Parents at a Lewisham primary school were angry this morning at having their crying children led away by teachers following a ban on them saying goodbye within the school grounds.
Mums and dads of the children who attend Forster Park Primary School in Catford received letters yesterday advising them of the unpopular new arrangements which they claim to be put in place to monitor who enters the school.
The letter reads: “From tomorrow morning (Thursday), we are asking for parents not to enter the playground and to say goodbye to their children at the school gate. This is for health and safety reasons.
“We know that this is a big change but we know that you will work with us to ensure that the start of the school day is even better than it is already.”
But according to Michala Cohen, of Cumberland Place, whose five-year-old daughter Tymisha attends the school, this was not the case this morning.
She said: “My daughter would not leave my side and was really upset. Lots of the other kids were hysterical as well. “Normally she’s a really happy girl and actually skips into school but she wasn’t comfortable with this whatsoever.
“The kids are used to their mums taking them in and kissing them goodbye so today was heartbreaking not being able to do that.”
Miss Cohen, a business studies student, also said the rule will damage the staff–parent relationship.
The 23-year-old added: “We want to take action but the senior head teacher is acting so blasé about the whole thing and is refusing to speak to us as a group. The head will only speak to us individually.”
The mother-of-one also described the rule as “contradictory” claiming there is a 2ft fence and a side gate often left open that could grant anyone access to the school.
Head of school Mark Gale said: “Our priority is to ensure the safety and security of all pupils. In view of the ongoing extensive building works inside and outside the school, we reviewed the arrangements for dropping pupils off in the mornings and introduced changes to ensure a smoother start to the day for them.
“All decisions are made in the best interests of pupils and we will be monitoring these new arrangements over the next few weeks. In the meantime, I am happy to discuss them in more detail with parents and carers should they wish it.”