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Safety campaign aims to cut student accidents

#cutout was launched by Thistley Hough Academy following a high number of its pupils being involved in road accidents

Posted by Julian Owen | May 18, 2018 | Health & wellbeing

Thistley Hough Academy has instigated a community-wide safety campaign, #cutout, after a high number of its students were involved in road accidents. 

During the last six months the Penkhull academy has experienced frequent road traffic accidents outside the school grounds, prompting the leadership team to take urgent action. 

While speed calming measures for Newcastle Lane are already under discussion with the local authority, the high number of incidents sparked the launch of the #cutout campaign earlier this month. Members of the Penkhull community, the Lord Mayor and community partners were asked to sign a pledge of support to ensure the future safety of every Thistley Hough student. 

Among those students injured in a road accident was Year 9 student, Jack Goodall, whose injuries included two broken bones in his right leg, leaving him on crutches for more than two months.

He said: “I was on my way home from a friend’s house and couldn’t see over the cars and didn’t spot the car coming when I stepped out and it hit me.

It sent me up in the air and down the road a bit, and all I remember were some people helping me up off the road and being sat against a wall while the ambulance arrived.

I was taken to hospital and given anaesthetic for any pain and when my mum arrived she was stressed out. I couldn’t believe what had happened. When the shock wore off, I realised I’d been lucky.

Thistley Hough Academy Principal, Holly Hartley, has first-hand experience of dealing with the consequences of a road accident, having lost a school friend to a fatal road traffic accident.

She said: “That’s one of the reasons this problem resonates with me as a principal, a mum and a human being. I was 14 when I lost my dear friend; it doesn’t seem like two minutes ago that I left her at the bus stop, said goodbye, and then the next day she was hit by a car and died instantly.

Road safety has become a serious concern at Thistley Hough Academy. We have grown, leading to an increase in the number of parents dropping off and picking up our students.

This has come to a head in the last six months following a spate of student accidents - almost one a month - outside our school. Fortunately, none of these accidents resulted in lasting serious injuries, but as our student numbers grow we felt it was only a matter of time before a student suffers critical injuries or a fatal accident.

As an Academy we have worked hard to raise awareness internally about road safety, including letters to parents warning them not to park in illegal areas outside the school. We’ve held police parking enforcement days, student safety assemblies and provided arm bands to students so they can be clearly seen, but ultimately their future safety depends on the support of our local community.

Ultimately it is better to be five minutes late for work than to be responsible for destroying a young person’s life.”


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