Quality of life and everyday mobility of schoolchildren: what choice do Moscow parents make?

Elena Nekhorosheva (Russia), Elena Alekseycheva (Russia), Anastasia Kravchenko (Russia)

The educational space of a contemporary metropolis is characterized by broad diversity. Often, the choice of an educational institution that best meets the needs of the child and family is made in favor of a school that is at a distance from home, and the development of transport infrastructure makes this choice easier. Studies of children’s daily mobility, the factors that determine them, and the quality of families’ involvement in moving around the city to get an education are becoming quite relevant. The goal of the present research is to assess the significance to families with children of different ages of choosing a school within remote or walking distance and to describe the difficulties faced by parents. Methods included the authorial questionnaire, a sample of 414 parents of children studying in one of the administrative districts of Moscow. The basic results of the study can be formulated as follows. The topic of everyday educational mobility in the views of parents is relevant and significant for the city; the convenience of the school location is a key factor of choice; mobility increases as children grow up, with enlargement of schools, and the implementation of the “Big city schools” project which increases intraschool mobility; the average travel time to school is about 10 minutes on foot; for families whose children study in remote accessibility, the most important are vital topics of safety for the children’s life and health, including lifestyle issues; developing programs for parents whose children walk to school, and families who use private vehicles requires a differentiated approach.