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Bridgwater mum calls for action after 5-year-old son suffers head injury at Hamp school gate

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A Somerset mother has called on her children's school to take action on its drop-off and pick-up system, after her son suffered a head injury while trying to get through its single entrance gate.

Katrina Redding, from Bridgwater, said the hundreds of parents and children trying to squeeze through the single gate of Hamp Nursery and Infant School to get in and out is starting to create a 'dangerous' situation and wants something to change after her five-year-old Tyler suffered a cut on his head when he was 'shoved' into the gate at the end of school.

The 25-year-old mother of four said: "To get into the school at the end of the day we have a single gate, a big metal one slightly wider than my front door which is part of school grounds. We have hundreds of parents that have to get through that gate then through to a second one, a similar size, to pick their children up, turning around and coming back through it.

"It's like a herd of cattle going through the gate as soon as the bell goes. On Wednesday my son got shoved into the gate in the crowds and he had blood coming out of his head.

"He screamed, and the scream that came out of him was horrendous. He cried all the way back to the school to get his head cleaned up, and he was terrified to go back the next day.

"I was so angry. I have complained so many times before about the gates, and if it is not changed something will happen again to someone."

Katrina, who lives in Witches Walk in Bridgwater, has now set up an online petition to get signatures and support from parents to get the pick-up and drop-off arrangements changed.

She said: "There is another entrance, there is a massive car park with big gates which we want the school to open up for us. That will allow enough people to get in and out, or parents could go in through one and out through the other.

"It's constantly happening and children are getting lost in the crowds. I got hurt when I was pregnant with my daughter, just from people rushing and shoving."

A spokesperson for Hamp Nursery and Infants School said: "We were very sorry to hear about this incident, and we gave the pupil concerned our immediate attention. This was the first incident at this gate which had been reported to us.

"We appreciate that school drop-off and pick-up times are very busy times for any school, which is why we regularly write to parents to remind them to be mindful of safety, and to take care.

"We have adopted a number of procedures to improve safety at drop-off and pick-up times, which include closing the driveway to traffic, and having members of our senior staff on duty near the exits at the end of the day.

"Work to improve our play area is also underway to enable parents, children and staff to get to and from the playground through separate 'in' and 'out' gates, which will help ease congestion issues at busy times of day."

So far the petition has gained 183 supporters and some comments on the system at the school.

Becky Williams, from Bridgwater, said: "I've seen many children get hurt because of this ridiculous situation with the gate.

"I've also seen a little boy crying and terrified because he lost his mum in the 'herd' of people and hardly anybody noticed because it's so hectic trying to get in and out. I absolutely dread picking my child up from this school because of this system with the gate."

Daren Robertson, also from Bridgwater, added: "I think there should be double gates on both the main entrance and the playground entrance as both only allow single file traffic, as you have parents going in and out of both gates twice a day - also with strollers and prams - and this is very dangerous.

"Alternatively there should be extra gates installed to allow an in and an out 'one way' direction of traffic."

By Western Daily Press | Posted: April 22, 2016

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