One need only read the many responses to the tweet announcing a ban on pupils cycling to school to know that Nottingham’s Ellis Guilford school has not had to look far and wide to track down criticism of its decision. Unsurprisingly, Chris Boardman has been among those having their say.
Earlier this week, we reported head teacher Dr Sally Coulton’s claim that the ban had been introduced in response to “a growing number of students cycling to and from school in an extremely dangerous way.”
She said that while warnings had been issued and some students had already been banned from taking their bikes to school, “there are many students who continue to ride recklessly and it is only a matter of time before we have a serious accident.”
The new policy means that students who wish to cycle to school now need to have completed a Bikeability course and to have been issued with a cycle permit.
Cycling UK says it is hearing of more and more educational establishments who are putting up barriers to those cycling to school, knowing that it would take a determined parent to challenge such a policy when their child is threatened with disciplinary sanctions and possibly exclusion.
The move comes after a Surrey school told its students they could only cycle to school if they fitted a number plate to their bikes in November, and the same month, a school in St Albans said it would suspend children caught riding to school on the pavement or without a helmet.
Responding to Ellis Guilford’s decision, Boardman questioned the school’s authority to carry out its threat.
Takes powers beyond school, locks bikes until others have left. Requires things beyond the law, punishes pupils who have done nothing wrong as well. Bans active travel (rather than bad behaviour)
Is the same approach taken for driving around school...?
— Chris Boardman (@Chris_Boardman) January 17, 2018