Dinnington: Anger after school fences off playing field

Throapham resident Julieanne Curtis and her neighbours protest against fencing erected around Dinnington Comprehensive School playing fields preventing public access
Throapham resident Julieanne Curtis and her neighbours protest against fencing erected around Dinnington Comprehensive School playing fields preventing public access

Residents living around Dinnington Comprehensive are angry after the school’s playing field was fenced off.

Throapham residents have hit out after access to the fields from the Skinners Wood entrance was blocked off completely recently.

But the school’s headteacher said the fencing off of the space has been ongoing for several years and is to increase security and ensure student safety.

Julie Curtis said the space has been used by the community for many years.

She said: “This space is unique in Dinnington and has provided myself and a lot of other local people the opportunity to freely walk, jog, play sport and enjoy safe quality family time.”

“Over the years with the closing down of the public swimming baths and local parks being far from adequate, I find it extremely disappointing that a school that encourages a healthy lifestyle and sports would prevent families from freely using this space to promote physical activity and family participation during school closures.”

“It really is a shame that the local community are no longer able to make respectable use of this land that I have been able to enjoy all my life.”

Dinnington Comprehensive headteacher Paul Blackwell said the inner and outer fencing has been erected around the field over several years. The final part was put up over the half-term holidays.

It had been funded by successful bids to Rotherham Council education capital fund for health and safety.

Mr Blackwell said: “In line with all schools in Rotherham, and indeed in the country, we have been fencing off the school playing fields to increase school security and students safety for a number of years.”

“Specific examples of regular issues we have had include; motorbikes driven across the fields and through students taking PE lessons, people camping on the fields overnight, fly-tipping, starting fires on the fields, dog walkers allowing their pets to foul the fields resulting in unusable areas or staff having to clean pitches before games start, members of the public using the fields as short cuts through the school at all times of the day and night.”

“The fields are a teaching area and are used during the day, evenings and at weekends by the school and by members of community football teams.”

“As headteacher I take the health and safety of all students very seriously and wish to ensure that all teaching areas are fit for purpose.”

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