Boy, 3, found ‘alone and wet through’ after escaping nursery near motorway

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Ellen Imeson had gone to collect her son Lenny from nursery back in May last year, but was left feeling “panicked” when she claims to have spotted him alone by the gate. Lenny had managed to escape the building by opening two doors.

Telling her story, the mum told Yorkshire Live she has decided to speak out now because she feels that the incident has been “forgotten about” a year on.

The mum-of-two said: “I thought ‘is it him?’ I was confused and panicking. I found him near a gate, within the grounds. He was just looking through the fence. He should not have been able to get out of those two doors. He was wet through and didn’t have a coat on. He had escaped and had gone out through two doors.”

She added: “I am so lucky I saw him when I did. I was fuming as I walked back around the school to the nursery. They (staff) even shouted his name for me to collect so they were clueless he had left.

“If I had walked past my boy that day it would have been a different ending. It’s a school next to a motorway.”

Ellen, 29, then went inside the school and was “very upset” by what had happened.

The incident at St Mathew’s CE Primary School and Nursery, in Bradford, Yorkshire, happened last May, with the school responding to Ellen’s complaint with an investigation and a letter in July.

The letter acknowledges that Lenny was found by his mum in a different part of the school grounds in an area “which is out of visible line of sight from the white main nursery doors.”

It says: “The CCTV evidence of the Nursery entrance…shows that school protocol regarding dismissal to parents was not fully adhered to on this occasion.”

The school letter says that Lenny leaving went “unnoticed” by staff. Three minutes passed from the time Lenny left the nursery and him returning with his mum, it added.

“This constitutes a breach of school safety protocols linking to the safe dismissal of children.

“We can conclude that on this occasion a breach has occurred with regards to (Lenny) and insufficient direct supervision.

“The young person left the nursery by himself and fortunately no harm came to him as he was met by his mother coming to collect him.”

Ellen said she had taken Lenny out of the nursery because of what happened.

“It has really affected me. Teachers need to fix safeguarding in Bradford. It is not acceptable.”

Deborah Evans, headteacher at St Matthew’s Primary, said: “Although this happened over 12 months ago, before I joined the school, I know that the matter was taken very seriously.

“The safety of our pupils is always our number one priority.

“I would like to reassure all parents that this was an isolated incident that took place over a year ago.

“The matter is extremely important with a full investigation carried out and new risk assessment completed to ensure it cannot happen again.

“We again offer our deepest apologies to the parents of this pupil and are delighted they have chosen to attend our Reception class in September 2022.”

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