Pupils are skating on thin ice at village pond

The pond is right next to the primary school building
The pond is right next to the primary school building

A grandfather has raised concerns that children at Stepps Primary School have been trying to skate on a frozen pond in the school grounds.

He is worried that one of the pupils may fall into the water, particularly as it is outside the nursery and is calling for a fence to be put up around the pond.

Stewart Donald (71) said: “I’m worried that an accident will happen as they can run away fast and before you know it they could fall in the pond.”

A sign has been put up near the pond but he says that “three or four-year-old’s can’t read signs” so it has not reduced the dangers.

Councillor Brian Wallace said that the pond had been risk assessed on a number of occasions, most recently after the last HMI inspection and that it was considered to be safe.

He said: “The school has been open for eight years and the question about the pond was discussed very early on.

“Signs have been put up and the children are escorted when they pass by the pond.

“As a matter of course, because Mr Donald has raised concerns about this, I will ask our health and safety people to reasess the pond.”

Mr Donald said that it wouldn’t be difficult to put up a small fence to stop the tiny tots from getting to the pond. He added that the kids want to skate on it when it’s frozen over.

The pond is approximately one foot deep and is within the school campus but the children have a fenced off area to play in during break times.

A spokesperson from North Lanarkshire Council said that action would be taken on the safety fears, explaining: “The pond has been in place since the building opened in 2007; it is shared between the school, library and cultural centre.

“It’s not situated within the playground, so pupils have no direct access to it during the school day, unless they are accompanied by staff.

“We were not aware of any issues or concerns: no one has contacted or spoken to any member of the school’s teaching staff or management team about this matter.

“However, while we remain satisfied with the safety measures taken by the school, we have agreed to make arrangements for fencing to be erected around the pond.”