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Andrew Jeffrey braved wind and driving rain, and an uneven path over a cliff to set a good example to his pupils this week.

The 37-year-old deputy head of Windlesham school, Brighton, walked the eight miles to work from his home in Saltdean to prove to children that they do not need a car to get around.

His journey was part of International Walk to School week. It was supported by Brighton and Hove council and an estimated 7,000 pupils and staff from 23 schools in the area walked to their classes at some point.

Mr Jeffrey, who also teaches maths at the private prep school, said: "You can't tell children to do something if you aren't going to do it yourself.

"Normally it takes me about 17 minutes to drive to school but I decided that if we want children to walk then, as teachers, we have to set a good example ourselves."

After his walk Mr Jeffrey took an assembly at the school, which charges up to pound;1,550 a term, to discuss the benefits of walking.

He said: "The children obviously gave it a lot of thought and came up with some good reasons why it's better to walk, such as environmental issues and the fact it is cheaper and healthier.

"Interestingly, some noted that they observed more of what was happening around them.

"And quite a few pupils felt inspired themselves to walk to school rather than take the bus or have their parents drive them."

Simon Battle, who sits on the council's transport committee, said: "As well as having health and environmental benefits, the exercise has helped to identify what the obstacles are to walking to a particular school.

"Walking to school should be an enjoyable experience and everyone will feel the positive effects of keeping school gates clear of traffic."

For details of the Government's walking to school campaign visit www.teachernet.gov.uk

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