A HEADTEACHER has vowed to fork out almost £6,000 to keep her school’s faithful lollipop lady.

Emma Dawson, headteacher at Thundersley Primary School, in Hart Road, Thundersley, was devastated to hear Essex County Council was planning to cut funding for 55 school crossing patrols on zebra and pelican crossings due to budget constraints.

She said the news was “deeply upsetting” and the school would pay the £5,860 quoted by County Hall to install its own lollipop man or woman if necessary.

The cash would have to come out of a pot used for school trips, classroom equipment and educational books.

Much-loved Angela Alden has been lollipop lady at Thundersley Primary for 15 years and is “disgusted”

by the plans, according to staff and parents.

Miss Dawson said: “We were disappointed to hear this news and it is very concerning for the school, children and parents.

“We have a crossing just up the road, but that is very close to a busy car park, so we are concerned that not only will we be without a lollipop lady, but there are cars coming from all directions.

We have now been put in a position where we will have to come up with a contingency plan and it is unfortunate. £5,890 is not money we just have lying around and if we do have to spend, it will come out of the kitty reserved for children’s education.”

Mum-of-two Sarah Ellis, 36, set up a petition to stop Angela and other lollipop men and women from being axed. She gathered 300 signatures in just five days.

Mrs Ellis, of Asquith Gardens, Thundersley, said: “It doesn’t surprise me how much support this petition has got. I have two children at Thundersley Primary and it baffles me how the county council has come to this conclusion.

I know we will get more and more support.”