by veronicagerman on 6 August, 2010
This is a response from the headteacher and Chair of Governors giving their reasons for the fence.
I have asked for them to meet up with the protest group founders to discuss the issue but as yet have had no response to that request but I was sent this response below.
Croesyceiliog School has made a decision to enclose its playing fields and wooded areas with secure fencing in order to strengthen health and safety arrangements on the school site.
The area that is being enclosed by the fencing includes playing fields and wooded areas owned and maintained by the school. These areas are used by pupils as they take part in games and science lessons. The fields are also used by pupils for recreation at lunch and break time and for sports fixtures after school. With the arrival of the new Crownbridge School on part of the Croesyceiliog School grounds these playing fields will be used more frequently for lessons. Sadly, the open nature of these areas has led to daily problems regarding the exercising of dogs and the disruption of lessons by members of the public. Motor bikes are also driven through the woods and across the playing fields during the school day. All this happens despite the fact there is no public right of way through the school’s grounds. The erection of the fence is therefore necessary to improve the school’s arrangements for safeguarding children, and for maintaining standards of education.
When considering the position and nature of the fencing the school consulted with Torfaen Council and were given advice on the position of the fence and how far it should be from the public footpath which runs alongside the river. The decision to erect the fencing well within the actual boundary of the school’s property was taken after discussion with the planning department. We also asked about the kind of fencing that would be appropriate and were advised to use the mesh fencing that has been used in similar sites around the borough.
The school grounds and other facilities are used by a number of clubs and community groups after school hours and in the holidays. These include an archery club, youth club and rugby club. This is something that we wish to develop further. What we cannot accept, however, is the open access to all members of the public with the health and safety risks inherent in this and the negative impact on the delivery of lessons.