School apologises after two young children got out last week

Hipsburn Primary School
Hipsburn Primary School

A primary school in north Northumberland has issued an apology after two children managed to get out and leave the site.

The Gazette understands that the incident, which took place last Wednesday lunchtime at Hipsburn Primary School, involved two Year 2 pupils – six or seven-year-olds.

Allison Wort, co-chairman of governors at the school, which is rated outstanding by Ofsted, said: “We take this incident very seriously and we apologise for any distress caused. The safety and welfare of the children in our care is our top priority and we have taken immediate action to cut out the risk of this happening in the future.

“The school was deemed to be fully compliant in site safety, but has now increased the span of the perimeter fence and also repaired a small section of fencing that had blown down in high winds last week.

“It has also increased supervision arrangements at all break and lunch-times.

“The co-chairs of the governing body have written to all of the parents and carers to notify them of the incident, inform them of the prompt actions the school has taken and to reassure the school community that this was an isolated, but very regrettable incident.”

A spokeswoman from Northumberland County Council added: “The local authority is extremely concerned about this incident.

“It is the primary responsibility of every school to ensure that children are safeguarded at all times.

“We will work with leaders and governors of the school to find out why it happened and to check they have put in place appropriate measures to ensure this sort of incident will not be repeated.”

The letter to parents, seen by the Gazette, said: ‘Two children were able to leave the school after climbing through an out-of-bounds area. Appropriate actions were taken immediately by all staff.’

It explained that the designated safeguarding governors carried out an unannounced visit to school within the past couple of weeks, finding it to be fully compliant in all areas.

‘We can confidently assure you that the staff at Hipsburn are meticulous in the safeguarding of your children.’