Road safety education for children transferring from primary to secondary school (Road Safety Research Report No. 35)

  • Published: Department for Transport, 2003
  • Authors: C.V. Platt, A.B. Clayton, S.M. Pringle, G. Butler and M.A. Colgan
  • Date Added: 15 Mar 2013
  • Last Update: 15 Mar 2013
  • Format: pdf


To develop and evaluate a road safety training/awareness resource/programme to ensure that children have developed the skills required to match the independence they are given when they move to secondary school.


Reviewed existing road safety resources (and those for transition from primary to secondary in particular), undertook initial surveys (725 parents of transition age pupils) and focus groups with school transition age children and their parents (14 parents and 120 year 6 and 7 children) on their perceived role of parental and school’s role regarding road safety education, and developed a draft educational programme Making Choices.

Evaluated the effect of the programme using a pre-test post test design with a control and experimental group. Testing used to assess children’s awareness of road safety issues, their decision-making responses and their change in travel patterns

Key Findings:

  • Although many resources existed for the transition age group, very few placed any emphasis upon or highlighted the transfer from primary to secondary school.

  • Parents’ safety concerns related to children’s’ and other drivers’ actions, traffic levels and non-safety dangers (e.g. strangers).

  • The move to secondary school seen as a major life change with expected increased independence.

  • Parents considered it important that road safety teaching should enable children to assess situations rather than stick to rules and codes.

  • Making Choices resource developed: comprised 5 resources (including leaflets, activities, journey planners).

  • The experimental group tended to show a greater level of personal responsibility and a greater awareness of personal safety issues, not only in road situations, but, for example, when using public transport than the control group.

  • Most primary teachers had integrated the activities within Geography and Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) to complement the existing transfer process. Few teachers stated that they would like to see anything added to the materials.

  • In nearly all secondary schools, the teachers used the materials in timetabled PSHE lessons. Again, there was little demand for additional material.

  • Concerns were raised amongst primary teachers about the curriculum time required and the need for long term planning.


Transition from primary to secondary school, Road safety curriculum resource, Evaluation


Highlights the fact there is little road safety education for children moving from primary school to secondary school.