Canoe take me to school, dad?

Charley and her dad Ken. Picture and story by Paul Drury
Charley and her dad Ken. Picture and story by Paul Drury

Five-year-old Charley McAllister is a splash hit with her class mates – after her dad introduced a nautical theme to the school run.

When conditions allow, dad Ken paddles right up to her primary school in his 15ft Canadian canoe to collect his daughter at home time.

The inspired way to avoid parking near the school gates was only made possible last week, when Charley’s new £7million school, Lairdsland Primary, opened its doors for the very first time on the banks of the Forth and Clyde Canal, in Kirkintilloch .

Head teacher Fiona Donaghey said: “This is quite a new experience for me. I’ve never had a child picked up by canoe before.”

Dad Ken (45), a postman from Kirkintilloch, said: “You should see her face. She is so excited about this way to go to school. Some parents have actually asked me if I do trips.

“But there is a more serious aspect to doing this. I want to make her safe on the water and to learn about the dangers it holds. I’ve been an instructor for 20 years and this is safer than the old school which was on a road where you were always dodging traffic.”

Charley wears a lifejacket and has been training on water since she was a toddler.

She said: ‘‘My pals all think it’s cool.”