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Lollipop lady ill so Head allowed children to cross busy road unsupervised

(30 Posts)
Trifle Wed 15-Oct-08 18:15:12

My ds's are at a Junior school which is situated on a busy main road so there is a lollipop lady to take then across morning and afternoon.

Yesterday afternoon she was ill, as was her stand-by so the Head allowed all children to cross the busy road unsupervised.

As it is a large school parents wait at various points away from the school and the children cross via the lollipop and walk up to meet the parents. It's not possible to stand immediately outside the school gate as there is very little room. Consequently it wasnt until the children had reached their parents that they were told that they had to cross on their own.

A friend of mine said she was driving down the road and had to slam her brakes on when a child crossed without warning.

I spoke to the Head today who feels he should be applauded that he told the children to be careful.

He refused to accompany them across himself or assign another member of staff as no one had been 'trained' in the art of lollipop mangement and he could have been deemed liable should there have been an accident.

Isnt this beaucrocacy gone mad that a school Head is more concerned about sticking to procedures than supervising children as young as 7 to ensure they get across the road safely.

He said that if it happens again he will do the same thing. I told him he should keep the children within the school and wait for parents collect their child. He refused saying it would be too chaotic.


southeastastra Wed 15-Oct-08 18:16:25

to be honest, your post is the first mention i've seen of lollipop persons on mn for aggggess

Tamarto Wed 15-Oct-08 18:20:37

If we are going to have no lollipop lady or man, we get a note home.

If it was that short notice, i'd expect someone to be supervising.

jellyhead Wed 15-Oct-08 18:21:38

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Flamesparrow Wed 15-Oct-08 18:22:35

WHY has no-one else been trained hmm

dexter73 Wed 15-Oct-08 18:23:42

Could you volunteer to be trained so you could cover in emergencies?

edam Wed 15-Oct-08 18:25:48

Head sounds like an arse. "No-one's been trained" FFS. Oh, so it's all right to make small children cross the road by themselves because the responsible adults are too thick or lazy to supervise, is it?

I'd complain to the governors and cc the LEA, personally.

janeite Wed 15-Oct-08 18:28:35

This is ludicrous. Deffo contact the governors.

Sparkletastic Wed 15-Oct-08 18:29:32

That's really shock. My DD's school is on a very busy road - when lollipop lady is ill or away the caretaker covers for her. If he can't then a teacher does. I'd take this up with the governors - school needs better contingency plan.

DraculaNeedsArteries Wed 15-Oct-08 18:35:48

I can see the liability issue from teh schols POV.

The school staff may well have been liable if they were acting as a lollipop person. But surely if a adult happened to be crossing the road safely with the children this would not have been acting as an untrained lollipop person...therefore no liability from teh lollipop perspective...just a sensible adult doing the sensible thing and helping children to cross the road safely.
I guess they could still be liable though cos it is not there responsibility for looking after hte children once they have left the school premisies. Just like a work first aider is not insurered for performing first aid on the street.

BUT surely the LEA would have been equally liable in the event of an accident if there had been no prior notice.

Tricky one legally....should have been easy from a common sense POV but in these days og liability claims....

Trifle Wed 15-Oct-08 18:36:44

I said to the Head that all teachers should be lollipop trained. He refused, said he had things like netball matches to sort out after school and didnt have the time.

I spoke to the County Council, they said that there were various procedures, I had to arrange a meeting with the Head, if not satisfied write to the Governors, then have a meeting, if still not satisfied take it to the Board bla bla bla.

More beaucrocacy. Where's common sense.

ImnotMamaGbutsheLovesMe Wed 15-Oct-08 18:37:24

FFS what training do you need to cross the bloody road.

Get a parent to wear a yellow vest tomorrow and stand in the road to cross the kids.

WigWamBam Wed 15-Oct-08 18:38:19

Are you sure that the crossing service is the responsibility of your school?

In this area, it isn't - it is the responsibility of the council. The crossing warden is employed by the council, not by the school, and the head is not in a position to do anything about covering absences.

Our local council does not allow anyone other than a crossing warden trained and approved by them to assist children other than their own across the road - when our lollipop man died suddenly, we had to wait almost a year for them to employ another. If there is an accident while someone other than a council-approved crossing warden is in charge, neither the council nor the school would be insured.

The school were not allowed to do anything other than notify the parents that there would be no crossing patrol, and it was up to us to make sure our children were taken safely across the road.

If it is the school's responsibility then yes, of course the head is being an arse. But he may well not be in any position to be able to do anything about it.

sameagain Wed 15-Oct-08 18:58:29

I would have thought it's the parents' responsibility to make sure it's safe for their DC's to meet them where they have arranged? Surely school's responsibility ends when they leave the school.

RubyRioja Wed 15-Oct-08 19:02:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

AbbeyA Wed 15-Oct-08 19:02:53

I think a parent should volunteer to stand in for future emergencies. It isn't the responsibility of the school.

Califrau Wed 15-Oct-08 19:03:08

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

AbbeyA Wed 15-Oct-08 19:04:08

Our local school was without one for 6 months-teachers certainly didn't take it on!

gagarin Wed 15-Oct-08 19:05:38

Here too. Crossing person is not a routine school employee on a par with dinner ladies etc.

If the teachers stepped in and a kid was knocked down they are personally liable. Same if it was a parent. The insurance is very clear that no one else is allowed to do it.

If I were concerned that if there was no crossing lady my dcs would be in danger then I would meet my dcs at the school gate however narrow the space.

islandofsodor Wed 15-Oct-08 19:15:39

It isn;t the head's responsibility. It is the parent's responsibility to ensure their children are collected from school and that they cross the road safely.

Children as young as 7 should be met at the school gate. It is their parents who are irresponsible, not the head who has no jurisdiction once they have left the premises.

pointygravedogger Wed 15-Oct-08 19:22:47

Unfortunately this is how things are these days. One accident in an impromptu situation like this and the repercussions could be huge.

If it was a last minute absence, I can understand why he's sticking to procedures.

robinpud Wed 15-Oct-08 19:23:03

Absolutely what island said.

your thread title shoud have perhaps said
Lollipop lady ill so parents allowed children to cross busy road unsupervised .

any parents who allow their child to walk to and fro school, need to understand that sometimes there might be no crossing patrol. schools will obviously advise if they have prior warning, but that isn't always going to be possible and parents need to make appropriate arrangements for their children.

southeastastra Wed 15-Oct-08 19:24:35

the head really should keep them within the school to be collected, he sounds completely odd and the school sounds badly designed? is it really that hard to wait outside?

AbbeyA Wed 15-Oct-08 19:25:00

I think any parent ought to allow for the fact the lollipop lady might not be there-she might easily be delayed.

pointygravedogger Wed 15-Oct-08 19:32:56

How many children go to the school? What ages of children would be kept back? How many staff would be available to supervise all these children in teh school? How long would they keep the children for? How many houses would the staff have to phone up?

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