Children's Independent Mobility: a Comparative Study in England and Germany

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Children's Independent Mobility: A comparative study in England and Germany (1971-2010)

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Children's Independent Mobility: A comparative study in England and Germany (1971-2010)

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ISBN: 9780853748557
Author: Ben Shaw, et al.
Binding: Paperback
Publisher: Policy Studies Institute
Publication Date: January 2013


In 1990 Policy Studies Institute published the seminal report One False Move...A Study of Children's Independent Mobility, by Mayer Hillman, John Adams and John Whitelegg. The report documented the changes in independent mobility for primary schoolchildren in England between 1971 and 1990 and provided a 1990 baseline for secondary school children in England and the then West Germany.

This report revisits the One False Move study and updates it with data collected in 2010.

The research finds that over the last four decades, primary school children in England have lost much of their freedom to get about in their local neighbourhood without adult supervision. Only 25 per cent of primary school children in England are allowed to travel home from school alone compared with 86 per cent in 1971. English school children in 2010 also have less independence to get about alone when compared to German children of the same age.

This report includes analysis of the English and German datasets from 1971, 1990 and 2010, and a literature review of relevant research collating the findings from other studies on levels of independent mobility children experience, the wide range of factors that affect it and also the evidence on why allowing children independent mobility is important for their well-being and development.

The report concludes with a discussion of the implications for policy of the findings. It is clear that reversing the downward trend in children's independent mobility poses some major challenges for policy-makers in fields ranging from transport, health, education, planning to policing policy.

Table of Contents

  • Executive Summary
  • Introduction
  • Survey approach and methods
  • The literature on Childrens Independent Mobility
  • Childrens Independent Mobility in England 2010
  • Childrens Independent Mobility in England 1971-2010
  • Childrens Independent Mobility in Germany 1990-2010
  • Childrens Independent Mobility: Comparison of England and Germany 1971-2010
  • Summary of Findings and discussion of the implications of findings for policy and future research.
  • References
  • Annexes








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