Calculating walking distance and assessment of route

Statutory walking distance is:                        

  • 2 miles for children under the age of 8
  • 3 miles for children aged 8 to 16

For consistency and fairness a geographic information system is used to calculate the walking distance from the child’s home address to the nearest qualifying school and this is strictly applied. It references the shortest walking route that a child, accompanied as necessary, may walk safely. The route may include footpaths, bridleways and other pathways as well as recognised roads. 

We will assess the route at the times the child would be using it to determine if it is suitable. This will take into account factors such as: 

  • the age of the child
  • whether risks might be less if the child were accompanied by an adult and whether you can reasonably be expected to accompany them
  • the width of the road and existence of pavements
  • the volume and speed of traffic