A ‘severely autistic’ nine-year-old was able to escape his primary school and run home by crawling under a gate, his furious’ parents have claimed.
Dad-of-two Alan Dawson, 36, an HGV driver, told the Nottingham Post, he was “gobsmacked” to open his front door to find his son Jack who, at 9.20am on a Monday morning, was supposed to be in class at the nearby Hillocks Primary and Nursery School.
Instead he had managed to squeeze under a very small gap beneath a gate and make his way to his home on Garden Lane in Sutton, a short walk but one which involves crossing a busy road.
His parents were left so angry they pulled both their children from the school immediately, saying they no longer felt they were safe.
They also said they had highlighted the potential problem with the gate only a week before this incident when Jack made an attempt to get out that way but their concerns were ignored.
Alan said: “I was getting ready to go to the gym when I heard the knock on the door, opened it and there was my son. He was upset, he just said he had escaped.
“I was gobsmacked, I felt sick. I stormed down there and there was nobody trying to find him. I was fuming.”
He added that episodes where Jack tries to escape happen more than once a week, and can be dangerous as his autism means he is very trusting of strangers and can “freak out” and desperately try to get away from something he’s scared of, such as loud noises, putting himself at risk.
His mum, Victoria Dawson, 30, said: “To not know he left the classroom, ran out the gate and home. If they can’t look after my son, if he can just walk out a school, there’s no way I am leaving my daughter there.”
However, his parents will now be looking to get him in to a specialised school and his six-year-old sister, Megan-Jayne, a place somewhere else.
A Nottinghamshire County Council spokesperson said that the council takes the issue of school security extremely seriously. It is aware of this incident and is looking into the matter.