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Mother's fears after son, six, escapes school

PUBLISHED: 18:11 07 May 2008 | UPDATED: 10:16 22 July 2010

If the older kids had not found them anything could have happened,

If the older kids had not found them anything could have happened,"" says mum Debbie McKenna, with son Ryan, six

A DISTRAUGHT mother says her young child could have been abducted after he was able to wander out of school.

A DISTRAUGHT mother says her young child could have been abducted after he was able to freely wander out of school.

On Friday Ryan McKenna, six, walked out of Hungerford School in Hungerford Road, Holloway, with a pal.

The alarm was only raised when older pupils found them and returned them to school.

Teachers told worried mum Debbie McKenna, of nearby Corporation Street, that her son must have scaled a gate some eight feet high to have got out.

But Ms McKenna thinks the gates were far too high for her son to climb - and claims she visited the school the next day to find the gates open.

She said: "If the older kids had not found them anything could have happened. They are only six years old. It's scary. There needs to be someone on the gate and the kids need to be watched the whole time. They should not have the opportunity to escape."

She added: "The headmaster told me they must have climbed these gates which were eight feet high. But when I went there the gates were wide open."

Ms McKenna claims staff told her if Ryan ever finds his way off the premises again he would have to find another school.

A spokesman for Islington Council said: "During the lunch break at Hungerford School last Friday, when all of the children were in the playground, two boys opened the internal gate and then pressed the exit button to the external school gate which leads into a cul-de-sac.

"They were seen by one of the school's teaching assistants on duty in the playground, who followed the boys and retrieved them from the local estate. At no time did the boys either leave each other's company, or wander onto any main road."

Headteacher Brian Bench said: "One of the boys had told his friend he had not been feeling well, so had decided to go home. A member of staff picked up what was happening, and acted to ensure they came to no harm.

"The school has taken measures to ensure the gate has been made totally secure.


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