Safety rule leaves children ‘traumatised’

A new safety rule imposed at a Nottinghamshire school has caused distress to parents and pupils

The Mirror has reported that Snape Wood Primary and Nursey School in Nottinghamshire has changed its rules to state that parents and guardians can no longer walk with their children past the school gates. Instead, staff must meet pupils there and walk them inside.

The change has been labelled a health and safety issue, but parents are fuming.

On the first morning of the new routine last Wednesday, parents said their children were left “upset” and “traumatised”.

Helen Godber, who was dropping off her six-year-old daughter, said: “It was just awful, I feel furious about the new rule.

“There were seven teachers waiting at the front gates and hundreds of parents with their kids who weren’t allowed in.

“There were children crying and I actually saw some parents turn around and take their kids home because they were too distressed.

“My daughter is only six, she was so upset at the thought of me saying goodbye to her before she had gone into school. It was also quite dangerous that we all had to say our goodbyes near the main road.”

Another mother, Sarah Underwood, had a similar experience with her four-year-old daughter.

She said: “We now have to leave our children at the gates, my daughter has only just started going into school with me walking her inside.

“I want to be able to walk my child in to school and know that she is safe but with so many people blocking the way you can’t even see where your child has gone and if she has got in ok.

“I think it will just be safer for parents to escort them into school.”

Shewley Choudhury, headteacher at Snape Wood Primary School – which has been praised by Ofsted – defended the decision:

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“Like all schools, drop-off and pick-up times are very busy and we’ve been thinking for some time about reviewing the arrangements for parents arriving with their children in the morning.

“We have a reasonably small site and it’s important that our teaching staff who welcome pupils to school are not distracted by large numbers of parents wanting to discuss issues while the children are filing into their classrooms.

“We’ve asked parents that they say goodbye to their children at the gates, just in the morning, and staff will be there to take them into school. After school, they can continue to pick up from the classroom as usual.

“Special arrangements will be made for pupils who need additional support in the morning and parents can still pass on any messages to teachers through the front office, in their child’s reading diary or by email.

“We will be reviewing how these new changes work out with our parents and children over the next few days, and make further adjustments if necessary.”

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