AN INVESTIGATION is under way to find out how a five-year-old boy was able to leave his school unnoticed and walk more than a mile to a busy road.
Eyewitnesses have told how drivers swerved to avoid the youngster on the busy A96 in Moray, after he walked out of school during morning break.
They have told how the boy, who has not been named, was nearly hit by cars on several occasions as he made his way along the main Aberdeen to Inverness trunk road.
The boy’s mother is demanding an apology from staff at New Elgin Primary School.
She said: “I got a phone call from the school at about quarter to 12, asking if my son was with me. I said, jokingly, ‘Have you lost him?’ and they said, ‘Actually, we have’.
“He made it all the way to the A96 and I was told by a witness he was nearly knocked over by several cars.”
She told how her son was only stopped when a motorist pulled up to see why he was alone and walking near the busy road.
It is believed the boy left the playing field at the back of the school during or soon after the morning break.
The mother added: “Our son could have been killed. Something needs to be done before something terrible happens.
“They are thinking of considering my son as ‘at risk’ because he didn’t seem fazed by what had happened. It seems they are trying to make out there’s something wrong with him. But he’s never wandered off before.”
Asked why he had left, the boy said he had wanting to visit a friend and go bowling.
His mother said: “I’m told several cars went by him and just tooted. But someone went back and got him and took him to a Brewers Fayre [pub], where they called the police.”
She added that she wanted to thank the motorist who helped her son.
The boy was reunited with his mother shortly after he was found.
Moray Council yesterday said it was looking into the incident. A spokesman said: “Lessons learned from this particular incident will be shared with all schools in Moray to minimise the risk of anything like this happening again.”
John Divers, Labour councillor for Elgin South, that includes the catchment area for the primary school, said it was “worrying” that a child of such a young age “can disappear” from school without staff noticing.
He added: “I can only imagine that staff were fretting almost as much as a worried parent would have been.”
SNP councillor for the same ward, Graham Leadbitter, said he was aware of the situation. “An incident like this is obviously a cause for concern,” he said. “I will be looking closely at the outcome of the investigation.”
It is believed CCTV footage from the school will be viewed to try to piece together a timeline from when the child left the school to when he was spotted on the A96.
Police Scotland confirmed they received a call from the school on the morning the boy went missing.