Primary headteacher ‘spends his days breaking up fights between angry parents over parking spaces during the school run’

The Mail is reporting on a primary school head who claims he has to act as an ‘unofficial traffic warden’ and breaking up fights between parents over parking spaces. 

Stuart Pywell says parking disputes are so volatile at St Stephen’s Primary school in Canterbury, Kent, that he has to step in to stop parents swinging punches.

He claims that arguments erupt as parents block driveways, refusing to move for other traffic.

Mr Pywell said that parking on zig-zag lines are a twice-daily headache for him and that the school has resorted to placing yellow warning signs around the gates in an effort to encourage drivers to avoid bad habits.

He said: ‘I go out there at the end of the day when it’s at its worst, but these days some parents are more likely to tell you where to go than do the right thing.

‘I’ve been sworn at by parents when I’ve asked them to move. We’ve even had to deal with fights, two since Christmas.

‘You get people parking over the driveways of homes and then just abandoning their cars.’

…He added: ‘We’ve had the police and PCSOs up here and nothing really happens. Our yellow warning signs are as good as any people…’

More at: Primary headteacher spends his days breaking up fights between angry parents over parking spaces during the school run


This story is actually wrapped up in a disagreement over the redeployment of traffic wardens after they were replaced by automatic barriers and number plate recognition systems at local car parks, but what do you think of the situation Stuart Pywell describes?

Is this becoming more and more of an issue at many primary schools now?

If so, has anyone found a successful approach to dealing with it?

Please let us know your best advice in the comments or via Twitter…

Are you a trainee teacher, NQT, teacher, headteacher, parent or  just someone who cares about education and has something to get off  your chest in a Schools Improvement Guest Post? Follow this link for more details at the bottom of the page.

Don’t forget you can sign up to receive our daily email bulletin (around 7am) with all the latest schools news stories. Your details will never be given to anyone else and you can unsubscribe at any stage. Just follow this link.

We now have a Facebook page - please click to like!


Sir Tom Hunter asks Nicola Sturgeon why English education reforms ignored
Teachers encouraged to introduce organ donation lessons to raise awareness
Categories: Leadership, Parenting and Primary.


  1. MrMcUK

    Same issue at our school daily – told by traffic wardens / police they cannot do anything as noone breaking any laws unless residents are willing to stand there and agree to a prosecution for parking in front of driveways (in front of who is parked there!). We have had plenty of ‘near misses’ but no actual accidents so not a priority as putting in yellow lines/residents parking deemed too expensive – and would only push the problem further away. Is a growing daily problem though.

  2. HoldHeadUpHigh

    SchoolsImprove same for us and parents expect me to put on a high viz and go patrol outside. I’m not sure what powers they think I have!

  3. thiskidsthinkin

    It might be time to think outside the box with this issue. Schools should set up a walking bus for children who live under 1 mile from the school, only exceptions being children or adults with mobility problems. That eases the pressure for residents somewhat. Where there is space within school grounds for parking to be provided, the school should fund raise to make parking.
    Parents should not be blocking people driveways! How would they feel if they were blocked by residents cars from getting back home again! I used to have a problem being blocked by an inconsiderate driver. I once blocked the person in. They then had to find me to ask me to move. I told them if they insisted on being so inconsiderate, I’d keep blocking them from leaving. It never happened again!

  4. thiskidsthinkin

    MrMcUK I’d either agree to prosecute, or get residents organised to park so close they’d have to find us to move our cars so they could get back home again! Depends how bloody minded I’d be the time! It isn’t right that there are near misses at all. 
    Sadly, it will probably take an accident before action is taken in these kinds of cases. Took multiple accidents to get traffic lights and crossing points in my village, some of the accident being children.

Let us know what you think...