Below is a briefing on the planned review of Edinburgh’s School Crossing Patrol service.
Progress since the Transport & Environment Committee on 5 October 2017
Agreement was given to consult with service providers and service users, to seek their views about existing School Crossing Patrol sites, as well as potential alternatives or additional new sites. This is not a budget saving exercise, but to ensure we are providing crossing guides where and when they are most needed.
We plan to begin consulting in February. We will engage in three stages:
- School Crossing Patrol (SCP) Guides and the School Crossing Patrol team
- stakeholders and groups including Headteachers, PTAs, Councillors
- parents, carers, school pupils, general public.
We will invite the SCP Guides to meetings at which they can meet the team working on the review, ask any questions they may have and contribute their views on the service to help shape the review. This will be followed at a later date by an opportunity to complete a questionnaire. Any subsequent consultation will be sought via the Consultation Hub with printed surveys available for people without online access.
Although no direct offer of ‘meetings’ will be made, the Road Safety and Active Travel team will consider specific requests for a meeting during the consultation.
We have spoken to People Support, Communications, Schools, Lifelong Learning and Planning and Building Standards to ensure these business areas are aware of this ongoing work and to secure their support where necessary.
Week beginning 22 January
Letters will be sent to SCP Guides and the SCP team, informing them of the review and inviting them to one of two meetings, at which the School Crossing Transport Officer and personnel from the Road Safety and Active Travel team will explain the review process and its timeline. Those attending will be paid for their time at the meeting.
Headteachers, Councillors and Trade Unions will be updated on the review as SCP Guides may refer to them for support.
Week beginning 19 February to 6 April
Consultation with Headteachers, PTAs, pupils, Junior Road Safety Officers, Councillors and Neighbourhood Partnerships via the Consultation Hub (printed versions will also be available).
Week beginning 12 March to 6 April
Consultation with parents/carers and the public via Consultation Hub (printed versions will also be available).
Contact will also be made with Road Safety – Great Britain (RS-GB) and the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) to consult with them as professional bodies in Road Safety.
Results of consultation
We have already counted pedestrian and traffic numbers and undertaken a qualitative assessment of the road environment at every school crossing patrol site. The consultation feedback will be used alongside this to develop a draft SCP Policy for presentation to the Transport and Environment Committee in late 2018. Any potential budgetary or resource implications cannot be determined until a draft SCP Policy has been developed for approval.
Background and context
The School Crossing Patrol (SCP) service is not a statutory function. A national standard for an SCP service is set out in the Road Safety GB (RS-GB) School Crossing Patrol Service – Guidelines: revised November 2015.
While those guidelines are used in Edinburgh to assess requests for new SCP sites, the Council does not have a policy for providing a SCP service. Although no existing sites have ever been formally dis-established, operational decisions have been taken to suspend some sites where there is little or no demand.
An initial report, ‘Review of School Crossing Patrol Service’ was agreed by the Transport and Environment Committee on 15 March 2016. After this, all sites were assessed.
In September 2016, there were 243 established SCP sites, of which 38 were considered to be non-operational. The number of SCP Guides employed varies due to fluctuating levels of staff turnover. At the time of the assessments in September 2016 there were 157 SCP Guides. All 243 sites were analysed, assessing demand from children to cross the road, traffic levels and the local road environment at each to gather the required data. The current budget is sufficient to employ 173 Guides.
The development of an SCP Policy will enable the Council to ensure the service:
- aligns with its strategic transport objectives
- ensures limited resources are deployed effectively
- reflects an assessed level of risk and considers the safety of all road users
- has an appropriate level of budgetary provision.