Parents and pupils at the Barony Campus were left ‘anxious’ and ‘concerned’ yesterday following crowding issues at pick-up time.  

Lochnorris Primary School opened its doors to children and young people on Wednesday, November 18, after a much-anticipated build up.  

However a video posted on social media at home-time showed parents and pupils gathered closely together, signalling issues with the school’s organisation of pick-up time. 

Parents have said that more should have been done to account for the large volume of people arriving to collect kids, as the situation made social distancing virtually impossible.

READ MORE: Pupils say goodbye before move to the Barony Campus

One parent said: “It was just terrible. I understand they have over 500 children trying to exit the school at the same time but surely this is something they should have thought of prior.

“I had to park at the original main entrance of the Cumnock Academy and the cars were left parked the whole road in.

“There was a lot of upset with parents and children panicking they couldn’t find their kids and vice versa. People were generally anxious and concerned.

“I would have thought it would have made more sense given the current situation that they either stagger the times or dismiss them from different parts of the school so that the parents can actually keep a safe distance.”

The parent said that her child was now apprehensive about pick-up and drop-off, and that the ordeal was overwhelming for everyone involved.

They said: “As a parent it was really hard. You more or less had to choose between social distancing and risking your child getting lost.

“It’s disappointing that they didn’t consider this in the first instance. It was overwhelming for me even as an adult let alone a child.

“I really hope they put a bit more consideration for the kids and parents going forward.”

In a letter addressed to parents and carers, East Ayrshire Council wrote: “Although our children very much enjoyed their very first experience in Lochnorris Primary School today it was very clear that there were issues with the collection of children after school.

“We can only apologise for this as the level of parental attendance at the gate at the back of the school far outweighed that anticipated.”

READ MORE: No Auchinleck transport options for Barony students

Following the disruption, East Ayrshire Council also issued an apology on social media, and advised parents and carers of arrangements being made to prevent further crowds.

For drop-off, this includes parents of only p1, 2 and 3 being asked to escort their child from the car parks to the school, with staff available to pick the children up at the front entrance of the school and at the bridge between Cumnock Academy and the Campus.

If parents do escort their child towards the Campus in the morning, the council ask that this be limited to one parent or carer per family.

At pick-up time, certain classes will be released at a separate gate.

Arrangements should also be made between parents and children as to whether they are being picked up at the front or the back of the school, and this should be limited to one parent or carer per household.

UPDATED DETAILS - New arrangements are now in place for Lochnorris Primary School parents and carers for both drop off...

Posted by East Ayrshire Council on Wednesday, 18 November 2020

Extra staff will again be on hand.  

As East Ayrshire prepares to move into Level 4 of coronavirus restrictions tomorrow, Friday, November 20, all adults were also reminded to wear a face covering and adhere to social distancing rules.

With the new plans implemented this morning, Thursday, November 19, the parent assured the situation "seemed better".

They said: "The drop off seemed better this morning. I noticed councillor Jim McMahon and Alex McPhee there.

"I dropped off at the front of the school and it was much better so let’s hope hometime is the same."