A row has broken out after a primary school banned parents from the playground when they drop off their children in the morning.
Families are threatening to remove their children from Leesons primary school, Orpington, after being told that they need a Disclosure and Barring Service criminal record check and will be treated as trespassers if they go past the school gate.
Mothers and fathers used to be able to walk their children into the playground. Pupils would line up and then go into their classrooms.
But the school’s new “soft start” procedure means children must walk straight from the gate to their classrooms. The rule is supposed to help the day start more promptly.
Parents say the walk — through two playgrounds, past some portable classrooms and into a building - is too long for the youngest children. It is feared they could get lost and end up on a building site on the school grounds.
Caroline Jenkins, whose son Junior, four, is at the school, told the Standard she received an email and text message saying accompanying children on site amounted to trespassing and that parents could be banned from the school. She said: “I took my son… and she [the headteacher] wouldn’t let me walk him in. [She] said I am trespassing and I haven’t had a DBS check.”
The email, seen by the Standard, said: “We would like all parents to say goodbye to their children at the school gate (including reception children).”
It added that the scheme seemed to be having an effect and that staff would be dotted along the route to help.
Angry parents have been venting their worries on a Facebook group for Orpington news.
One woman said: “If you parents try to help your children, you’ll be done for trespassing? Nice!”
Another said: “That threatening letter is a disgrace!!”
The school said: “We would encourage parents to work with the staff on this new soft start to the school day.”