A report looking at young people’s attitudes to cycling was declared the ‘runaway winner’ in a competition organised as part of the ‘Insight into Management’ programme.
The report identified a “lack of enthusiasm for cycling among young people”, who see it as “different and embarrassing”.
55 sixth form students from a consortium of schools in Barking and Dagenham participated in Insight into Management earlier this summer.
Insight into Management is organised by the Education Business Partnership at the London Borough of Barking & Dagenham, and focuses on the potential of students to move into managerial roles once they commence employment. The programme includes a five-day placement with a host company where students work in groups on a challenge they are set.
At the end, students present their reports to an audience comprising participating employers, teachers, students and a panel of judges.
This year the prize for the best report went to a team from The Warren School in Chadwell Heath – Shaun Anderson, Jonathan Mujikwa and Aminata Sankoh – who were placed with the London Ambulance Service (LAS) and mentored by Paul Jeffrey, LAS public education officer.
Their challenge was to explore young people’s attitudes to cycling, and their report identifies “a lack of enthusiasm for cycling among young people”.
It went on to say: “Among young people cycling is seen as different and embarrassing which results in peer pressure… this is a significant factor in the low level of young cyclists.
“There is a significantly higher level of resistance to cycling among secondary school children and secondary school teachers. Secondary schools do not seem to appreciate the important health benefits that cycling can have… and it will take a significant change in mindset before we see any dramatic rise in the number of secondary school children cycling.
“Parents are a major part of the challenge to increase cycling among young children. Some have very negative views of cycling which creates a barrier to participation in young children.”
The judges declared the report the runaway winner and Kathy Carson, education business partnership manager with the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham, said it was “the best student report I have seen in the Insight into Management programme”.