Royston school security bolstered as back gate opening hours reduced to start and end of day

Parents and children next to the school gate in Royston.

Parents and children next to the school gate in Royston. - Credit: Archant

The hours the back gate between Royston Leisure Centre and Meridian School is unlocked will be reduced to school opening and closing hours as a security measure.

Numerous parents at both Greneway and Meridian expressed concern when it was first announced last week that the gate would be closed permanently – as it is a popular by-pass for families travelling to school from the Twigden Estate.

But following a strong reaction from members of the public, it was decided that the gate will be open to allow children to enter and leave at the start and end of the school day.

The decision to review the security of school buildings is part of a Department of Education initiative – with particular regard to any openings that could allow unwanted visitors on site.

CCTV cameras are already in place at the front of Meridian, and will now also be added to the back gate to bolster security.

Chairman of the Meridian Governing Body Paul Bolton said: “We have not taken this decision lightly but in the best interests of students and parents, and also in conformity to a dictum nationally to schools to increase their security levels.

“We absolutely regret the inconvenience caused but it is simply a risk we cannot and will not take as we would not be fulfilling our duty of care.”

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Parent Hayley Turver is pleased with the outcome, saying: “When I first heard the news that Meridian planned to keep their back gate locked throughout the day I was very concerned. My son, along with many others, use that gate as a safe short walk to school from the Twigden Estate.

“It is great news that they will open the gate at the start and end of the day for pupils, as it allows limited access and will solve traffic problem, therefore resulting in increased safety for our children – which I’m sure is what everybody wanted.”