Household Fuming After College Employees’s Oversight Allowed 9-12 months-Outdated with Autism to Escape into Avenue
Castle School leaders apologized after a nine-year-old boy with autism was allowed to leave school for about 25 minutes due to mistakes made by staff.
Daniel Hankin, who suffers from autism and learning difficulties, usually receives individual care at school. But while the employee assigned to him was distracted by another student, Daniel entered his empty classroom alone and went to the outer door to the playground.
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Two mechanisms on the door failed, allowing Daniel to exit the building. He then went through a gate that the staff had left open and left the school premises through a gap in the outer fence.
Fortunately, the staff noticed Daniel’s absence immediately and called the police. The boy was missing for a total of about 25 minutes before police found him on the street and brought him back to school.
The school, which conducted an internal investigation into the incident, claims no other child has ever made it off the school premises, but that doesn’t change the fear and anger Daniel’s family now feels as they try to figure out how that is everything happened and how to keep it from happening again.
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“That should never have happened. Daniel climbs out of windows and things because he doesn’t understand, it’s not his fault, ”says Daniel’s grandmother, 58-year-old Carol Hankin. “We always had to be careful because he was running away, and they knew that. From the letter they sent me, they only seem interested in making excuses. I think it’s neglect on their part, but they try to blame the contractors. “
Carol continues, “I don’t know what to do because it’s the only school for him in the area and it was a brilliant school, has everything the kids need but the attitude of the staff was a problem . They didn’t call us until it happened, when he got back. We should have been informed immediately. “
Photo: Adobe Stock / Nick ALDI
As part of the school’s investigation, changes were made to ensure this doesn’t happen again. The systems for picking up children in the morning have been improved, more controls on playground gates have been introduced and new rules for contractors in the school have been introduced. The school also checked the locking systems on their doors.
A spokesman for the Northumberland Church of England Academy Trust (NCEAT), which runs the school, said of the incident:
“At NCEAT, we take the safety of our students very seriously. The incident that occurred at the Castle School on June 18, 2021, when a student was able to leave the school premises unaccompanied, was the first of its kind for the Castle School, and we immediately launched a full investigation into how it happened.
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“The student has not been out of school for more than 25 minutes before being returned safely and unharmed. The Trust, in consultation with the Northumbria Police Department and the local authority’s designate, conducted a thorough internal investigation to determine how the incident came about and to ensure that all lessons are learned to prevent it from happening something repeated in the future.
“We are in contact with the child’s family and have apologized for the hardship this event undoubtedly caused.”
However, Carol says she’s still scared of sending Daniel back to school in the fall. “I really trusted them, but now I’m so worried. My nerves are gone. Every time the phone rings and I see it’s school, I worry that they are going to say something happened again. I’m afraid it might happen to another child. Anything could have happened to him – I could have planned a funeral. “