Pupils at Denaby school protected by head’s safety moves

By Michael Upton | 12/01/2018

Pupils at Denaby school protected by head’s safety moves
head teacher, Jo Ayres, unveils the new bollards for new road safety measures. The head is seen with pupils from fountains and selby classes with teacher, Charlotte Wilson and TA's Jamie Barnes and Trisha Bateson. 180034-1

A SAFETY-conscious school head has taken steps to protect pupils from dangerous parking — and says children and their parents are right behind the move.

Jo Ayres, head of St Alban’s RC Primary in Denaby, took the decision at the end of last term to block off an access road on the school site with a Road Closed sign and install new metal bollards.

She acted after concerns over parents driving onto the school site, which is shared with St Alban’s Catholic Club and priest’s lodgings, to drop children off.

With the new term now in full swing, Ms Ayres said the feedback from pupils and parents had been overwhelmingly positive.

“It has gone down very well,” she said.

“The reaction has been very positive with 99.9 per cent of people in favour and a couple of parents even saying they wanted to ‘high-five’ me.

“I’ve only had one parent saying it wasn’t going to work.

“The children have also taken to it and some have been explaining to their classmates about how it is keeping them safe.”

Unlike many school sites, the St Alban’s premises are open to non-school traffic and there is an open area in front of the school, which Ms Ayres said had been used by some parents as an unofficial drop-off and parking area.

There had also been problems with parents parking on pavements and grassed areas.

“It’s not somewhere we want people to be driving into when there are children around,” she said.

Ms Ayres said the road safety-minded changes had been outlined at coffee mornings for parents before Christmas and highlighted in school newsletters.

She added: “Parents have shared their concerns before and we have taken measures before such as the zebra crossing and ensuring there was a separate pedestrian and vehicle access, as well has having a fenced-off walkway.

“But these new steps have gone down well and I’ve even had one or two parents apologising for having driven onto the site before.”

Ms Ayres said road safety was already a key part of the school curriculum and children had continued to use the zebra crossing across the access road responsibly even though the road is now blocked off.

Parent Evonne Duty, whose son Freddie goes to St Alban’s, said: “People were still going onto the site through that entrance regardless of what the school had asked them to do previously.

“I’m glad they are doing what they can to improve children’s safety going into and coming out of school.”

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