Parents warned not to park near school gates

Calls are being made for parents not to park outside Epworth Primary School.
Calls are being made for parents not to park outside Epworth Primary School.

A HEADTEACHER says parents are risking the safety of children by parking outside the school gates.

John Hodgkins, head of Epworth Primary School, has asked parents not to park on zig zag lines when dropping off and collecting youngsters.

Mr Hodgkins is now backing a scheme which is aimed at encouraging youngsters to walk to school and reducing childhood obesity.

He said: “Although the vast majority of parents park responsibly, there are still some who park on the zig zag lines and on Birchfield Road which comes into the school grounds. This does cause problems with chidren’s safety.”

Mr Hodgkins added: “Wherever possible children should be encouraged to walk to school. It gives them healthy exercise and gets children used to it.”

He was speaking after plans were announced for International Walk to School Month, which this year is in October.

Parents and schools in the Isle are being urged to get behind a world-wide initiative to bring back the ‘Walk to School’.

With one in three children obese by the time they leave primary school, parents could be making a big difference to their children’s health by introducing something that used to be a normal part of the school day for previous generations, organisers say.

Research by charity Living Streets, which runs the initiative in the UK, shows that less than half of children walk to school.

Further research by Start-rite Shoes, which is the official sponsor of the month, reveals that almost one in five children never walk to school, and one in six does so less than once per week. Currently, less than one third of boys, and one quarter of girls, carry out the recommended 60 minutes of exercise per day, despite the mounting evidence of the health risks of sedentary behaviour.

But with almost one quarter of parents saying it’s easier to take the kids to school in the car, and a further 14 per cent worried about potential dangers, there are plenty of barriers, to stop parents making he walk to school, those behind the scheme say.

Living Streets hope by promoting the benefits of walking to school they can reduce childhood obesity.