PARENTS

Disabled Child, 10, Locked In Mini Bus At Depot

14/08/2014 16:57 | Updated 20 May 2015

School bus depot

An investigation has been launched after a disabled child was left locked inside a council-run mini bus in a depot after the driver and his assistant failed to notice he was still on board.

The 10-year-old boy was among a group of pupils being transported by bus to Tettenhall Wood School in Wolverhampton at 8.45am on Wednesday.

But when the bus returned to the depot 30 minutes later one child was still on board.

The driver and an escort got off the bus and locked the doors on reaching the depot – seemingly unaware of the boy's presence.

The child didn't come to any harm and his parents were informed. A driver has been suspended while an investigation is carried out.

City councillor Phil Page, who is council cabinet member for Schools, Skills and Learning, told the local paper: "When the bus arrived at the depot, it was then that the child was discovered.

"As far as I am aware, the child was never left in the depot by themselves. He was not locked inside.

"That is my understanding, but the matter is being investigated and we need to get the bottom of what exactly happened."

The pupil was travelling to Tettenhall Wood School, which caters for young people with severe or complex educational needs.

Mr Page said he had not been told what the child's special educational needs were.

He said: "I don't know what their position is, and the school deals with pupils with a range of issues.

"There may have been some communication issues with the youngster but that's speculation at the moment and one of the things which the investigation will be trying to find out.

"If a child goes to a particular school, then they will know which one they have to get off for, but if there are communication difficulties it may not have been that straightforward.

"An investigation has been launched and I will be asking for an update on its progress next week."

He added: "It may well be the policies we have in place are fine, or that we need to look at them again. Our priority is always the safety and well-being of the children.

"We pick up lots of children each morning to get them to school and as far as I am aware this is the first time this has ever happened."

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