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Advice please on parking on school grounds

(4 Posts)
sarahlucy Sat 11-Jun-11 21:19:09

Hello
I posted earlier on a different subject and now would like to get some more advice smile
At the school my sons attend, they were granted a parking permit so I could park on the school grounds during pick up/drop off and any time that I needed to go into the school for medical reasons. However, on-site parking started to get abused by other parents, where people were entering without permits and made the environment very dangerous for all children on the site. Therefore the decision was made to lock the gates. Permit holders have to arrive before 8.30am and gates are re-opened at 9.10am and again at the end of the day 2.50pm to 3.30pm. My older son has a blue badge, and due to medication it is not always possible to get him to school that early. The school refuses to budge on this point, but my son is unable to walk any distance so parking outside the school is not really an option. I am therefore having to give medication in the carpark whilst waiting for school to open.

However, the biggest problem has come with my youngest son who is 4 years old and attends the nursery. He is severely autistic and struggles to walk any distance at all. He is also a blue badge holder. He starts nursery at 12.10 but the school have also decided to shut the gates at 11.45 to 12.30. Now this is really a problem for me. He literally is scared of walking outside. He is extremely sensitive to sound, scared of other people walking along, terrified of the rain and wind etc..
The problem I have though is that if I get to the school before the gates close at 11.45 he gets really distraught with just waiting in the car, and the school will not let him come in earlier even if I stay with him. If I brought him later after the gates opened he will miss lunch.
I understand why the school have taken this action, but at the same time it really is having a detrimental effect on my children. Also I am having to literally carry my son in at lunchtime from parking in a road a fair distance from the school.

I can't understand why they are not prepared to open the gates for me, I am the only permit holder on the premises at lunchtime. The school have stated they need to keep strictly to their policy and are not in any way helping me with the problem I have.
Would love to know your thoughts on this please x

moosemama Sat 11-Jun-11 21:32:08

Our school has the gates locked most of the day, but if you call the office they will come out and open it - which is what they do for deliveries anyway. Assuming the office isn't too far from the car-park, they should be willing to do that for you, given that you are the only permit holder, so its not as if they have to do it for lots of people. They can't deny your dc's physical access to their education and them expecting you to physically carry them in is not a suitable option now and obviously not sustainable in the long term.

I would have thought they are contravening the Disability Act in terms of not enabling access - but couldn't swear to it.

I would say the following quote from the DirectGov website could be useful:

Making adjustments

Education providers must also make ‘reasonable adjustments’ to ensure that disabled students aren’t discriminated against. Making reasonable adjustments could include:

changes to practices or procedures
changes to physical features
changes to how learners are assessed
providing extra support and aids (such as specialist teachers or equipment)

The obligation for schools to provide extra support such as specialist teachers or equipment will be introduced at a later date.

Schools are not expected to change their premises. They are expected to make long-term plans for improving access to their buildings through their planning duties.

This is the linke to the main links page for disability and equality acts and rights.

lisad123 Sat 11-Jun-11 22:42:25

IS there anyway you can ask school for key? code?

starfishmummy Sat 11-Jun-11 23:53:42

Sarahlucy - I'm just wondering why there is no school transport provided for the two children if they are struggling to walk?
If you are in England the law is that the local authority have a duty to provide transport for eligible children at qualifying schools (including nurseries)

Here is a bit I have lifted from the Ipsea site about eligible children:

Children with SEN, disabilities or mobility problems
The new legislation requires the local authority to arrange free school transport for some groups of children who attend schools within statutory walking distance. The first is those with special educational needs, disability or mobility problems which mean that they cannot reasonably be expected to walk to their school, and no suitable arrangements have been made by the local authority to enable them to attend a nearer school.

www.ipsea.org.uk/Apps/Content/HTML/?id=115#leaGeneralDuties

It may be that you want to take the children yourself, but if you speak to the school armed with info about the DDA and the stuff about school transport you may find the school changes its mind! (Escorted school transport would certainly need to go into the school carpark)

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