School defends drop-and-go

PUBLISHED: 13:27 16 September 2013

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Archant

A NEW security system has been put in place at a Worle primary school to ensure children are properly looked after.

The safety of pupils, staff and families at Mead Vale Primary School in Kestrel Drive was recently reviewed by governors and, as a result, a new drop-and-go system has been set up.

This involves parents and guardians waving goodbye to their children at the school gates, and leaving the playground free for just staff and pupils.

Headteacher Beverley Hartland Smith said the decision was taken due to two incidents which occurred last term.

She said: “There were two incidents where children had been approached by adults and we have also had a few parents being quite intimidating to staff.

“We are trying to keep our children and staff safe. We do not want to upset anybody.

“The children have worked brilliantly with the system. It’s new and change is hard, but we find it’s really embedded now and quite a lot of parents have said they like it.”

The change caused a stir with many parents, who felt the system was not creating an easy transition into a new school year.

One of them, Emma Smith, aged 36, said she had to hand her five-year-old daughter over to a teacher, across the gate, on the first day back last week because she was so upset.

Emma said she felt parents had not been given enough information on why the changes were taking place.

She said: “There were parents and children everywhere. No-one knew what they were doing.

“I can understand that with the drop-and-go policy you would not get people sneaking into the school.

“But I can also see it from the point of view of a parent who wants to go in. I had an upset child and I wanted to get her settled into school, not leave her there at the gate crying and pass her to a teacher.

“It was pure mayhem. There were children crying and parents were upset. It was unfair.”

Letters were sent out to parents to notify them about the changes and Ms Hartland Smith said something needed to happen so there was not a repeat of the incidents.

She said: “We have had to think about whether it will happen again and we have to make sure it doesn’t.

“Many other schools do operate a similar system where children come straight into school.”

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