The Wakefield Express is reporting that a four-year-old boy with special needs has escaped from his school building twice in two months.
Stacey Edwards said when she arrived to pick up her son William from St Helen’s Primary School in Hemsworth on January 13, she found him outside in the car park.
He had escaped through a door in reception, where staff were monitoring him until she arrived, later than normal.
When Mrs Edwards collected William on Friday, she was told he had escaped from the reception area again. Staff had caught him and brought him back inside.
Mrs Edwards said: “I think it is disgusting that a four-year-old child has been able to escape from the school while under supervision…”
The school’s headteacher Sue Henderson said on the first occasion William was seen leaving the building by a member of staff, with an adult “similar in size and stature to Mrs Edwards”.
She said: “Following this incident the school reviewed its procedures for children being collected late at the end of the day and changed them to ensure that all children who were not collected on time were signed for.”
She said Mrs Edwards called to say she was delayed on Friday and William was taken to reception. He ran to the door, opened the lock and let himself out, but a teacher followed and caught him.
Mrs Henderson said: “The school reviewed the event immediately and were satisfied our procedures had been followed and were effective.”
Ok – stories like this crop up every now and then, but help unpick the principles involved.
On the one hand, the school has a duty of care for the child and needs to protect him. On the other, it is a school and not a prison – how far do schools need to go to ensure no pupil can escape if they set their mind to it?
In other words, what is reasonable to expect in a situation like this?
Please give us your thoughts in the comments or via Twitter…
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