Discussion forum: JRSO

Wednesday 6 May, 12.00 - 13.00: Setting up and running a Junior Road Safety officer (JRSO) scheme 

 Facilitators:
Alison Lonsdale, Durham County Council
Harry Tipple, London Borough of Hackney
Heather Bolton, Telford & Wrekin Council 

 

This forum is now closed - thanks to our facilitators and to all of you who sumitted questions and participated.

You can still submit a question by using the 'ask a question' box at the foot of the page but it will not be answered in ‘real time’.

General information about setting up and running a JRSO scheme is availabe in a simple guide we have prepared for Global Road Safety Week 2015.

If you have any difficulties, or want more information about the forum, please contact Nick Rawlings on 01379 650112.

 

 


Q1: POSTED BY: KAREN NAPIER
My children go to a local primary school in the north east of England, and I believe that the school are a little resistant to road safety education, as they say it impacts on teaching time. How can I overcome this and get a a Junior Road Safety Officer scheme up and running?

ALL THREE OF OUR EXPERTS HAVE ANSWERED THIS QUESTION

ANSWER FROM ALISON
The JRSO scheme that operates in schools across County Durham has been endorsed by our Director of Education and the Lead for the PHSCE Curriculum as an excellent example of peer to peer education. While the JRSO’s need to be overseen by an adult helper from the school it doesn’t necessarily need to be a teacher, it could be a teaching assistant or parent helper.

We provide our JRSOs with a resource pack which is packed full of everything they will need for their role and all of the activities are designed so that the JRSOs can carry them out without too much adult involvement. Our Road Safety Officers visit our JRSO schools termly to provide assistance and support; these visits often take place during lunchtimes to lessen the impact on the teaching day.

ANSWER FROM HEATHER
Many of our schools run their JRSO scheme at lunch time and one school operates it as an after school club. A range of staff in the schools co-ordinate the JRSO scheme and our Road Safety Officers support them, and they all received a half termly newsletter.

With regard to incorporating road safety education into schools, it shouldn’t be seen as an additional initiative but should be incorporated into the curriculum by using it as a topic. For example, in creative writing pupils can write poems or short stories with a road safety theme.

ANSWER FROM HARRY
Road safety education within primary schools has proved to be highly effective in establishing key skills for the development needed for children to have the correct skills to travel independently and safety later in life. The junior road safety officer scheme offers such education.

In the past when we have come across schools that are slightly resistant to the JRSO scheme due to impact on time, we have worked very closely with the school in the set up and delivery of the scheme and offer continued support over the academic year. We have suggested in the past that schools create an after school club or lunchtime club to plan and carry out the JRSO work so as not to impact of learning time.

Running the scheme does need an adult from the school to oversee projects and at certain schools we have suggested that parents/governors of the school take on this role instead of a year teacher, which has proven to be highly successful.

In my experience once the initial training has been carried out the school soon realizes the benefits of having such a scheme and allows time in the day for teaching and training of crucial road safety education.


Q2: POSTED BY: ALEX PETERS
This looks like a good idea, but as a teacher my concern is time - we are all very busy already. Can you tell us roughly how long it will take to set up and manage a JRSO scheme?

ALL THREE OF OUR EXPERTS HAVE ANSWERED THIS QUESTION

ANSWER FROM HARRY
We fully understand the time constraints that primary schools face in regard to the delivery of PSHE and curriculum. The junior road safety officer scheme takes a very small amount of time to set up and with continued support from road safety officers over the academic year the pressures can be lifted.
In some parts of the country, councils run large training events for JRSOs to learn and develop skills to take back to the school, thus taking pressure off the school. Resources and advice, both online and in hard copy format, are available for the JRSOs and schools at all times to support the delivery of the scheme.

Planning the delivery can take a small amount of time each week and if your schools is concerned about time constraints I would suggest that you run a school club or merge the JRSOs with the school council.

ANSWER FROM ALISON
The first step is to appoint your JRSOs. Schools can choose how to recruit, some of our schools advertise the post, encourage pupils to complete application forms and then interview prospective candidates, some ask the pupils to vote for their JRSOs, while others simply choose two children who they think can do the job. Obviously the last option is the easier and quicker one!

Once the JRSOs have been appointed an induction meeting will take place with their council Road Safety Officer; this will be approximately 30 minutes in duration. Then it’s simply a case of the JRSOs changing their noticeboard and running a competition every term, factoring the various elements of launching the competition, judging entries, awarding prizes etc - this could be around two to three hours each term.

Our Road Safety Officers also visit the JRSOs each term to offer support and advice with the competition. This meeting usually takes about 30 minutes and often takes place at lunchtime to lessen the impact on teaching time.

ANSWER FROM HEATHER
Once you have chosen your JRSOs I would say the initial meeting (with the Road Safety Officer) to set the scheme up usually takes half an hour and then the JRSOs meet once a week for 30 minutes to an hour. The local authority Road Safety Officer provides advice and tips on how the operate the scheme without it being too onerous.

Some of our schools have two JRSOs while others have a team of them to spread the work, other schools involve their school councils. It is entirely up to you. The scheme is designed to be flexible and fit into the way the school works.


Q3: POSTED BY: CHRIS KEENAN
I work for a company that manufactures road safety products. Part of our corporate and social responsibilities are to find projects like this one and see if we can help in any way. Is there any costs associated with the scheme and are you looking for sponsors?

ANSWER FROM HEATHER
Sounds great!

Here in Telford we currently offer a package of road safety services for a fee and JRSO is included within that. There are costs for resources and officer time, so the idea of sponsorship has been talked about, as we are currently using resources purchased in a previous financial year and they are starting to run low.

If you'd like to explore this further can I suggest you contact Nick Rawlings who is co-ordinting these seminars on 01379 650112 or nrawlings@stennik.com. He will be able to advise how best to progress this. But I should wait until the seminar has finished!

ANSWER FROM HARRY
With regard to setting up a JRSO scheme, there are no cost implications for a school as it is a council run scheme. However, having both local companies from the local community and larger national organisations supporting the scheme is always a benefit to help achieve the end goal of creating safer environments for children travelling to and from school.

ANSWER FROM ALISON
I’m currently looking at developing our Durham JRSO for Road Safety GB North East region, to pass onto other authorities in the region who would like to run the scheme. We'd be interested in having a conversation with a company willing to invest in the resource. Also our stocks of the Durham JRSO resource are running low and we would like to refresh it, so this may also be of interest.


Q4: POSTED BY: Chas Buchanan
Do teachers need to have any road safety training or qualifications to run a Junior Road Safety Officer scheme?

ANSWER FROM HEATHER
No, teachers don't need any specific training or qualifications to run the JRSO scheme. Advice, guidance and resources are provided by their local authority road safety officer to help them operate the scheme, and throughout the lifetime of the scheme. Obviously having an interest in road safety and some road safety knowledge is useful.

The Road Safety GB Academy offers two courses for people involved in road safety delivery - a one day behavioural change course and the more in-depth Road Safety Practitioner Foundation Course - details can be found here:
http://www.roadsafetygb.org.uk/pages/training.html

ANSWER FROM HARRY
No, teachers do not need any road safety qualifications or training prior to setting the scheme up. All advice and support is give to staff members on the correct education and material that needs to be delivered. Most councils will provide schools with a teachers guide and lesson plans as well.

Road safety officers from your local council will work closely with you and support teachers and pupils as much as is required. It is a benefit however if the member of staff over seeing the scheme has a passion for the safety and the development of children's safety not just at primary school level but for later in life.

ANSWER FROM ALISON
No road safety qualifications are needed by teaching staff to run the scheme. The scheme is supported by the local authority Road Safety Team who offer support and advice to the JRSOs and their adult helpers. Our resource pack contains a teachers' handbook which gives an overview of the scheme and the important road safety messages that the scheme promotes. It helps if the adult helper has a keen interest in road safety as this will help to enthuse the JRSOs.


Q5: POSTED BY: MARY PAGE
Is there any research to confirm the effectiveness of JRSO or similar peer to peer road safety initiatives?

ANSWER FROM ALISON
I know that Leicestershire County Council has had its JRSO scheme evaluated, twice I believe. If you would like to follow this up please contact Nick Rawlings on nrawlings@stennik.com - he will pick this up with you.

During the development of our JRSO resource pack we worked very closely with our PHSCE Lead here in Durham who assisted in the development of the resource, endorsed the scheme and worked closely with the road safety team to implement the scheme in the first pilot schools.

ANSWER FROM HARRY
I believe that TFL has carried out research and evaluation to monitor the effectiveness of the scheme. In certain councils I know evaluation is carried out to asses the effectiveness of the scheme and monitoring the development of learning objectives that are met.


Q6: POSTED BY: DELPHINE NORTON
How can JRSO help to promote safe travel on home to school transport?

ANSWER FROM HEATHER
We encourage our JRSOs to choose topics or issues that relate to their journey to and from school, as well as following suggested topics within the JRSO resources.

So if there is an issue with being safe on home to school transport, then they can provide advice and information encouraging fellow pupils to be safe passengers on that journey through a variety of methods such as assemblies, newsletters, posters.

Some of our JRSOs have been giving advice and information on how to use puffin crossings correctly outside their schools. They have also monitored pupils using the crossing and then awarded prizes/certificates to pupils that use the crossing safely and correctly.

ANSWER FROM HARRY
JRSOs cover a large variety of road safety and travel safety issues. Each school has the opportunity to develop the scheme in a individual and specific manner. If a school has a large number of pupils travelling to and from school on buses or in cars the JRSO scheme can be tailored to educate on issues such as car seat safety, seat belt safety and the correct behaviour when travelling. This also can include cycling and scooter safety.

ANSWER FROM ALISON
JRSOs are encouraged to look at issues that are important within their own school. Therefore they could promote safer travel on home to school transport by organising a competition to design a leaflet/poster on safer bus travel, they could speak in assembly about the importance of being a safe passenger, display information on their JRSO noticeboard on safer bus travel. They could also request that their Road Safety Officer comes into school to give a talk or provide resources on the subject.


Q7: POSTED BY: MAREE RICHARDS
I am sorry I missed the Forum yesterday but hoping you may still be able to help.
I am a RSO in Cambridgeshire and we are just looking to get started with the JRSO scheme. We are now a very small team and rather than re- inventing what is already out there resources wise (which looks fab!) I am wondering if it is possible for any of the counties/boroughs doing this to share their resources at a cost (or not) and for us to then put our logo and details for contacts etc on as well as keeping the credit where it is due?
Thanking you in anticipation.

ANSWER FROM ALISON
I am currently working on developing our Durham resource for Road Safety GB NE which once completed will be available for local authorities in the NE region to purchase. I'm sure we would be more than happy for LAs who are a little further afield to purchase packs too.

ANSWER FROM HELEN
We are currently using TFL'S JRSO scheme and had it branded with Telford's logos. I'm not sure that the TFL JRSO scheme is available as they have replaced it with Junior Travel Ambassador (JTA) scheme which combines road safety and sustainable travel.

Cambridgeshire are members of Modeshift and use Modeshift STARS. A copy of the JTA scheme is available to download from the Modeshift STARS website. Your School Travel Plan Co-ordinator should be able to access it under the resources section. I believe that it may be possible to use the JTA and have it rebranded as this is something we are looking at when we finally use up all our JRSO resources. Email chair@modeshift.org.uk for more details on using JTA and adding your branding.

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