Staggered leaving times could be way forward for busy Spalding primary school

A SCHOOL could consider staggering its finishing time to help ease congestion on nearby roads.

Having pupils in two groups leave ten minutes apart has been mooted in a document supporting a planning application to site a new mobile classroom at Spalding Primary School in Woolram Wygate.

The school already opens its gates at 8.45am to allow parents a ten-minute window to drop off pupils in a bid to prevent everyone arriving at once.

The Portakabin is necessary to provide an extra classroom to cater for an increased intake of 30 pupils in the reception class when the school returns after the summer holiday.

The planning application is for the building to be sited in the school’s playground for a maximum of three years while Lincolnshire County Council looks at providing a long-term solution to a shortage of primary school places in the town.

The preferred option at the moment is believed to be the building of an “annexe” school near to Spalding Primary School to cater for families on the growing Wygate Park estate.

The council had hoped to expand the existing school but a planning application was turned down in May amid residents’ fears of increased traffic congestion.

Those concerns are expected to resurface with the application to add the mobile building at the school, with South Holland district ward councillor Roger Gambba-Jones already submitting his objections to the plans.

He said: “The problems with cars outside the school at dropping off and picking up times have always been bad, but adding more pupils will just make it worse.

“The success of staggering school times would depend on how they did it as I don’t think just splitting them into two groups and letting them go ten minutes apart will make much of a difference.

“What they need to do is split them into three groups and have them starting and finishing 20 minutes apart.”

If permission is granted the mobile building could be lifted into the school grounds by crane during the holidays.