Going back to school is always a big adjustment after the summer holidays. Getting the kids up, dressed, fed, watered, teeth brushed, and into the car for their school run is hard enough…..and even moreso when the temperatures are still creeping towards 40 degrees and the humidity dial is stuck on ‘relentless’. Despite all, the school start was going according to plan. DS1 and DD settled back into the routine as if they had never been away and DS2 has handled his first few weeks at Big School with admirable aplomb! Yep…all going smoothly. Phew!
Then came a letter (rather an e-mail) from the school. My knickers instantly got into a twist! I was sitting in my car outside the school, waiting to pick up the kids when the e-mail came through. Thinking about the last time the school sent out a message regarding an ill-thought-through proposal, I raised my eyes to heaven. ‘Another one that will be reversed when they realise how dumb it is’, I thought. Knickers untwisted…my anger subsided.
Well, that was until I got to DS2’s classroom door where other Mums were mingling. ‘Furious’, ‘angry’, ‘silly’, ‘ridiculous’ were just some of the adjectives being bandied about……all to describe the latest proposal by the school. Cue: re-twist of the knickers!
There are (or rather, were!) two entrances to the school; the front entrance and a smaller back door entrance. Given the circular layout of the junior campus, and also from the logistics of parking in the limited sandpit car parking, this made sense. Those who dropped off and picked up from the further end of the campus, could park closer to the back door end and enter through the back door. Those closer to the front door, could park near the main entrance.
BUT now……for health and safety reasons of the children, the back door has been shut for drop offs and pick ups. Cue: bunfight for parking at the main entrance, double parking on the road, basically complete chaos. It’s one thing asking parents to walk further to drop off or collect but it’s quite another to ask the small kids to walk twice the distance in the heat before and after school. Unlike when the back door was open, I now have to cross a road whilst holding on to 3 kids. Cars are zooming up and down the road. Some drivers have stopped on the road, put on their hazard lights and expect to be able to stay there, irrespective of what goes on around them, manoeuvering in and out without due care and attention.
Not much rational thought went into this. There are alternative solutions which could address the concerns of all involved; afterall we are all working towards the same aim. I am now furious. Probably moreso because I know, from experience, that genuine parental concerns will be swept away with a dismissive arm. From the school that markets itself as ‘being a community’ and always willing to ‘listen to parents’, they couldn’t have gotten it more wrong!