a. Yes, the law states only that you may not leave children unattended for an unreasonable amount of time and not make provision for their supervision. RideScore Active Schools is a program similar to many others around Australia and in other countries that enable children to walk and ride or scoot to school safely and easily. The benefits are recognised by local and state governments who all support ride and walk to school programs. Previously, many more children walked and cycled to school than they do today and they are missing out on a great active start to the day and the other benefits being active gives them.
The program does however recognise and address the areas of concern for parents and schools, specifically:
i. We provide objective whereabouts information to registered parents/carers that lets them know when their child has arrived safely at school and when they leave, so they know when to expect them home.
ii. We provide maps to all parents and students that show them where the safe, convenient routes to school are and they get to choose their regular route to school.
iii. The RideScore Active Schools program intends to progressively offer bicycle education classes to all year 4 classes in participating schools.
b. The specific details of the law in Queensland are as follows: It is considered a misdemeanour to leave your child unattended for an unreasonable amount of time without supervision. This varies in the other states and territories.
c. The QLD Criminal Code (Section 364A) states:
i. A person who, having the lawful care or charge of a child under 12 years, leaves the child for an unreasonable time without making reasonable provision for the supervision and care of the child during that time commits a misdemeanour. Maximum penalty is three years imprisonment.
ii. Whether the time is unreasonable depends on all the relevant circumstances.
iii. LINK: See Legislation
As a responsible parent or guardian you need to make a judgement on when your child is ready to travel independently to school.