They’re children, not athletes

CONCERNS about youngsters having to walk between the two schools have also been raised by parish councillors.

Members of East Chevington Parish Council, which fiercely opposed the merger plan, said they feared the prospect of children being routed across Amble Welfare to classes.

Coun Fred Thurgood has walked the route himself and he contested claims that it would take children just five or six minutes to walk between the two sites.

He said: “They are kids walking to school. They are not training for the Olympics. What they have to accept is that kids walking to school don’t walk at Olympic walking pace, they amble along and if you have got 170 kids all walking along the same path they are not going to walk very fast. It is not possible, it is not going to happen.”

He added that when he looked at the path he was horrified to discover that it was covered in broken bottles and glass.

Parish council chairman Coun Scott Dickinson said that he had raised issues about child protection.

“They will be walking through the Welfare in Amble. I wouldn’t want to be the teacher responsible in a large public welfare. That is a lot of responsibility.”

He added: “Some of our members raised issues about the chaos that would be created with 170-plus children walking one way to Amble Middle after being dropped at the high school with hundreds walking up to the high school from Amble town.”