Today I have written to clarify arrangements for collecting children from Kender Primary School. This follows the removal of the Local Authority guidance that primary school aged children should only be collected by people aged 16 or older.
The full letter:
I am writing to clarify arrangements for collecting children from Kender Primary School. This follows the removal of the Local Authority guidance that primary school aged children should only be collected by people aged 16 or older. However, as a school we are responsible for the welfare of our children and therefore have to consider what we believe is good practice in ensuring the safety of our children. We also have an obligation to alert relevant authorities should we believe that a child’s welfare is at risk.
We believe that no child below Y5 should walk to or from school on their own. Children from Y2-Y6 can be left on school premises from 8.45, when the school gates open and we have senior staff in the playground. Children from nursery-Y1 cannot be left on their own before school opens. School starts at 9.00am and we expect children to be in class by then.
Children in Y1-Y4 can be collected by older siblings aged 12 or older, provided we are notified in advance in writing and provided the older sibling collects their younger sibling on time. The school is not responsible for children once they have left the school premises. We reserve the right to refuse permission depending on concerns we may have at that time.
Children in nursery and reception cannot be collected by older siblings under 16 years old in any circumstances.
Children in Y5-6
We are happy for children in Y5-6 to walk to school and home independently provided we have written consent from you. In deciding whether your child is ready to walk to school you should assess any risks associated with the route and your child’s confidence. Walking to school is a great opportunity to learn road safety skills, gain the experience and confidence to deal with traffic.
When deciding whether your child is ready for this responsibility you might want to consider the following:
- Do you trust them to walk straight home?
- Do you trust them to behave sensibly when with a friend?
- Are they road safety aware?
- Would they know what to do if a stranger approaches them?
- Would they have the confidence to refuse to do what a stranger asked?
- Would they know the best action to take if a stranger tried to make them do something they didn’t want to do (scream, shout, kick, fight)?
- Would they know what to do if they needed help?
- Would they know who best to approach to get help?
If you are not confident about how your child would react then you should seriously consider whether you should allow them to walk on their own.