The creation of a network of teachers trained to be School Mobility Managers is one key element to promote sustainable mobility among the whole school community
The School Mobility Managers Network has a strong cross-cutting value since it concerns different fields: Education, Organisation, Communication and Participation. The City of Reggio Emilia promoted the role of the School Mobility Manager since 2009 within the “Manifesto for a safe, sustainable and autonomous home to school mobility”. A teacher usually holds the role of being the main contact point in the school for the mobility policies implemented both for the Municipality and the whole school (children, parents, employees). The School Mobility Managers Network is the set of actions put in place from the Municipality to promote this role such as promotion, training and education. The Municipality realised different actions for the school mobility managers such as meetings, promotion of specific activities and initiatives (both recurring e.g. BikeTrain and new ones e.g. Traffic Snake Game or Walking and Cycling competition), tailor-made trainings, etc. When developing the Manifesto in 2009, it was clear from the beginning that it was necessary to promote an intense and continual dialogue and cooperation with schools; the creation of a specific figure inside each school represented an effective and efficient way to have a direct contact and create a permanent network with all the schools of the city. During the years, the network of school mobility managers proved to be a valuable tool to exchange experience and to build synergies between people involved.
Two officers are continuously engaged in working with the SMMs network. Economic funding was needed for SMMs' training. One school year is needed to promote and implement the creation of the network; after the creation a continuous activity to keep the network efficient and running is necessary.
Evidence of success
In consideration of the experience of Reggio Emilia, in 2016 the Italian State has introduced the role of School Mobility Manager at national level. Since 2009, thanks to the network new projects have been introduced, tested in a few schools and implemented in others. As a result of all the efforts made by SMMs in primary and secondary schools, the perception of high school mobility managers is that the number of students going by bike is notably increased especially in the last few years.
Difficulties: keep the network ongoing in an efficient way since often the role of the school mobility manager each year is assigned to different people; recurring meetings to enhance knowledges and keep high the attention on the school mobility management issues.
Potential for learning or transfer
The good practice is highly transferable since it is an effective way to join forces and to maximise the resources of a City to reach all the different targets in the school environment (students, families, teachers, employees). There is the need to identify a person in each school who can be the necessary link between the different school users and their needs and the Municipality, transferring in each schools mobility policies and proposals. The role of the Municipality is to train and inform the school mobility managers. Recurring meetings are also an important moment for the school mobility managers to interact, therefore an efficient way to increase the competences. Since mobility is a very interdisciplinary issue, it is also important to held specific trainings to increase the knowledge of the school mobility managers on key issues like air quality, autonomy and independence, psychomotility, health, safety, road education etc. Further information at the link below.
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