College access safety proposal

Honiton Community College unveil plans to restrict unauthorised access during school hours.

Discussions are under way regarding plans to restrict access through Honiton Community College during school hours to ensure the safety of students and staff.

The proposals, being put forward by the college, will restrict unauthorised access within the site from a pathway leading from the coach park to Honiton Primary School at Clapper Lane.

This is expected to be put in place in September.

The college’s director of finance, Gary Wills, said: “From September we are going to be securing the site next to the coach park. This is to ensure the safety of our students and staff and prevent any incidents where students or staff could be put at risk.”

Security at the college’s site was an area of concern flagged up by Ofsted during a recent inspection and is a matter the college is keen to resolve.

The community college has entered into discussions with organisations that will be affected by the plans including the primary school, Busy Bees Pre-school and Honiton Children’s Centre.

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The principal of Honiton Community College, Glenn Smith, added: “Honiton Community College has met with the headteacher and chair of governors of Honiton Primary School to offer our support to their campaign to get better access for all routes to Honiton Primary School that are not detrimental to the safeguarding of Honiton Community College students.”

The headteacher of Honiton Primary School, Andrea Brown, said: “We’ll be keen to take up the college’s offer to discuss how they plan to implement this. Obviously the college, like the primary school, puts safeguarding its pupils at the top of the agenda. But we also want to prevent any inconvenience to our parents who use the path to walk their children to school.”

Concerns were raised during a meeting of Honiton Town Council about the safety of parents and children using Clapper Lane at a meeting of the council last week.

Cllr Liz Tirard described Clapper Lane as “really dangerous” after a letter of concern was received from the chair of governors from Honiton Primary School.

The council was advised that the path in question was not a public right of way and said it would seek further advice. Shortly before the Midweek Herald went to press an agreement was made to have somebody present at the gate to allow parents access to the primary school, which will be a temporary solution.

A working party will now be set to consult with local authorities to come up with a permanent solution to the access problems.