Wot No Lollipop Lady?

Posted on 19th September 2011 in children/ colchester/ lollipop lady/ school crossing patrol

UPDATE:

There is a vacancy for a school crossing patrol assistant in Colchester if anyone is interested in applying please click here for details…

I am genuinely saddened to have received a text from my youngest child’s school (in Colchester) today saying that as of tomorrow there will no longer be a school crossing patrol near the school.

This means that the children of the infants, juniors and 3 seniors schools will all potentially be attempting to cross a very busy road unaided.

Yes, I know that the little ones will be with parents but the year 6 (and upwards) children generally walk on their own. However I don’t feel that it is in any way appropriate for my year 6 son to be negotiating the traffic on his own so I will now have to adjust my working hours further to make sure that I can take him to and collect him from the school gate.

I won’t be the only parent who comes to this conclusion and for those of us who then have to dash off to work the only viable solution is to drive which will increase congestion near the schools and subsequently increase the risk to vulnerable pedestrians even further.

I am quite appalled that this has been deemed acceptable.

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11 Comments

  • Reply Nicky D 19th September 2011 at 2:31 pm

    Oh no – what a disaster, am with you on that. It is indeed a very short sighted approach.

    When I was at school the school had their own crossing guard in the form of a staff member. But I suppose this won’t be possible…health and safety probably!

    • Reply CoffeeCurls 19th September 2011 at 2:34 pm

      Awful isn’t it – and the message it gives is that no one gives two hoots about their safety.

  • Reply onlydads 19th September 2011 at 4:20 pm

    Lisa – my guess is there will some ridiculous line about “cut backs making this decision necessary”.

    I just wonder if a few of you mums and dads could not club togther and pay someone to do the job for you. Or you could perhaps organise something where you take it in turns to see the kids across the road?

    Just some thoughts. Alternatively, get your MP to sort this nonsense out. Saving £80 a week or whatever a lollipop lady costs will have NO impact on the finances of the country or your district council.

    Go get ’em Lee Lee

    Bob x

    • Reply Fay Churchward (@FayC) 19th September 2011 at 4:29 pm

      I was logging on to say the same thing, maybe get a rota together so a couple of Mum’s man the crossing and take it in turns.

      Have your council designated the roads around the school a 20 mile an hour limit? That will help too if they haven’t.

      Good luck! Fay xxx

      • Reply CoffeeCurls 19th September 2011 at 4:33 pm

        Am hoping the PTA will maybe issue some communication about that. It’s impossible to go much faster than 20mph on a lot of the roads owing to congestion but where the crossing was is quite a busy/fast road so that is an excellent idea thank you – will add it to the list for the MP x

    • Reply CoffeeCurls 19th September 2011 at 4:31 pm

      Thanks Bob, Lots of good points – hadn’t thought about our MP he must be a good place to start. Be interesting to see what the official communication from the school will be – have only had a text message about it so far!

  • Reply Him Up North 19th September 2011 at 11:05 pm

    Is this definitely a victim of cutbacks, or is it because no one is willing to do it? It’s dangerous, loaded with responsibility, poorly paid and required in all weathers. Parental rotas are ok but the hours can be awkward for parents.

    Talk to whoever is in charge of the school travel plan and maybe discuss a walking bus.

    • Reply CoffeeCurls 20th September 2011 at 8:04 am

      Don’t know, I will hopefully find these things out today. Now we’ve thought about it we can remember that a few months ago there was a lady with a folding chair and a clipboard one day by the road… Unfortunately won’t she wont have assessed is how many MORE cars there will be without a crossing patrol when more parents are having to drive the children to and from school because they don’t feel they are safe walking alone.

  • Reply Kirsty 20th September 2011 at 6:44 am

    We lost our infants lollipop lady in 2007 when she retired and no replacement could be found. It’s hard to fill the job with only 2 or 3 hours at funny times of the day. Thankfully the council have canvassed the parents of local schools about walking routes, etc, and done a lot of work to make them safer (dropped kerbs, moving zebra crossings, adding a light crossing on the busiest road). Our council is pretty useless, but they’ve done well with this.

    • Reply CoffeeCurls 20th September 2011 at 8:06 am

      I think that’s the thing – it isn’t a 20mph road it is a 40mph road with no additional traffic control measures. Cars do travel very fast through there :(

  • Reply The Mad House 20th September 2011 at 8:14 am

    That is terrible. My boys want to walk to school on their own (not that I will let them yet), but would never even consider that without a lollipop lady. Have you contacted your MP, local paper, radio station

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