Apology after Ysgol Cedewain pupil Reuben left on school bus for third time

Published date: 06 April 2017 |
Published by: Jonny Drury
Read more articles by Jonny Drury


 

Two parents have been left incensed after their son was due to be dropped off at a special needs school , but was left in his seat and taken back to the depot 28 miles away.

On Tuesday Reuben Lewis, who attends Ysgol Cedewain at Newtown, was not taken off the bus at school and ended up back in the depot of Simon Price cars in Rhayader.

His parents were only informed when a relative, who works at the Maldwyn Leisure Centre, noticed the youngster was not part of his usual swimming class.

Parents Rob Lewis and Emma Wood have reacted angrily to the latest incident, after being told procedures were supposed to be in place following previous similar incidents.

The 10-year-old from Llanidloes has autism, is also profoundly deaf and has a cochlear implant.

An investigation into the matter will now take place.

His mother, Emma, told the County Times: “It makes me nervous not knowing where he is.

“It is just unbelievable. One time is a mistake, twice isn’t acceptable, but to happen a third time.

“The school has apologised and said procedures would be put in place, with a register to check when pupils were due to get off.

“If it wasn’t for us being informed at the leisure centre, we wouldn’t have known where he was.

“I rang the school, who then got back to me, but when you put your child on the bus in the morning, you expect them to be safe and expect them to be taken to school.

“I am not happy with the school, or the bus company.”

It is the third time in the space of a year a similar incident has occurred.

In June last year, Reuben was also taken all the way back to Rhayader without being taken off the bus and in November he ended up in Newtown after school and was taken home by a friend of the family.

His father, Rob, has called the third instance ‘unforgivable’, and said there have been shambolic failings.

He said: “It beggars belief how this can happen, for a third time is unforgivable.

“If he isn’t in school, the school should be letting us know about this.”

However Rob also praised the teachers for the work they do, adding: “I’ve no gripe with the teachers, they are fantastic with Reuben and are 110 per cent with him, but something needs to change to stop this type of thing from happening.”

When contacted by the County Times, Simon Price cars said they could not  comment on the matter at the moment.

PCC Strategic Director Place, Paul Griffiths, apologised to the parents following the incident.

He said: “The county council is responsible for arranging home to school transport and is aware of the case and has called for an urgent explanation from the contractors as to how the errors occurred.

“Clearly there has been a serious breakdown in communication between the transport provider and the school. 

“The council’s Passenger Transport Unit has spoken to the school and all contractors to ensure that immediate safeguards are put in place to prevent any similar incident being repeated again.

“Although we have undertaken an internal review of the circumstances surrounding this incident we have advised the parents to make a formal complaint so that we can investigate all of the circumstances in the fullest detail as a matter of urgency. We have apologised to the parents.”

  • See full story in the County Times

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