Parents excluded from Wigan school grounds

Parents have been excluded from the grounds of a Wigan school after grown-ups and even pupils were threatened.

Thursday, 7th December 2017, 9:11 am
Updated Monday, 11th December 2017, 5:11 pm
Holy Family School in Platt Bridge

Incidents of “unacceptable language” and “threatening behaviour” by a minority have led to all mums, dads and grandparents being told not to enter the precincts of Holy Family RC Primary in Platt Bridge.

Instead, staff are meeting some children at the gates when they are dropped off by parents or carers and “pick-up zones” are being used at the end of the day.

The changes have met with a mixed reaction from parents, with one mum calling it “rubbish” and others supporting it.

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One unhappy dad, who asked not to be named, told the Post: “I can see why they are doing it, but I don’t see why it has to be everyone.

“It’s one isolated incident that should be dealt with by the parents involved and not affect the whole school.”

Headteacher Janice Taberner explained to the Post why the changes had been introduced.

She said: “There are a number of on-going issues such as unacceptable language and threatening behaviour from parents to other parents and more shockingly children - I won’t be naming any particular incidents.

“It will be closely monitored but is not temporary.”

She said parents were not banned - but a letter sent to them on Monday said they “need to stay on the outside of the school grounds”.

The new system was introduced on Tuesday and Mrs Taberner said it was already having an impact.

She said: “Due to on-going concerns from school staff around safeguarding of children on the playground at drop-off and pick-up times a new system has been put in place.

Children are now able to enter school from 8.45am and be ready to learn at the beginning of the day. It has eased congestion in cloakroom areas and therefore had a positive impact on behaviour.

“There is a pick-up zone for each class after school so that each child can meet their parents and carers safely and quickly.

“There has been a very positive response by the vast majority of parents now they have seen the system working effectively.”

Some parents who spoke to the Post did support it, but others were not in favour.

One mum said: “It’s rubbish. I would prefer to walk to collect my children. It’s not safe. In the past, children have been knocked down here.”

Another mum said: “For me it’s okay. In the morning it’s even better than it was. There’s no crowd and the children go straight to the classroom.

“After school it’s not too different because we wait but in a different place.”

Another said: “I was a bit concerned at first, especially when they were coming out, but when they explained it wasn’t too bad.

“On the first day some kids were crying their eyes out, they didn’t want to go in without their parents.

“A lot of people are really annoyed with it. My son is one of the older ones and it isn’t too bad, but some of the younger ones aren’t ready to go without their mums.”

Mrs Taberner said parents taking nursery and reception children can use the main gate and take them to the front entrance to be met by a member of staff, who waits to escort them into the Wigan Street school.