Children at Crowcroft Park Primary School in Longsight were among the first in the city to work with road safety officers as part of a course developed for the day. Headteacher Heather Stemp hopes the lessons will encourage parents and their children to spend less time in the car on needless journeys. As well as leading to dangerous congestion around school gates she says it can increase pollution in the playground: "The majority of children do walk because they live so close to the school and, obviously, there is a small minority who have to come by car because they live so far away. But there are a number of families who live two or three streets away and still come by car. I think it's just habit, especially if it's raining. Even if these courses convert just half a dozen children and their parents to walk to school it will make a difference."
The "Step Outside" courses are also being held at All Saints in Gorton, Moston Lane in Moston, and Ravensbury in Clayton to coincide with a national campaign to encourage youngsters to walk to school. Councillor Val Stevens, Manchester city council's executive member for planning and transport, said: "Walking to school has a range of benefits, including health benefits and the alleviation of parking problems. New research has found that teachers think it is an excellent way for pupils to wake up fully so they are ready for the first lesson of the day."