School inquiry after boy goes missing

A SCHOOL last night launched an investigation after a 12-year-old pupil went missing while visiting a nature reserve.

Anthony Bond

A SCHOOL last nightlaunched an investigation after a 12-year-old pupil went missing while visiting a nature reserve.

The youngster, from Bramfield House School, near Halesworth, was visiting Minsmere nature reserve near Dunwich, when he went missing at about 12.40pm yesterday.

It is believed the boy, who was with four other pupils, as well as a group of four adults made up of teachers and RSPB staff, walked away from the party.

It sparked a massive search involving police officers, the Norfolk Police helicopter and coastguards.

The RAF search and rescue helicopter from Wattisham Airfield was also dispatched along with the Suffolk Lowland Search and Rescue.

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But, at 4.14pm, the youngster was found safe and well close to the reserve's North Hide.

Mike Howell, from Acorn Care and Education, which runs the residential school for boys with emotional, behavioural and social difficulties, said: “There is a very high level of care in the school and there is a very strong relationship between the staff and the children. Clearly the teachers were very anxious and extremely relieved when the matter was resolved well.

“It is a school for children and young people with some difficulties and on occasions there can be differences and children can run away and schools have very strict policies for how they respond.

“We will explore the incident and ensure that all the steps that needed to be taken were taken.”

Mr Howell added: “We are extremely pleased with the rapid response of the police and the staff at Minsmere who were supporting the party and who were magnificent when the child was lost.”

A Suffolk police spokeswoman said: “Police were called at 12.37pm and after an extensive search he was located alive and well at North Hide at 4.14pm. Police would like to thank all the services that assisted or offered their assistance.”