Agenda item

To receive the following Question from:

Councillor Tim Thomas to the Cabinet Member - Education


Is the Cabinet Member for Education satisfied that enough is being done to ensure children, school staff and members of the public are safe during times when pupils are dropped off at and picked up from school. If not, what needs to be done?




Councillor Tim Thomas to the Cabinet Member – Education


Is the Cabinet Member for Education satisfied that enough is being done to ensure children, school staff and members of the public are safe during times when pupils are dropped off at and picked up from school. If not, what needs to be done?




  • The Learner Travel Statutory Provision and Operational Guidance 2014 outlines the statutory responsibility of parents as follows:


o   It is for parents to decide at what age it would be appropriate for their child to walk unaccompanied to school.


o   In the event of a child not being eligible to receive free transport and having to walk to school, it will be for parents to make suitable travel arrangements for their children between home and school.


·         All schools have traffic management arrangements in place.


·         The local authority continues to work with its schools to ensure individual traffic management plans are appropriate and that all reasonable measures are taken to ensure children and adults are safe when accessing individual sites.


·         The Schools Transport Advisory Group (STAG) meets regularly to consider the management of school sites.  STAG also considers the areas outside and in the immediate vicinity of schools.


·         The local authority has recently appointed a Schools Transport Advisor to support school site safety and to support future school modernisation projects.


·         The use of the local authority’s camera car ‘Roly Patroly’ is prioritised around schools on a rolling programme to tackle dangerous and illegal parking outside schools.


·         Enforcement of the existing restrictions outside the schools will be subject to resources, and Roly Patroly can, when resources allow, enforce on parking restrictions where there are traffic orders in place (such as bus stops, zigzag markings, ‘School Keep Clear’ zones and yellow lines).


·         However, it is important to note that the local authority is limited in respect of how it can enforce statutory highways requirements as this is largely the responsibility of South Wales Police.  Local authority officers can only enforce the limited parking restrictions as identified in the bullet point above.


·         Many schools work closely with their school communities to develop innovative solutions to ensure pupil safety on the journey to school, for example, the ‘walking bus’ developed by Pencoed Primary School.


·         There are currently 14 active crossing patrols in the vicinity of our schools at peak times.


·         The Road Safety Team also offers Kerbcraft training and cycle training for schools.


·         The local authority continues to invest in pedestrian safety arrangements (such as formal pedestrian crossings).


·         The local authority has invested significantly in active travel arrangements across Bridgend.  Over the years, the local authority has been creating routes that enable and encourage school children to walk or cycle to school.  This is funded under the Welsh Government ‘Safe Routes to Schools’ and ‘Safe Routes in Communities’ programmes. 


·         ‘Safe Routes to Schools’ schemes are different from active travel routes. The two categories of scheme serve different purposes of journey, although in some areas, active travel routes serve journeys to school as well. 


·         In preparing plans for safe routes, attention is paid to ensuring that they complement active travel routes.  Active travel routes serve all journeys and do not necessarily have to be close to schools, although where distance allows, links can be provided.


·         To promote walking and cycling among schools, the local authority engages with schools to develop school travel plans in which routes are identified.  The principal purpose of this process is creating awareness and interest in walking and cycling. 


·         Some school travel plans are, however, being developed as part of the planning process for new or expanding schools. 


·         The following schools have school travel plans:


o   Maes yr Haul Primary School

o   Llangewydd Junior School

o   Ogmore Vale Primary School

o   Trelales Primary School

o   Cwmfelin Primary School

o   Coychurch Primary School

o   Brynmenyn Primary School

o   Penyfai Church in Wales Primary School

o   St Robert’s Catholic Primary School

o   Cefn Cribwr Primary School

o   Archbishop McGrath Catholic High School

o   Maesteg School

o   Brynteg School


·         There are schools that do not have school travel plans but have benefited from safe routes to school based on a Community Access Plan.  Coety Primary School and Litchard Primary School are examples of such schools. 


·         The local authority works in partnership with Sustrans to educate and engage school children in active journeys.  Sustrans recently engaged with schools to take part in the Active Journeys programme.  Sustrans is keen to work with school clusters, especially where active travel infrastructure has been put in, or is planned to go in.


Supplementary question from Councillor Thomas


If the Cabinet Member cannot categorically give a positive outcome or update on this, could he commit to bringing together all relevant stakeholders in order to resolve such concern and to look for a holistic solution, given that there appears to be multivariate problems such as the one given, at a number of schools across the County Borough.




We do meet regularly with stakeholders including the Star Group and the Police regarding these kind of issues, but I am happy to extend any invitation be that to Members or other key individuals or groups, to engage in this, with the view of finding a workable solution to these problems.


The Corporate Director – Education and Family Support added, that all schools in the County Borough now had in place Management Plans that would assist the above and other issues and school staff were working to ensure that these were as effective as possible.


Second supplementary question from Councillor Melanie Evans


Could you clarify what schools are doing with regards to making sure children get to and from school safely, for example, through a walk-in bus etc, such as is used at Pencoed Primary?




The walk-in bus at the above school has been very effective and was welcomed by the community. We work closely with all schools, together with colleagues in the Communities Directorate, in order to make school pic-up/drop-off points as safe as they can possibly be. We also communicate these to parents/carers and stakeholders. We also work with School Site Managers and Caretakers, so that they too can effectively monitor school site areas and ensure that they are as free as possible, in order to provide swift and ready access to parents and learners at key points in the day. On-site traffic is also monitored again particularly at busy times such as Breakfast Club and After School Club hours, when school staff where high viz. vests.