A toddler walked out of his nursery school and wandered towards a busy road without teachers noticing he was gone.

Little Cody McCaffery climbed over a gate and headed off into danger while his mother thought he was safe with his classmates.

The two-year-old was only found when a passer-by spotted him talking to a motorist and took him home.

Last night education bosses launched an investigation into how the youngster was left to run free.

Mum Kirsty McCaffery, 19, said: "All the nursery had to say was that they didn't notice he had gone but that at least he was safe now. I said that wasn't really the point and asked them how my son had got out of the nursery.

"They told me the gate was locked so he must have climbed over but they've only got ten children in Cody's class so why didn't they notice?"

The mother-of-two, of Ontario Close, Durrington, had dropped off Cody at Little Owls Nursery, in Poplar Road, which is a part of Hawthorns First School, at 12.45pm on Friday.

An hour later she was shocked to find her son being handed to her by the passer-by who had seen a tearful Cody talking to a driver who had stopped by the side of the road.

The toddler had walked 100 metres through an alleyway which brought him to the busy road before he was discovered.

Despite a maze of paths around his housing estate and the fact that he had only been living there for three months, Cody led the lady to where his home to be reunited with his dumbstruck mother.

Miss McCaffery, who pays for Cody to attend the nursery two days a week, said: "I'm definitely not going to send Cody back there and I will be contacting the educational authorities. "The police have already been contacted.

"I just felt sick when I opened the door. You would think that your two-year-old son would be safe in nursery and instead he was running about outside near a very busy road."

Cody's grandfather, Keith McCaffery, said: "They had no idea he was missing. There must be some kind of investigation for Cody's sake so that it doesn't happen again."

Miss McCaffery added she had been left in a very difficult place as she does not want to pull Cody out of his current nursery but feels she has no choice and cannot trust them to look after her son safely.

A statement issued by the nursery read:"We deeply regret the incident and are thankful that the child concerned is safe and well.

"A full inquiry is being conducted into how this happened."