banned with my bike from daughter's school

Commuting, Day rides, Audax, Incidents, etc.
Yogactive
Posts: 13
Joined: 5 Nov 2013, 12:04pm
Location: Havering

banned with my bike from daughter's school

Postby Yogactive » 5 Nov 2013, 12:17pm

My 5 year old daughter is at an Infant School in Gidea Park, Romford. Since she started school a year and a half ago I cycle with her daily (she is not a confident rider yet so she has a bike seat on my bike) . At the school gate I get off the bike, and push it into the school ground- walking - approx 15 meters from the gate I stop. There is a metal fence where I can lean my bike against so I can take my daughter out of her seat safely. there are 270 mums on school run in the infant school- none of the other parents are cycling, most of them driving their large 4x4s blocking sidewalks, pavements,parking absolutely everywhere. However today the head teacher rang me straight after I have returned home from the school run : saying that I AM A HEALTH AND SAFETY HAZARD and she is no longer letting me to bring the bike into the school ground. According to her I am a hazard risk for potential injuries. (I do not ride on the school grounds!!!) I have pointed out that many mums bring prams, pushchairs, double buggies which take more space- people bring dogs in in their arms/ in handbags that is fine- me taking my daughter to school is not fine...? I see myself as a positive role model cycling to school every day. There is a small area for kids to lock their scooter in (tiny area full with little scooters and kids- not suitable for me to charge in with my bike)- but not a single designated area for bikes or a bike park anywhere you could leave your bike. I stand next to the bike when Olivia goes in with her teacher- none ever complained about me being in the way. I feel TOTALLY DISCRIMINATED-I do not understand her issue-the head sees herself as in total charge and she decided that from today these are HER NEW RULES- I AM BANNED TO ENTER WITH MY BIKE. I really need some advise her as I want to make sure that this doesn't happen anywhere else and i want to make an official complaint- just dont know how/ hwho am I supposed to talk about this issue- can she really ban my bike from the school ground?

iviehoff
Posts: 2411
Joined: 20 Jan 2009, 4:38pm

Re: banned with my bike from daughter's school

Postby iviehoff » 5 Nov 2013, 1:29pm

The person to threaten to talk to is your local journalist. Once you have told your headmaster in suitably polite terms he will be a laughing stock in the local paper next week unless he acquires some common sense, I think some common sense might be acquired.

johncarnie
Posts: 91
Joined: 2 Dec 2011, 3:53pm

Re: banned with my bike from daughter's school

Postby johncarnie » 5 Nov 2013, 1:41pm

I would write to "Mr Davies" Chair of the Premises, Health and Safety Committee! (That's if I got onto the right website http://havering.schooljotter.com/gidea/Governors) Asking if the head teacher had done a full and proper risk assessment of you taking your bike onto school premises and could you see her report!

User avatar
meic
Posts: 19355
Joined: 1 Feb 2007, 9:37pm
Location: Caerfyrddin (Carmarthen)

Re: banned with my bike from daughter's school

Postby meic » 5 Nov 2013, 1:51pm

Yes, a headmaster certainly has authority for such a decision.

Are other vehicles allowed in the school premises? or do all the cars have to unload their kids out on the street?

Is it possible, if not pleasing, to chain your bike up outside the school gate and then walk those 15 metres without it?

I always cycled my bike and trailer into the properties of my child's two Meithrins (Nurseries in English) and her present school but I was lucky enough that there is plenty of space and nobody objected.

I wonder if she is worried that it sets a precedent and people will start demanding it as a right (and wish to extend it to 4x4s), our school banned parents from driving into the school carpark, for a while, but it collapsed under pressure from parents who valued their personal convenience more than the safety.
Yma o Hyd

User avatar
BeeKeeper
Posts: 1265
Joined: 29 Apr 2011, 6:45am
Location: South Devon

Re: banned with my bike from daughter's school

Postby BeeKeeper » 5 Nov 2013, 2:31pm

It is a sign of the times. The Head will be worried another child might be injured if say you bike fell onto a child watching you do the unloading of your little one. Your bike is not stable just leaning against a wall while you lift her out. It will be the school which gets sued first so the school is just covering its back. The Head could have provided a better justification for her actions but these days parents are very quick to complain/sue.
Last edited by BeeKeeper on 5 Nov 2013, 2:49pm, edited 1 time in total.

IanW
Posts: 176
Joined: 9 Aug 2013, 2:10pm

Re: banned with my bike from daughter's school

Postby IanW » 5 Nov 2013, 2:38pm

In the first instance I would demand that the generic "no (adult) cycles" ban be provided in writing,
delivered to you personally and posted on public display at all entrances to the school grounds.

Then I would ask for a copy of the health and safety risk assessment that the head teacher performed in order to determine that wheeling your cycle onto school grounds is a health and safety hazard.

I would also ask whether any other sort of vehicle is similarly banned from entering school grounds
(which probably ought to include any grounds maintenance staff's wheelbarrows ;-)

I would then forward this risk assessment, if there is one, to the Health and Safety Executive asking for comment.

And then forward the "ban" notice and original risk assessment and Health and Safety Executive's response with a letter to the local paper.

User avatar
[XAP]Bob
Posts: 16971
Joined: 26 Sep 2008, 4:12pm

Re: banned with my bike from daughter's school

Postby [XAP]Bob » 5 Nov 2013, 2:59pm

I would arrange a visit and ask what injuries she is concerned about.

Because I can't think of any.
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way. No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
There are two kinds of people in this world: those can extrapolate from incomplete data.

User avatar
ArMoRothair
Posts: 351
Joined: 20 Jun 2013, 10:55am
Location: Londinium

Re: banned with my bike from daughter's school

Postby ArMoRothair » 5 Nov 2013, 3:17pm

My five-year-old is in Year 1 as well and I do the same routine with her on my bike.

Luckily her school is more laissez-faire and I hope unlikely to take this course of action against me. They would have to remove the Head's car and the other cars which park in the playground, and sometimes manoeuvre during play time, first. There are also a considerable number of other parents cycling, who also wheel their bikes in.

In your position I certainly wouldn't take it lying down.

Yes, the Head has authority to make up whatever rules she sees fit in her school but the Head answers to the Board of Governors. I would write to the board, either individually or through the Chair, point out exactly what you have said above and go on to say banning your bike and thus pushing you into driving to school is totally contrary to the school's PSHE Policy.

Also check your Council's policies. There must be some borough wide initiative to encourage kids out of cars and onto bikes; quote that if you can find it.

But remember, it's no fun making an enemy of the Head now, at this early stage of your daughter's schooling. All things being equal she has quite a few more years to go at that school before moving on.

User avatar
simonineaston
Posts: 2309
Joined: 9 May 2007, 1:06pm
Location: Bristol - work in... Yate!

Re: banned with my bike from daughter's school

Postby simonineaston » 5 Nov 2013, 3:30pm

ArMoRothair wrote:Yes, the Head has authority to make up whatever rules she sees fit in her school but the Head answers to the Board of Governors. I would write to the board, either individually or through the Chair, point out exactly what you have said above and go on to say banning your bike and thus pushing you into driving to school is totally contrary to the school's PSHE Policy.

Pausing only to put on my education officer's hat, then remove it and replace it with my school governor's hat, I say ArmoRothair is right, that is what you must do... be prepared for a wait though - if the issue gets referred to the board of gov.s - they don't meet that often!
ttfn, Simon in Easton
(currently enjoying a Moulton TSR & a nano Brompton...)

tatanab
Posts: 3790
Joined: 8 Feb 2007, 12:37pm

Re: banned with my bike from daughter's school

Postby tatanab » 5 Nov 2013, 3:35pm

What happens when you have released your daughter? Do you walk her to the entrance, leaving your bike unattended? If so, perhaps the head is considering what would happen if a little darling touch your bike and it fell over causing injury. Perhaps this is not unreasonable. At a local garden centre this is the excuse given when they tell me to use the cycle parking provided instead of leaning it against a fence.

User avatar
ArMoRothair
Posts: 351
Joined: 20 Jun 2013, 10:55am
Location: Londinium

Re: banned with my bike from daughter's school

Postby ArMoRothair » 5 Nov 2013, 3:58pm

I remember once wheeling my bike to some event (can't remember what or where) with my daughter in her Hamax child seat on the back. At the time she was about one-year-old. Some job's-worth came up to me and said 'you can't take a bike in here'. I smiled and replied 'it's not a bike, it's a baby buggy'.

Luckily she gave in and let us pass :)

User avatar
[XAP]Bob
Posts: 16971
Joined: 26 Sep 2008, 4:12pm

Re: banned with my bike from daughter's school

Postby [XAP]Bob » 5 Nov 2013, 4:22pm

I wheel my trike into Mini/Micro Bob's school - If I am collecting MiniBob in the afternoon then that is inevitably after an after school club, and I ride right in. The kids love it!

The staff are good too, I think they realise that I'm not going to start doing donuts (not until the playground is icy anyway) or anything else. And the kids are well aware of where I am, they are crowded round me!

In the morning, when it's significantly busier I'll often wheel the trike in, with MiniBob riding and steering, I lift the back end to spin it round and leave it facing out stood on a grass verge against a fence.
Then I ride it out - very slowly, very carefully, along the pavement to the nearest "low kerb", there isn't a dropped kerb :(

Only parental complaint I've had was some woman who drove at me, about 30 yards further on - so I'd been on the road for 30 yards, she just turned a corner and drove at me, got very cross when I didn't bow before her car (which was on the wrong side of the road as it was passing the inevitable string of parental parked cars) Ho hum, you can't account for some people.
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way. No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
There are two kinds of people in this world: those can extrapolate from incomplete data.

DavidT
Posts: 1216
Joined: 13 Jan 2007, 2:05pm
Location: East Midlands (Originally from Devon)

Re: banned with my bike from daughter's school

Postby DavidT » 5 Nov 2013, 5:22pm

Try this? By all accounts it seems to be serving a purpose and putting the record straight here and there when it comes to things being blamed on "Elf and Safety".

It is also apparently set up to allow ease of access/contact for the public (not that I've tried it myself).

http://www.hse.gov.uk/contact/myth-busting.htm

Best wishes

IanW
Posts: 176
Joined: 9 Aug 2013, 2:10pm

Re: banned with my bike from daughter's school

Postby IanW » 5 Nov 2013, 5:49pm

From this: http://www.hse.gov.uk/contact/myth-busting.htm
And specifically from this: http://www.hse.gov.uk/workplacetransport/separating.htm

You could argue that you should be treated as a pedestrian (while wheeling your cycle) and whose safety should be protected precisely by separating you (and your daughter) away from other vehicular traffic by allowing you off the road and away from these vehicles.

Demanding that you find somewhere safe to stop, dismount and then allow your daughter to dismount that is still "outside" where you are still "unseparated" from the vehicular traffic is specifically less safe for you and your (now pedestrian) daughter.

And so not allowing you the safe refuge of the school grounds is tantamount to exposing you and your daughter to a greater hazard.

User avatar
jonbott
Posts: 246
Joined: 7 Feb 2008, 12:42pm
Location: cornwall home of the hills!

Re: banned with my bike from daughter's school

Postby jonbott » 5 Nov 2013, 6:03pm

I rode my bike with trailer with dog in it into the school grounds,nobody said anything except laughed at poor Meg sat watching the world go by!
don`t do it now as daughter is at another school and I can`t ride anyway :(
I`m def too old for this!