Grafton Public School fences under scrutiny

FENCE heights at Grafton Public School have come under scrutiny from P&C members who say they are a safety risk for students and the school.

Belinda Philp, a P&C member and mother of two Grafton Public School students, has questioned the safety of the school fences and said there is a risk that students could hop the fences and run on to the busy road quite easily.

"Some students are at a risk of running from school," Ms Philp said.

"If they get over the fence on Oliver St, there are parked cars and obstructions of drivers' visions.

"The kids could easily run on to the road unseen and there wouldn't be enough time for drivers to adjust. It is very dangerous.

"Having a taller fence would be safe for everyone involved."

Ms Philp says that she had been in discussions with Grafton Public School principal Will Randall but he was not interested in the issue during those talks.

"I have raised this issue several times with Will but nothing has come of it so far," she said.

"If they think that half a million dollars for a fence is a lot to spend; how much do they think a child's life is worth?

"You can't put a price on it, but there is no way I'm accepting half a million."

Mr Randall has since taken the issue on board and has raised it further with the Department of Education.

"The issue of the fence height has been raised through the P&C," Mr Randall said.

"Students are always supervised whenever they are in school grounds, and staff supervising Support Unit students pay particular regard to the possibility of them trying to leave.

"The school has applied to the department for security fencing.

"One of the main factors considered by the department in assessing schools for security fencing is the level of risk."

The Department of Education looks at all applications for new fencing and safety measures on a case-by-case basis, but was unable to disclose whether Grafton Public School's application had been investigated any further.

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