A young mum was left terrified after her four-year-old son went missing from school without any teachers realising on Tuesday.
Alfie Summers, who had only started at school just weeks before, wandered out of an unlocked gate after a teacher shouted at him, attempting to return home.
The reception pupil from Evesham in Worcestershire was found "soaked to the bone" walking back-and-forth across a busy road and calling out for his mum Katrina Deegan, 28.
Meanwhile, Katrina was sat at home thinking that her son was safe. That was until the headteacher of St Richard's CofE First School rang her to say there had been a "little bit of an incident".
The mum-of-four said: "It's every parent's worst nightmare and anything could have happened to him.
"I've had no answers from the school how this was allowed to happen. He could have been taken or he could have been seriously hurt.
"Apparently he was in a really distressed state and running back and forth across a busy road before a woman found him and called police.
"I dread to think that my little boy could have been taken from me all under the school's watch."
The school eventually found out that the little boy was missing after a concerned passer-by spotted him drenched and sobbing on the road.
She alerted the police, but as Alfie was new to school and wearing his PE kit he didn't know where he was meant to be. Officers had to drive the distressed child to several different nurseries before he was returned.
Katrina added: "When I got the phone call from the headteacher I panicked and was full of dread – I thought I was never going to see Alfie again.
"He said there had been a 'little bit of an incident' and that Alfie had gone missing and the police were on the way with him.
"When you're told by a school there has been an incident you expect him to have fallen in the playground and bumped his head – not that he had gone missing.
"They didn't even know he was missing.
"The schools seems to have closed ranks about it. I just want some answers because that is the least I deserve as his mum.
"There is a padlock on the front gate now… [it] isn't going to do much either because the fence is only small and anybody could jump over it."
Katrina also said that Alfie has been reluctant to return to school.
Headteacher Mark Ridlinton has apologised and said they are investigating the incident.
He said: "We are extremely sorry that a child went missing during school hours and we are very grateful for West Mercia Police for their support during this incident and that the child was found safe and well.
"We held a meeting with parents to discuss the incident and we are currently reviewing our procedures and investigating the circumstances surrounding the incident in detail.
"We have increased security on the front playground gate, and the front playground is no longer in use throughout the school day, whilst our investigations are carried out."
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