Boy, four, found crying by stranger after being left behind on nursery trip

Mum Clare Hodge said her son Carson had gone to the toilet and returned to find the bus had left without him.

Boy, four, found crying by stranger after being left behind on Fife nursery trip Supplied

An investigation has been launched after a four-year-old boy was found by a stranger after being left behind on a nursery trip in Fife.

Clare Hodge was left “astounded” after being told that her son Carson had been left unsupervised at the Scottish Deer Centre for 40 minutes on Friday, June 21.

The head of Fife Council’s education and children’s services said she was taking the incident “extremely seriously”.

Carson had been on a trip with Dunmore Nursery along with nine other children and three teachers to the zoological park when the bus escorting the group home left.

Mum Claire Hodge said her son Carson was found crying by an employee at the centre.The Scottish Deer Centre/Facebook

Ms Hodge said her son was found crying by a visitor and had to be looked after by an employee while the nursery was contacted.

After Carson was collected by nursery staff, parents were told the bus was delayed due to one of the group being “unaccounted for.”

Ms Hodge said her son had gone to the toilet and came back to discover the group had left without him.

She told STV News: “I arrived at the nursery at 12.30pm to collect my child and was informed the return bus was delayed.

“At 1pm the group of parents were informed that the reason the bus was delayed at returning was because a child was unaccounted for but was now safe.

“I was then informed it had been my son that had been unaccounted for and that they had asked the children to go to the toilet and when my son came out the toilet he realised he had been left as the group was no longer there.

“The group consisted of nine nursery children and three nursery teachers.

“The return bus had left without my son and they had not realised until my son was found crying by a Deer Centre employee who were only told at the time that “a man” had found him.

“The Deer Centre then contacted the nursery to inform them that my child had been left unattended and the bus returned for him.

“No head counts had been completed.

“I met with the nursery for more information and my son had been left for 40 minutes with no nursery staff, exposing him to many risks.

“They can’t tell me why this has happened as they said there was risk assessments in place that detailed headcounts should be done but they just weren’t done by the staff on the trip.”

Fife Council, which runs the nursery, said the Care Inspectorate was immediately notified of the incident and that an investigation is under way. They said the incident is being treated as “extremely serious”.

Shelagh McLean, head of service said: “First of all I’d like to apologise wholeheartedly to the child and their family for what happened on Friday.

“We are treating this incident extremely seriously and an investigation is underway into how this happened.

“As soon as the child was noted as missing immediate action was taken.

“The school was in contact with the child’s parents and the Care Inspectorate was notified immediately.

“We do have robust guidance and procedures in place for schools and nurseries regarding school trips.

“As part of this investigation, we will review these policies and procedures to see where any improvements can be made.

“As there are individuals involved who will be easily identifiable in the local community, even if not directly named, until the full details are clear and official proceedings are finalised, which would include any action taken by Care Inspectorate, we are not in a position to comment further on any specific action that will be taken.”

A spokesperson for the Care Inspectorate said: “The Care Inspectorate has been notified of an incident involving a child attending this nursery.

“We will continue to liaise with the service provider to ensure the safety of children is paramount and take any further appropriate action as required.

“The safety of every child who experiences care is always our first priority.

“Anyone with a concern about a care service can contact us on 0345 600 9527.”

STV News is now on WhatsApp

Get all the latest news from around the country

Follow STV News
Follow STV News on WhatsApp

Scan the QR code on your mobile device for all the latest news from around the country

WhatsApp channel QR Code