Mum’s anger over Burnley primary school’s ‘locked gates’

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A parent at a Burnley primary school has branded a decision to keep school gates closed until 8-40am as “disgusting.”

The concerned mother, who did not wish to be named, said the decision by Whittlefield Primary School not to open until then had left groups of children “hanging outside” school gates in the morning.

The mother said: “I think this is disgusting. When I dropped my child off at the school the other morning there were quite a few children just hanging around outside because they couldn’t get in to the school grounds.

“I think this is a security risk because you never know who else might be hanging around. I understand the safety of children is first and foremost the parents’ responsibility, but some have to drop their children off earlier to go to work.

“I’m angry too because there has been no consultation from the school or discussions about perhaps setting up a breakfast club.”

But the school in Tabor Street, Ightenhill, defended its decision and said a letter had been sent to parents last October.

The acting headteacher also said the possibility of before and after-school clubs had been mooted.

Jane Thistlethwaite, acting head, said: “I’m hopeful we can find a solution to this issue.

“We wrote to parents in October to remind them we can only provide a safe, supervised environment for children at school from 8-45am, as some children were being dropped at school considerably earlier.

“However, the situation has not changed, so we’ve now reluctantly decided the school gates will be locked until 8-40 am. We’ve written to parents to explain, and no one has raised any concerns with me.

“We’ve also contacted parents to ask if they’d be interested in before and after-school clubs, as this might meet everyone’s needs, and I’d encourage parents to get in touch if they think this could be helpful.”