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So my son walked out of school today..

(30 Posts)
MzPixielated Fri 26-Apr-13 17:20:07

He's in year one! Normal morning, he lined up and went in with his class. Luckily I had stopped just down the road because I'd got chatting to some other mums. He walked out of his class, out of the school, out of the gates and no one batted an eyelid. I had asked him that morning to bring me his p.e. kit as it needed washing and he'd taken it literally and brought it straight to me (although I meant at the end of school iykwim). I took him back in and the teacher started shouting at him, surely its her job to make sure he doesn't wander off once the bell has gone?

StitchAteMySleep Fri 26-Apr-13 17:27:54

You need to raise this with the Head, the teacher is responsible for making sure the children left in her care are still there once you hand over. Extra measures need to be put in place to ensure that this can't happen again.

1969Sarah Fri 26-Apr-13 19:27:22

This is very very serous and you should write to the head AND chair of governors at once. Look up who is governor for safeguarding and include them too. How awful. I am not sure I could send my child back.

auntpetunia Fri 26-Apr-13 19:28:58

I would speak direct to the Head. this is a severe failure in their Safeguarding procedures, once the child is in school with the teacher then there should be no way the child should be able to leave the building. what is the layout of the school, are the classes directly on the yard, or did he have to walk down a corridor and out of the main doors. I would email the Head tonight and say you will be calling in on Monday morning to discuss this failure, I would follow it up with a letter to the Chair of Governors.

The teacher will have shouted at him as she will have been shocked that it happened and she will know that she is in trouble. I would hope that the Head will have been told by the teacher and that the first he'/she hears of it isn't your call/email. If she hasn't told anyone of this failure then she might find herself in very difficult situation, a teacher I know had something similar happen and she ended up being given a formal warning after going through a number of disciplinary hearings.

am glad your son is ok

Euphemia Fri 26-Apr-13 20:00:03

Our school toilets are right next to the exit door to the playground. The gate is kept padlocked during the day, but there are a few times a day that a child could let themselves out before the janitor has locked the gate, without being seen by anyone.

Very worrying.

MzPixielated Fri 26-Apr-13 20:42:17

Thank you for your replies. In order to get out the school he would of had to go down a corridor and around the outside of the entire school through the playground. Both front gates where wide open. I took him back in through reception where the head happened to be stood I explained what had happened but he just sighed.. I did tell my son it was a massive no-no to walk out like that however in his eyes he was just doing as he was told. I felt sick afterwards anything could have happened to him, the teacher hadn't taken the register on time for some reason so had I not brought him back no one would have raised the alarm.

auntpetunia Fri 26-Apr-13 20:59:16

The Head teacher should have taken that very seriously. I am surprised that he just sighed, I would follow up with an email detailing exactly what you told us along with the fact that the teacher had not taken the register then this could have been a much worse situation. This needs to be taken very seriously indeed. a letter to Chair of Governors is now needed.

Periwinkle007 Sat 27-Apr-13 07:18:30

gosh. that would be impossible at my daughters school i think. all doors out of the site are locked and the three gates are manned by two staff each who unlock and lock them. they never leave them unattended and have radios should they need to contact for help if a problem so dont abandon their post. i am not surprised you felt sick after. i would have been horrified. i would follow up with a letter saying you want an explanation of what route out was left open and how and what safeguards are being put in place ti ensure it cant happen again

musu Sat 27-Apr-13 10:02:22

Based on the Head's reaction I would be writing to the Chair of Governors and LEA. Once your ds is in school it is the school's responsiblity that he isn't able to just randomly leave.

I would be very upset and beyond livid if I were you. From the odd reaction of the Head I would also be asking if this has happened before (not meaning your child, but others).

MzPixielated Sat 27-Apr-13 10:38:02

The head is leaving soon and he really couldn't give a flying fig about the school.
I shall be writing to the governors and having words with the teacher properly on Monday.
Thank you for your help everyone I hope it was just a one off.

musu Sat 27-Apr-13 15:53:42

In which case definitely contact the LEA as well as the Governors.

auntpetunia Sat 27-Apr-13 22:27:25

Well in that case a letter to chair of governors and the LEA expressing your concern at the fact that he escaped and the poor attitude of the head. hope the head is retiring and not going to another school.

BlackeyedSusan Sat 27-Apr-13 23:15:31

hopefully, the head sighed becuse he now relises he haas to give bollocking to the teacher/get a bollocking fom the govenos for not ensuring procedures are adhered to correctly.

ryanboy Sun 28-Apr-13 09:31:24

If he is in Y1 ,your DS is 6 (or very nearly 6).He is not a very young child.He should be plenty old enough to be trusted not to wander off.schools should not be prisons
I think you should stop casting round for someone else to blame

hels71 Sun 28-Apr-13 13:52:04

It's a good job some of you don't have children at the school I work at...ALthough they can not get out of the front door they could easily leave by any other door when they go to the loo and then the gate to the playground is only shut, not locked...(And could easily be climbed over..) We have just had Ofsted and not a mention of this being worry........but maybe the children where I work just know not to run back out of school......

musu Sun 28-Apr-13 13:56:45

He should be plenty old enough to be trusted not to wander off

The OP said that her ds went out of school to give her his PE kit. He didn't just wander off. He misunderstood his mum's instructions. There is no way a 5/6 year old should be able to wander off without anyone noticing. That is the issue here.

Waferthinmint Sun 28-Apr-13 13:59:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

auntpetunia Sun 28-Apr-13 14:49:29

I Am not overreacting at all I am speakingfrom direct experience a teacher at a school I worked at was taken to disciplinary by LEA for exactly this LEA Ofsted Governors took it very seriously and she was lucky to keep her job, whilst the child should know better it should not be possible for it to happen, it doesn't matter that mum was outside, what if she wasn't and he wandered away got run over or worse, school wouldn't know and neither would mum. What time would anyone notice.

Hels71 Am surprised your school wasn't pulled for safeguarding issues if gate isn't locked and easily climbed.

mrz Sun 28-Apr-13 15:04:04

There obviously is an issue if a child managed to walk out of school but drop off and collection times are particularly difficult because there are parents and often younger siblings coming and going so doors and gates obviously can not be locked until all parents have left the school grounds.
OP I hope the school can come up with a foolproof solution.

FannyMcNally Sun 28-Apr-13 16:30:38

In our school the children enter through the outside door leading into their own classrooms. Theorectically once in, they could then all troop out of the interior classroom door and into the melee that is the reception area and attach themselves to other parents to make their escape. Teacher is dealing with incomers and has to trust the children to settle down and wait for her. Isn't this true of a lot of schools?

mrz Sun 28-Apr-13 16:38:21

It certainly is true of the school where I teach. On a morning there are three members of staff on duty at the door but it is quite possible that they can be distracted - speaking to a parent - comforting an upset child - passing on a message etc it actually only takes a minute and I for one have found myself preventing a determined child from leaving on more than one occasion.

MzPixielated Tue 07-May-13 22:03:46

It was about half an hour after drop off time. I'm not trying to blame anyone and as I said earlier I did talk to do about it. I was just shaken at how easily he was able to walk out of school and down the road! He could have been run over or snatched by some weirdo and I would have been non the wiser until collection time as the teacher hadn't taken the register. I have had words with the school and no the janitor hangs around the gates and locks them after the last mums leave, which is something I guess.

Foundapound Wed 08-May-13 00:14:41

In our school, if a child is not in AND parent has not called in to explain absence, the school would be phoning us by about 0930 to see why child was absent. So you would know before collection time. Not the whole solution, obviously to the problem, but it helps.

Floggingmolly Thu 09-May-13 00:43:37

If it was shortly after you'd dropped him off, it's fairly understandable that he went unnoticed in the general melee of hundreds of children / parents swarming onto the premises.
I take it he hadn't actually gone into his classroom and the register hadn't yet been taken? Why do you think the school could have prevented it happening?

CouthySaysEatChoccyEggs Thu 09-May-13 07:27:18

By the sounds if it, the register hadn't been taken despite it being 30 minutes after drop off time. That is unacceptable, for safety reasons.

And as the school are 'in loco Parentis' from drop off time till pick up time, I would be going absolutely spare if this was me - I would write a letter of complaint to the HT and one to the Governors.

Gates should not still be unlocked half an hour after drop off time.

OK, this Y1 boy might be NT, and probably should have known better (though it is quite easy for a boy aged between 5y9mo and 6y8mo to misinterpret a comment to bring his PE kit home to wash when the words 'after school' weren't added to that request), what if there was a DC with SN's in that class who wandered out of the school?

Complaining about this incident not only safeguards the OP's DS, but also all the other DC's in the school.

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