The Department for Education (DfE) is consulting on the content of the national curriculum until April 16th and is asking the public and ‘stakeholders’ for their input.
British Cycling is responding to the consultation and urging its 70,000 members to do the same – calling for children to be given the chance to learn how to ride a bike confidently on the road. Likewise the CTC is encouraging its members and other cyclists to respond to the consultation (see below).
According to British Cycling, despite the good work of Bikeability in schools, only around half of all children currently have access to some form of cycle training. The training takes young people out on the road to teach them vital life skills about awareness, traffic riding and to get them used to the experience of cycling to school. Non-compulsory Bikeability training replaced ‘cycle proficiency’ tests in 2007 when the initiative was rolled out by the Department for Transport.
This isn’t the first time the call has been made to include cycling on the curriculum. Mountain biking has been on the curriculum in Scotland since 2010 and some English local authorities are teaching school children cycling as part of the curriculum – including in Derby since 2007.
“Cycling is a vital life-skill that all children should have – especially if we want to normalise cycling as an everyday activity that all people can do," said British Cycling director for Policy and Legal Affairs Martin Gibbs.
He added: “Cycling is a vital life-skill that all children should have – especially if we want to normalise cycling as an everyday activity that all people can do.
"Like the ability to swim, cycling is a skill that young people carry with them throughout their adult lives – be that cycling as a sport, a form of transport and a way to keep fit and healthy.
“Bikeability training shouldn’t just be the preserve of children whose schools or local authorities happen to promote cycling – it should be for everyone.
"We’ve taught thousands of young people how to ride bikes and we’ve introduced almost 400,000 young people to competitive cycling since 2009 but there are still millions of children who are missing out on cycling and we want to change that.”
British Cycling has delivered Bikeability training to thousands of adults and children since 2009 through schools and summer holiday courses. Over 2,000 young people have participated in Bikeability training with British Cycling since 2009. British Cycling has also trained over 600 Bikeability instructors. Go-Ride – British Cycling’s youth cycling initiative – has provided 359,000 opportunities for young people to experience coaching and competitive cycling since 2009.
The Department for Education’s consultation can be completed here. The relevant section of the consultation is on pages 181 to 183.
British Cycling has come up with some suggested wording that can be pasted in to the relevant section, which can be found in the link at the foot of this article. Alternatively the CTC’s system allows you to amend and/or submit automatically, via this link.