Hatfield school makes U-turn on parents dropping children off at school

PUBLISHED: 13:24 14 September 2020

Howe Dell School

Howe Dell School

Archant

After a Hatfield school instituted a policy where parents had to accompanying their children through the school gates post COVID-19, there was some outcry from pupils and their families.

Howe Dell SchoolHowe Dell School

During the first week back at school, Howe Dell Primary School said only parents could drop off their children – not childminders, older siblings, other family members or lone pupil.

According to one parent, it resulted in her child – who has walked to school for some time, in line with old rules – becoming “hysterical”.

“I’m worried about safeguarding,” the parent told the WHT. “My daughter loves school and now she’s embarrassed.”

Howe Dell Primary School headteacher, Debra Massey said in response, after the school made a U-turn on the policy in a letter to parents, “In line with health and safety protocols and a thorough COVID-19 risk assessment, the school implemented a policy of dropping off and collecting children which was clearly communicated to the whole school community from early July and throughout the summer.

Howe Dell SchoolHowe Dell School

“For the first couple of days of the new term for all 450 pupils, we stipulated that one parent should accompany children returning to school after such a long period of lockdown. This was relaxed to allow childminders and lone walkers from the end of the first day of whole school attendance, once we were happy that the whole community was familiar with the new layout and safety measures.

“No child was ever turned away – those who attended without a parent on the first couple of days were escorted to their classrooms after we had been in contact with their parents. One parent made a decision to take their child home for one day.

“We have received overwhelming support from parents to our measured approach to reopening calmly and safely for all children, in compliance with ongoing guidance, and in consultation with staff and governors. There is a one-way system from the main gate to the playground and a temporary exit via a side gate, as well as a staggered entry in place for pupils, again in accordance with government guidance. It has been a joy to welcome back our Howe Dell family while doing our utmost to ensure the school remains Covid-secure during these challenging times.”


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