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School security to be improved 

A risk assessment has been carried out at Brookmans Park School following an incident last month when two junior girls went missing during playtime. They were later found safe and well in Gobions play area having gone off for a ‘day together’. Click here for the earlier story.

Following that incident, head teacher, Peter Evans, wrote to all parents saying that the school governors were to meet to discuss security at the school. Click here to read that letter.

At that meeting with the governors it was decided to invite an inspector in to suggest ways security might be improved.

Since then one of the Hertfordshire’s security specialists, Richard Watson, has visited the school to look at the playgrounds and the school gates and boundaries.

Reporting on this in a letter to all parents, Peter Evans says Mr Watson was satisfied with the risk assessment that he had carried out with the school governors. Two recommendations were made and are to be carried out.

The first is to put a small fence and gate by Mrs. Christian’s class which will prevent children leaving the playground as well as stopping people from straying onto the playground.

Peter Evans says there are too many practical problems in putting a gate or barrier across the infant playground, but he says to act as a psychological limit, the second recommendation is to put two painted lines on the driveway and children will not be allowed past those lines. He says no infant child has ever made any attempt to leave the school so we believe it not to be a high risk.

According to Peter Evans, the inspector agreed that the greatest risk is when children either walk to school or are dropped off at the school gate.

He says the children could wait until their parent is out of sight and then just wander off.

“You would think your child is in school and we would think he/she was at home. A problem would not come to light until the end of the afternoon,” he writes.

Mr Evans suggests this could be prevented if all parents followed the correct procedures.

“Please telephone us if your child is off ill. It is not possible to follow up every child for whom a call has not been received so it is in your interest to make sure you let us know about absences. These must still be followed up by an absence letter, which we have to keep on file to show to the Education Welfare Officer on her visit each term. I am sure you will co­operate in helping to protect your children,” he wrote.

February 4, 2000

Relevant stories
School security to be assessed - January 21, 2000
Governors decide on school security plan - January 21, 2000
Head's letter on school security - January 13, 2000
Missing girls found in Gobions - January 13, 2000


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