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Walk to School FAQs

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Frequently asked questions

Funding application system
Submission process
Walk to School


Who can apply?

All Victorian councils are eligible to apply and must have satisfactorily acquitted any previous funding that has been received from VicHealth.


All Walk to School applications must be submitted online in accordance with timelines and processes outlined Terms and Conditions.


Funding application system

I've forgotten my password for the funding application system – how do I retrieve it?

If you already have an account, we cannot retrieve your password but you can request a new password. On the User Login page click ‘Forgot your password. Click here’. A new password will be sent to the email address that you used to register. If you prefer, you can request a new password by contacting the VicHealth IT Helpdesk via [email protected] 


I can’t find my draft application – how can I access it? 

If it is not under the ‘Show In Progress Applications’ section on the Online Submissions portal screen it has not been saved. You need to select the ‘Save & Finish Later’ button at the bottom of the application form pages otherwise your work will be lost when you click out of the page.


I keep having to complete the Eligibility and Compliance Check to get to the application form – what should I do? 

The Eligibility and Compliance Check needs to be completed before you begin a new application. If you have started an application and selected ‘Save & Finish Later’ you can retrieve a saved a draft copy of the application from the Online Submissions portal screen ‘Show In Progress Applications’. This will allow you to complete a previously saved application without having to complete the Compliance Check again.


My email address has changed. Can it be changed in the Funding Application System? 

To change your registration email address, you will need to log in with the original email address and password you registered with, and then locate the ‘Change Email/Password’ link at the top of the page. If you have any further issues please contact the VicHealth Helpdesk via [email protected] 


I keep getting the error message 'Your browser is not configured to support cookies'.

In order to access this online application form, you must adjust your browser settings to allow cookies’. This error message has been observed by users who are using the browser Google Chrome. 

Unfortunately the online submissions portal and Walk to School application form do not fully support the use of Google Chrome. Please try using Mozilla Firefox or Internet Explorer to complete and submit your application form. If you are using Firefox or IE and this error still occurs, please ensure you have cookies turned on. If you have any further issues please contact the VicHealth Helpdesk via [email protected]


Submission process

How do I apply? 

To complete your application, you will need to:

  • have your council ABN and bank account details
  • register your details on the Funding Application System
  • complete the online Eligibility and Compliance check
  • download and complete a Walk to School Project Plan in line with the instructions provided
  • complete the online Walk to School application 
  • upload your Walk to School Project Plan before submitting your Walk to School application

Councils can apply online at:


When should I apply? 

The VicHealth Walk to School Grant 2016 will open on 1 March 2016 at and will close at 1pm on 15 April 2016. 


What is on offer?

The Walk to School grant will provide funding of up to $10,000 (ex. GST) to undertake the following requirements:

  1. Promote Walk to School and encourage primary schools to register and participate.
  2. Deliver locally run Walk to School engagement activities with participating schools.
  3. Deliver local initiatives to support ongoing active travel by primary school-aged children.


How will applications be assessed? 

We will be assessing applications against the following assessment criteria:


Relevance to local area


  • Demonstrates ability and provides examples of how council will promote Walk to School.
  • Demonstrate ability to encourage primary schools to register and participate in October 2016.
  • Provides details of locally run Walk to School engagement activities to be delivered to participating schools and clearly outlines why these initiatives have been chosen for this local context.
  • Provides details of local initiatives to support ongoing active travel by primary school-aged children and clearly outlines why these initiatives have been chosen for this local context.



  • Provide evidence that proposed activities cater for all primary school students, including those who are less likely to participate, and demonstrates activities are fair, accessible and inclusive.


Growth (for previous Walk to School grant recipients only)

  • Demonstrates learnings from previous years and how council will build on them.
  • Provides examples of how council will increase participation of schools from previous years.
  • Addresses any challenges experienced in previous years and provides rationale and strategies for overcoming these.



Walk to School

What is Walk to School?  

The Walk to School campaign encourages regular physical activity in Victorian primary school-aged children by supporting them and their families to establish routines, and by supporting primary schools, local councils and communities to integrate active travel behaviours into their local settings.


Walk to School is an annual, high profile community event that encourages primary school students across Victoria to walk, ride or scoot to and from school as often as possible during the month of October.

The Walk to School campaign focuses on positive health outcomes, and is based on a range of research and evidence that indicates:


  • National guideline recommendations are that children aged 5–12 should engage in at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity every day  
  • Only one in five children aged 5–17 get the recommended amount of physical activity every day 
  • Active transport choices e.g. walking, riding or scooting instead of driving can contribute to an individual’s achievement of the recommended physical activity levels 
  • High levels of persistent physical activity participation among children are correlated with adult levels of activity 
  • Less than 20% of Victorian children walk to school.

Walking, riding or scooting to and from school can help children achieve the recommended 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity every day and adopt physical activity habits for life. At the same time, by choosing active transport modes to and from school, children and families can also help reduce traffic congestion, parking difficulties and the associated environmental impacts, and connect with each other, friends and neighbours, while developing road safety skills and independence. 


Is Walk to School Australia-wide? 

No. Walk to School is for Victorian primary school-aged children only. 



Why is Walk to School a whole month, while other active travel initiatives focus on a single day?

In recent years Walk to School has been expanded from a single day of activity to a month-long campaign. By encouraging children and their families to walk to and from school as often as possible for a month, VicHealth aims to build healthy habits that will support active lifestyles for children as they grow up. Research shows that longer-term initiatives have positive outcomes on children’s physical activity levels.

Promoting a month of walking activity, rather than a single day, also provides students, families, schools and communities with more opportunities to engage with the Walk to School campaign, develop networks and connections, and embed walking into their everyday routines.



Isn't walking to school risky for kids?

We definitely encourage parents to walk to school with their younger children – and gradually build up to letting children walk on their own as they get older. However, every situation is different and of course parents should make a decision based on what they feel is appropriate for their child.

Common parent concerns about letting their children walk to school alone – such as perceptions of stranger danger, traffic concerns and neighbourhood crime – often lessen when parents walk with their children from a young age, teach them about walking safely, and gain confidence in their children’s safety sense. Walking to school together is a great way for the whole family to spend some time together and increase their physical activity levels.

Recent research indicates that for older children, there are many benefits to gradually travelling more independently – including helping children develop motor skills and increase coping skills, self-esteem and social skills – and we’d encourage parents to consider these benefits when making decisions about their child’s journey to school.



Does our council need to distribute collateral to schools?

No. Councils will not be required to distribute collateral to schools. Instead, schools will order their own materials using an order form available from the Walk to School website, and VicHealth will arrange for collateral to be posted directly to schools. Councils will also be able to order Walk to School collateral online.



Can our council use Walk to School funding to deliver existing active travel projects?

This funding is designed to support new initiatives, or deliver clearly identified outcomes that complement and add value to existing council work. This funding is not designed to be used to fund existing council work.



When does the Walk to School funding for active transport initiatives need to be spent?

Ideally all Walk to School funding would be spent before and during the Walk to School campaign, and accounted for in the final evaluation report submitted to VicHealth by 16 December 2016. However, some activities relating to longer term active transport initiatives may not be complete in this time. In this case we encourage the council to contact VicHealth to discuss the activities planned, and the implications for reporting. 



The grant guidelines state that schools are required to collect, collate and report Walk to School data to VicHealth and that councils must provide support where required. How will this work?

VicHealth collects participation data from schools that take part in Walk to School each year. VicHealth considers a school to have participated in Walk to School if that school reports their overall participation results to VicHealth, or if students from the school register walks individually via the Walk to School website.

Councils funded by VicHealth to run Walk to School activities also need access to their local schools’ participation data in order to run local activities and to report on and evaluate their Walk to School activities.

Throughout Walk to School, participating schools will use printed classroom calendars to record students’ walks each day. Schools will also be asked to report their overall participation results to VicHealth via the Walk to School website at the end of Walk to School. 

Councils will be required to liaise with schools at the end of Walk to School to ensure schools submit their participation data either by logging their participation data online (which councils will also be able to access) or providing their hard copy calendars to the council so the council can collate and report the school’s overall participation data online. 

Depending on the level of data provided by each school, councils may need to undertake some data processing such as manually adding up total numbers of walks and total distances walked for classes and schools.

Data that will need to be reported back to VicHealth includes: 

  • School name (collected on classroom calendars)
  • Number of students enrolled (school will need to provide this information)
  • Number of students who participated in Walk to School (collected on classroom calendars)
  • Number of walks completed during Walk to School (collected on classroom calendars)


Department of Health and Ageing 2004, Australia’s physical activity recommendations for 5-12 year olds, Department of Health and Ageing, Canberra.
Australian Bureau of Statistics 2013, Australian health survey: physical activity, 2011-12, 4364.0.55.004, Australian Bureau of Statistics, Canberra.
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2012, Risk factors contributing to chronic disease. Cat. no. PHE 157. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, Canberra. <>.
Telama, R, Yang, X, Viikari, J, Välimäki, I, Wanne, O & Raitakari, O 2005, ‘Physical activity from childhood to adulthood: a 21-year tracking study’,  American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 3, pp. 267-273.
Australian Bureau of Statistics 2013, Census at School Australia2013 National Summary Tables, Australian Bureau of Statistics, Canberra. 

Artwork by Dexx (Gunditjmara/Boon Wurrung) ‘Mobs Coming Together’ 2022

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Artwork Credit: Dexx (Gunditjmara/Boon Wurrung) ‘Mobs Coming Together’ 2022, acrylic on canvas. Learn more about this artwork.