New ID checks at Napier Primary School in Gillingham where girl, six, sent to GP with wrong grandfather
Napier Primary School head teacher Zerina Slade
Compulsory ID checks have been introduced at a school where a pensioner took the wrong pupil to the doctor without realising.
Napier Primary School sent a six-year-old girl to take the bus to a doctor's appointment with her so-called "grandfather", who even picked up liquid paracetomol for her.
Staff wrongly picked her instead of the man's real granddaughter - who had the same first name and hair colour and was in the same year.
Yet the man, who is thought to be about 74 with poor eyesight, had no idea of his mistake at the Gillingham school - and took the confused girl on a bus to the Gillingham Medical Centre a mile away.
The girl's parents - who asked for their daughter to remain anonymous - only discovered when she returned home and said "here's my medicine".
The school, in Napier Road, is refusing to confirm if any staff members have been suspended over the incident.
A letter sent to parents by head teacher Zerina Slade said: "Following an incident at the school recently we have reviewed our safeguarding procedure so a more robust structure is in place.
"All parents/carers need to inform class teachers in writing if their child has to leave the school to attend any appointments. I will then authorise the absences accordingly.
"If someone other than the named person arrives to collect the child we will be asking for proof of their identification and we will be conducting telephone checks to ensure that this person has parental authorisation to collect their child."
Napier Primary School handed the wrong child to a grandfather
She added: "If for any reason we have concerns about the individual collecting your child, we will not release the child to them and we will contact you.
"Please be assured that we have the child's best interests at heart."
The letter was sent two days before we revealed the story on Friday. The tale later featured on television and in the national Press.
One parent, Steven French, contacted us to say a similar, less severe incident had happened to his family at Napier Primary School.
"The same thing happened to my stepdaughter at the same school," he said. "She was allowed to leave the school with someone who is not on a list to say she can collect our kids from school.
"I'm struggling to see how Napier can be called a safe school."
Another parent, Danii Leigh, said: "My son goes to this school and I can't say I'm confident they are capable to look after him six hours a day."
Speaking after the incident, the father of the girl involved in the mix-up said: "I went ballistic. I was boiling inside. The first thing I thought was the worst.
"I had to ask my daughter the sort of questions no parent ever wants to ask, 'did he do this, did he do that'.
"My daughter's quite a shy girl and she's not very outspoken and she got confused. A little bit of pressure was put on her and she felt like it was the right thing to do to agree it was her grandfather.
"She thought it was her other grandfather who is dead. We have pictures of him up in our home so I think she got confused."
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