The mother of a 13-year-old with additional needs has said she’s disappointed with her son’s school, after he was "allowed to jump the fence” and leave the premises.

Sarah Muir said staff at Our Lady and St John’s Catholic College in Blackburn allowed her son, Loughlan, to leave the school grounds on October 30, and failed to inform her, something the school has not confirmed or denied. 

She said she only found out about the incident when Loughlan told her at 10pm that day, and believes the school has failed in their safeguarding of her son.

She also says it is failing to meet his needs and she is struggling to reach any solutions in terms of his behaviour, although the school has said it is happy to discuss things with her if she wants to make an appointment.

Lancashire Telegraph: Loughlan MuirLoughlan Muir (Image: Sarah Muir)

Mrs Muir said Loughlan, who is in Year 9, has attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD), developmental language disorder (DLD), oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), and low scale autism, and is medicated for these, with the school considering him a “flight risk”.

She says the school will not allow Loughlan into lessons if he has not taken his medication, but has been reassured on multiple occasions that the school can support him.

She said: “On Monday, October 30, Loughlan jumped the fence from school.

“School has a safety plan in place to ring and notify me if this happens.

“I wasn’t notified and Loughlan only told me what had happened at 10pm that day.

“The school said they tried to call me, but no message was left, and they failed to contact anyone else on his emergency contact list. They failed in the safeguarding of a vulnerable child.

“Loughlan is currently under numerous people at East Lancashire Child and Adolescent Service, and I have had reports from previous psychologists saying he needs high levels of support during school.

“He has ADHD and is medicated at the highest dose and the school won’t have him without him taking it.

“It’s on his safety plan and they class him as a flight risk, but I was not informed he left school on that day.”

Mrs Muir also says that due to Loughlan’s additional needs he can be disruptive in class, with his behaviour often being a problem, and while she welcomes punishment for her son, she says the school has failed to give him the support he needs, and instead of working with him, it will issue him with detentions and place him in isolation.

She went on: “The school constantly tell me they can cope with him but if he’s done with a lesson he will get up and leave or messes about.

“Instead of calling to get a teacher to come and get him, they try and force him to work, and he just becomes more agitated or aggressive.

“When he’s placed in isolation or has someone sat with him, he works brilliantly, which I think speaks volumes.

“I’ve tried to speak with the school, but they are failing to work with me to meet his needs.

“I’m under no disillusion that my son behaves well. If he misbehaves, punish him, but the school needs to realise he needs more than just punishment, he needs help.

“They are failing him time and time again.”

Headteacher, Peter Tite, said: “At Our Lady and St John, we expect all students to behave safely and respectfully, including our students with additional needs.

“We provide a lot of additional support for students who need it, but we will give consequences to any student if they are disturbing learning or showing disrespect.

“Mrs Muir has met with many staff to discuss her child including head of year, assistant headteacher, SENCO, deputy headteacher and myself.

“I will always meet with parents if they make an appointment and I look forward to meeting Mrs Muir again should she wish to do so.”

The school did not comment or elaborate on the incident in which Loughlan is believed to have left the premises by "jumping the fence".

Our Lady and St John’s has been contacted again for additional information on this.