Autistic boy ‘much better’ after move

Caden Shaw with his mum Charlotte
Caden Shaw with his mum Charlotte
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A youngster who vanished from school despite being under one-to-one supervision is doing ‘much better’ after moving, his dad said.

Caden Shaw’s parents refused to take him back to Devonshire Primary Academy after the seven-year-old managed to walk out unseen last month.

The boy – whose autism means he cannot talk, has the mental age of a three-year-old, and still wears a nappy – wandered the streets for up to 45 minutes alone before being found and taken to a nearby children’s centre.

He was already due to start at Woodlands School, in Whitegate Drive, which caters for pupils with additional needs, but Charlotte and James Shaw, of The Sawmills, called on teachers to get him into classes sooner.

“He started about two to three weeks after the incident and he is doing much better,” James told The Gazette.

“They have not lost him yet, which is good.”

An investigation was launched at the school, in Devonshire Road, while parents were told about the incident in a letter sent home the same day, Friday, January 20.

Mum Charlotte, 28, said she had been called by school staff shortly after 10am and told Caden had been gone for 45 minutes.

And police said officers were called at 9.50am by staff at Talbot and Brunswick Children’s Centre, in Gorton Street, after Caden was found – wearing a ‘silver sparkly suit’ over his uniform – by a worker there. A town hall official said he was found close to the school by the worker who took him to the children’s centre, which then called the school.

James added: “It’s fine now, we are over it. We’re just glad he isn’t there anymore.”

In the letter sent home, Nick Toyne, headteacher at Devonshire, said he was ‘mortified’ and said the school takes safeguarding ‘extremely seriously’.