Bradford academy acts after child of four walks out of school premises on her own

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: St Oswald's Academy St Oswald's Academy

A primary academy in Bradford has assured parents that measures have been put in place to ensure the safety of pupils after a four-year-old girl managed to leave the school by herself.

The head of St Oswald’s Academy said it would now have a member of staff on every exit of the building, on the busy Cross Lane, Great Horton, after the girl apparently made her way off school premises while parents were picking up their children.

The Telegraph & Argus received an anonymous tip off that a four-year-old girl had left the grounds at the end of the school day on Monday. The school confirmed there was an incident, described as a “major concern,” but were confident it had been fully dealt with.

Both the head and the Bradford Diocese, which runs the academy, deny the pupil had crossed any major roads.

Letters were sent out to parents shortly afterwards, letting them know measures were in place to prevent similar incidents in the future.

Clive Sedgwick, of the Bradford Diocese and Academies Trust, said: “An incident did occur yesterday in which a child safeguarding issue was raised. Immediately the school reacted, and have reviewed the incident. Appropriate procedures to ensure this doesn’t happen again have now been put in place.

“There is no question of them crossing any roads. The whole thing was picked up and acted upon in a matter of moments. The fact that a child left the school is a major concern that was investigated thoroughly. Arrangements have been made for a member of staff to be at every door to make sure no child gets out alone.” Head Elizabeth Davidson said: “We already had robust safeguarding policies in place, and an incident like this prompts an immediate review which we have done. We informed parents last night of the changes we made.”

Dr David Lee, chairman of the trust, said: “The school are very apologetic. I’m pleased they have dealt with the issue so fast.”

At home time yesterday parents welcomed the new policies. One mum, who did not wish to be named, said: “Something needed to be done, a lot of children come out all at the same time every day. We got a letter today saying we have to pick the kids up at the door to make sure they were definitely leaving with their parents. I’m glad with what they’re doing now.”

Another said: “There are so many children so it must be hard to keep track of everyone.”

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