Sheffield headteachers fear for their students’ safety

It's your child: Insp Ian Stubbs launches the campaign.
It's your child: Insp Ian Stubbs launches the campaign.
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A PUPIL involved in a traffic accident is every teacher’s worst nightmare - and a very real threat to many Sheffield schools.

Teachers and governors say they live in fear of children being run over or hit by traffic every day in the Gleadless Valley, Woodseats, Lowedges, Nether Edge, Jordanthorpe, Beauchief and Greenhill areas of the city.

And they are all united on the cause of the problem - irresponsible motorists causing traffic chaos at the start and end of the school day.

One of the biggest issues is people parking where they should not.

And, more often than not, these motorists are parents on the school run.

As South Yorkshire Police unveiled plans to crack down on the problem over the next three years, headteachers welcomed the initiative in priority areas in Sheffield.

Stuart Plaskitt, headteacher at Woodseats Primary School, said: “We have recently had a child run over. She was not badly hurt - just shaken up more than anything else.

“But being on the A61 we have huge problems.

“You sit there and wince as you see parents reversing out of the car park and on to the main road in front of buses and cars.”

Alison Warner, chair of governors at Carterknowle Junior School, said: “We are by the corner of Carterknowle Road and Bannerdale Road and it is like a rat run.

“Somebody ran into a wall there recently. Thankfully, it was out of school hours, but it shows how easily an accident can happen.

“We have been promised a crossing for the children but nothing has ever happened. The parents held a protest in the road and somebody actually drove around them.

“It’s an ongoing problem, combined with parents parking where they shouldn’t. Some have even driven into the yard.

“We have sent letters asking parents politely, we’ve put it in our newsletter and on our website, but still it happens.

“You worry for the children. It makes my blood run cold thinking about what could happen.”

Helen Bush, headteacher at Mundella Primary School in Norton, said: “Parking outside school is a problem for us because we are in a cul-de-sac. We ask parents not to park there, and some comply but some don‘t.”

Gill Bridges, assistant headteacher at Valley Park School, said: “We had to use our own funding to buy new signs to try to stop parents from using the staff car park when dropping off and collecting children. It’s a real danger.”

And Tony Mallard, executive headteacher at Ann’s Grove Primary School, Heeley, added: “We would welcome anything which could improve safety even more. Parking is a problem experienced at many schools.”

* HE Star is backing the new campaign to make the roads outside our children’s schools safer.

We will visit primaries and juniors during the school run and challenge parents whose parking is putting children in danger.

Our photographers and reporters will be out and about highlighting the extent of the problem. And we will not just be visiting the schools due to benefit from the new project. Tell us which schools are badly affected by parents parking badly and dangerously and we will do our best to investigate.

Email molly.lynch@thestar.co.uk or ring 0114 276 7676 ext 3354.