Should children as young as eight walk to school on their own in Milton Keynes?

The Gale family with Anya
The Gale family with Anya

Mum withdraws daughter from school in protest over new safeguarding rule

A furious mum has taken her eight-year-old daughter out of school because she has been banned from walking home alone.

Amie Gale works from home as a dog groomer and says she is unable to take daughter Anya to and from the Premier Academy in Bletchley.

“We live less than half a mile away from the school and there’s no major roads to cross. Anya is very sensible and perfectly safe,” said Amie.

“She’s been walking to school herself for two years, since she was six. She often walks with her older brother or her friends.”

Just before the end of the summer term, the academy sent home a new list of safeguarding rules for all parents to sign.

They must agree never to smack their children, not use bad language on school premises - and to ensure children are collected from school each day by a nominated adult.

“It’s a crazy rule. I think it’s up to parents to decide whether or not it’s safe for our children to walk themselves to and from school,” said Amie.

She complained to the school during the holidays. On Monday, the first day back for Year 5s, she was told no exception could be made for Anya.

“I said in that case I’m taking her home she’s not coming back,” said Amie, who is now seeking a place at another nearby school.

The Citizen contacted the Premier Academy three times, leaving an urgent message for head Warren Harrison to call.

He failed to respond before we went to press.