Mum’s anger as daughter, 7, is left alone on Portsmouth street

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A MUM has spoken of her horror after her seven-year-old daughter was left standing outside her school alone.

Lucy Williams had called Stamshaw Junior School, where her daughter Lillie Steel is a Year 3 pupil, to inform them that she was going to be late picking her up.

She called the school office half an hour before school finished to tell staff to keep her in and not to let Lillie out at the end of the day until she arrived to collect her 10 minutes after school.

But when school finished at 3pm, Lillie was sent out and found herself standing alone outside the school, next to the road.

It was only when she asked another parent where her mum was, that she was taken back inside the school.

Meanwhile, Lucy, 27, from North End Grove, knew nothing about what had happened until almost a week later, when a fellow parent told her about it.

She said: ‘I called the school and said I would be 10 minutes late. I asked them not to let her leave the school premises.

‘I had nobody else to pick her up. They said that was fine.

‘As far as I was concerned, everything was fine. I was completely oblivious to what happened next.

‘They let her walk out of the school with no adult to pick her up.

‘She was standing there all by herself. I dread to think what could have happened. If somebody came up to her and said “I will take you to your mum” she would have gone with them.

‘It could have been so much more serious than it was.

‘Somebody else could have picked her up and I might never have seen her again.’

Now, Lucy has stopped Lillie from attending the school, and is looking for somewhere else for her to go.

She added: ‘I don’t trust them any more. I’m putting her into another school.’

But headteacher Simon Cattermole, said: ‘We take the safeguarding of pupils very seriously.

‘We have two staff members on watch at the school gates at home time.

‘Some Year 3 pupils walk home alone, but all pupils are told that if they’re usually met by an adult, and that adult doesn’t arrive, then they should go back to school.

‘On this occasion, our normal procedure for acting on messages from parents didn’t work. We apologise to the family for the distress this caused.

‘We’ve improved the way messages are handled and our procedures will be re-emphasised to the whole school.’


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