The County You Live, Work And Play

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Primary Pupil Found Walking The Streets


25/08/16


A furious mum has slammed her child’s school after the five-year-old was found wandering the streets alone by a stranger.

The Hamilton woman was shocked when her son – a new P1 pupil at Townhill Primary – was brought home as he should have been at school. It is believed the little boy simply walked out of the school gates during the lunch break on Tuesday, 24th August.

A neighbour’s relative spotted the youngster talking to a workman on Comely Bank, having seemingly walked there unaccompanied from the Melfort Road school.


His mum, who does not want to be identified, is furious her son was so easily able to leave school grounds and head home alone – crossing at least three roads along the way. She said: “He simply walked right out of the open gates. There are two gates in the playground and they leave them open at the break for pupils who go home for lunch.

“My neighbour’s niece noticed him talking to a stranger, a workman, and brought him to me. He could have walked off with anyone, or been knocked down. I phoned the school and asked why my son was home and they didn’t even have a clue he was away.”

The youngster’s mum believes he left the school and either walked around Balfron Crescent or Luss Brae and crossed to Comely Bank where he was found at the junction with Fereneze Crescent.


She continued: “I went up to the school and they seemed more concerned about whether he had his lunch.

“The head teacher asked him why he had left and he said he didn’t know. He only started school last week and was in for half days then and only started staying the full day this week.

“He should not have been allowed out of the gates alone.

“My boy has not got a clue about crossing the road and road safety yet – he’s five-years-old. He has been so lucky.

“The school sent out a letter saying that the gates will now be closed and that kids going home for lunch will have to use the main entrance. The gates being closed should have happened a long time ago.”


South Lanarkshire Council apologised for the incident – and stressed that steps were being taken by the school.


Head of education Tony McDaid said: “We would first of all like to apologise to the family and to reassure them that the school has taken immediate steps to review and improve their procedures at lunchtime.

“While the playground area near the gate is supervised and the gate is closed, it is unlocked to allow pupils to go home for their lunch.

“As a consequence, the school has taken steps to change this lunchtime procedure and a letter was issued to parents to let them know this.

“The safety of all pupils is paramount which is why we have moved swiftly to review our procedures to prevent this from occurring again.

“The head teacher did speak to the child’s mum to try to reassure her and to let her know the changes that were being put in place.

“We have no record of any similar incidents being reported.”