A furious dad has revealed his son spent almost three school days hiding from bullies in the toilets without staff noticing.
He found out after the school contacted him reporting his son had been truanting from lessons after registration last week.
The father told BristolLive : "I assumed my would be in school attending classes, however I found out on Wednesday morning that he was missing from school.
"When we phoned, they confirmed he hadn't been at school for the last three days. This made us panic as parents because we didn't know what happened.
"We found out that he had been locking himself in the school toilet due to bullying.
"They don’t take the situation very seriously or the wellbeing of [my son], who has been in the toilet for three days."
The teenager, whose identity is being kept anonymous, reportedly had been in Cotham School in Bristol all along seeking refuge in a toilet cubicle.
While he acknowledged incidents of bullying happen, he claims the school did not contact him on the Monday or Tuesday to report his absence, and it was not until Wednesday he received any correspondence.
He added: "When I told them I hadn't received a text [on Monday or Tuesday], they said they'd never had that issue before and their system had never failed.
"I said, 'are you saying I'm lying?'"
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The pupil's parents had picked him up and dropped him off at school as usual that week, none the wiser as to how he had spent his day.
His dad said he understood there had been a disagreement with a few other pupils, and they had "ganged up on him" and threatened to hurt him.
He added: "It's unlike him. This is the only time. He's a good student, a good learner.
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"I tell him, you go to school to learn, not to fight or argue or anything. He doesn't like trouble."
He said he felt "extremely disappointed" with the school's reaction and that he felt staff had not shown enough compassion to his son.
He continued: "I don't want to blame anyone but this should be a learning point. I don't want anyone else to have this problem."
Cotham School has now confirmed it is investigating allegations of bullying, and is working with the affected pupil and his family to address their concerns.
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Its attendance policy regarding unexplained absence states: "Where no contact has been made with the school [explaining the absence], the school will contact parents by text on the first day of absence."
A spokesperson for Cotham School said: "We take allegations of bullying and the wellbeing of our students very seriously and are working with this family to investigate.
"We are, of course, saddened that one of our students felt unable to go to lessons after registering in school or to approach one of our excellent and well-trained pastoral staff for support.
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"When we were made aware of the allegations of bullying only very recently last week, senior and pastoral staff met with the family and we immediately launched an investigation into their concerns."
This investigation is ongoing and the family met the headteacher on Monday to discuss their concerns.
The spokesperson said they were "deeply saddened" the family had approached Bristol Live prior to the meeting, adding: "We hoped to work with them to resolve their concerns and to support their child as effectively as possible in school."
During the school's last Ofsted inspection in 2018, when it was rated 'good', inspectors said: "Pupils report that while bullying does sometimes occur, it is dealt with well by staff."
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