Oliver and Gillian Schonrock let their daughter, eight, and son, five, cycle a mile unsupervised from their home in Dulwich, south London, to Alleyn’s junior school. They believe cycling to school is good for their children’s independence and self-confidence. But other parents and the headmaster have said it is irresponsible.
The children’s route takes them along a pavement beside roads busy with traffic on the school run. At about the halfway mark they cross a relatively busy road where a lollipop lady is on duty. On the return journey they are supervised by one of the parents or their nanny.
Last week the Schonrocks met the headmaster and said they were told that unless they supervised the journey in both directions they would be referred to children’s services.
Schools are not responsible for children on their journey to school, but guidance issued by the Department for Children Schools and Families in March stated that if a school “believes or suspects that a child may be suffering, or is likely to suffer significant harm” then it must refer the case to social services.