Hackney Community College girl with Down's syndrome traumatised after being left on school bus all day
PUBLISHED: 12:05 15 June 2017 | UPDATED: 16:05 15 June 2017
A student with Down's syndrome was left on a school bus for hours before teachers realised she wasn't in class.
The traumatised teenager turned up on her family’s doorstep after spending the whole school day trapped in the vehicle.
Her brother told the Gazette: “When she got to the front door she was soaking wet and had obviously wet herself. She was shivering, cold and pale.”
The girl’s family, who have asked for her not to be named, believe she was failed by both Hackney Community College and the transport company hired by Hackney Learning Trust.
Both the college and the trust, which is the town hall’s education body, have now launched investigations to find out what happened and ensure it’s never repeated.
On the day in question, in May, the girl had been seen onto the bus by her family in Stoke Newington.
They were told nothing about her absence from school until 4pm – when teachers called her mother to say she hadn’t been in all day.
"If the college had taken the register in the morning they would have known. But they left it till 4pm. Luckily it wasn’t a hot day"
She was distraught and immediately called her son, the girl’s older brother, in tears.
But shortly after that phone call, the distressed student stepped off the bus as usual outside her home.
Her brother said: “She’d been there [on the bus] all day. She said to my mum that the [afternoon] driver said to her: ‘What are you doing here?’
“But she was scared and didn’t say anything back. The bus had been in the school grounds all day, I think. She’d fallen asleep.
“If the college had taken the register in the morning they would have known. But they left it till 4pm.”
He added: “Luckily it wasn’t a hot day.”
A college spokeswoman said: “The safety of students is of paramount importance. College managers are investigating the matter with the Learning Trust and will identify how procedures can be improved.”
A Hackney Council spokesman added: “We have received a complaint about this matter and will formally investigate the concerns raised and respond to the family directly.
“We take all complaints extremely seriously and will make sure this is resolved as soon as possible.”