DCSIMG

Hart principal wants ‘assurances’ after pupil leaves school unaccompanied

Hart Memorial Primary School in Portadown.

Hart Memorial Primary School in Portadown.

The education board is to investigate building work at Hart Memorial Nursery on the day a pupil managed to leave the school unaccompanied.

Principal Julie Shipley said the “freak” incident took place during an “unscheduled visit” by builders to carry out work in the nursery classroom.

She said the boy was found “safe and well within minutes” of leaving the school grounds.

Miss Shipley said the school has written to the head of maintenance at the Southern Education and Library Board (SELB) seeking an assurance “that contractors will never again be sent in to nursery during the school day”.

A spokesman for the SELB said in a statement, “The school has communicated concerns to the board regarding the circumstances surrounding the carrying out of work at the time of this incident.

“These will be looked into as a matter of urgency and appropriate procedures reviewed.”

A number of parents had expressed their concern at the incident, with some saying they wanted a full explanation about how it happened and asking what measures had been taken to ensure it won’t happen again.

As part of its own investigation, the principal added that ‘keep the gate closed’ signs had been ordered for the pedestrian gate used for dropping off and collecting children from the Surestart In Tune programme during the school day.

The school also requested and has had a visit from a representative of the SELB’s health and safety department to assess the incident and the school’s normal safeguarding procedures.

Said Miss Shipley, “The health and safety officer concurred with the action taken by the school to date. Any further guidance will be contained in a report of the visit and any recommendations will naturally be implemented.

“Hart Memorial Primary School is a very safe environment for our pupils. We wish to learn from this and move on in providing our pupils with the high quality learning experience that all our stakeholders should expect.”

A number of parents had expressed their concern at the incident, with some saying they wanted a full explanation of how it happened and asking what measures had been taken to ensure it won’t happen again.

As part of its own investigation, the principal added that ‘keep the gate closed’ signs had been ordered for the pedestrian gate used for dropping off and collecting children from the Surestart In Tune programme.

The school also requested and has had a visit from the SELB’s health and safety department to assess the incident and the school’s normal safeguarding procedures.

Said Miss Shipley, “The health and safety officer concurred with the action taken by the school to date. Any further guidance will be contained in a report of the visit and any recommendations will naturally be implemented.

“Hart Memorial Primary School is a very safe environment for our pupils. We wish to learn from this and move on in providing our pupils with the high quality learning experience that all our stakeholders should expect.”

 

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