Safety team plans to use pupil power

Buckingham Primary School head Jan Jones with members of the School Safety Council concerned about inconsiderate parking at the school.'120209M-B006
Buckingham Primary School head Jan Jones with members of the School Safety Council concerned about inconsiderate parking at the school.'120209M-B006
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A school is hoping pupil power will make parents see sense over inconsiderate parking, following an incident last week when a boy narrowly escaped being hit by a reversing car in Carisbrooke Court.

A group of Year 6 children from Buckingham Primary School have formed a Pupils’ Health and Safety Team. And they’re keen to find ways to tackle the danger from cars parking near the school.

Buckingham Primary School head Jan Jones with members of the School Safety Council concerned about inconsiderate parking at the school.'120209M-B041

Buckingham Primary School head Jan Jones with members of the School Safety Council concerned about inconsiderate parking at the school.'120209M-B041

Headteacher Jan Jones said inconsiderate parking by parents dropping off and picking up their children is a massive problem.

And she’s hoping pester power will work where previous attempts by the school have failed.

Mrs Jones said: “Our children are encouraged all the time to give us their ideas.

“We’re going to get them to work with PC Richard Davis and with my health and safety team.

“They do have a lot of power as children. Kids are very vocal these days. Pupil voice is very powerful. You do listen when it’s your own children.”

The pupils are planning to lead assemblies on safety around the school.

And they’re thinking of photographing the number plates of offending vehicles and putting them on the school website under the headline: ‘We’ve got your number’.

PC Richard Davis said a change in lifestyle is the key to improving safety from cars near Buckingham Primary School.

He said: “The solution is getting the parents to change their mind about how they want their children to travel to school.

“A large proportion of those children could quite easily walk to school. We need to change the mindset.”

Headteacher Jan Jones has just signed the school up to the Perfect Parking campaign run by Transport for Bucks.

She said parents dropping children off or picking them up regularly park on the grass verges and obstruct nearby roads.

She said: “All the roads coming into the school are narrow residential roads.

“It’s a small minority of very inconsiderate parents and it’s always the same people who are doing it. The fine is £30 – it’s not really a deterrent.”

The school offers a ‘drop and run’ facility from 8.30am but does not allow vehicles on site during the school day.

Mrs Jones said: “We have children going across the site all day because we’ve got two separate buildings.”

The message from the Pupils’ Health and Safety Team is: “If you can walk, do walk – it’s safer, cheaper and healthier.”

Emily said: “I was crossing the road once and this person was reversing and he didn’t see me and I had to really run round the back of the car.”

Lewis, who catches the school bus from Tingewick, said: “The driver sometimes has to get out and ask people to move their cars because the bus can’t get through.”

Olivia said: “My dad says it takes as long to walk as to drive and park.”