Last updated:
1 August 2017

School crossing patrols

Find out about school crossing patrols and how to become a 'lollipop' man or lady.

1 Overview

School crossing patrols are better known as 'lollipop' men and ladies. They are employed by West Sussex County Council to help children and other pedestrians cross the road safely when walking to and from school.

2 Becoming a lollipop man or lollipop lady

School crossing patrols play an important part in the life of the community. There is often a need in the area for patrols or for reserves to cover absence.

At 125 sites in West Sussex, lollipop men and women are employed at the start and finish of each school day. Although exact times vary from site to site, the commitment is usually 30-40 minutes each morning and afternoon when children are walking to and from school.

The rate of pay is £7.19 per hour. They only work in term time, so the salary is spread equally over 12 months. This ensures that the pay is the same each month, even over the summer holiday and half terms, and public holidays are also paid.

There is no upper age limit and we have several patrol people in their seventies.

Uniform and training are provided.

If you are interested in applying to be part of this worthwhile service, please contact Caroline Martin:

3 Requesting a new crossing

Send us the name of the road which pupils find difficulty crossing and the point on the road where the majority attempt to cross.

We will carry out an assessment taking into account the number of pupils crossing, the volume of traffic and any special site characteristics.

If the results of the assessment meet the national criteria for new sites, the School Crossing Patrol Officer will recruit a patrol as soon as possible. 

4 Advice for parents and guardians

The responsibility for ensuring children are safe when walking between home and school always rests with parents, even where school crossing patrols are employed.

Please remember that a patrol might be absent at short notice. A reserve might be able to cover the duty but it is not always possible.

You can help the patrol by:

  • teaching your child to wait on the pavement and follow instructions
  • teaching your child to cross in front of the patrol
  • making sure your child behaves sensibly and does not distract the patrol
  • setting a good example yourself.

Sites are kept under periodic review and may be closed following consultation and reasonable notice if they are no longer considered to be justified (for example, following the installation of a light-controlled crossing).

5 Advice for pedestrians

School crossing patrols can help anyone cross the road, as long as they are at a designated site and operating at the approved times.

Pedestrians are asked to follow these simple rules when crossing with a patrol:

  • Stand well back while waiting to cross the road.
  • Do not follow the patrol into the road - wait for the patrol's instructions to cross the road.
  • Cross in front of the patrol.
  • Never play or run near a patrol.
  • Cyclists should always dismount before crossing the road. 

6 Advice for motorists

Please give our school crossing patrols consideration and assistance. They are there to help vulnerable children and other pedestrians to use our roads safely in all weathers.

Please remember to:

  • park well away from the crossing site, so that the patrol can see clearly in all directions
  • reduce speed and be prepared to stop
  • obey instructions
  • stop your vehicle when asked to do so and do not roll forward
  • wait until the patrol has returned to the pavement before moving off.

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