Security stepped up after child managed to walk out of Carlisle infant school
Security at a Carlisle school is being stepped up after a boy as young as four escaped through an unlocked gate.
The boy managed to leave the grounds of Kingmoor Nursery and Infant School in Lowry Hill "momentarily" before staff were alerted, the school has confirmed.
The school suspects a padlock on the gate may have been removed by vandals, adding that the Hether Drive site has been the victim of several incidents in recent weeks.
Worried parents have contacted a local councillor to raise their concerns.
A statement from the popular school states that children's safety is taken "extremely seriously".
Headteacher Zoe Turner wrote to parents immediately to inform them what had happened and what action was being taken.
It read: "Just to inform you that there was an incident this afternoon where a child was able to open the gate and access the path outside class one.
"This was noticed immediately by the class teacher and the child was safely returned to the classroom."
She continued: "All children have been reassured and reminded about the school boundaries and the gate was immediately secured.
"We are looking into this matter and will put in place anything required so that this incident never happens again."
Councillor Alan Toole, independent councillor for Belah on Cumbria County Council, represents residents.
He said: "A couple of mums have contacted me about this who are not happy.
"I'm quite appalled that a child should get out like that. The paramount concern has to be the safety of those children. It seems like someone hasn't checked the gate properly.
"I've already contacted the local authority and they've told me they're going to have a look at the safety of the school."
In a statement to the, the school said: "On Wednesday afternoon a child momentarily left the school premises through an unlocked gate.
"A member of staff nearby was notified immediately and the child was brought back onto school premises.
"The gate had been locked with a padlock and this appears to have been removed without permission. The padlock has since been replaced and staff have been reminded of the necessity to double check all gates before allowing children into the playground."
It added: "We take the safety of children at the school extremely seriously and wrote to parents on the same day informing them of the incident and committing to ensure it cannot happen again."