Headteacher apologises after pupil spent night sleeping on a coach during school trip to London

A young pupil on a school trip spent a night sleeping on a coach in a hotel car park after teachers forgot all about him.

The boy was left behind after falling asleep at the end of a hectic day where children from Broadstone Middle School visited a series of London landmarks and museums before sitting through a performance of a hit West End musical.

Shocked parents told how it was not until the following morning that staff noticed the youngster had disappeared.

One horrified mother told MailOnline: ‘What happened at my son’s school is completely disgraceful and a huge safeguarding issue.

‘The school took children on a three-day residential trip to London, a child was left on a coach overnight and nobody noticed until morning.

A boy was left behind sleeping on a coach during a school trip to London

The incident occurred on the second night of three-day residential trip, at the end of a day full of sightseeing

The incident occurred on the second night of three-day residential trip, at the end of a day full of sightseeing

‘Simple risk assessment procedures were clearly not followed. How can this happen?’

An investigation has now been launched at the school which is based in Poole, Dorset and caters for children aged nine to 13.

Headteacher Dawn Wilks wrote to parents informing them that ‘an incident has occurred on the London trip where a child was separated from the group for a significant period of time’.

She apologised to concerned families admitting the school had made ‘a highly serious error’ and promised it would never happen again.

The bemused youngster, who was locked in the vehicle overnight, continued with the final day of the trip after the incident before returning home with the other children on Friday evening.

In a message to parents Mrs Wilks added: ‘I would reassure you that they are safe and well and continuing on the trip as planned.

‘All children are safe and well and continuing to Hendon Air Museum and Harry Potter World, returning as planned this evening.’

The drama happened after the pupils headed off on the long-planned trip last Wednesday.

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The boy had fallen asleep on the coach back to the hotel and was left onboard by accident overnight

The children were all issued with dark blue school baseball caps which would make them more easy to identify when they were out and about.

The youngsters went on to pose for more photos as they enjoyed their mini break around the capital.

On the first day the classmates headed to see gorillas, lions, giraffes and tigers at London Zoo before taking in ancient artifacts at the British Museum.

They went on to pose for photos beside England World Cup winning captain Bobby Moore’s statue at Wembley Stadium before having a buffet dinner at a nearby restaurant.

In a post the school wrote: ‘We have had an amazing first day and the children have behaved beautifully and represented BMS with pride.

‘They are off for a peaceful hotel sleep and are already looking forward to another fun learning day tomorrow.’

One parent posted in response: ‘Looks like a fun packed first day. I bet they will sleep well tonight.’

On the second day of the trip the children visited the site of the Great Fire of London in Pudding Lane before posing for photos at Tower Bridge.

The boy was left behind after falling asleep at the end of a hectic day where children from Broadstone Middle School visited a series of London landmarks

The boy was left behind after falling asleep at the end of a hectic day where children from Broadstone Middle School visited a series of London landmarks 

They enjoyed a cruise along the River Thames to Westminster then walked to Buckingham Palace after having lunch opposite the London Eye.

The children then split up with some pupils visiting the Science Museum while others toured the Houses of Parliament.

The groups teamed up again for dinner at Pizza Express before they all went to see a performance of the hit musical Wicked at the Apollo Victoria Theatre.

Explaining what happened next, Mrs Wilks told parents: ‘After the children attended the performance of “Wicked”, they travelled back to the hotel.

‘Most regrettably, a child who fell asleep on the journey home, was left sleeping on the coach after it was locked for the night in the hotel car park.

‘We would seek to reassure everyone that the child is safe and well, and after speaking with their parents, was keen to continue on the trip, which will return this evening’.

On the last day, the children visited the RAF Museum in Hendon then finished off with a tour of the Warner Bros Harry Potter Studios in nearby Leavesden, Hertfordshire.

Headteacher of Broadstone Middle School apologised for the 'serious error'

Headteacher of Broadstone Middle School apologised for the ‘serious error’

Mrs Wilks added: ‘Despite robust risk assessments being in place, it is clear that a highly serious error occurred and we are now focused on undertaking a systematic and thorough investigation of the incident.

‘We are working with the parents and staff involved to determine how this happened.

‘We have informed all relevant authorities. We hope you understand that whilst this investigation is taking place, we cannot share specific information more widely, other than with those directly involved in the incident.

‘We will of course provide further details and actions taken to reassure you that the school has taken every possible action to ensure this never happens again, as soon as possible.’

It is not the first time the school has been at the centre of a safeguarding scare.

In January 2017, four children were taken to hospital over fears they had taken cocaine at the school, believing it to be sweets.

Police were called in after pupils returned to school following the Christmas holiday and a child was found to be in possession of the white powder.

The substance was later confirmed as the Class A drug.

The children were taken to Poole General Hospital where it was found they had not ingested the drug and they were discharged.

It is understood the child brought the drug in from home without knowing what it was.

In a joint statement issued at the time, Mrs Wilks, and Rhonda Moore, executive head of the school’s sponsor Castleman Academy Trust, said ‘policies and procedures are robust and the school responded most swiftly to the incident, demonstrating how seriously we take our duty of care towards our youngsters.’

A 33-year-old man, who police said was ‘not directly connected with the school’, was arrested on suspected drug offences, but was later released with no further action.

The school and the trust – whose motto is ‘Children First, Always’ – have been contacted for comment.


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