School threatens to impound bicycles used by pupils without helmets

school threatens to impound bicycles

We have a new entry to our Cycling Hall of Shame. Only a matter of few weeks since we reported on a school in London that required its pupils to secure written permission from the head teacher before they cycle to school, comes news the news from one particular school in Banstead that they require kids to display a number plate on their bikes. reports that the Beacon School in Banstead this week informed its students that they will need number plates on their bikes if they wish to cycle to school.

School threatens to impound bicycles

Headteacher Keith Batchelor goes further still. If students exercise their legal right to cycle without a helmet they receive a warning from the school and if they ignore this warning, the school impounds the bicycle. We are pretty certain the school does not have the right to confiscate a bicycle in this way, but the broader point is that, at present, individual schools are entitled to formulate a policy on cycling based on little more than the personal whims of the head teacher concerned.

Keith Batchelor told “I am extremely positive about the role of cycling and the health and wellbeing benefits of cycling. I have seen number plate systems be highly effective in a number of schools which support students to cycle safely to school.”

“The system will allow us to target cycle training and safety awareness sessions to our students, to reward good and safe cycling by giving members of the community a way to give us feedback about how our students are using the roads locally. As well as helping us to discuss with students any occasions where their cycling may not meet our expectations.

“Alongside this we are also expecting students to wear helmets, be visible, use lights and ride bikes that are road safe.

The ETA is calling on government to formulate standardised advice on cycling for schools.

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  1. bob


    amazingly these anti cycling people always say they are really keen on cycling but go out of their way to put people off cycling. Methinks he may be lying about his keeness for cycling.

  2. Margaret Turner


    With regard to safe cycling to and from school I suspect part of the problem is that poorer parents may be unable to afford helmets, lights and high vis gear – since we have heard that parents are now being asked to pay for bear essentials – pens, books – because schools are cash strapped, it’s probable this will compromise their ability to equip their children for cycling.

    There doesn’t appear a clear answer to this – children should be able to enjoy both the health benefits and the wonderful sense of freedom having and riding a bike can bring. However they need to ride as safely as possible, and some families may need both guidance and practical assistance to achieve this.

  3. Geoffrey Cherry


    I personally believe that the headmaster of the school, Keith Batchelor has some good points as regards cycling safety, the headgear, reflecting clothes, and lights. better safe than sorry, having lost two of my children I know the pain.

    • Dennis Ong


      I understand the safety side of it and kudos to him for making steps for child cycling safety but then again a number plate does nothing for safety at all. and threatening to confiscate kids bike for not having one is just moronic. I will agree if he confiscates the kids bike for not wearing helmet and highviz because then it becomes more sensible not letting a child ride a bike without them.

  4. Christopher


    More an argument for fit for purpose cycling infrastructure.

  5. Rob


    Up to the gates of the school, the childs’ behaviour on a bike, safety clothing worn (or not) and bicycle identification is solely the parents, or legal guardians responsibility (defined in law as ‘Parental Responsibility’ by no coincidence).
    Another example of head teachers believing their seat of power allows them to extend authority beyond their legal remit.

  6. LF


    Helmets should be legal as

    1. Helmets are safe and although they may not safe you in a crash they will at low speeds as back when I was a child in different country. I was cycling when my brake cable suddenly snapped so I hit a rock and went over handlebars but lucky I only got scrapes but If I hadn’t been wearing my helmet things would of been worse
    2. Motorbike riders it’s a legal requirement for them? So why not cyclists. Motorbikes are basically a bike with engine. Sure it’s not the law for horse riders to well helmets only 14yrs and under have to by law but you never see anyone ride a horse without a helmet.
    3. You wouldn’t see a car without a seatbelt and seatbelts don’t always safe life’s but sometimes they do same with helmets.
    4. Even the police/PCSO cyclists wear helmets. There probs just setting a example.

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