Merger could solve ‘Wacky Races’ problems at Hebburn schools

St Aloysius RC Infant School in Hebburn.
St Aloysius RC Infant School in Hebburn.

Action taken to tackle a ‘wacky races’ problem at a South Tyneside school has persuaded councillors to agree a merger plan.

Infant and junior children at St Aloysius Roman Catholic School in Argyle Street, Hebburn, are located in two buildings next to each other.

The headmaster is taking action

Coun Gladys Hobson

But the long-term plan is to expand the junior school to eventually enable the transfer of all infant pupils across.

And this week members of the council’s planning committee agreed the first stage of the amalgamation with the creation of an expanded main hall and a new classroom and corridor.

The decision came despite concerns raised by people living in Makendon Street – a cul-de-sac between the two schools.

They have complained about being unable to park outside of their homes, particularly at school pick-up and drop-off times.

Committee members, who paid a site visit to the school, were told that headmaster Nick Conroy was taking short-term action to reduce the congestion by shutting the school gates to the infants and juniors, from Makendon Street at the beginning and the end of the school day.

Coun Gladys Hobson said the committee had sympathy with residents in the area. She said: “We visited the site and understand the problems raised.

“At times it’s like Wacky Races, with people parking illegally across residents’ drives. The headmaster is taking action to address the problem, which will hopefully go some way to relieve the annoyance which is caused.”

In a report to the committee, Mr Conroy says: “The school is sympathetic to the concerns of local people.”