A CLAIM has emerged that a four or five year old boy slipped out of a film night at Ledbury Primary, walked home by himself and was not missed by the school until police phoned staff.

The Reporter has been informed that his absence was only spotted when the police contacted the school, after being phoned by concerned parents, although this has not been confirmed.

The school has declined to comment, with head teacher Julie Rees directing the Reporter to the communications department of Herefordshire Council, the Local Educational Authority, for further information.

The Reporter was told by a member of the public, who wished to remain anonymous that the alleged incident happened a few weeks ago, when the young child allegedly left the school on his own, during a film evening, and "walked all the way home by himself".

The caller said that "horrified parents called the police" who then got in touch with the school, "who were still unaware that the child wasn’t where he should be".

The caller added that the incident, as she understood it, was a "major safeguarding issue".

A Herefordshire Council spokesman said that some of the details, as presented by the caller, were not factually correct, but declined to say which details were correct and which were not.

The spokesman said: "The council does not comment on individual cases. However, the safety of children and young people in Herefordshire is our priority. We work with schools and colleges to safeguard and promote the welfare of the children at their school/college, and promote the use of the Department of Education statutory guidance.”

The Reporter made several attempts to obtain further information from Herefordshire Council, but nothing else had been received at the time of going to press.

West Mercia Police was also contacted for information, concerning the claims, but no response was forthcoming at the time of going to press.