A CONCERNED mum is worried about the safety of children in West Dunbartonshire schools after her daughter has been skipping classes since April - and no one has noticed.

Clydebank High were totally unaware that the 13-year-old girl has been playing truant since before the Easter holidays.

The parent, who doesn’t want to be named so her daughter cannot be identified, put a tracker on the girl’s phone after her behaviour in the house was “a little bit off” and there were concerns with who she was hanging around with.

Last Monday, the woman happened to look, and the tracker said her daughter was not at Clydebank High, despite being dropped off earlier that morning. Instead, she was in McDonald’s in Clydebank.

The parent said: “My daughter is not an angel. I know she’s in the wrong, her concert tickets have been sold; she has been really punished. She is well aware of what she has done is wrong and her dad and I will deal with that, but what does it take for the school to put in a system to stop this?

“The system is not working, it’s all wrong. They check the first period in the morning and the first period in the afternoon.

“Kids are well aware and are skipping classes where they don’t get registered. What does it take for them to tighten up their system? A child being knocked down or harmed?

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“How many other schools has this system in place, and this is happening?

“I’m not just concerned about my child, there’s a lot of vulnerable children and no one seems to know there are children missing from school. I’m not talking about one or two children, there’s about 15 or more continually truanting from school and that’s only the ones my daughter is are aware of.

“I’m absolutely appalled that it’s been going on so long, and just at a loss as to how other parents can be made aware their children aren’t that safe. They need to know that their children are not being looked after and are allowed to roam about.”

The parent was working at home at the time but drove straight to McDonald’s and phoned the school who were “totally oblivious” as to what was going on. The pupil was taken home, and a complaint was made to West Dunbartonshire Council (WDC), before they both went down to the school the following morning.

The mum of the girl said: “When I phoned the school they didn’t even know what class she should have been in; it took them about ten minutes to find out, then they came back saying she should be in maths.

“The council phoned me and said they were looking into it, but it was down to cuts, and that rest assured the system would be reviewed when the schools go back. I’ve been told the cuts are because of the administration costs for taking registers, it’s too much work to do it every period, they don’t have the resources to do it every period.

“But children are bucking the current system. There doesn’t seem to be any safety net if children are leaving school and nobody is aware.

“How on earth are they able to get out the school, there’s four, five, and six of them leaving. I can’t get my head around no one noticing this. These are 12 and 13-year-olds and nobody has got a clue where they are.

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“Parents get text messages when their kids are not at school, and when she hasn’t been I have had no notification because the school have no idea.”

The 13-year-old has been described by her mum as a “model pupil” who “has always done really well in her school reports.”

She added: “She gets lots of love and attention at home. The school were really shocked because she is such a capable and intelligent pupil. They had a full record of her attendance and it was 94 per cent, but realistically it’s not, it should be about 78 per cent.

“My concern is what is it going to take? For a child to be harmed before someone realises the system doesn’t work? I want other parents to know because a lot of hard work comes from parents as well. They drop their kids off at school thinking they’re safe, go to work to provide for them, to then find out they’re not actually safe.”

WDC said that the agreed policy for registration is twice daily, and that the register at Clydebank High School is taken three times daily, which is more than the agreed amount taken at other secondary schools in West Dunbartonshire.

A spokeswoman said: “Educational Services has been in contact with the parent and advised that teachers take an electronic register at the start of every period.

“Clydebank High School sends three messages daily to inform parents and carers that their children have not reported to class. The Pastoral Team will continue to monitor absences and highlight patterns of non-attendance to allow the school to raise this with parents and guardians.”