch
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Re: School paying children to wear helmet

Postby pjclinch » 18 May 2016, 12:23pm

Point them at (or better still print it off and give them a hard copy of) Tim Gill's Cycling and Children and Young People review, good as being written with a child-centric, evidence based agenda and no axe to grind either way on helmets.

A substantial chunk of it is an Annex on the helmet debate which spends a lot of time demonstrating that it's all a bit more complicated than the school's Environment Committee probably suspects, but the whole thing is well worth a read by TPTB at the school to get a faint whiff of sanity in to cycle policy.

Get it here: http://www.ncb.org.uk/media/443203/cyclingreport_2005.pdf

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Heltor Chasca
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School paying children to wear helmet

Postby Heltor Chasca » 18 May 2016, 1:58pm

I am not a good person.

I've had one little boy and his mum asking me for nearly 2 years why my daughter and I don't wear helmets on our bike. I've offered them fair and informed comments but I just don't think they get it.

Imagine my delight a few weeks ago when dearest, darling of hers was let out of class with a 'red accident sheet'. He was also sporting a massive egg on his forehead. Sweetie, darling had come a cropper lining up for lunch.

My teeth and Hell's teeth ground together in an attempt not to grin and shout out, 'Told you so!'

Evil basket

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pjclinch
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Re: School paying children to wear helmet

Postby pjclinch » 18 May 2016, 3:47pm

Heltor Chasca wrote:
My teeth and Hell's teeth ground together in an attempt not to grin and shout out, 'Told you so!'

Evil basket


So next time they ask where your helmets are you can ask him why he wasn't wearing one when he fell over, and/or whether he's learned his lesson from his accident and always wears a crash helmet to line up for lunch these days... After all, an EN1078 lid is specced for just such an eventuality (low speed fall with no motor vehicles involved), and as he found out that sort of accident happens far more often in a playground environment than riding a bike for transport.

Pete.
Often seen riding a bike around Dundee...

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Heltor Chasca
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School paying children to wear helmet

Postby Heltor Chasca » 18 May 2016, 3:55pm

pjclinch wrote:
Heltor Chasca wrote:
My teeth and Hell's teeth ground together in an attempt not to grin and shout out, 'Told you so!'

Evil basket


So next time they ask where your helmets are you can ask him why he wasn't wearing one when he fell over, and/or whether he's learned his lesson from his accident and always wears a crash helmet to line up for lunch these days... After all, an EN1078 lid is specced for just such an eventuality (low speed fall with no motor vehicles involved), and as he found out that sort of accident happens far more often in a playground environment than riding a bike for transport.

Pete.


Precisely. And he's the kid bombing about on his scooter down the pavement and around the playground. Sans lid!

He's the same kid whose dad is a sports coach and his mum is a local Councillor.

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mjr
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Re: School paying children to wear helmet

Postby mjr » 30 Mar 2017, 2:35pm

pjclinch wrote:Point them at (or better still print it off and give them a hard copy of) Tim Gill's Cycling and Children and Young People review, good as being written with a child-centric, evidence based agenda and no axe to grind either way on helmets. [...] Get it here: http://www.ncb.org.uk/media/443203/cyclingreport_2005.pdf

ncb have had their website redesigned by a fool who has broken their links. https://timrgill.files.wordpress.com/20 ... ill-05.pdf seems an alternative source.
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Re: School paying children to wear helmet

Postby Vorpal » 30 Mar 2017, 2:44pm

Cunobelin wrote:Slightly OT

I love the "Walking Buses"

Hundreds of kids leave school every day, but as son as the same children leave in an organised group... out comes the Hi Viz


Image

I don't know.... as someone who has done walking buses, it's a big advantage being able to easily identify the kids that I'm responsible for.

Frankly, I think going as a big group has a bigger visibility advantage than the hi viz, but if the kids weren't wearing it, I'd want something else easy to identify. 9 kids in hi viz are easier to keep track of than 9 kids in the same school uniform that all the other kids are walking around in, especially when a walking bus approaches school gates at school start time.
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
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The utility cyclist
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Re: School paying children to wear helmet

Postby The utility cyclist » 31 Mar 2017, 3:47am

surprised there are any 40/50/60/70/80 somethings around to tell the tales of their school trips. Christ, we were let loose on an open ferry deck at age of 9-10 in the late 70s, hivis...not even life jackets :lol:
the world has gone mad :twisted:
I was banned and had posts (of facts) removed from a FB 'school/parent' page of a v/ close friend whose son i taught to ride on the roads. This was due to the school forcing kids to wear helmets to cycle to school or you don't cycle, evidence used by school,NIL.
I pointed facts out and simply had posts removed and blocked :evil:

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mjr
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Re: School paying children to wear helmet

Postby mjr » 31 Mar 2017, 7:49am

Vorpal wrote:I don't know.... as someone who has done walking buses, it's a big advantage being able to easily identify the kids that I'm responsible for.

Oh, it's so much easier than remembering who you've got with you, isn't it? ;)

Fails badly if any of them take their hi vis off, or if any other kids wear it voluntarily, though.
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
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Graham
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Re: School paying children to wear helmet

Postby Graham » 31 Mar 2017, 8:38am

Walking buses. . . . . My heart sinks when I see the wee ones kitted out in their mini hivisisisis. To me it symbolises just how far the "duty of care" has slipped away from those that bring the danger to our streets.
+
As soon as one organises anything in a public place these days, there becomes a responsible person who can pursued for negligence.
When in court, it is necessary to demonstrate that the risks were foreseen and addressed by avoidance or reasonable mitigation measures.
In addition, if you don't do that you don't get insurance cover.

Whether the research papers call into question the use of Hivisisisis or not : that is where we are now.
Last edited by Graham on 2 Apr 2017, 8:03am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: spelling : pursue

Bonefishblues
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Re: School paying children to wear helmet

Postby Bonefishblues » 31 Mar 2017, 8:45am

Vorpal wrote:
Cunobelin wrote:Slightly OT

I love the "Walking Buses"

Hundreds of kids leave school every day, but as son as the same children leave in an organised group... out comes the Hi Viz


Image

I don't know.... as someone who has done walking buses, it's a big advantage being able to easily identify the kids that I'm responsible for.

Frankly, I think going as a big group has a bigger visibility advantage than the hi viz, but if the kids weren't wearing it, I'd want something else easy to identify. 9 kids in hi viz are easier to keep track of than 9 kids in the same school uniform that all the other kids are walking around in, especially when a walking bus approaches school gates at school start time.

Agree completely, that's a very sensible and rational use of hi-viz.

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Re: School paying children to wear helmet

Postby Bez » 31 Mar 2017, 9:17am

If you hate walking buses then try googling "walkodile"…

(Be sure to have a large brandy to hand to calm the nerves afterwards.)