Parents' worry after school bus mistake

WORRIED parents are today keeping their 11-year-old son away from school until they receive an assurance that he will be delivered home safely.Beverley and William Chance were furious after their son Matthew was dropped by the school bus half a mile from home on a dark, isolated road not far from Hollesley Bay prison.

WORRIED parents are today keeping their 11-year-old son away from school until they receive an assurance that he will be delivered home safely.

Beverley and William Chance were furious after their son Matthew was dropped by the school bus half a mile from home on a dark, isolated road not far from Hollesley Bay prison.

His mum and dad are deeply concerned the incident could happen again to Matthew – who is in his first year at Farlingaye High School at Woodbridge – or other children.

"I couldn't believe it when I found out – we entrust our child to the school and the education authority and expect him to be looked after," said Mrs Chance.

"He was left up by the water tower and had to walk half a mile down a country road with no lights, in the dark. It is very isolated with just fields at the sides and no houses at all.

"He could have been accosted or grabbed – anything could have happened to him and we would not have known.

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"I want a full explanation and an apology and I want to be assured nothing like this will happen again future. I am keeping him off school until this is sorted – I don't want this happening again to my son or any other child."

The family were contacted by the school after Matthew's usual bus broke down on January 27 and told he would be put on to another bus going to the village.

They say they were assured the bus would put him down at his normal stop – at the end of his road, Oak Hill, about 100 yards from home.

"I don't know what happened – whether the driver didn't get the message or didn't know where the stop was," said Mrs Chance.

A spokeswoman for Suffolk County Council's education department said: "One of the managers from our school transport team has already spoken to the parents and apologised for this incident.

"A smaller bus was sent to the school when the original bus broke down and as a result the young person in question had to get on a different bus, which left him with a longer walk home.

"This was an unfortunate incident and we will endeavour to make sure that this does not happen in the future. It was suggested that the school could contact parents to give them the opportunity of picking up their children."

Have you been left stranded by a school bus? Contact the Evening Star Newsdesk on 01473 324788.

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