Mother's anger after son locked out of classroom

A MOTHER has told of her anger after her six-year-old child was locked out of a classroom at a Suffolk school at the end of the school day.

Hollie-Rae Merrick

A MOTHER has told of her anger after her six-year-old child was locked out of a classroom at a Suffolk school at the end of the school day.

Peta Hogan, 40, says she was left heartbroken and worried on discovering that her son had gone missing at the end of school before she could collect him.

Mrs Hogan went to collect her young son, River, and his older brother from Combs Ford Primary School on February 4, however on arrival she found that only one of her children was waiting for her.

She said: “I got to the school a couple of minutes late, I thought I would find both of my children at the reception of the school - which is normally the procedure.

“I collected my nine-year-old, who had been brought to the reception area, but no-one could tell me where my six-year-old was.

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“I was in such a state because they could not find him - it's every parent's worst nightmare.”

Four members of staff then began searching for River, who was missing for almost half-an-hour, and eventually found him sitting outside the classroom.

The mother-of-four said: “At the end of the school day, the children were taken out of the classroom and into the area where the parents come to collect them.

“It appears while he was saying goodbye to his friends, River's teacher had obviously presumed that someone had come to pick him up and she locked the door and he was left outside on his own.

“The school gates were open and because his classroom is close to the car park, I was really worried.”

“I was panicking when I found out, I was very shocked and angry because I had trusted the school 100% before this - it's the schools responsibility to ensure his safety.”

Since the incident Mrs Hogan, of Unity Road, Stowmarket, has decided to remove two of her children from the school. The children have now been registered to attend Abbots Hall Primary School.

Russell Clark, headteacher of the Glemsford Road school, said: “We have clear procedures in place for releasing the children at the end of a school day, which includes what to do when a parent is delayed.

“We shall be carefully reviewing our procedures to ensure there can be no similar incidents in the future. The welfare and safety of the children is our paramount concern.”

Mr Clark later added: “Parents are always encouraged to come into school to discuss matters of concern and usually, through positive, constructive dialogue, we are able to resolve issues.

“It is, therefore, disheartening that we were unable to sit down to discuss this matter and the parent has decided upon this course of action.”