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TEACHERS CALL FOR QUARTER-MILE 'CAR EXCLUSION ZONES' AROUND SCHOOLS

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Teachers have called for a quarter-mile car exclusion zone around schools which would ban parents from parking or d...
Teachers have called for a quarter-mile car exclusion zone around schools which would ban parents from parking or dropping their children off at the gates, reports The Guardian (p4).

Members of the Professional Association of Teachers overwhelmingly backed the proposal as part of a motion expressing concern about the damage caused by the school run to children's physical and psychological well-being, not to mention the traffic chaos caused.

The motion was drawn up by further education lecturer Wesley Paxton, who warned that parents were becoming 'autoholics' - addicted to their cars - while an entire generation of children was failing to gain independence.

'They learn very early to expect to be driven nearly everywhere, and become incapable of walking, biking or taking a bus,' Mr Paxton told members of the 35,000-member union at its annual conference in Southport.

About a million school run journeys are made every day, accounting for one in five cars on the roads during the rush hour.

Yesterday a spokesman for the DfEE rejected the proposal and said the way forward was through car sharing and innovations such as software to help map out safe routes to school.

Meanwhile, the government earlier rejected charges that a new system under which head teachers would assess whether classroom staff would qualify for performance-related pay might lead to 'cronyism'. Announcing a£22m fund to help train schools in assessing teacher effectiveness, starting in the coming academic year, the education minister Charles Clarke said it was essential that the system be open and fair.

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