Parents will be aware of the letter I sent out this week, notifying them that there had been some reported incidents of a man following and approaching pupils on their way to and from schools locally.
I have spoken with our local community police and a PCSO will be patrolling around school at the end of the day tonight and tomorrow. I am also ensuring that the main gates are closed by 9.00 a.m. in the morning and 3.45 p.m. in the afternoon and all parents will be asked to vacate the premises quickly at these times so we can keep a clear sight line on the entrance to school.
I have been made aware that some parents and carers are not always looking after their children closely at drop off and collection times. Please remember that while our school is a safe environment, there are still dangers, and we have had incidents of pre-school children making their way towards the main road, while their parents were distracted in conversation. When the children are dismissed by teachers and for all those pre-school pupils who come accompanied at these times, they are the responsibility of their parents. School staff are not able or required to supervise for you at these times and you must act as responsible parents.
Finally, the children received information yesterday about how to keep safe and gently making them aware of how to stay safe in the very unlikely event that they were approached by a stranger. For those of you who would like to know what was discussed, the children were made aware that wherever possible they should travel to and from school in pairs, or with an adult and that they should keep to main roads and avoid alleyways or short cuts through parks or isolated areas. If a car slows to follow them or approaches them, then they should go into a shop or school and ask for help. Under no circumstances should they get into the vehicle of any adult they are not familiar with.
Please reassure your child that this is nothing to worry about as the advice I have received from the police is that there is no evidence that there have been a linked sequence of incidents. However we had picked up a few similar reports from the police and the London Borough of Islington and took the step of writing to you all to ensure you could make sure our pupils remain safe.
Please be understanding if you are asked to leave the premises at the end of school for the foreseeable future. We need to ensure we can maintain a safe and managed entrance and exit to school, whilst also allowing for our own after school clubs and activities to use the play spaces.
Matt Britt, Headteacher