Attending school is an essential activity. More than half of parents and caregivers in the UK use petrol automobiles to drop off and pick up children from primary school. The mean distance to school for primary children is 2.3 kilometres. Studies show that safety concerns are the primary reason for driving (Black et al., 2001). Urban areas cater for automobiles, and fuel is available at 8,400 petrol stations in the UK. Vehicles are readily available with ownership at 491 cars per 1000 residents in 2019.

The use of fossil fuel for transport is not sustainable. For people who current drive kids to school, it can be difficult for them to think of meeting this essential need without the vehicle.

The congestion of petrol cars around schools actually does put children at higher risk of accidents. The exposure to air pollution on the school run is 5 times higher for school children, largely due to the short distance and high idling around the schools. Traffic engineers in most cities have worked to change the school run from cars to walking and biking since the walking rate dropped in the late 1990’s. Despite various government and NGO efforts, the behaviour of the fossil fueled school run has not changed.

The School Run Shift Project

The Transition Lab was carried out for the Glaitness School in Kirkwall, Orkney, UK.

The InTIME insight is that the freedom to move through the community safely with kid energy and social interactions is the real value that can be developed.

The trigger was a grant to fund the development.

The shift project is a RESET Programme:

  1. Teacher Information Assembly
  2. Teacher Training and Curriculum Guides
  3. Student Workshops with Activities, Stories, Explorations
  4. Family Assembly and Family Festival for exploring walking
  5. Online Data Exchange Tool
  6. Certification of Net Zero and Agreement Negotiation with council for benefits to the school.

Ting was held 5 Sept – Verdict = Go


Transition Lab on the School Run

The pupils at Glaitness Primary School in Kirkwall, Orkney wrote letters to Professor Krumdieck talking about what they value in their community and environment, and how they want to take action to address the climate crisis. The group at the Heriot-Watt University Campus in Orkney ran a Transition Lab. Here is the story.
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