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Does your school have a lost child policy?

(15 Posts)
orangegroves Thu 13-Mar-14 07:57:13

Sorry if this is not the right place to post this, please direct me to right topic if not! I'm a governor at a primary school and this week a reception child went missing from the playground at pick up. There was a lot of concern by the staff and eventually the child was found at the local park. I was involved in the search and it struck me that there wasn't a protocol for the staff to follow as the situation unfolded. It was quite ad hoc and done in a panic.

I realise that in the majority of cases they will be found safe and sound playing oblivious to the panic they have caused, but my concern is that if there has been an abduction it's really important to establish quite quickly that they have not just wandered off. There was an attempted abduction in the town this term at one of the other primary schools. sad

So I'm wondering if a policy or protocol in a situation like this is something schools usually have? Or if anyone knows where I could find some advice on getting one?

Floggingmolly Thu 13-Mar-14 08:01:13

At our school the children are handed over to their parents / carers, one at a time. Is that what you mean?
After you've "officially" taken charge of your child; it would be down to you personally to keep them within sight.
How is it done at your school?

orangegroves Thu 13-Mar-14 08:31:53

Yes, exactly the same. And they had officially taken them and then a few mins later they had disappeared from the playground. Obviously the first thing they did was ask the teachers'/TAs' help. And of course they helped out of concern.

Floggingmolly Thu 13-Mar-14 08:48:04

Of course they did. But I don't think the situation needs an actual protocol confused. Your child wandering off because you're facing the other way chatting to your mates could happen anywhere; just because you haven't yet left the school premises doesn't mean the school should put emergency procedures in place to pick up your slack hmm
All they could possibly do above and beyond what they actually did is perhaps call the police.
But they are no longer actually responsible for your child at that point.

orangegroves Thu 13-Mar-14 09:15:34

My concern was for the child. And establishing their whereabouts as speedily and calmly as possible. I'm sure any school would not like to have wasted time with a panicked response if an abduction had actually taken place.

I was more thinking a protocol for a calm, ordered search of the obvious places when a child goes missing on their premises, would be a sensible thing for an official body such as a school, to have in place.

It's not about picking up anybody's slack. confused

oddsocksmostly Thu 13-Mar-14 20:26:31

Our local primary school very quickly sorted out a policy after a similar incident.

Forgettable Thu 13-Mar-14 20:39:44

School should have a policy on Lost Child whilst in their care. Whether it would be executed for a child not in their care is a tricky one.

It's quite an unusual situation, school has discharged their duty of care at handover.

Bring it to the Board of Governors I guess?

NickNacks Thu 13-Mar-14 20:43:19

I'm a cm and I have to have a missing and uncollected child policy- it's in the eyfs statutory framework. Is it not the same for schools bring Reception is still Early Years.

craftynclothy Thu 13-Mar-14 20:45:51

At our school (I'm a parent not a teacher), each teacher hands children over to their parent/carer as they see them but there is also someone on the gate (usually head or deputy head, occasionally another senior person) and that provides a second place where it's checked that children aren't leaving unattended. Not perfect though as it's so crowded at the gate I doubt whether they'd notice one child slipping through the crowd iykwim.

Forgettable Thu 13-Mar-14 20:46:38

NickNacks this is like asking for a policy for after you have waved off child and parents and the child slips away before they get strapped into parents car.

NickNacks Thu 13-Mar-14 21:03:15

No I realise that. I thought the op was saying that they don't have such a policy/procedure for even when it happens on 'their watch' hence the confusion over what to do (even though it happened after handover). If they had a policy the could have still referred to it for this exceptional circumstance.

glucose Thu 13-Mar-14 21:05:43

when I asked they couldn't find it

Clutterbugsmum Thu 13-Mar-14 21:44:20

Wouldn't it come under/in your school safe guarding policy.

Ours is Should a child leave the school premise, staff are not chase but calmly follow, ensuring another member of staff has alerted senior members of staff. Parents and the police are then to be immediately informed of the circumstances.

Bramblesinforrin Thu 13-Mar-14 21:50:32

Yes. For during care, and for around handover time (we've taken action after home time too). It's a clear protocol and all staff act swiftly.

Clutterbugsmum Thu 13-Mar-14 21:50:40

Although I have to say if the child left the school grounds after they have been handed over to the parent/carer. It really doesn't matter if you have a policy or not as it will not apply.

That's not to say you didn't do the right thing by helping to find the child.

On another note the governor at my DC school have been asked to tengovernor website by out LA. It has loads of advice on many subjects. May be you could look on there for advice.

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