As Parents or Guardians, we are very protective of our children and sometimes make all the necessary decisions about crossing roads without involving them in the thought process or providing no guidance at all. Many children get driven by car rather than walking and therefore have little exposure to traffic.   Footsteps is the Council’s refreshed training programme for children aged 4 to 7 years old which is designed to help children become more aware of their surroundings when out and about, including walking to and from school.

What is Footsteps?

Footsteps is a sequential progressive, three stage road safety training programme.  It is designed to help children to learn to think for themselves and to improve their awareness of and how to stay safe around roads and traffic. It is important for Parents/Guardians to reinforce this learning.

Footsteps teaches children to make their own choices and decisions about what they see and hear through open questioning. With progression they will get better at deciding what they must do to keep safe in various traffic situations. This reinforces the need for parents and schools to take every opportunity to train their children, as they grow up, to be safe road users.  The Programme incorporates a separate Parents’ Guide for Children which introduces parents to the Programme and encourages their participation in their child’s training.

Although it is important for children to be near traffic in a safe manner, we understand that it may be difficult for schools to find the time to progress all the stages, and sometimes it may prove difficult to recruit volunteers.  Schools may wish, instead, to set up a road safety scene in the playground or carpark or even the school hall and encourage children, in a safer environment, how to understand for themselves why we do, or don’t do, a particular action and teach children about the consequences of their actions.

Why not have a Road Safety Afternoon for the whole School and invite your local police/fire brigade or even your School Crossing Patroller, if your school has one, to share their knowledge with the children?

The Stages

There are three stages in the programme; each stage builds on the last:

Stage 1 (Red Section) is the essential building block for learning how to become a safe pedestrian and includes lessons in for example near and far, fast and slow, dropped kerbs, vehicle lights.

Stages 2 and 3 are further steps but are not essential for schools to undertake if they are short of time, because they can be sent to parents to teach and guide their own children whilst out in the local community.

Each Stage covers the basic “Green Cross Code” with additional aspects of road safety. Footsteps does not teach children how to cross roads on their own, one of the key safety messages of the Programme is that they must hold a grown-up’s hand to cross the road. 

The Resources

There are Footsteps Certificates available for each stage and on the reverse they say what the children have been taught so this will further aid parents when helping their own children with the next stages.

For more information and details of the Programme please contact: or call 01296 383432


Further Useful Web Sites:

Explore education resources – THINK!

Brake Road Safety –

The AA Motoring Trust (The Facts About Road Accidents and Children (

For more guidance refer to: