Plans submitted to place fencing around Peterborough sports pitches over safeguarding concerns

Plans have been submitted to put fencing around sports pitches in Werrington due to safeguarding concerns during their use by pupils at Ken Stimpson Community School.

Friday, 24th January 2020, 4:19 pm
Updated Friday, 24th January 2020, 4:43 pm
The fields in Werrington

Peterborough City Council wants to enclose three of the public pitches - near the Werrington Centre - which the secondary school uses to minimise the risk to pupils.

A planning statement submitted on its behalf by NPS Group states: “The school has access to and sole use of the sports fields during school time, however, access to the site is currently uncontrolled which poses risks to the safeguarding of students during physical education activities.

“This risk has been escalated to Peterborough City Council who have reviewed the current safeguarding procedures in the school.

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“Use of the open public land as the school’s designated sports fields exposes students and staff to the potential risk from contact with members of the public, the risk of pupils absconding and the risk associated with the anti-social behaviour in the locality, the risk of exposure to dogs and animals and the health risk of exposure to dog fouling which is a persistent issue on the site.

“The risks to students has meant that the school is having to carefully control access to the sports pitches whilst students are operating under their duty of care.

“In order to remove the risk to students and staff, Peterborough City Council propose to enclose three pitches with a 2.4m weldmesh fence. This would allow uninterrupted and secure access for the school during term hours which would vastly improve the safeguarding of activities and allow staff to focus on teaching sporting education.

“Access to the pitches will continue to be available outside of school hours and during school holiday periods and can be booked for use through Vivacity who currently operate a booking system for the existing pitches.

“Enclosing the pitches would therefore not reduce the availability of sporting facilities to the local community, and in fact the proposals would increase the number of pitches available to be booked by the local community, as well as offering the option of booking the enclosed pitches to other community groups who have similar safeguarding concerns.”

The fields are surrounded on all sides by residential areas and are used by the public for dog walking, sport and recreational use and as a cut through to the Werrington Centre.

The site has six full sized pitches, two nine-a-side pitches and one junior pitch which are managed by Vivacity. The site is also used regularly by local community jogging and athletic groups.

The new fence line would link into the existing school fence and would not affect any of the paths through and across the site.

Under the plans three pitches (two full sized and one junior) would be enclosed, while it is said the number of pitches on the site would increase by one full sized pitch.