Fears for safety of children due to lack of school crossing patrol
A school which has not had a crossing patrol since last May is calling on West Sussex County Council to fill the vacancy before a child is injured.
Children from Broadfield East Junior School, in Vulcan Close, used to cross at nearby Woodmans Hill under the guidance of a lollipop man.
But, after he moved to a different job within the school in May, no one was hired to replace him.
School governor Lee Gilroy said he feared the safety of the children from the junior school and the neighbouring infant school was being put at risk.
He said: “I know that there are savings being made but this is not a saving I would support as this is something which could result in the death of a child.”
He added: “We have made many calls to West Sussex County Council and sent many emails but seem to be getting no where with this.”
Headteacher Terry Abbott called on the county council to increase its efforts to find a replacement and added: “The fact that we have been without a crossing patrol has been a worry and was discussed at the last full governors’ meeting. Woodmans Hill is potentially a dangerous road as cars do tend to travel along it very quickly even with the flashing lights on to ask drivers to take more care.
“We are trying to get more families to walk or cycle as the school road is a dead end and therefore creates more dangers when more cars enter.
“Unfortunately the lack of the crossing patrol does mean that parents feel it is too dangerous to let their children walk.
“We had instructed our cyclists not to turn right into Vulcan Close, having come down the hill, but to pedal along to the patrol, dismount, cross the road and then pedal back towards the school.
“This obviously is now more difficult.
“I feel that the county council should increase their efforts in providing this service so that children are safe to walk and cycle to school.”
A spokesman for West Sussex County Council said: “We interviewed a candidate who already works at Broadfield East Primary School in late September last year and offered him the job.
“He accepted it and then a month later decided he didn’t need the job after all because the school offered him extra hours.
“We have every intention of filling the vacancy as soon as someone suitable is found.
“We always do everything we can in order to find replacement School Crossing Patrols.
“However, it’s not an easy task and is dependent on people applying.
“Unfortunately on some occasions we don’t have people in the wings waiting to step in to a vacant post.”
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Sunday 19 May 2013
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