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Restricting Access Car Access to the School Site

Discussion in 'Headteachers' started by Tryingmybest1, Jan 24, 2019.

  1. Tryingmybest1

    Tryingmybest1 New commenter


    Would be really grateful if anyone can help me with this.

    At the front of my Primary School I have a drive that is around 50m long. In the past year we have had a number of occasions in which cars have put children at risk due to their unsafe driving to the point I now consider this to be a safeguarding issue.

    In February half term I am arranging for a new gate to be fitted at the top of the drive which has a separate pedestrian and vehicle gate. The gate will be a manual gate and I want to keep the vehicle gate closed during peek times of 8.30 am until 9.15 am and 3.00 pm until 3.45 pm. to restrict access.

    I know that this will cause displeasure between some of our parents/grandparents who have previously been able to drive onsite due to them having a disability badge.

    Does anyone know if I have to legally allow them to drive in as it is a private car park? Am i being unreasonable?

  2. Skeoch

    Skeoch Lead commenter

    It's entirely reasonable. You do need to consider how emergency access will be achieved - what if you have a need for ambulance access at that time? All you need is a workable plan.
    Worth discussing with the Police/council, I suggest, as there will be an impact on traffic and parking.
  3. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    You don't have to allow anyone to drive onto the site up that drive. If you had a car park for visitors there are some rules I think about spaces for Blue Badge holders - I don't know what they are though - but no school is obliged to provide a car park. Although under the Equality Act you are required to make "reasonable adjustments" for people with disabilities visiting the school the emphasis is on "reasonable". Not if it endangers children.

    And anyway the gate will be locked only arrival and going home time so in rest of day any disabled person visiting the school will still be able to come right up the entrance. Presumably at drop off and pick up time any BB holders dropping off/collecting their grandchildren don't need to get out of their cars so wouldn't be disadvantaged by the locked gate.

    You're Head of a Primary school I think? Is it an LA school? If so worth talking to them first.
    JohnJCazorla and nomad like this.
  4. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    The advice above is spot on.

    i would suggest that you man the gate in the first few weeks so you can explain in person why the gate has been installed.

    You will also need to make it clear to staff that, if they wish to park on site they will need to arrive and leave outside these times.
    JohnJCazorla likes this.
  5. welshwales

    welshwales Occasional commenter

    Hi tryingmybest1..I had to do this in my first year as Head, like you i was deeply concerned by the lack of care given to the driving on site. Having made that decision with my Governors and the LA,I wrote to all the parents to explain the rationale and really found that when you focus on the safety risk to children, there's very few parents that can object. Ours works like you intend yours to, shut at certain times, separate pedestrian gate, but I contacted the 'blue badge' holders and we set up an arrangement for them to ring the school office prior to arriving and a member of the school team- caretaker or office staff - opens the gate . We also then got the council to put yellow lines and other restrictions outside the gates so parents couldn't just drive up close and leave their car right at the gates.. It has 'pushed' the traffic back into the surrounding area a bit but on the plus side parents and children are walking a little bit more ;)
    JohnJCazorla likes this.
  6. R13

    R13 Occasional commenter

    A school near mine was doing something similar and the Local Council were aghast that an impact assessment had not been carried out. The plan was halted whilst surveys of pupils, parents and staff were carried out along with consultation of any local residents who may now find people parking or waiting in front of their houses and causing traffic problems with possible safety concerns. The delays lasted about 6 months.

    As with most consultations I know of it made no difference to the outcome in the end but caused a lot of work and stress in the meantime

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