Due to our popularity and good reputation, we have 5 coaches which bring students to school, a service that parents welcome and which helps traffic management in the roads around the school. The school was built in 1972 however and the entry gates and site were not designed for the heavy car use of current day or for coaches to drive on site. The addition of fences and gates after the Dunblane tragedy in 1996 exacerbated the problems of getting on and off the site because the site is not well designed for a one way system of traffic which is safe for students on site. What we had was large numbers of cars driving on and off the site while large numbers of students were on site or arriving and leaving the school on foot. This has become very dangerous. With the addition of the coaches, the situation has become untenable. Over the past few years, more and more students are being dropped off at school by car, even several students who live within walking distance of the school. This has created an overload on site and has resulted in the decision to close the site for parents drop off and pick up. Parents were informed of this decision in July by letter. The narrowness of Deakin Avenue and the sharp bend on entry only add to the problem. When the new houses were planned a few years ago, we did appeal to the Council then to consider the school traffic situation and widen the road but in Walsall housing development always takes priority over everything else so the development went ahead. This increased the number of resident cars and entry/exit points on the road
We have not taken this decision lightly and we have had traffic management experts in to draw up plans to help the situation and to look at alternative ways to make the site safe. Unfortunately these alterations would cost in the region of £100,000 and we do not have the funding for that. As a Local Authority school, we have appealed to the council who built the school to help us with funding but they have said that this is a matter for the school to solve.
If you want to help the school resolve this problem, you can do this in 3 ways:
1 ) Find a safe pick up and drop off area which might involve a short walk for your child to get to school
2) If you live within walking distance of the school (up to 25 minutes away) walk to school with your child or teach them how to do this safely using the appropriate pelican crossings.
3) Write to the Local Authority via the school and we will deliver the letters en masse, stating your concerns and your expectation that as this is a health and safety matter that they will support the school in making the necessary alterations to the site.
We will monitor the situation carefully and we will do all that we can to support parents as always but we also need your support and understanding while we manage this difficult situation. Please do not call the school to complain today. Please do write a letter to the Local Authority and send this in with your child to give to me.