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Help - School Parking/Disabled parking - Being evicted if my husband is in the car

Please can I ask for any advice from someone with experience in this matter or will it be something for the solicitors.

I take the kids to school in the morning and our school has recently installed electric gates to stop people dropping off in the school car park (which is near the entrance). I requested that the school review its disabled parking policy as it had none and no available parking anywhere. Meaning collecting and dropping off the kids would be near impossible or if I made myself do it, it would mean I have to have recover in bed for hours. They allowed myself and 2 others (disabled and I presume with blue badges too) to have a key fob. All of the 3 families arrive as a family on many occasions’ children, husband and my two children and use the parking system that they have put in place. We have received a letter from them today (which has brought me to tears and the stress not doing me any good either). The letter states that since my husband is in the car (esp. in the mornings) and he likes to drive so I don’t have to; they wrote and when he is driving or even in the car we are not allowed to use/access the school parking system.

What they actually don’t know as many of you will appreciate here is that we often get out as a family and my husband is my walking aid and stops me from falling over or helps me walking to and from the car park to my young ones school door to say good bye and wave them in like every other parent does or collect like every other parent.

So in short; if my husband is in the car I am not allowed to take my kids to school and see them in to the class rooms like every other parent does. Can anyone help me with advice on how to handle school?

I don’t mind naming the school either in case it helps due to local authority rules or the fact they have recently become an academy

(school address edited by admin)

Hi Louise

I work at a high school and I would say the first thing to do in any situation like this is to speak to the Headteacher and explain exactly how this policy will affect your children. The school’s priority is always the children so it always helps if you can turn things around and explain that your children are going to feel different because mum cannot say goodbye like all the other mums. You could say you don’t want them being bullied etc and that is why you don’t use a walking aid. You know how kids single out anything different and you want your children to feel as normal as possible so you walk arm in arm to the school door to say goodbye and the other children won’t realise you are disabled and won’t say anything upsetting or hurtful to your children.

It may make the school re-think their policy. They have obviously decided that you don’t need the access to the school grounds when you have another adult with you but of course they don’t know the full circumstances (because it doesn’t affect any of them!). More often than not, when we make people aware of why we need the extra consideration, they will be very reasonable.

If that doesn’t work then you may have to write to the Chair of Governors c/o of the school address. Mark it Private & Confidential and see what happens then.

Hope this helps

Tracey x

I suspect that this has come about because somebody has complained. There are always people who are quick to throw a stone without knowing the full facts. I agree with Tracey – the school is not fully aware of the situation. They assume that you are sitting in the car whilst your able bodied husband delivers the children. If that were the case it would be an abuse of the parking privilege. They need to know that your husband is helping YOU to take the children to school not doing it for you.

You have as much right as any other mum to take your young children to the classroom door and if you need assistance to do so then so be it. Yes, your husband or another adult could do it but that really isn’t the point. The issue is that the school should make adjustments to allow you to do it.

What if you were blind? Would they say to a person who needed to be guided and driven that they couldn’t have the parking place? This is a lack of understanding of the problem and is probably once again a result of us trying to look too “normal” If you were in a wheelchair I doubt the question would have arisen but because much of your difficulty is hidden (fatigue etc) then assumptions are made about need.

The next step is to explain your exact needs to the head teacher – if you are too daunted to do this face to face (and many people are intimidated by head teachers – no matter how pleasant they are) do it in a letter. Try to be brief but explain exactly what your needs are regarding the support of your husband both to drive the car and assist you to the classroom.

Good Luck and don’t get upset – just be persistent.

Jane

Hi, I know that school, as my grandchildren went there.

I went to a christmas concert once and yes, the carpark is small and access is awkward.

How do they know if your hubby is in the car/driving? Is the caretaker watching? But, as you say, you like to see the kids in and out yourself…as parents do and should be allowed to.

So, yes, speak to the Head and explain what you`ve said to us.

pollxx

I am a teacher in a primary school and I agree totally with Tracey. As you say yourself with, ‘what they actually don’t know’ is exactly that! Tell them (but calmly)!! Any school / headteacher worth their salt will react by sorting things out for you - and especially for your child. You can show them a copy of this if you want - a solicitor should not be necessary!! PM me if things go pear-shaped and I’ll ring them and explain how things are for us.

Hi

The others are right in that, at first, a low key approach to the school explaining the situation is the best way to deal with this problem.

If that doesn’t work then contact the Chair of Governors or your Local Authority (assuming it is not an academy).

Good Luck!

thanks for all the responses’

The letter was sent from the head govenor.

The school is now an academy (changed about a year ago).

They are making something out of this probably becuase someone complained. I feel the school simply doesn’t handle impairments within children or families very well. We had to point out to them the requirements about access the 1st time around due to them installing the electric gates system and denying any impaired person access. We were happy that they had purchased extra key fobs (would have paid) and let us use them. Its the recent letter that has sturred things up. I have written a long and detailed letter to the govenor explaining the position and also with references links to the governmental web site out lining what the school must do for parents and children with impairments. I eagerly await there response; if they are un reasonable I feel our only route would be legal? As they are an academy the LEA can’t interveen can they?