South Lanarkshire Council would like more schools to enjoy Bikeability training
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Bikeability Scotland is designed to give children the skills and confidence they need to cycle safely on the roads and there are two levels of training for pupils in primary five to seven.
Level one covers basic cycling skills and is taught in the playground and other traffic free environments for P5s, while level two takes place on quieter, risk-assessed single lane roads with simple junctions for P6 and P7 pupils.
In 2021/2022, 1560 pupils from 58 schools completed level one of the course and 1594 pupils from 57 schools were assessed at level two. The number of schools in South Lanarkshire delivering at least one programme was 72.
All primary schools are invited to take part and a free one-day Bikeability Scotland instructor training course is offered to all new or existing school trainers.
In autumn last year, two instructor training courses were delivered by Traffic and Transportation Officers and 24 candidates were successfully certified as Bikeability Scotland instructors on completion of these courses.
The council is currently working with education services and Cycling Scotland to get more local schools involved.
Clydesdale North Councillor Julia Marrs offered suggestions on how to get more volunteers to help with the training.
She said: “I think that during Covid, fewer schools took part for obvious reasons. It is important to note how many schools do take part and the support that is available through the scheme.
“Parent volunteers and friends tend to be associated with children that are going through bikeability, in the more senior phase of their primary education, so they tend to move on pretty quickly and there’s a constant turnover of volunteers.
"Perhaps we could encourage parents of younger school pupils; although their children might not be taking part at that time, it gives a longevity of volunteers.”
A small fleet of bikes and helmets are available to schools. Bikes are currently available from Montrose House in Hamilton or Happy ‘n’ Healthy Community Development Trust in Rutherglen; however, they need to be booked in advance.