Inspector concerned by school field safety

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Newmarket College is looking at fencing after an Ofsted report confirmed staff fears that it was no longer safe for pupils and staff.

Following a monitoring visit last month, inspector Ian Middleton said the matter should be “addressed urgently.”

“Although students are suitably supervised by staff, it is not unusual, while they learn sports on the field, to see members of the public using the same space to walk dogs without leads,” he said.

Acting college principal Nick Froy said: “What the inspector said simply confirmed our view that this very open site continues to be a problem.

“We are in communication with the DFE and we are conscious that this is something we are going to have to address.

“The main issue is it has been an open site for so long that the public think it is a public field. Dogs are not on leads and dog faeces are a risk to the children. Teachers have to go ‘poo picking’ before PE lessons and the sandpit which the pupils use for long jump has to be seen to be believed.

“Some people using the field react positively when spoken to by staff some don’t.

“We only need to have one bad experience and people would be asking the question why hadn’t we done something about it before when we knew there was a problem.

“We feel that the actions of some are putting us in an invidious position but primarily we have to safeguard the children and there will be a point when we have to act because at the moment we are not providing a sufficiently safe environment for children to learn.”