What is Walk to School?
Every October, Walk to School encourages Victorian primary school students and their families to walk, ride or scoot to and from school as often as possible.
Walk to School also supports primary schools, local councils and communities to make active travel easy, safe and accessible.
What are the benefits of Walk to School?
The Walk to School program focuses on positive health outcomes. It’s based on extensive research and evidence indicating that increased physical activity in Victorian children can provide real health benefits.
Walking, riding or scooting to and from school can help children to achieve the recommended 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity each day, and adopt physical activity habits for life. It can also help to 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 a Victorian program for primary school children only.
Why a whole month, while other active travel initiatives focus on a single day?
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 active travel activity, rather than a single day, also provides students, families, schools and communities with more opportunities to engage with the Walk to School program, develop networks and connections, and embed walking into their everyday routines.
Isn't walking to school risky for kids?
We definitely encourage parents and carers to walk, ride or scoot to and from school with their younger children – and gradually, when ready, build up to letting them do this with friends and on their own as they get older. We understand that every situation is different and carers should make a decision based on what they feel is appropriate for their child.
Common concerns about safety– such as perceptions of stranger danger, traffic concerns and neighbourhood crime – often lessen when carers go with their child from a young age, and can teach them about safe active travel, which allows the carer to gain confidence in their children’s safety sense.
Walking, riding or scooting to school together is a great way for the whole family to spend time together and increase 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.