Safety mea­sures af­ter dis­abled pupil died in play­ground fall

Birmingham Post - - NEWS - Carl Jack­son Lo­cal Democ­racy Re­porter

A SCHOOL where a tragic play­ground ac­ci­dent led to the death of a 15-yearold dis­abled pupil has in­stalled fenc­ing to im­prove safety.

Muhammed Ghafoor, who had se­vere learn­ing dif­fi­cul­ties and was con­fined to a wheel­chair, died at Birm­ing­ham Chil­dren’s Hospi­tal in Septem­ber 2016 within days of falling down a set of play­ground steps at May­field School in Lozells.

A sub­se­quent in­quest ruled that his death was an ac­ci­dent but had been con­tributed to by ne­glect af­ter it was heard that he was left mo­men­tar­ily unat­tended.

The spe­cial ed­u­ca­tional needs school has now con­firmed that last month fenc­ing was put up around the play­ground and chi­canes in­stalled on the out­side stair­wells to im­prove safety.

In­terim head­teacher Si­mon Har­ris, who ar­rived at the school ear­lier this year, said: “Ul­ti­mately my re­mit is to keep chil­dren safe and re­duce the risk they are ex­posed to. The fence was a ma­jor part of that.

“We are des­per­ately try­ing to move for­ward.

“A lot of staff were af­fected by what hap­pened and the fence is one way of show­ing them we are tak­ing steps to im­prove safety.

“We are deal­ing with vul­ner­a­ble young chil­dren and we have to en­sure they are kept safe.”

In re­cent weeks a plan­ning ap­pli­ca­tion was sub­mit­ted to Birm­ing­ham City Coun­cil to in­stall fur­ther fenc­ing along­side a run­ning strip at a dif­fer­ent part of the site on Wheeler Street, which is also shared by Lozells pri­mary and Holte se­condary schools.

A de­sign and ac­cess state­ment said: “The school­yard ex­tends over a ground on dif­fer­ent lev­els.

“The ex­ist­ing se­cu­rity mesh fenc­ing fol­lows the site bound­ary but al­lows ac­cess to the steep­est ar­eas be­tween the play­ground and the bound­ary.

“To en­sure a safe en­vi­ron­ment is needed (sic) to in­stall a new se­cu­rity mesh fenc­ing that pro­tects chil­dren from falling.”

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