Barking school pledges £5k to fund lollipop patrol as borough service is axed
PUBLISHED: 07:00 22 March 2017
A school will be employing its very first lollipop patrol after a parent raised concerns for his children’s safety.
Murad Ali, whose two children attend George Carey Primary School in Barking, called a meeting with headteacher Chris Harrison to suggest parents funded the £5,000-a-year service.
But, Mr Harrison said the school would “take the pinch” and provide the first year of the service from Easter this year.
“The safety of children is more important than being able to fund everything,” he explained. “I feel strongly parents shouldn’t have to pay for the safety of their children.”
Mr Harrison’s pledge comes as lollipop patrols across the borough face redundancy. The £165,000-a-year council service will finally end at Easter after the service was initially axed three years ago.
The Minter Road headteacher said the council had been “very supportive” over the years with speed measures but stressed the need of increased precautions with the five-year-old school finally reaching full capacity this September.
“There’s a growing problem with roads, so we’ve been thinking about it for some times,” said Mr Harrison, adding that he was “very grateful” to Mr Ali for bringing it to his attention.
Mr Ali, who lives with his wife Tamseel Fatimah in Crossness Road, Barking, said he was “very proud” of the outcome.
“I was not expecting this result,” admitted the 44-year-old. “I’m very happy about making a difference and bringing about a change for the good.”
Mr Ali said his children Yaaseen, four, and Sanam Murad, six, would thrive from the interaction with a lollipop patrol.
“I drop my kids to school and there’s always a traffic jam, it can be difficult and dangerous,” he said. “The kids will also love that somebody’s there, and parents will feel sure that their kids are safe.”
Mr Harrison said the details would still be worked out at a meeting today, but he was open to employing an existing member of staff or a lollipop patrol for the role.
“We’ll be looking at businesses to sponsor it in the future,” he added. “I think it’s a really good way of local businesses getting publicity, to sponsor such a good cause.”
A council spokesman commented: “This is very welcome and hopefully it will help inspire other schools, businesses and organisations.”
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