Surveys form an important part of your School Travel Plan. They will tell you exactly how pupils are travelling to school, how they would prefer to travel and also help you to identify any issues faced on the journey to school.

Hands Up Survey

This is a survey aimed at pupils, which asks how they usually travel to school and how they would prefer to travel. It is normally conducted in the classroom, during registration. Data must be provided from at least 80% of pupils.

The data is used to monitor the STP targets. Therefore, if you are either developing a STP or wishing to maintain your STP, the Hands Up survey will be important for you to complete.

Modeshift STARS is our online sustainable travel scheme. Surveys can be conducted using STARS by sending the link to all class teachers Your school does not need to be registered with Modeshift STARS.

Parent’s Survey
Primary Schools developing travel plans will normally carry out a parent’s survey to assist in developing their Travel Plans. Secondary schools can carry out parent’s surveys, or may feel other survey methods are more appropriate, ie student survey, focus groups.

Parent’s surveys should include questions about the current school journey and the issues faced on that journey. It will usually include questions about what would persuade them to travel by sustainable means. The survey provides a good opportunity to invite new parents to join your working group.

An example parent’s survey can be downloaded from the right-hand side. This example can be adapted to suit the needs of your school.

Student’s survey
Secondary schools may feel that instead of completing a parent’s survey they would prefer to carry out a more in depth student survey. You could also consider having focus groups which could discuss the issues they face on the journey to school and what they would like to see happen. The focus groups should be representative of the school (ie include all year groups)

Schools may like to consider using the Bucks Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) to carry out their parent’s or student’s surveys.

Resident’s Survey
It is a good idea to involve residents who live close to the school in your STP. They will often appreciate being consulted and have ideas to address local issues. Or they may just like to be kept informed of the school’s travel planning activities.

Staff Survey
As well as thinking about how your pupils travel to school you should consider how staff travel to work and if there is any potential to change their mode of travel. You may find there are members of staff who live near each other who could car share to work, or there are members of staff who are keen to cycle to school but need storage facilities.

Schools that are registered for STARS will use the link on the website. Those that are not yet registered should contact the Sustainability Services Team to request a Registration Form.

Setting the Questions
When compiling your survey you might like to consider the following:

  • Only ask questions that are going to be useful – people won’t fill in a questionnaire which is too long.
  • Who your audience is – if you are surveying children are the questions age appropriate?
  • How the questions are worded – For example, ‘Why don’t you walk to school?’ could be phrased as ‘What would encourage you to walk to school?’
  • A list of things to think about can be found using the links on the right:

Analysing your results
Analysing the surveys you have carried out is important. The results of the surveys will give you information about which way you might like to go with the plan. The results may show that there is potential to increase the numbers walking or cycling to school and also any issues that you may like to look into.

Some schools analyse the data from their Hands up survey or parent survey as part of geography, maths or IT lessons. Results of surveys could also be discussed in Citizenship or PSHE lessons.

Monitoring your School Travel Plan
Surveys are an important way to monitor your school travel plan. Conducting a survey will help you to measure the targets you set in your plan and set new targets for the coming year.

Most schools will monitor their targets through the annual Hands Up survey which is carried out in the Autumn term.

Schools will find it helpful to conduct parent’s surveys biennially, to continue to understand school travel issues, identify solutions and measure the success of activities they have completed. New parents may also have new issues that they can raise through the survey.