Parents are fearing for their children’s safety after it was announced that two schools in Killamarsh no longer have the funds to provide a safe road crossing patrol for pupils.
Killamarsh Junior School and Killamarsh Infant and Nursery School blamed ongoing budget cuts, and have appealed for local businesses to sponsor the crossing patrol instead to enable it to continue.
Derbyshire County Council has been unable to fund crossing patrols since 2015, and since then the school has had to find the funds.
However, in a letter to parents, Miss Tracey Holmes, headteacher of Killamarsh Infant and Nursery School said: “School budgets continue to be squeezed and there is no money to fund the post.
“We would really like the service to continue as we are on a very busy road and the children and parents really benefit from having our lollipop man there to help them as there is some heavy traffic to negotiate.
“Parents have been very supportive and continue to try to help but year on year it is becoming an onerous task to collect the £4,000 a year that we need.
“We are therefore approaching local businesses that use Sheffield Road to ask if there is any opportunity to link with them to generate some sponsorship to maintain the school crossing patrol.”
Parent Dan Lester posted on Facebook: “Absolutely Ridiculous that it’s come to this! My lad has been going to those schools for the last 4 years and has 2 years left.
“It’s shocking amount of times I’ve seen cars nearly miss the lollipop man never mind a crossing child minus a lollipop man.”
Members of the community have already rallied behind the cause.
One local businessman, Stuart Allen, wrote on Facebook: “I run a business in Killamarsh and would be willing to sponsor the crossing.
“I am only a one man band, but appreciate community spirit. How many other businesses in Killamarsh are willing to contribute?
“Let me know and together we maybe able to raise the £4,000. 20 businesses is just £200 per year - come on who will join me?”
A spokesperson for the council said: “We haven’t funded a crossing patrol at Killamarsh nursery, infant and junior schools since 2015 following a consultation on ending the service at sites where there is already a safe way to cross the road. At Killamarsh there is a zebra crossing.
“We understand that the service has been funded by one of the schools since 2015.”
In September 2018 Derbyshire County Council withdrew funding for a review into the school crossing service and its 108 staff, saving £300,000 as a result.