Controversial school fence plan postponed to allow for talks

Askrigg Primary School : railings and a hedge instead of a six-foot fence.

Plans to erect a fence around a Wensleydale school have been postponed.

The plan for a 1.8m fence around Askrigg School has been criticised by local residents and community leaders, who say it will make the school look like a prison.

However, the school says it is necessary to keep children in and intruders out.

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Members of Askrigg and Low Abbotside Parish Council complained that they had not been consulted about the plan.

However, the school’s acting headteachers have now written to members of the community saying they will postpone the work until the Autumn to allow time to meet and discuss the plans with concerned residents.

Maxine Price and Eleanor Harrison said in the letter: “We are aware that this proposal has been a cause for concern for many members of the local community.

“We would therefore like to offer a chance to meet and discuss this further in September.

“This will provide an opportunity for you to meet with ourselves and governors, to discuss the reasoning behind the decision to install the fence and to answer any further questions you may have.

“There will also be the opportunity to share boundary maps and the positioning of the fence.”

But they add: “We are happy to postpone our plans until the Autumn term, however our safeguarding issue will still need to be resolved in September, I’m sure you will agree the safety of our children is paramount.”