Sponsorship Deal In Offing For Lollipop Patrollers

Schools also looking at direct funding to retain the service for their pupils


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In 2011 residents heard that Council funding for crossing guards was due to be end in November 2011. The options for affected schools were:
1) self-funding from school budget surplus,
2) funding contributions from parent groups,
3)commercial sponsorships
4) volunteer service from school staff or local community.

This week the council announced that it is close to securing a sponsorship deal with a major national company that could help pay for a number of “lollipop” patrollers for schools in the borough.

Discussions have also been taking place with a number of schools about new funding arrangements for their lollipop people. As a result 16 have said they will begin directly funding the service.

Only a small minority of schools in the borough actually have a patroller and many of these sites have long standing vacancies because of the difficulties of recruiting people to a job that offers only a few hours of paid work each week.

The council has carried out an in-depth review of the service in light of the fact that very few, if any, young children are allowed to make the journey to school unescorted while older children that do walk to school on their own safely cross roads that do not have patrollers every day.

The town hall’s transport spokesman Cllr Russell King said: “The council has an excellent record of ensuring the safety of children on our roads and that will continue. We have spent millions in making the roads around our schools safer for children and their families and will continue to invest in road safety improvements in the coming years.

“We have examined this issue very carefully indeed and looked at other parts of the country and the overwhelming evidence is that school crossing patrollers do not have any effect on accident figures. Part of the reason for this is the simple fact virtually all young children are brought to school by their parents. Parents simply don’t allow small children to make the journey to school on their own, especially if it involves crossing busy roads.

He continued:
“However, we absolutely recognise that some parents do appreciate the value and reassurance that the patrollers offer and that is why we have been discussing sponsorship arrangements with this large national coNovember 2, 2012e from some of the schools we have spoken to. Many have indicated that they wish to retain their patrollers and that they are prepared to pay for them and so the likelihood is that around half of the existing school crossing patrols will continue

“The fairly modest sums involved are coming from funds raised by the school or PTA. The money can not come from learning and teaching budgets and so this change will not have any effect on children’s education.”

November 2, 2012