Autistic Sheffield boy, 13, goes AWOL for 90 minutes after school sends him off on six mile walk home

A Sheffield mum has shared her panic after her autistic teenager ‘went missing’ for 90 minutes when his school sent him off on a six mile walk home.

Thursday, 16th June 2022, 8:25 am

The Stocksbridge mother – who asked for her and her child not to be named – was on the phone to the police giving a missing persons description when her sister found the boy wandering a major road.

He had walked two out of the six mile journey home from Bradfield School in Worrall after the school failed to provide an agreed-upon transport after he got a detention.

The Sheffield mum said: “It was so frightening when he didn’t come home on time.”

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A Stocksbridge mother says her autistic son was sent off home on a six mile walk from Bradfield School after the school failed to arrange transport for him after a detention.

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In the incident on March 10, the 13-year-old autistic teenager got a half an hour detention after school for “missing around in class”.

His mum says, because she has to collect her other child from special school each afternoon, there was an agreement in place with Bradfield School where they would provide transport if the lad every got a detention, as she would not be free to fetch him.

Although the boy doesn’t have an official diagnosis, his mother says Bradfield School were the first to flag that the 13-year-old may have autism and have a ‘My Plan’ agreement to treat him as such,

She said: “He told me after detention he was told to ‘walk home’.

“I don’t know if there was no transport at all or it was a miscommunication or if he just took it literally, but he began walking.

“At 4pm, when he didn’t get home, I got worried. His phone was flat and the location tracker said he was last at school. I called the school twice but it just went to voicemail.

“I even phoned the police, who said themselves they were unable to reach the school.

“I was giving them a description of what he looked like when my sister called. She found him two miles from Bradfield School walking along the road.”

The Sheffield mum says the incident led to a meeting and lodging a complaint with the school, but she feels “nothing has come of it”.

"I do feel they aren’t taking his condition seriously,” she said.

The Star understands the boy is currently excluded from the school for a week. His mother says this was because he retaliated after being called a racial slur by another boy.

Bradfield School declined to comment.