Children were late to school – or bunking off

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Parents of a Pinchbeck schoolgirl claim youngsters are ducking school or getting there late because they can’t get a seat on buses.

Neil and Ellie Booth say their daughter always catches a Brylaine bus at 8.15am outside St Mary’s Church, but that bus wasn’t stopping last week because it was already full.

They say Rianna (12) waited around half-an-hour at the same stop to catch the company’s West Pinchbeck bus and pupils were arriving ten minutes late at Spalding’s Sir John Gleed School.

Mrs Booth believes the problem was sparked by the new intake of year sevens and the seats were being taken at earlier stops because there were so many children.

She said: “Twice Rianna said the bus just went straight past because it was already full.

“One of her friends has just been home all week.”

Her daughter used the West Pinchbeck bus most days last week, but was fortunate enough to get a lift with friends one day.

Mr Booth said Sir John Gleed School should sort things out with the bus company because parents have a duty to ensure their children attend school – and some pupils may be going home while their parents are at work.

Sir John Gleed headteacher Will Scott declined to speak to us directly, but made a comment via a member of staff.

We were told: “He says there was an issue about students being picked up – he made an immediate call to the bus company and they were aware of it.

“The situation was caused because there is a new bus driver and the issue is now resolved and the children are being picked up.”

When the Booths first contacted us, Mr Booth believed the 8.15am bus had been cancelled and children were left only with the West Pinchbeck service.

Brylaine boss Malcolm Wheatley said all of the buses calling at St Mary’s are still running and any issues to do with lateness resulted from Pinchbeck Road being clogged up with traffic diverting away from the A16 roadworks.