Boy with special needs left on bus for 6 hours at Warilla, near Wollongong

Paramedics were called to Peterborough School in Wariila, after a boy spent the day in a school bus.
Paramedics were called to Peterborough School in Wariila, after a boy spent the day in a school bus. Photo: Robert Peet

A boy with special needs has spent the day locked inside a school bus near Wollongong, after he missed his school drop-off and was unwittingly left at an area depot.

The 9-year-old failed to get off the bus at Peterborough School in Warilla on Thursday morning, and apparently went unnoticed by the driver as the bus was returned to the depot.

The driver has been stood down, pending the results of an internal investigation.

The 9-year-old was a student of Peterborough School, which caters to students with special needs.
The 9-year-old was a student of Peterborough School, which caters to students with special needs. Photo: Robert Peet

The boy remained aboard for more than six hours until the bus was needed for afternoon runs, shortly before 3pm. Once noticed, he was driven back to the school, where staff called for an ambulance.

Paramedics assessed the boy on the William Avenue school grounds, arriving about 3.45pm.

NSW Ambulance Inspector Geoff Senior said the boy was found in good health and did not require hospitalisation.

"All his observations are unremarkable," he said.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Education said staff at Peterborough cared for the boy until he was returned to relatives.

"The school was made aware that one of their students had been locked in a bus at a depot today after the transport company found the child and delivered him to the school this afternoon," the spokeswoman said, in a statement issued Thursday evening.

Advertisement

"The Assisted School Travel Program and Employee Performance and Conduct Unit have launched an investigation into the matter and the actions of the contractor.

"The driver in question has been stood down pending an investigation."

Peterborough School teaches students with moderate to severe intellectual, physical and multiple disabilities, including autism.

The boy was examined and found to be uninjured.
The boy was examined and found to be uninjured. Photo: Robert Peet

The nature of the boy's disability is unknown.

Illawarra Mercury