The County You Live, Work And Play
School Playground Branded A Danger Zone
Halfmerke Primary playground potholes Pupil Joni Barrett, pictured with twin sister Carly, needed three stitches in her knee.
Parents are calling for urgent action to repair a “crumbling” playground which they say has left a number of children injured and some pupils needing hospital treatment.
The parent council of Halfmerke Primary claim the playground is so dilapidated that children are tripping on the uneven ground and falling on potholes, causing cuts, grazes and sprains.
One mum said her son was one of five pupils injured on the first day of the new term in August. The 10-year-old was treated in hospital for a gash to his head and an injury to his arm, which required stitches.
His angry mum said: "Something has to be done about this playground. It’s uneven, littered with potholes and there is gravel everywhere. Our children are not safe. I understand that children fall, but it’s the severity of the injuries that they are sustaining which is concerning. Our children’s safety is paramount. The playground is a shambles. This has gone on far too long, it’s a constant worry."
The same day another pupil needed medical attention at Hairmyres where he had stitches for a cut to his knee. Another woman's daughter, Joni, was also taken to hospital after a fall in the playground. "She caught her foot on uneven ground in the playground and fell. The cut to her knee was so deep she had to go to A&E and have it washed and injected with anaesthetic and needed three stitches," her mother said. "She still has a scar."
The East Mains mum, who is secretary of the school's parent council, claimed health and safety concerns over the dilapidated state of the playground have been raised at several parent council meetings. She said parents had also complained to South Lanarkshire Council but had received no response.
"We just want a safe surface for our children to play"
Another angry mum added: "I’m really disgusted and annoyed that the council have not prioritised the state of the school playground and resurfaced it. They must be aware of the number and severity of the injuries pupils are suffering because of the state of this playground."
Building works on the new-build Halfmerke Primary are expected to start at the end of this year. Lynn Sherry, head of education at South Lanarkshire Council, said: "We can confirm that in the interim, plans are in place for remedial work to be carried out to the playground. The Primary Schools’ Modernisation Programme timescales for the new build Halfmerke Primary, Community Nursery and West Mains School have always included a 2015 construction start."
"We are pleased to report that works are now underway and the targeted completion date for the new schools and nursery is Autumn 2016."