Parents threaten walk out over school phone mast

PARENTS have threatened to take their children out of classes after it was revealed a mast could be built in the grounds of a neighbouring school.

Vodafone wants to site the mast at St Bernard's RC School, but Barbara Kelly, whose daughter Michelle is a pupil at the nearby St Augustine's Catholic Primary School in Daws Hill Lane, High Wycombe, said parents are furious.

A consultation was held with staff, parents and governors at St Bernard's two weeks ago and it was decided to proceed with the plan for the mast in woodlands next to the motorway, although planning permission has not yet been granted.

Mrs Kelly said: "A lot of parents have said if it goes up they will take their children out of school. A public meeting will now be held in the New Year.

"I would seriously consider taking my child out of school which is a shame as it is a good school. If it is safe then I would carry on sending my child, but if not I will look somewhere else."

Dick Taplin, St Bernard's bursar, said: "I've had a number of phone calls and I'm a parent myself and I'm going to be subjected to this. I've given them the facts in terms of the safest place is directly underneath the tower. Most people have gone away satisfied and comforted with the facts. You get more radiation from a vacuum cleaner than you do a mast."

Eamon Kennedy, headteacher at St Augustine's, added: "All I know is if I were asked would I have a mast on my school site the answer would have to be no as I don't know enough about it.

"We have been advised that it would pose no danger whatsoever for our pupils and I can only speak on behalf of this school. I do understand the concerns of the parents and these concerns need to be addressed."


9:48am Tuesday 30th December 2003

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