Leeds mum outraged after seven-year-old son wrongly put on school bus when no one was home
A Leeds mum-of-two has been left outraged after her seven-year-old son was wrongly put on the school bus - when no one was home to collect him.
On Monday, January 20, Sarah Diamond was due to work until 4pm so booked her son Zain into an after-school class at Iveson Primary School.
She cancelled Zain's bus from the north Leeds school, following the correct protocol.
But Sarah, who is a carer, finished work earlier than expected and on returning home she found Zain's bus stationary at his bus stop, waiting for her to collect him.
Sarah, aged 42, said: "Luckily my client fell asleep and said I could go early. That’s the only reason I was driving past the bus stop, otherwise I would’ve been in Guiseley."
She quickly took her son off the bus and received a phone call from staff at the bus service, apologising for their part in the error.
The mum-of-two added: “He was so upset when I took him off the bus, he thought he was in trouble and should’ve told the driver he wasn’t meant to be on the bus.
“He felt he had a part to play, and at seven years old he shouldn’t be made to feel like that.”
Sarah says this was not the first time Zain had been incorrectly sent home on the bus since the family moved from Cross Gates to Holt Park two years ago.
She has removed Zain from Iveson Primary and he will start a new school on Monday.
Sarah said: “Moving again is a bit of an upheaval for him, as he finds it difficult to make friends.
“I’m really quite angry about it."
Sarah lodged a formal complaint to Iveson Primary the following day and both the school and bus company have investigated the incident.
Hayley Marshall, headteacher of Iveson Primary School said: “As soon as this incident was brought to our attention we undertook an investigation in school and, and as result, have added an additional layer of checking to further strengthen our internal procedures to ensure that bookings for after school provision are cross-checked with the children getting the school bus.
“We also contacted the school transport provider to request an immediate investigation into why the procedure for communicating cancellations for places on the school bus had not been followed.
“We have assured Mrs Diamond that Zain was never placed at risk as the procedure is for children to be returned to school if parents are not there to meet them from the bus. We have apologised to her for any upset caused.”
A spokesperson for West Yorkshire Combined Authority, which oversees school transport, said: “We are aware of this incident and, as we would do with any such case, have carried out an investigation.
“We are concerned that an error was made was made by the driver in collecting the child from school and have raised the issues with the service operator CT Plus, which has taken disciplinary action in line with company procedures.
"However, we are reassured that as a result of the thorough safeguards that are in place, the pupil was at no time placed at any risk.”