PRE-SCHOOL staff failed to notice after a four-year-old boy scaled a fence and wandered across a busy road during an outside play session.
Harvey Massam’s parents say they are furious their son was not missed for more than ten minutes – and say it is only luck he was not hit by a car or kidnapped after he managed to get away from St Paul’s Primary School and cross Queens Road in Spalding.
Mum Kelly Barnett (22), of Severn Road, said it was only because she was at a friend’s house across the road from the pre-school and heard Harvey crying that disaster was averted.
She said: “I dropped him off as normal at 12.30pm and went over to my friend’s house. At about 3pm my friend’s daughter said she could see Harvey but I didn’t think anything of it because you can see them playing in the playground from the house.
“But then I heard crying a couple of times and thought it sounded like Harvey. When I looked out he was standing on the pavement trying to get my friend’s gate open.
“He was really upset.
“I was horrified. Sometimes while he’s at pre-school we go out and I dread to think what could have happened if we hadn’t been there.
“I took him back over the road and asked the staff if they were missing someone. They said ‘no’ – they hadn’t even realised he had gone even though it must have been ten minutes.”
Kelly is now waiting to hear if a higher fence will replace the existing one, which she says is only 3ft high, and if the school gate will be shut during the day.
Harvey, who has attended the pre-school since January, is due to start in St Paul’s reception class in September.
His dad Dean Massam, of Commercial Road, said: “I am really angry. Anything could have happened to him. That road is quite busy – he could have got run over or someone could have taken him.
“It’s shocking that the teachers didn’t even know he had gone missing.”
St Paul’s Primary School headteacher Heather Beeken confirmed the incident had taken place and said she had apologised to the family.
She said: “The safety of pupils at the school is our utmost priority and, although the height of the fence does meet regulations, we had already identified the need for a taller one and have been making preparations to install it.
“It’s unfortunate this occurred before we were able to replace the fence but we are confident that it is very much an isolated incident and our high standards will be further improved with the new fence in place.”