Dogs banned from school playground over health and safety concerns

Dore Primary School has banned dogs from the school grounds over health and safety concerns
Dore Primary School has banned dogs from the school grounds over health and safety concerns
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Dogs have been banned from a city primary school amid health and safety concerns.

A small number of 'irresponsible dog owners' have forced senior staff at Dore Primary School, in Dore, to ban the animals from school grounds.

They claim children are being left 'distressed' after stepping in dog dirt in the playground, while parents have raised concerns about that youngsters could be bitten.

Parents and carers have received a letter from the school informing them of the new policy on dogs.

The letter states that a number of complaints have been received from parents indicating that many are finding 'the presence of dogs in the playground, stressful, even frightening, particularly for younger children' and that the playground was not an acceptable place for the animals.

Governors and staff have also raised concerns over the amount of dog fouling in the playground, which staff are forced to clean up.

People are also banned from tying up dogs and leaving them unattended at the school gates or on fences around the premises.

Speaking on behalf of staff and governors, headteacher Lynnette Glossop, said: "We have received a number of complaints from parents after a small minority of irresponsible dog owners allowed their dogs to foul on school premises.

“As children’s health is our utmost priority, we sent emails out to parents asking them to clean up after their pets. Sadly, the problem persisted, and several children have become very distressed after stepping in dog excrement. Staff also had to regularly clear up the mess.

“We also had other complaints from parents and carers around the sheer numbers of dogs in and around school. Even well-behaved dogs can behave unpredictably in busy and crowded environments. We want to avoid placing any children in a position where they could be bitten."

“In October last year we began monitoring the situation as regards the dog dirt and, as it was not improving, governors decided that they were minded to ask parents not to bring their dogs onto school property. This is in line with many other schools across Sheffield.

“A meeting with parents and carers was then held in January - where many whom were dog owners – told us they were strongly in favour of not having dogs at school. The decision was then made, and implemented following agreement at the most recent governors meeting."

“We recognise that dogs are an important part of many people’s lives. We at Dore Primary School are dog lovers too, and it is a shame that a small number of people who show a disregard for the health and safety of their own children and others have forced us to implement this new rule.”