St Gilbert’s pupils send a message to school-run parents

Pupils, staff and supporters in front of the sign, back from left, Rosie Maclennan, PCSO Meela O'Neill, Jo O'Bryan-Tear, PCSO Charlie Smith, headteacher Claire Thorley, Jane Murphy and front Mel Kirk, Anna Sheldrick and Helen Watson
Pupils, staff and supporters in front of the sign, back from left, Rosie Maclennan, PCSO Meela O'Neill, Jo O'Bryan-Tear, PCSO Charlie Smith, headteacher Claire Thorley, Jane Murphy and front Mel Kirk, Anna Sheldrick and Helen Watson
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A SCHOOL is getting tough on parents who park irresponsibly.

St Gilbert’s Church of England Primary School in Stamford has spent years trying to persuade people not to park on the zigzag lines outside its premises on Foundry Road.

But, as with many other primary schools up and down the country, some parents ignore road safety rules and drop their children off right outside the school gates.

Now head teacher Claire Thorley, along with parent volunteer Rosie Maclennan and Jo O’Bryan-Tear, who runs the adjacent Ark Nursery, have come up with a new plan of action.

Every pupil has been involved in designing a banner to hang outside the school and the end result was in place for the launch of the new road safety campaign on Monday.

Two police community support officers attended and will be issuing fixed penalty notices if the culprits fail to comply.

A leaflet, sent home to all parents on Monday, repeats the line ‘I must not park on the zig-zag lines’ five times and gives busy parents on the school run a few tips.

These include making packed lunches the night before so that there is time in the mornings to find a parking space, always carrying a brolly in case they have to park a little way away from the school and making a habit of parking a short distance away so they can enjoy the walk to school.

Mrs Thorley says the police and Lincolnshire Road Safety Partnership have been very supportive and the school has always tried to encourage walking to school or the park and stride approach.

“It was Rosie’s brilliant idea to have a project that would create as much awareness of this as possible. The whole school approach means that every child submitted their idea for a banner and a badge,” she said.

Winners of the banner competition were Grace Harvey and Ebony Tolo, both Year 6 pupils.

“Barker Signs have made the banner and have made a really good job of it,” Mrs Thorley said.

Rosie said the police had been brilliant and were reluctant to fine people.

“It’s more about education. This is a narrow, busy road that children have to cross, some people use it as a cut-through and some drive too fast. The children shouldn’t have to be dodging parked cars outside the school as well. This is all about avoiding accidents,” she said.