'You cannot put a price on a child’s life' - Hartlepool schools challenge crossing patrol cuts

An academy trust boss insists “you cannot put a price on a child’s life” after it emerged that three of his schools are among those destined to lose their school crossing patrols.

By Newsroom
Wednesday, 19th January 2022, 5:14 pm

Hartlepool Borough Council agreed before Christmas to axe nine patrols across town to save £32,000 as part of a wider £2.6m series of cuts.

A petition has since attracted more than 600 signatures with opposition Labour councillors also angry that the earmarked locations have still to be confirmed.

Now the Ad Astra Academy Trust has revealed that three of its Hartlepool primary schools – Barnard Grove, Brougham and West View – are among those affected.

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Academy trust chair Chris Simmons outside Barnard Grove, Primary School, Hartlepool, which is one of the schools about to lose its school crossing patrol.

Trust chair Chris Simmons is also writing to the council to urge it to reverse its decision and to suggest where savings can instead be made.

Mr Simmons said: “I am shocked and very disappointed that the council has seen fit to remove school crossing patrols from outside several Hartlepool primary schools.

“The council saving is miniscule in comparison to its multi-million-pound annual budget.

"You cannot put a price on a child’s life, and we are urging the council to reconsider this decision.

West View Primary School, Hartlepool.

“The council has effectively decided to put the safety of young children below other council spending priorities and this cannot be right.

“The safety – particularly of children - is paramount.

"As a result, we will be writing to the council urging them to protect this service and fund it from its cultural events and leisure budget which extends to hundreds of thousands of pounds every year.”

The trust says many parents of children at its affected schools have already voiced their concerns.

Brougham Primary School, Hartlepool.

Mr Simmons added: “The fact that this decision was apparently mooted and made behind closed doors, in my opinion, demonstrates the questionable nature of the decision.

“I sincerely hope that this appalling decision will be revisited and rescinded as soon as possible so that parents can have the reassurance that their children will be supervised and safely escorted across the road before and after school by properly trained council staff.”

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