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UK school to become first to charge for parking

Raising kids is expensive enough as it is without having to pay to drop the kids off, but one UK school is considering such a move.

St Gregory’s Catholic Academy in Stoke-on-Trent will have a 50-space car park that will cost parents (and maybe really old children who kept getting held back) £2 a week or £15 per term for a parking permit.

The school hopes the new car park will help alleviate traffic problems that are said to have been putting kids at risk and end the misery caused by inconsiderate drivers. A sum of up to £3,000 raised by the car park will be used to employ a warden and cover the costs of installing a new gate and signs.

School principal Margaret Yates told the Telegraph newspaper: “As the head, and also a parent, I fully understand the difficulty in parking around the school, but the safety of the children has to be put first, above everything else.
 
“We have a budget for the education of our children and of course safeguarding comes into that. But we cannot spend that money on a car park, which is why we must look elsewhere to cover the costs.”

The majority of parents have backed the move. 46-year-old mother-of-two Tracy Gregory said: “It is awful and there are times when you can’t get down the road. We go out of our way to avoid it. People park dangerously or park on double yellow lines and that shouldn’t happen. It is wrong.”
 
“As parents we want what is best for our kids and we don’t mind paying a little extra. I’m very happy with what the school is doing,” she added.

But not all agree a the move is necessary. Father-of-two Michael Underwood said: “The traffic is a concern but I’ve never heard of anybody being charged money to just to drop children at the school gates – it’s like a parent tax.”

“I think it’s outrageous really. I think people will just carry on using the road out of protest,” he added.

Certainly the idea of paying a school to protect its children will ruffle some feathers, but can you put a price on keeping Little Johnny safe? Health and safety gone too far? Let us know.

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