More than 20 head teachers call for safety measures around schools in Batley

Twenty-two head teachers have joined Batley and Spen MP Kim Leadbeater in calling for improved safety measures around schools.

Tuesday, 7th December 2021, 7:00 am
Batley and Spen MP Kim Leadbeater, right, with Nicola and Sarah Kaye, who was knocked down on Station Road, Heckmondwike.

They have written to Kirklees Council asking for help to address “the significant problems we are facing regarding speeding, parking and congestion”.

The letter calls for a range of things including:

More crossing patrols to ensure pupils can come and go safely.

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More and better signs around schools.

20mph speed zones wherever practical.

Selected road closures at key times.

The letter follows the launch of Ms Leadbeater’s petition to Parliament calling for action to tackle the rise in the number of speeding offences, incidences of reckless driving and inconsiderate parking across Batley and Spen.

In the letter to the council's chief executive Jacqui Gedman, Ms Leadbeater said: "We recently held a meeting of the BBEST Hub of schools in Batley and Birstall which convened the head teachers of 22 schools in the areas to discuss areas of joint working and issues that schools are facing.

"Almost unanimously, the issue of road safety around each school was raised as a primary or significant concern. We are therefore writing to you to urge Kirklees Council to support us and act to address this issue.

"Protecting access to the school and the safety of both pupils and staff during school pick-up and drop-off times is our primary concern but we feel that both of these priorities are currently at risk.

"We have attempted to remedy the problem ourselves with staff in high-visibility jackets attempting to manage traffic flow themselves, we have warned drivers to slow down, and we have strongly urged all parents to be considerate.

"However, this has led to several dangerous incidents with abuse directed to teachers and even an incident of a commercial driver attempting to run over a teacher, which was reported to the police.

"This situation is clearly unacceptable, and we are therefore writing with a number of requests for assistance. Your support on the following would be greatly appreciated:

Clear support from Kirklees Council for all staff, head teachers and schools in our attempts to manage this issue.

Expanded use of crossing patrols to ensure pupils can arrive and depart from school safely.

Repainting of road lines outside school and adjacent roads.

A review of the adequacy of existing signage and an expansion of the use of signs around schools.

Designated point of contact for every school with the council to discuss issues of road safety.

Civil enforcement officers to patrol on a rotation basis outside each school at drop-off and pick-up times.

20mph zones outside every school in Kirklees where practical.

Road closures at certain times of day where deemed appropriate to protect the safety of pupils and the flow of traffic in our school community.

We would be very grateful if you could reply at your earliest convenience with measures that Kirklees Council will be taking to address these matters and extend an invitation to yourself and service directors to attend the next meeting of BBEST schools. Many thanks for your support."

The letter was also signed by the following:

Christine Barlow, head teacher at Mill Lane Primary School .

Rizwana Ahmed, head teacher at Carlton Junior and Infant School.

Mrs L Evans, head teacher St Peter's CE (VA) Junior, Infant and Early Years School.

Phil Sunter, head teacher at Batley Parish Junior, Infant and Nursery School.

Safeena Nazam, head teacher at Purlwell Infant and Nursery School.

Hilary Towers-Islam, head teacher at Field Lane Junior, Infant and Nursery School.

Kim Bradshaw, head teacher at Manorfield Infant and Nursery School.

Mr G C Kibble, head teacher at Batley Grammar School.

Paul Dixon, head teacher at Staincliffe Junior School.

Victoria Saville, principal at Fieldhead Primary Academy.

Luisa Lang, head teacher at Healey Junior, Infant and Nursery School.

Hannah Lord, head teacher at Reach Academy.

S Vickers, executive head teacher at Upper Batley High School.

Dani Worthington, principal at Carlinghow Academy.

Anita Kishore, head teacher at Lydgate Junior and Infant School.

Julie Hampson, head teacher at Park Road Junior, Infant and Nursery School.

Darren Foulke, head teacher at Windmill C of E (VC) Primary School.

Matthew Leach, head teacher at Hyrstmount Junior School.

Alison Ward, head teacher at Engage Academy.

David Cooper, head teacher at Batley Girls High School.

Nadia Hannam, principal at Birstall Primary Academy.

Shamsa Qureshi, head teacher at Warwick Road Primary School.

Ms Leadbeater is asking all of her constituents who share her concerns to sign the petition online at: