PARENTS and carers have rallied behind the head teacher of a school where many students are struggling to arrive on time.

Children are turning up late for lessons daily at Kingsmead School, in Wiveliscombe, due to the unreliable school bus service.

Some students are are having to wait up to 40 minutes at the end of the day to get a lift home.

Head Mark Williams has written to the students' homes saying: "I am concerned that since September we have had daily issues with buses being late for Kingsmead students and in some cases not turning up.

"This has led to a large group of parents/carers being very frustrated that their son/daughter are being frequently late to school or late leaving school in the afternoon.

"We are now three months down the line - the situation is getting worse rather than improving!

"Despite our best efforts to work with School Transport (run by the county council) this situation is now untenable.

"Recently we have not been getting replies to our emails and I know that a number of parents/carers have also encountered this."

Mr Williams, who has contacted Taunton Deane MP Rebecca Pow about the matter, has called on people to voice their frustration to School Transport at County Hall.

In his letter, he added: "I am disappointed that it has got to this stage, but I am hugely concerned about the current situation and the risk to students in the winter months."

Mr Williams told the County Gazette that he was aware of operational difficulties due to a shortage of bus drivers.

But he said it is unacceptable that students whose parents cannot drive them into school are missing valuable time in the classroom.

"We want to get students back into schools following lockdown," said Mr Williams. "But being late on a daily basis is obviously not conducive to a good return."

The County Gazette has approached Somerset County Council for a comment, which we will add to the story once we receive a response.