Parking at Brook Field School
Parking in and around a school premises is a big issue for most schools and Brook Field School is no different and as the Head Teacher it’s a subject which causes me concern and which my staff and I take very seriously.
The care and safety of young children in school is of the upmost importance. We have pedestrians of all ages and there are all types of transport including cyclists, scooters and motorcyclists. We are mindful of the potential needs for urgent access of emergency vehicles, and the movement of contractors’ vehicles, coaches and of course cars.
The mass movement on foot of numerous people of various ages and physical abilities, coupled with on-site vehicular movement obviously presents serious risks and clearly as far as possible the two need to be kept apart. This is one of the reasons why we don’t allow cycling or the use of scooters within the school grounds.
With regard to the issue of parking, I am also mindful of the impact the school has within the local community. I am very concerned by any inconvenience caused to those residents who live in close proximity to the school and whose day-to-day tolerance of school activities is sincerely appreciated.
The movement of people to and from the school is at its peak twice a day, which presents the school and local community with two differing circumstances.
In the morning staff and children are arriving at a steady rate from about 07.30 until 08.55 when school starts. During that time, parents will be arriving and leaving the school at various times.
The school grounds are open for this period and although lessons don’t begin until 0855 the classroom doors open from 08.40 to allow for children to either work with their parents in the classroom, or for parents to drop their children off and then leave the site.
The school car park is far too small to allow for all vehicle users attending the school at this time to park.
We want to do what we can to help the flow of people and allow parents who are simply “dropping off” their children to do so. In this instance, we do not envisage it necessary for the parent to leave the car, just for the child to be dropped off.
The school is required by law to make reasonable adjustment to those who are less physically able. We do this both generically and on a case-by-case basis and at times this includes the need for vehicular access, which we of course facilitate.
For everyone’s safety there is a member of staff patrolling the school car park every morning to ensure compliance with our policies and also to monitor the safe compliance of vehicles users to speed restrictions within the school. That person is acting on my behalf with my full authority.
The school finishes at 3.20pm. This means that everyone is arriving and departing at almost the same time, rather than slightly more spread out, which is what happens in the mornings.
This is one of the reasons we can’t permit parents to drive in and collect their children because the car park couldn’t cope and the associated queuing into the main road outside the school would be dangerous.
A particular request to drivers is to drive safely and at very low speeds both in and in close proximity to the school, being particularly vigilant in terms of the risk presented by young children on their way to and from school.
It is also why the school gates are closed from 3.15pm until 3.30pm and a member of staff is again stationed there in order that it could be opened in the event of an emergency.
I politely ask everyone to please park lawfully and considerately, always being careful not to trespass on areas of private property or to cause obstruction.
The vast majority of people will of course quite naturally behave in this way, but unfortunately some people will choose to park their vehicles illegally, inconsiderately or both.
Such people will know who they are and I appeal them to please enter into the spirit of mutual respect that is so necessary between a school and the surrounding community.
In Law, neither the Head Teacher (nor any representative of the school) has any powers of enforcement in respect of Road Traffic Law or vehicle obstructions occurring away from the school grounds.
If anyone has cause for concern in this regard please refer the matter to the police who do have powers to enforce, or can otherwise refer to the relevant enforcement authority.
The school will continue to engage and work with the Police, Council Officers and Police Community Support Officers in this matter.
To sum up
If you have to bring the car and wish to drop children off within the school car park, please enter the school grounds very slowly, drive with extreme caution at all times due to the close proximity of young children, drop the child off and leave the site expediently.
Some parents have been observed holding and using mobile phones whilst driving their vehicles on school premises. This dangerous practice is illegal on the road and forbidden within school grounds. Any driver observed doing this will be excluded from driving a vehicle onto school premises.
If you have to bring the car but need to walk your child to the classroom, please park away from the site (for example use the car park at Shaw shops and walk from there using the footpaths and pedestrian crossing.)
Please always ensure any vehicle being used in any connection with transport to Brook Field School is driven responsibly and safely in accordance with Road Traffic law. Please ensure any vehicle is parked lawfully and considerately so as not to cause obstruction or trespass, being particularly mindful of the impact upon local residents.