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Missing girls found in Gobions 

The governors at Brookmans Park Primary School are to consider whether enhanced security measures are needed after two junior girls left for a 'day together' during morning playtime.

The girls were finally found in the Gobions play area two kilometres away following a search of the school grounds and village.

The headteacher at Brookmans Park School, Peter Evans, has written to parents giving details of the incident because both he and the parents concerned felt it preferable that all parents were given the full facts after 'bits of the story' had been discussed in the village.

Click here to read the full text of the letter sent to parents by Peter Evans.

In his letter Mr Evans said that the two girls had planned 'a day together' because one of them was leaving at half term.

"Whilst they were out at playtime in the morning, they left the school grounds. Their absence was noticed as soon as the children came in from play and the teacher immediately alerted me," he wrote.

Mr Evans says the first thing the teachers did was to check the school and the grounds to make sure the girls were not hiding anywhere.

"When we were certain they were not within the school grounds, the parents of both children were immediately contacted", he continued.

Mr Evans then checked the village and took the road to their houses and called on both parents to see if they had turned up.

"At this point we decided to do one more quick search, including Gobions Wood, which the girls had recently visited. On my return to school it was agreed between myself and the parents that I should now call the police," he wrote.

But before the call was made Mr Evans received a call from the school secretary Mrs Bertram saying that she and Miss Ragg, a classroom assistant, had found the girls in Gobions play area. The girls were returned to the school immediately.

According to Mr Evans, the girls have realised the worry they have caused their parents and the school and have been punished by both co-operating together.

Responding to concern that a stranger might be able to get onto school premises if children can get off, Mr Evans said that two children out of 170 are harder to detect than one adult stranger wandering on to the playground.

"Our school layout is not very different from most others and it is normal to have one teacher on duty in each playground," he wrote.

Mr Evans ends his letter to parents saying that if the governors feel there are further steps to be taken to enhance security without turning the school into a fortress, then those steps will certainly be taken.

"There must always be a balance between making sure the children are as safe as possible and making it feel as though they are being sent to prison every day. I will inform you of any decision made by the Governors," he wrote.

January 13, 2000

Relevant stories
School security to be assessed - January 21, 2000
Governors decide on school security plan - January 21, 2000
Head's letter on school security - January 13, 2000
Missing girls found in Gobions - January 13, 2000


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