Bikeability: Road safety warning

‘Dangerous Game’. Image:BBC

On a recent Bikeability course run by Walsall Council for Year 7, the course tutors informed us that we have more students cycling to school than any other school in Walsall. Whilst we are very pleased about this, this success is not without its problems.

You will be aware that I have written to you before about road safety and our students cycling to school.

Unfortunately a small number of students have behaved recklessly both on and off the premises and on the approaches to and from school. We have identified individual students and put sanctions in place. This clearly is irresponsible behaviour which puts themselves in danger and other road users and innocent bystanders. The BBC has placed a video on their website of what could happen.

Unfortunately there was an incident with a Year 9 boy on the school premises on Thursday 4th July. He attempted to do a wheelie, but flipped over on his back. Due to the diligence and skill of our First Aiders we were able to immobilise him whilst an ambulance came, which took an hour and 15 minutes. The boy was detained in hospital overnight and X-Rays showed he had sustained a broken vertebrae in his back. The consequences for the boy concerned could have been horrific and it could have been a life changing injury. Fortunately it is likely that the boy will make a full recovery, but only after a sustained period of lying flat on his back.

The boy’s family are very appreciative of the actions of our staff and have given permission for us to utilise this incident for the benefit of others.

We as a school community have had a lucky escape here and we want to ensure that no other person gets injured due to reckless behaviour on bikes. I would like to reiterate our basic school rules on bikes.

  • Any bike brought into school must be road worthy.
  • Students must not ride their bikes on the school premises, they must dismount their bikes on entering the premises, and push their bike off the premises (unless they use the drive).
  • Students must use their bikes sensibly to and from school.

We reserve the right to confiscate bikes until parents come into school to collect them and ban students from coming to school on their bikes if they break these rules. We will also pass details onto the police when appropriate.

Students who bring a bike to school must complete and return the reply slip from the letter below.

Deputy Headteacher | + posts

Mr S Burns is the Deputy Headteacher at St Thomas More Catholic School.