“We’ve seen a massive shift out of cars - on some days that’s as high as 60%.”
Q&A with Lewis Hayward, head at University College School Junior, an independent school in Hampstead, London. They joined HomeRun in 2018.
Photo: UCS website What led you to introduce HomeRun?
We had a lot of people driving to the school, and I wanted to reduce it for environmental reasons. Our catchment area isn’t that big, but, after we implemented HomeRun, we realised a lot of them were driving in from under two miles away. Driving in was something that had evolved, and had become part of the culture.
What are the main benefits you’ve seen?
A massive shift out of cars - on some days that’s as high as 60%. There are some exceptions, but the default is that it’s culturally unacceptable to drive the school run.
I definitely think it has built the community amongst people further away from the school. I couldn’t give you an estimate, but I can see families coming in together, who are completely unconnected. There are undoubtedly families who have become close and friendly because they live near each other.
How have you used the data?
HomeRun really helps give you a firm hand on the data. We had been going great guns, then the pandemic hit, and a certain amount of people returned to their cars because of covid/public transport fears. But the data showed me that it wasn't as bad as we thought - everyone who lived close enough was still trying to walk. Without the data I wouldn’t have known that.
"Part of the reason people are using cars very rarely, if at all, is pester power.” Lewis Hayward, Headteacher