A mother who offered to take on the long-vacant role of school crossing patrol says she was turned down for the job as the school would not allow her son to join its breakfast and after school club.
Caron Hill, of Woodland Rise, applied to become the new lollipop lady at Little Common School, supervising children crossing the busy A259 Little Common Road twice a day.
Previous incumbent Molly Rumsey, who held the post for 35 years, passed away in November 2015.
Ms Hill said she offered to take over the role if the school could look after her eight-year-old son Thomas, a pupil at the school, for half an hour twice a day while she is on patrol.
But she claims her request was turned down.
Ms Hill told the Observer: “The school is not prepared to come halfway.
“Someone has offered to do a big service for the community and they are not prepared to have my son for half an hour each end.
“They are saying it would jump the queue, but no one would really care about that if lives are saved.
“I’m quite upset.”
Ms Hill said her son would not need breakfast in the morning, but says a compromise could not be reached with the school.
She said: “I cannot pay for the breakfast and after school club as I could not afford it on the lollipop money. And the waiting list is one year.
“It’s not like I’m doing it for the money. I’m doing it for the children’s safety.
“I think it’s wrong.”
Ms Hill added: “The school’s motto is Leaning, Caring, Succeeding Together.
“I cannot see how that works in this situation.
“I’m so annoyed.”
Headteacher Linda Appleby expressed her gratitude to Ms Hill, but said the school could not currently accommodate Thomas at the clubs.
She said: “We are really grateful for the offer, but in fairness to other parents waiting for a long time on the waiting list, we cannot bump her child to the top of the list.
“We did offer whether we could do anything else while her child was on the waiting list, but she did not want to have that conversation with us.”
She added: “We do not have the provision to pay childcare for people, regardless of the job they do.
“We have got many parents on the waiting list who do save lives, including paramedics.”
Ms Hill maintains the school did not offer to put her on the waiting list or any alternative arrangements.
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