School Travel Health Check (STHC) Service

School Travel Health Check (STHC) Service

School Travel Health Check (STHC) Service

Our School Travel Health Check (STHC) Spatial Analysis Service is an example of a Geographic Information consultancy project for one local authority in 2004 that soon “grew arms and legs” to become a ground-breaking, nationally available service, still going 13 yearsa later.

In providing high quality, spatial intelligence data to local authorities, school communities and other stakeholders interested in how children travel to school, from where, and how far they travel to get there, it incorporates all aspects of the geographic information process.

The STHC uses Geographic Information System (GIS) and other standard office software tools to undertake spatial analysis of local authority pupil-level and school-level School Census data, and Pupil Usual Mode of Travel data (if available). The analysis results quantify and visualise the actual school travel situation and associated factors “on the ground” – from whole-authority down to individual school level. Stakeholders can then act on this information accordingly to effect behaviour-changing modeshift to more active and sustainable modes of travel on the “school run”.

All stakeholders – professional and non-professional – can access the results as a suite of digital resources on an online, publicly accessible, interactive, map-enabled data portal. This is supplemented by a suite of supporting digital files (such as GIS files), supplied directly to the local authority client.

Digital output is further supported by STHC paper map packs sent to all schools, containing a bespoke analysis report, large format (A1 sized), maps centred on the school and a key results table of all schools in the authority.

Our approach to commissioning the STHC is one of ‘pragmatic flexibility’, with a transparent pricing policy, a flexible approach to joint commissioning & invoicing, and as short a turn-around as possible once we receive all the client input data specified and it passes all our pre-processing quality control checks.

By undertaking the ‘donkey work’ of spatial analysis of their data and serving the results back to them as a complete ‘one stop shop’, publicly acessible package, the STHC frees up stakeholders time to do the important work of actually delivering the change on the ground required…

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Benefits Of The School Travel Health Check Service

Commissioning the standard School Travel Health Check spatial analysis plus Packs for all schools benfits multiple stakeholders interested in how children travel to each school, from where, and how far they travel to get there, in multiple ways…

Quantify and visualise all schools

The STHC quantifies and visualises the actual pupil travel situation for all schools at both a collective and individual level, over a prolonged period of time, in a consistent way.

Engage constructively with all schools

The STHC enables officers to engage simultaneously with all schools across an authority at an operational level, in a consistent, meaningful & constructive way, whether or not they actually collect pupil usual mode of travel, or have a travel plan, using their own data.

Target modeshift resources better

The STHC identifies the schools where behaviour-changing shift to more active and sustainable modes of travel on the "school run" is more likely to be achievable, and so resources can be targetted better. `

Set SMART Modeshift Targets Locally

The STHC enables schools to set local SMART* targets (*Sustainable, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound) to deliver modeshift "on the ground" in the short, medium and longer term.

Benchmark and monitor modeshift progress

Annual STHC analysis shows how much progress is being made and quantifies how well SMART targets are being met.

Build up a robust modeshift evidence base

When repeated every school year, the STHC analysis results build up into a robust evidence base that helps to inform the strategic planning & funding of modeshift supporting services & infrastructure.

Enable informed public debate

The STHC enables the debate around the important issues of active & sustainable travel within a school community to be based on the actual situation "on the ground", not speculative presumption and tabloid style, “knee-jerk” opinion.

Inform both strategy & operations

The STHC provides both the "big picture" required at the strategic planning level, whilst still being detailed enough to enable resource targetting at the operational level.

Always compare "apples with apples"

The straightforward nature of the spatial analysis - "as-the-crow-flies" - and the fact that we have results at an individual pupil level which can then be aggregated by any criteria required, means changes in results are due to changes in the ground..

STHC In Numbers

Since the School Travel Health Check spatial analysis service began in 2004/05 ….

STHC Clients

UK Local Authorities

Data Processed

m
Individual Pupil Data Records

from

Separate UK Schools

which is

~ %
Of All LA Schools In England

STHC School Packs

STHC School Packs produced
School-centred maps @A1
m2 of paper
pages of A4

Average Annual Cost Per Pupil

-23p
For Standard STHC Analysis Package & STHC Packs To Every School*

*Depending on school set up within an authority (our transparent pricing formula takes into account the number of schools and pupils).

STHC Clients, Testimonials & Citations

From the UK Chief Medical Officer to Local Authority School Travel Advisors & their Regional Co-ordinators, and individual school Headmasters & School Travel Plan Leads, our School Travel Health spatial analysis service provides all stakeholders with the essential knowledge foundations to “think global and act local” and move forward with their sustainable / active travel agendas. By undertaking the ‘donkey work’ of spatial analysis of their data and serving the results back to them as a complete package publicly acessible to all, the STHC frees up their time to do the important work of actually delivering the change required…

Even in this technological age we have found that this is best done as a mix of paper and digital resources. Thus school-centred maps and a table of key analysis results for all schools, printed on big bits of paper, delivered back to the school as part of a STHC School Pack, continue to be a key part of the STHC analysis output, even though all the data can also be found on the online data portal.

The STHC School Pack contains 2 site-centred A1 sized pupil travel maps, an A1+ length results table spreadsheet and an 8 page school-specific report. With potentially 500+ schools in an authority (550 is the biggest one we have handled to date), that’s a lot of paper to print off and compile into School Packs in a short space of time, so we have had to make the process as automated as possible!

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UK Government Chief Medical Officer 2009 Annual Report

The STHC is cited as the example of best practice for public health in the South West Region in the 2009 Annual Report of the UK Government Chief Medical Officer (see “Increasing active travel by schoolchildren” – p73).

“This innovative sustainable development initiative aims to provide robust data that will allow schools, planners and individuals to develop more sustainable school travel options.”

“Active travel to school is an important source of physical activity for young people. It could be increased further. These statistics provide a useful baseline against which to measure progress, and should be used in conjunction with a qualitative assessment of local authority and school travel policies.”

Other Citations

Towards A School Carbon Management Plan

Sustainable Development Commission (SDC) and the UK Department For Children, Schools & Families (DCSF) (June 2009)

Promoting Active Travel to School: Progress and Potential

Modeshift / Department of Health / NHS South West (Nov 2010)

Making Sustainable Local Transport Happen

UK Department for Transport (Jan 2011)

Soft Measures – Hard Facts: The Value For Money Of Transport Measures Which Change Travel Behaviour

UK Department of Health / UK Highways Agency / NHS South West / Travelwise / South West Regional Development Agency (Jan 2011)

STHC Outputs - Data Portal

All the STHC analysis results are published online on a customer-specific, publicly accessible, interactive, map-enabled, fully responsive data portal. Built using the free & open source Bootstrap responsive website developers toolkit, it utilises free external web-services such as Google Maps and Google Charts , which greatly enhance visualisation of the data at no extra cost to users. Its “thumb friendly” fluid design means it is viewable in any HTML5 compatible browser, on any device, including mobile phones.

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The STHC Data Portal is arranged into pages contained within different modules, themed by the specific purpose and nature of the analysis (though there may be some overlap between them in terms of the data reported). Additional modules may be added over time, but currently these are…

Pupil Travel Distance & Mode Analysis Module

Proximity & Pupil Choice Analysis Module [BETA]

Road Traffic Accident Analysis Module [BETA]

Pupil Travel Distance & Mode Analysis Module

The foundation of the STHC output since its’ beginning, the Pupil Travel Distance & Mode Analysis module quantifies how far Demo pupils travel to school, from where, by what means & the carbon & calorie footprints of the pupil journeys, and visualises the results as interactive maps, charts and tables. Even where pupils have no recorded mode of travel (their mode is recorded as “Unknown (UNK)”), useful spatial intelligence – such as total & average travel distance, the number of pupils living within a realistic walking distance (the “Walk Threshold”) of the school etc.- can still be calculated.

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Analysis Results Highlights

Benefits

Pages In This Module

View Summary Charts & Headline results for all available years for the selected school s well as all schools as a whole by way of comparison.

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Query the latest analysis data for the selected school by filteringon a combination of pupil mode of travel, National Curriculum Year (NCY) range and maximum travel distance and see the results tables, charts and Google Map dynamically update. All available Google Map functionality like greyscale maps, aerial imagery and Street View are available to enhance the understanding of the data.

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View Summary Charts & Headline results for all available years for the selected school s well as all schools as a whole by way of comparison.

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Compare & contrast Pupil Usual Mode of Travel (PUMoT) and key STHC Analysis Results data for all analysis years for all schools and look for any special patterns in our famous interactive, geo-statistical Instant Atlas.

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View Key Results Tables for the latest analysis for all schools.

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View Summary Charts & Headline Results for the latest analysis for all schools as a whole.

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View Summary Charts & Headline Results for the latest analysis for all schools as a whole.

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Click on the buttons above to view the page on our demo portal (opens in new browser tab)…

Proximity & Pupil Choice Analysis Module

The Proximity & Pupil Choice Analysis module quantifies the proximity of schools to pupils, pupils to schools, and schools to each other. From this are derived pupil choice by distance ranking, “doorstep leakage” of pupils to schools that are not the nearest one (& the extra “child miles” this involves) and the numerical and geodemographic impact on roles if all pupils attended their nearest school.

An immediate applications of this analysis is in quantifying the “leakage” of potential pupils away from a schools own doorstep, which represents a loss of revenue for them. If PUMoT data is available then there is the obvious opportunity of SMART targeting for modeshift (“in this schools walk threshold X number of kids are driving Y number of miles to various other schools, which is Z “child miles” more than if they walked to this school on their own doorstep”). Lack of PUMoT data makes the results less rich, but does not prevent the analysis from being undertaken.

Creation of this Proximity & Pupil Choice Analysis module does not require Pupil Usual Mode of Travel data as the pupil location is part of core National School Census data. However if travel mode data is available for the selected school, there is also the ability to use it to further filter the pupils.

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Analysis Results Highlights

Benefits

Pages In This Module

Click on the buttons above to view the page on our demo portal (opens in new browser tab)…

Road Traffic Accident Analysis Module

The Road Traffic Accident (STATS 19) Data Analysis module quantifies the officially reported road traffic accidents within 4.8 km of schools. Accidents all involve casualties and have been recorded via the official police STATS19 accident reporting system, with nationally available data going back to 2005. As well as the ability to see all the accidents around a school on a an interactive map, users can also compare accident analysis results between all schools side by side on an interactive table.

Although there is no direct link between an accident and a specific school recorded in the STATS19 dataset, there are some data fields that, taken together, provide evidence that the accident is at least of relevance to school travel…

  • child involvement via the age of a casualty (which may be a driver of a vehicle, a passenger or a pedestrian).
  • time of day and day of the week at which the accident occurred (eg. did it occur during usual school travel times?).
  • purpose of the vehicles journey (commuting to/from work, for work, taking pupil to/from school or Other/Not known).
  • location of accident and therefore its distance from a given school (as measured by our spatial analysis).
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Analysis Results Highlights

Benefits

Benefits

Pages In This Module

Click on the buttons above to view the page on our demo portal (opens in new browser tab)…

More detailed information can be found on the STHC website and the STHC Demo Portal.

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STHC Outputs - School Packs

Yes, there's still a place for big paper maps...

We have always encouraged client authorities to put the STHC analysis results back into all their schools (whether or not they collect pupil usual mode of travel data or have a formal school travel plan). After all, this is where the source data comes from in the first place, and this is where we are trying to effect change on the ground (even if they themselves haven’t yet expressed an interest in changing!).

Even in this technological age we have found that this is best done as a mix of paper and digital resources. Thus school-centred maps and a table of key analysis results for all schools, printed on big bits of paper, delivered back to the school as part of a STHC School Pack, continue to be a key part of the STHC analysis output, even though all the data can also be found on the online data portal.

The STHC School Pack contains 2 site-centred A1 sized pupil travel maps, an A1+ length results table spreadsheet and an 8 page school-specific report. With potentially 500+ schools in an authority (550 is the biggest one we have handled to date), that’s a lot of paper to print off and compile into School Packs in a short space of time, so we have had to make the process as automated as possible!

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Bespoke School Report & Covering Letter

The STHC Standard School Report condenses the most important stats headlines, charts and explanarory text from the Pupil Travel Distance & Mode Analysis module into 8 sides of A4 paper when printed.

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2 x A1 Pupil Travel Maps Centred On School

The primary purpose of Pupil Travel Maps is to clearly show where all the pupils that attend the school are travelling from and how. The Standard STHC Pack has 2 maps with different backgrounds – aerial imagery or the appropriate street-level scale of Ordnance Survey topographic map.

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A1+ Key Analysis Results Table For All Schools

The primary purpose of the Key Analaysis Results Table is to enable stakeholders to easily compare and contrast the STHC analysis results from all the different standard reporting levels for the authority on a single, printed page (allbeit a large one!).

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STHC Outputs - Supporting Digital Files

Before we created the STHC Data Portal, all the STHC analaysis output data for a particular authority was delivered as a suite of different files of various types – Excel spreadsheets, MapInfo GIS, Instant Atlas, Google Earth etc. This was the only way of being able to utilise the full range of visualisations for our analysis data ie. tables, charts and maps, and share them with client authorities. However the total size of all the files for a single authority would run into several gigabytes (digital mapping / GIS files can be very large). This had obvious issues when it came to sharing data with schools, which was the main driver for creating the paper STHC School Packs.

The STHC Data Portal has solved the problem of being able to put the full range of data visualisations in one place, which can also easily be accessed by all the stakeholders in an easy to use way. However there is still a requirement for some of the previous stand-alone file output, in particular the GIS files, which must be guided by data protection requirements seeing as how we are still dealing with individual pupil data. Thus we still issue a Final Data Pack (ie. USB stick) containing all the Supporting Digital File Output to our local authority contact. They then share the files with whoever they think should have them. We do not currently distribute any files via the portal, but this is something we are willing to look at in the future if there is a demand from client authorities and schools.

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School Report & Covering Letter Files (.pdf)

A digital version of the the STHC School Report & Covering Letter included in the paper pack can be viewed on the “School Bar Charts, Stats & Report” page of the authorities STHC Data Portal (click on the “View School Report Button” on the header and the Report & Covering Letter will open up as a “print friendly” web page in a new browser tab). Users can then be either printed out to paper, or as a pdf file using a pdf print driver like do-pdf, which can then be saved to your hard disk.

We have included the PDF versions of the report for each school in the supporting digital files output.

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Pupil Travel Maps Image Files (.jpg)

These are screenshot imges of the Pupil Travel Maps that form part of the paper STHC School Pack. They are produced as additional output files (in .jpg format) from our bespoke, automated MapInfo printing routine. The image files are created at 2 different resolutions:-

Hi Resolution
4491 x 3176 pixels – suitable for printing up to A1 size – approx file size ~5 MB (OS map background) and ~11 MB (photo background)

Medium Resolution
2246 x 1588 pixels – suitable for printing up to A3 size – approx file size ~4 MB (OS ap background) and ~5 MB (photo background)

The Pupil Travel Map Image files fulfil 3 main purposes…

Digital record – The file provides client officers with a digital record of the paper maps that have been supplied to their schools.

Quick hard copy – The file(s) can be quickly printed to provide additional paper copies of the maps, as long as there is access to a suitable printer. The high resolution images can be printed up to A1 size, the medium resolution up to A3.

Proper Cartographic Map – It provides schools with a digital copy of a human designed, ‘proper’ cartographic map (as opposed to a webmap like those in Google), that can be projected in the classroom as well as pasted in their School Travel Plan document. This has probably been superceded by the interactive Pupil Travel Map on the “School Bar Charts, Stats & Report – Latest Year” page of the authorities STHC Data Portal, but it remains an option for schools to use none the less.

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Geographic Information System (GIS) Files

Having the output analysis data as Geographic Information System (GIS) files will enable clients to work with it – create alternative visualisations or perform further analysis – within their own authority GIS environment as required (it is usual for our data to generate as many more questions as it answers!).

GIS files are supplied in MapInfo format as standard as this is the software we use to undertake our spatial analysis. MapInfo is one of the worlds leading desktop GIS software packages and a well-recognised ‘industry standard’.

Alternative GIS formats (eg. ESRI .shp files) may be accommodated but this will involve an additional charge for data translation. Alternatively it may be possible for data translation to be carried out by your own internal GIS team. We can provide technical liaison, including sample data, to help facilitate the process.

More information on GIS use within you authority will be available internally from your GIS system administrator, or your Authority Liaison Officer (ALO), who is responsible for the distribution of all the digital map data products supplied under the national, local authority Mapping Services Agreement (MSA).

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Google Earth Files (.kml)

Pupil Travel Map data for each school can also be supplied to clients as a .kml file that can be viewed interactively in the freely available Google Earth application. There is an “All LEA Schools” kml file which shows all the schools in the LEA and their walk thresholds, with the school-level results appearing in the ballon when users click on the icon. As per the MapInfo GIS output there is also a pupil-level file for each school, showing the school and its walk threshold, as well as all the pupils attending the school as coloured mode of travel icons and a line of travel to the school. The pupil-level results appear in the ballon when users click on the icon.

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Client Input Data

Clients need to supply to us with certain datasets before we can undertake the STHC spatial analysis process. These come under the categories of ‘Pupil-Level’ School Census & Usual Mode of Travel Data, ‘School-Level’ School Gazetteer Data and Digital Mapping Data. These are discussed in general below, but please refer to the more detailed information on the dedicated STHC website as there are specific technichal requirements that need to be met before we can accept data for analysis.

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Before We Begin, A Word About Individual Pupil Usual Mode Of Travel Data

On the 29th July 2011 the English Department for Education announced that, in order to “reduce bureaucracy”, Pupil Usual Mode of Travel had been immediately dropped as a data field from the English National School Census (see the full story in this part of the website). Although they couldn’t stop schools and local authorities from still collecting the data (and there is no technical reason why they can’t as the Mode Of Travel data field remains an operational field in schools information management system software), many took this as a their cue and stopped doing so.

However despite the resultant increase in bureaucracy to themselves, many authorities have made the necessary, alternative arrangements to collect pupil mode of travel data directly from all their schools on an individual basis, academies as well as ones still under their control. They have done this because they appreciate the value of continuing to have an authority-wide view of how pupils travel to school for transport planning and many other purposes.

We therefore continue to offer the School Travel Health Check Service to all UK local authorities. Indeed as is our custom we have adapted and improved the robustness of the STHC process

  • Lack of Pupil Usual Mode of Travel Data from some / all schools in an authority does not prevent us undertaking spatial analysis of the “Pupil-Level” School Census Data (and never has done). All we need to do that is the pupils home postcode, and that will always be collected as part of the School Census.
  • This means we can still plot all pupils on a map, and therefore all schools can still visualise where all their pupils are travelling from on the School Map & Charts page on the authorities STHC data Portal. It has always been the case with the STHC that pupils with no recorded mode of travel have been coded as “Unknown (UNK)”, and assigned the “Unknown” symbol on the map.
  • This means authorities can still engage simultaneously with all the schools in “their patch” in a consistent, meaningful and constructive way using their own data, irrespective of whether or not they still collect pupil mode of travel data or have a school travel plan.
  • Although the resulting analysis output is less rich without the results being broken down by individual pupil mode of travel, it still contains much useful information of value to local authorities that can be used to profile the pupil travel situation in individual schools eg. total and average “actual” travel distance.Thus authorities will still be able to identify the ones where active engagement would potentially yield the best results.

That said we can easily “plug in” alternative sources of pupil travel mode data if they are available, even if it is only at whole school-level rather than individual pupil level. For example the Sustrans Hands Up Survey in Scotland or the ModeShift Stars Survey in the rest of the UK. Although not ideal and a bit of a “half-way house”, these can still be “mashed up” with the pupil maps obtained by spatial analysis of the “Pupil-Level” School Census Data in the portal for great visualisation and at least some quantification.

Thus whilst not exactly “business as usual”, the STHC is still here for those local authorities that appreciate the value of having an authority-wide view of how pupils travel to school. We do appreciate however that during the transition process between collecting regimes, the situation within an authority may be patchy and confused. All we ask is that, when providing their Input Data to us, clients are clear about its completeness and let us know what schools (if any) are missing from it. This will save any unnecessary delay in processing due to data failing initial quality control checks!

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'Pupil-Level' School Census Data

This is an extract of the data about individual pupils that is recorded by the school on its information management system and collected as part of the official National School Census by the local education authority on behalf of central government.

We require “Pupil-Level” School Census Data so that we know…

– Unambiguously who they are (using their authority / national pupil identifier, not any personal data like name etc.), so the data can be unambiguously cross referenced with pupil mode of travel data (if available) for analysis, and the resulting data can be unambiguously cross-referenced with other pupil-level data the authority holds.

– Where they are travelling from (using their home postcode centroid, not their actual address), so we can plot their home location on a map reasonably accurately and undertake our spatial analysis process.

– Essential qualifying facts about them, crucially how old they are (using their National Curriculum Year year group, not their date of birth), so we know what schools they could also go to.

– Other useful facts about them (practical things like socio-demographic data – gender, ethnicity, free school meal entitlement, Index of Mass Deprivation (IMD), etc.), so we can analyse and split the data in different ways to figure out if any of these factors influence the observed pupil travel behaviour.

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Pupil Usual Mode of Travel Data

This is the data about how individual pupils usually travel to school. In England between 2005 and 2011 it was recorded by schools on their information management system and collected as part of the official National School Census by the local education authority on behalf of central government. Since the English Department for Education unilaterally decided to stop collecting it as part of the national census in 2011, it has been up to each local authority, and individual school in the case of academies, as to whether or not to continue collecting the data from pupils and how it is recorded.

As already discussed it is not essentiasl for us to have been supplied with Pupil Usual Mode of Travel data in order to undertake the STHC spatial analysis process. However the analysis results will be “less rich” without it, and it may affect what it can be subsequently used for by the client.

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'School-Level' School Census & Gazetteer Data

This is an extract of the data about each school itself that it holds on its information management system and is collected as part of the official National School Census by the local education authority on behalf of central government.

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Digital Maps & Aerial Photogrpahy

Due to revised practices client authorities no longer need to supply us with the Ordnance Survey map data we require in order to undertake the STHC analysis as it is now supplied to us directly by Ordnance Survey.

If you are commissioning STHC School Packs however we will still require your authority’s digital aerial photography coverage, copyright permitting, along with any specific copyright message (this will usually be covered by a separate licensing agreement with a supplier that is not Ordnance Survey). We can deal with your authority GIS Team directly to sort this out if required.

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STHC Analysis Process

The initial objective of our spatial analysis – perfected over many years in collaboration with our clients –  is to quantify and visualise where all the pupils are coming from, how far and by what means they are travelling, and where they are travelling to. From these analysis results, everything else flows…

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'Pupil Home – 'Actual' School Distance' Analysis

The starting point of our spatial analysis is to calculate the straight-line (“as the crow flies”) distance between the centre of a pupils home postcode area and the actual school they attend. In the STHC Output this is called the ‘Pupil Home – ‘Actual’ School Distance’ or just ‘Actual’ Distance’ for short. This represents the length of a single pupil journey from either home to school or back again.

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'Pupils Living Within Walk Threshold' Analysis

From the ‘Actual Distance’ figures calculated for each pupil, it is then possible to calculate which live within a realistic walking distance (the “Walk Threshold”) of the school they actually attend.

Although this is a simple enough concept to grasp, there is unfortunately no standard definition of what a “realistic” or “reasonable” walking distance is. Thus since the beginning of the STHC we have defined our walk thresholds as 800m (0.5 miles) for Primary schools and 2 km (1.2 miles) for Secondary schools.

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'Pupil Home – 'Nearest' School Distance' Analysis

As well as the distance to the school they actually go to, we also determine the distance to the nearest school that a pupil could possibly attend given their national curriculum year (NCY). This is called the “Pupil Home – ‘Nearest’ School Distance” or just “‘Nearest’ Distance” in the output. We also record the difference between the “Actual” and “Nearest” distances. Of course both the “Actual School” and “Nearest School” could be one and the same but both are recorded (and the distance to them) in our analysis data.

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'Pupil Home – 'Nearest' School Distance' Analysis

Once spatial analysis has told us where all the pupils are coming from, how far and by what means they are travelling and where they are travelling to, we can calculate…

– the total distance travelled to school and back by all pupils on a daily basis for all recorded modes.

– the average distance travelled by particular modes

– the distance within which the “majority” of pupils live from their school. (Rather than simply being “more than half”, traffic and transport engineers strictly define the “majority” as the 85th percentile ie. the distance within which 85% of the pupils travel).

– the number of pupils that live within a realistic walking distance of their school (800m (0.5 miles) for primary, 2km (1.2 miles) for secondary)….

– ….as well as the number of those pupils who nonetheless still travel to school by car rather than walk or cycle.

– the minimum possible total travel distances given the current geographic distribution of the pupil population and the schools that serve them.

– an overall travel carbon footprint for all pupil journeys to school by vehicular modes of travel, and the number of calories burned through walking and cycling journeys.

What’s more …

– if you can calculate these for one school day then you can calculate them for a school week (5 days) and a school year (190 days).

– if you repeat the analysis in exactly the same way for every pupil, in every school in every client authority, then you can directly compare “apples with apples”.

– if you repeat the analysis in exactly the same way every year, then you can see if there is any change over time (as well of course actually visualising and quantifying the change).

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Commissioning Cost & Delivery

Authorities may commission the STHC service in isolation or in conjunction with their neighbours (each authority is still invoiced on an individual basis). In the latter case additional benefit is achieved for authorities as they can “see” the cross-border movement of pupils between all the authorities that are part of the analysis dataset.

Commissioning the STHC Service is via a simple authority purchase order. We are happy to provide written quotations in advance if clients provide us with the necessary information on the number of schools and pupils in their census data. We are also able to offer flexible, advance invoicing for one or more years worth of output to fit in with clients’ budgetary availability.

We are also happy to liaise directly with the input data providers if there are any concerns of a technical or data protection nature.

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Standard Service

The price of the STHC Standard Service for a single census years data processing is set by our transparent pricing formula, so client authorities will always know in advance how much our service is going to cost:-

  • £1,500 per Local Authority
  • £12 per school
  • £0.01 per pupil

All prices quoted exclude VAT.

This will get you:-

  • bespoke STHC Data Portal for your authority, hosted for a year by us, with the following analysis modules:-
    • Distance & Mode Analysis Module (includes “Print Friendly” STHC School Report & Covering Letter webpage).
    • Accident (STATS 19) Analysis Module (currently comes Free with the Distance & Mode Analysis Module).
  • Supporting STHC digital file output:-
    • Google Earth map files (.kml).
    • Geographic Information System (GIS) files (MapInfo format by default, ESRI format available on request.)
  • Membership of the “STHC Club” – our aim is continual improvevement of our service by encouraging feedback from client authorities and incorporating their suggestions into subsequent output wherever possible, either by upgrading the standard service or creating new analysis modules. Thus whilst they remain part of the “STHC Club”, all authorities will be assured of automatically benefiting from any future improvements to the standard service at no additional cost. They will also receive a discount on any new analysis modules.

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School Packs

As previously stated, client authorities can produce their own, school-specific resources from the standard STHC analysis output suite if they have the necessary technical skills and capacity to do so. The “in-house” option however should not be undertaken lightly. The resource commitment in terms of tying up staff and large format printers for the amount of time required to produce packs for all the authority schools, can generate internal conflict! Alternatively clients can let us take care of it for them.

The price of our School Pack Service is determined by the prefered delivery option:-

£26 per STHC School – We print, fold and collate each pack component into an unsealed envelope for each LEA school. These are then boxed in numerical order by DfE Establishment Number and delivered to clients by overnight courier. Clients can then check the contents, perhaps even augmenting them with their own additional content, before sealing the envelopes and sending them out to schools via their own internal postal system.

£28 per STHC School – We print, fold and collate each pack component into an envelope, seal it and post packs directly to schools by Royal Mail.

All prices quoted exclude VAT.

In addition to the physical packs sent to schools, there will also be supporting STHC digital file output of:-

  • Pupil Travel Map Image Files (.jpg).
  • STHC School Report & Covering Letter as individual PDF files for each school.
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Examples

Large Authority Client

A large county authority with 68,272 pupils attending 270 schools (a mixture of Infant, First, Junior, Primary, Middle, Secondary, Upper and Special) will pay the following for the standard STHC Output Service plus STHC School Packs posted by us to all LEA schools…

Cost Element
Calculation
Sub-Total
LEA Standard charge
1 x £1,500
£1,500.00
Schools Component
270 x £12
£3,240.00
Pupil Component
68,272 x £0.01
£682.72
Total Standard STHC Output
£5,422.72
STHC School Packs
270 x £28
£7,560.00
TOTAL STHC COST
£12,982.72
Total Cost Per Pupil
£0.19

To repeat the analysis and send out school packs in subsequent years will cost the same amount (£12,982.72), or to not repeat the analysis but maintain hosting of the portal and benefiting from future upgrades to the standard service will cost £10% of £5,422.72 = £542.27.

Small Authority Client

A small unitary authority with 20,304 pupils attending 38 schools (a mixture of Primary, Secondary and Special) will pay the following for the standard STHC Output Service plus STHC School Packs compiled by us and couriered to client for them to send to schools via their internal mail…

Cost Element
Calculation
Sub-Total
LEA Standard charge
1 x £1,500
£1,500.00
Schools Component
38 x £12
£456.00
Pupil Component
20,304 x £0.01
£203.04
Total Standard STHC Output
£2,159.04
STHC School Packs
38 x £26
£988.00
TOTAL STHC COST
£3,147.04
Total Cost Per Pupil
£0.15

To repeat the analysis and send out school packs in subsequent years will cost the same amount (£3,147.04), or to not repeat the analysis but maintain hosting of the portal and benefiting from future upgrades to the standard service will cost £10% of £2,159.04 = £215.90.

Featured Resource

Spatial Analysis Insights Provided By The STHC

The School Travel Health Check service shows how knowledge that can only be derived through spatial analysis, brings practical insight to all stakeholders that are interested in how pupils travel to school, from where and by what means. It enables them to better target their limited, behaviour-changing resources to schools where modeshift is more likely to be achieved ie. those where the most pupils that live within a reasonable walking distance of the school still travel by car.

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Short Term 'Quick Wins' - "the number of pupils living within walk threshold travelling by car

A classic “quick win” for clients upon first receiving the STHC analysis data is to re-order the individual school results by “the number of pupils living within walk threshold travelling by car”. This will give them a target list in descending order of the schools with the biggest potential for modeshift, which can then form the basis of their day-to-day activities for the next few weeks.

Care must be taken here however. Although it is maybe more intuitive to look at the percentages to rank potential target schools, the measure of success for modal shift is the actual number of journeys where the mode of travel can be changed. Think missionary work and the “saving of souls”!

As you can see from the example screenshots opposite from an actual STHC client authority, if we only went by percentages there are only 80 potential modal shift targets spread over the top 10 “offending” schools, compared to 477 if we play the numbers game. A 10% modal shift in these schools would actually result in a lot more CO2 saved!

Longer Term Evidence Base

In the long term, if you repeat the exact same spatial analysis at regular intervals, you can establish patterns & trends in the data that  show how the situation is changing on the ground.

For example the chart shows that, since the STHC began in Dorset in 2007-08, there has been a measurable (~25%) reduction in the number of pupils living within a reasonable walking distance of their school and travelling by car.

This could only ever be deiscerned by using spatial analysis.

Advanced Analysis - Proximity & Pupil Choice

The Proximity & Pupil Choice Analysis module quantifies the proximity of schools to pupils, pupils to schools, and schools to each other. From this are derived pupil choice by distance ranking, “doorstep leakage” of pupils to schools that are not the nearest one (& the extra “child miles” this involves) and the numerical and geodemographic impact on roles if all pupils attended their nearest school.

An immediate applications of this analysis is in quantifying the “leakage” of potential pupils away from a schools own doorstep, which represents a loss of revenue for them. If PUMoT data is available then there is the obvious opportunity of SMART targeting for modeshift (“in this schools walk threshold X number of kids are driving Y number of miles to various other schools, which is Z “child miles” more than if they walked to this school on their own doorstep”). Lack of PUMoT data makes the results less rich, but does not prevent the analysis from being undertaken.

Creation of this Proximity & Pupil Choice Analysis module does not require Pupil Usual Mode of Travel data as the pupil location is part of core National School Census data. However if travel mode data is available for the selected school, there is also the ability to use it to further filter the pupils.

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Mixing It Up - Road Traffic Accident (STATS 19) Data Analysis

The Road Traffic Accident (STATS 19) Data Analysis module quantifies the officially reported road traffic accidents within 4.8 km of schools. Accidents all involve casualties and have been recorded via the official police STATS19 accident reporting system, with nationally available data going back to 2005. As well as the ability to see all the accidents around a school on a an interactive map, users can also compare accident analysis results between all schools side by side on an interactive table.

Although there is no direct link between an accident and a specific school recorded in the STATS19 dataset, there are some data fields that, taken together, provide evidence that the accident is at least of relevance to school travel:-

  • child involvement via the age of a casualty (which may be a driver of a vehicle, a passenger or a pedestrian).
  • time of day and day of the week at which the accident occurred (eg. did it occur during usual school travel times?).
  • purpose of the vehicles journey (commuting to/from work, for work, taking pupil to/from school or Other/Not known).
  • location of accident and therefore its distance from a given school (as measured by our spatial analysis).
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