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School Safety

 

Finn Harps Road Safety Art Competition 2017

 

Finn Harps Road Safety Art Competition 2016

 

Finn Harps Road Safety Art Competition 2015

 

Finn Harps Road Safety Art Competition 2014

 

 

The road safety record at most schools is the county is exemplary however, school children are a vulnerable road user group and demand special attention. Donegal County Council conducted a review of school safety at all schools in the county in 2010 and continues to work in this area to ensure that pupils can travel to and from school as safely as possible. This is achieved through a number of initiatives.

  • Local Area Engineer liaising with Schools 
  • School Safety Initiative
  • School Crossing Patrols
  • Road Safety Awareness and Promotion in Schools 

 For more information visit the RSA  - Road Safety for Kids 

The RSA have introduced a Nationwide Road Safety Education Service and is available to Schools and Community Groups. Louise McGeever is the representative for Donegal and can be contacted at lmcgeever@rsa.ie

 

School Safety Initiative

 

This is an initiative whereby schools can apply for part funding (up to a maximum of €3,500), to provide road safety measures at their school. Generally funding is allocated on a 50/50 basis where the school provide 50% funds for the project and Donegal County Council provide the other 50% up to the maximum figure. In the past these monies were normally spent on the provision of school flashing lights, however other measures will be considered such as signs and lines, barriers, entrance improvements and any other measures that contribute to road safety will be considered.

 

 

Car Parking at Schools

 

Information on the responsibility for the provision of safe set-down areas outside schools and staff parking. From the School Planning Section, Department of Education and Science.

The Departments Planning Guidelines for Primary Schools recommend that when a new school of one to seven classrooms inclusive is being designed and built, one car parking space per teacher and two additional spaces should be provided. This parking allocation includes at least one space for persons with mobility or visual impairments. Designers should, wherever possible and with due regard for health and safety, consider hard play area as a potential overflow park for use in exceptional circumstances. Bus and car set-down and pick up areas should be designed so that the relevant area may be coded to the local authority upon completion. Pedestrian access should be kept separate from traffic movements in the interests of safety.

In existing schools some compromise has to be made in relation to the provision of these facilities depending on the site size, location of the school building on the site, proximity to the road, etc.

It is the responsibility of individual Boards of Management of primary schools to ensure that adequate and safe set down and parking facilities are provided.

There are a number of schemes funded by the Department from which schools building works can be addressed. Under the Grant Scheme for Minor Works to National School Properties, which came into operation in January 1997, all national schools receive funding annually. Items such as the replacement of windows, roof repairs, re-surfacing of school yard, upgrading or provision of car-parking facilities and set down areas, repainting and re-decorating qualify as improvements to school building and grounds and come within the scope of the Minor Works covered by this grant. In addition, the Summer Works Scheme (SWS) provides capital grants for necessary small-scale works that can be planned and delivered during the summer months.

 

 

School Crossing Patrols

 

The school warden service provided by Donegal County Council caters for hundreds of children attending schools in the county on a daily basis during school terms. The wardens are identifiable by the high visibility uniforms worn, and the STOP sign used to stop traffic. In order to carry out their duties effectively they require the co-operation of all road users. 

 

 

Green Schools

 

Many schools are now going green in Donegal, as part of the green school initiative. Green-Schools, known internationally as Eco-Schools, is an international environmental education programme, environmental management system and award scheme that promotes and acknowledges long-term, whole school action for the environment.

Travel is the fourth theme in the Green-Schools programme. As part of their Action Plan, participating schools will set their own Travel targets, with the ultimate aim of increasing the number of pupils walking, cycling or using public transport, which will ease congestion by reducing the number of private cars arriving at the school gates.

By promoting sustainable transport modes (walking, cycling, car pooling or public transport), the schools will also improve pupils' safety, health and fitness. The journey to school is an ideal way for children to take part in regular physical activity, to interact with their peers, and to develop the road sense children need as pedestrians and cyclists. Alternative modes of transport also improve children's alertness, with 90% of teachers surveyed across England & Wales saying that walking, cycling or using public transport increased pupils' concentration levels in class. The schools will also lessen their overall impact on the environment, by reducing emissions and pollution.

Similar initiatives to reduce the use of the private car on the school run in the UK have shown a reduction of car traffic of 8-15%, as part of the Department for Transport & Department for Education & Skills ‘Safe Routes to Schools' programme. For further information on this and other school road safety initiatives please see our links page. 

 

 

 

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