‘Prison-like’ tarpaulin put up at Eastbourne primary school following ‘review of security and privacy’

Sheets of tarpaulin have been put up to surround a primary school playground in Eastbourne for privacy reasons.

At St Andrews School in Winchelsea Road a tarpaulin has been put up along the length of its playground to protect children from paedophiles (Photo by Jon Rigby) SUS-211223-102619008
At St Andrews School in Winchelsea Road a tarpaulin has been put up along the length of its playground to protect children from paedophiles (Photo by Jon Rigby) SUS-211223-102619008

St Andrew’s Church of England Infants’ School in Winchelsea Road has added the tarpaulin so that people cannot see into the playground from the street.

Residents on the street say it was put up during the Christmas holidays in time for the children to return yesterday (Tuesday, January 4).

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A number of residents living on the street came forward about the tarpaulin and said they hadn’t been considered.

One resident said, “It looks awful, what are the kids going to think?”

She said when she asked the man who was putting it up what the reason was for the tarpaulin, he said it was to protect the children from paedophiles.

Another resident said, “It looks ugly to residents and people passing by, why has it been put up? Some say it’s to deter paedophiles, really? It has always had an open playground since opening decades ago, so why has the head decided to do this now?

“While I agree on safeguarding, children should be children and enjoy normal surroundings, not prison-like ones.”

A spokesperson for the school said, “The mesh netting has been erected on our school fences following a routine review of security and privacy of the school site.

“This is certainly not a response to any specific threat or concern.”