school trips that are not suitable for children with SN

(130 Posts)
happynewmind Tue 08-Jan-13 21:39:04

I just wondered if this was normal or even allowed.

Every year the dc schools go on a three day trip in term time during school days . Its quite a big deal, they do work building up to it and afterwards, they have photos taken and these are displayed.

I've never taken much notice but last year one of boys who can walk within school and did sports day fine at his own pace but has a wheelchair for longer distance didn't go, he's a confident popular boy so I was a bit suprised but just presumed he didn't fancy it.

However we have got the leaflet home for one of dc turn and it says that any special needs much be discussed and approved before the child is accepted which is fair enough but it then goes on to say that despite this it must be accepted that the centre is not geared up to cater for SN and physical disabilities.

While I think that's the centres choice I have seen centres that do cater for SN and surely the school should look into these rather than exclude a child.

My own dc1 is sen but it not severe and will likely be allowed to go but im now worrying about it.

mum382013 Wed 09-Jan-13 19:14:36

update got all worked up ready to sort it out. Then she was in too much pain to go in.

Inaflap Wed 09-Jan-13 18:51:34

A school has to make a case if they refuse a child with a statement. They have to prove that they can't meet that child's needs and/or acceptance would be to the detriment of other students health, welfare and education.

I haven't read all of this thread but I think it is a shame that the school isn't choosing a centre which is more inclusive. My son's school included him on everything. However, th OP does not know the full story. It is possible that the boy didn't want to go, or he may have some complex medical needs particularly at night,which could not be met by working teacher supervision. I still think it poor that SEN and disability is rather obviously discriminated against. I think the paraolympics showed us all that many things can be overcome and loads of outdoor centres cater for all sorts of needs now so perhaps the school needs to look elsewhere

13Iggis Wed 09-Jan-13 18:46:08

I have only read one page so far so it has probably already been pointed out that this would be discrimination - assuming reasonable adjustments would enable a wheelchair user to attend (eg different centre with better facilities) then school has to do it.
In fact that very scenario was used on a training session about the equality act which I attended.

tethersend Wed 09-Jan-13 18:31:08

"Two have said they can't take another SEN child, and if she applies they'll appeal..."

Schools are not allowed to do this. Either they have a place or they don't. They don't get to refuse a place on the grounds of SEN. See here.

The borough's SEN panel will decide whether the proposed school can meet the child's needs, and the school will be named on their statement. If the school is full, they can be directed to take a child by the LEA, but this is usually in exceptional circumstances.

AndABigBirdInaPearTree Wed 09-Jan-13 18:15:32

but as with so many things relating to SN the parents have to push and push, it's never offered, and schools would rather not bother than to go the extra mile to try to think of a solution.

We have been very lucky for this not to be the case.

DS went on a residential trip with his old school last year. He ended up coming home early because he caused a problem that neither the teacher or I anticipated. His new school does a residential camp later this year too. I spoke to the special needs teacher about the camp and how we needed to put plans in place so he could be successful and that it doesn't happen again and he said they were already on it and had started to figure it all out.

They have been very helpful so far, offering plenty without being asked and if I ask for something they take it seriously. I have friends who have not had this experience so I feel lucky.

pigletmania Wed 09-Jan-13 17:41:12

Moisturiser shock what a nasty piece of work that teacher

mrsjay Wed 09-Jan-13 17:22:25

reading about peoples memories of being excluded from activities even as adults it can stay with you and isn't it angering that in 20 13 children are still being excluded from things sad

moisturiser Wed 09-Jan-13 17:16:21

I would really hope children aren't being excluded in this way.

I can remember the upset of being 13, being taken to one of these outdoors centres where I couldn't take part in a single thing. I stood on watching all my friends having fun all day in the water and the teacher got cross saying, 'you might as well look happy and get pleasure out of your friends having fun. I don't understand why you look so miserable.' It was devastating. I was still adjusting to being disabled so the whole missing out thing hurt even more.

Cantbelieveitsnotbutter Wed 09-Jan-13 17:07:26

Yanbu.
There's plenty of centres that cater for sn. They need to change centres

mrsjay Wed 09-Jan-13 16:44:20

yanbu and i shocked it is still the same, I am disabled although I walk but not long distances I remember my primary 7 trip and I wasn't 'allowed' to go I was devastated and really upset by it, they all went to belguim and it was all they could talk about all year, it isn't fair on the children way back then they said it was insurance but today i would have thought that wouldve changed

Eglantyne Wed 09-Jan-13 16:43:38

CaptChaos So I don't know you then grin. My friend's ds was excluded from all school trips, swimming lessons etc for a year. He was suspected ASD but waiting for a statement at the time. My friend was also telephoned by the school and told to keep her ds at home the next day, because Ofsted were coming. This was last year. Finally the school excluded him. A few weeks later his statement finally came through. The school were found to have acted illegally and fined. But even with the statement she is having trouble getting him back into a local school. Two have said they can't take another SEN child, and if she applies they'll appeal...

tethersend Wed 09-Jan-13 16:41:33

Which leads me to wonder if trips which are rewards for 100% attendance could be challenged under the Equality act, as they exclude children whose disability impacts on their attendance.

tethersend Wed 09-Jan-13 16:37:32

ReallyTired, a school could bar a child from a trip for bullying behaviour if the trip was a reward and not part of the curriculum; a trip to Thorpe Park as a reward could legitimately exclude a child for bullying (NOT for recognised behavioural difficulties), but a geography field trip couldn't.

ReallyTired Wed 09-Jan-13 15:33:48

Surely its about time that OFSTED wised up to schools asking children with behavioural problems to stay at home or hiding them in other ways. Prehaps the OFSTED inspector should phone up the families of EBD children and ask them for opinons on the school.

Before the two day notice inspections EBD children used to be taken out on a lovely school trip.

pigletmania Wed 09-Jan-13 14:46:13

It's disgusting tat children are asked to stay at home at inspections, my dd was never asked and the school would not do that. If they did I would take my child to school,

pigletmania Wed 09-Jan-13 14:44:06

Yes captain chaos I do. At the time my dad ( terminal cancer) drove me from London to York and we stayed at my half brothers, he took me to all te sights. The school residential was in york. My dad bought me a badge of yorvik Viking centre which I wore at school the next week and a chid accused me of stealing it as I did not come to te residential. Soon after dad died but I will never forget tat trip with dad sad

ReallyTired Wed 09-Jan-13 14:42:51

I think these stories of stopping children with special needs going on trips is terrible.

I realise that everything needs a risk assement. If you have a child who is a runner and the one to one can't cope then the school is fully entitled to call the local police for help.

"I'm determined this will not be happening again but not sure how I can prevent it. "

I think that not bringing the wheelchair was an over sight rather than being discriminatory. Teachers are human and do make mistakes.

You need to see the risk assessment. (VO5 form I think its called, it's form your child's teacher will have to fill out.) Does your son's wheelchair fold up? Most coaches do have a lugage compartment. Sometimes parents have ideas on how to the school outing easier.

"But I don't think a school should organise a trip for a year that a child will not be allowed to go on. Ever."

Just curious do you think its reasonable to punish a child by not letting them on a school trip? (Assuming the child has no diagnosed special needs and no IEP) Ie. Would you ban a persistant bully from going on a school trip because he/she made the life of another child hell. (Assuming that the school had tried other measures first and the the parents of the child have been warned that if the bullying continued then the child would not be allowed on the trip.)

I think that a school should have the right to veto a child going on a trip, but the parents need to be allowed to appeal to the governors. Such a veto should only be used in very extreme circumstances.

CaptChaos Wed 09-Jan-13 14:35:29

Piglet I honestly think that for some schools this attitude will never change, and for some parents also. I think what saddens me most about your post is that you remember this 27 years on. My 'D'M told me at the time that DS would never remember not going, but he does and he wonders why he was being left out of things.

Until the majority of people understand that just because a child has SN or AN, it doesn't mean that their little darling is going to lose out in some way. Until the majority of people see children with SN as actual people, nothing is going to change.

Just one thing about OfSTED. When you have schools like this asking parents of children with SN to keep their children at home during inspections, how are they to know what goes on?

DeWe Wed 09-Jan-13 14:20:49

In all honesty you don't know that he didn't have a good reason for not going, do you? I know for the residential dd1 went on one child decided not to go, definitely her decision, which was really surprising as you'd have thought it was just what she would have loved.

But I don't think a school should organise a trip for a year that a child will not be allowed to go on. Ever. There are enough places that take sn now that shouldn't be too difficult to organise, if they use their imaginations. And I think OFSTED would look very poorly on that too. And, as a genral rule they should not be expecting the parent to go on the trip to look after them. That child has just as much right to a school trip as any other child, and, as much as possible, the same experience as the other children, which includes going on the coach, sitting with friends etc.

elliejjtiny Wed 09-Jan-13 12:50:01

That's awful but sadly I'm not surprised.

DS2 (age 4) has EDS hypermobility and uses a wheelchair for anything other than very short distances. He also gets very tired which usually results in screaming (think overtired toddler x10).

Normally, if a child has SN then the school say the parents have to come on school trips if the child will struggle to cope but aren't severe enough to be on school action plus and entitled to a 1-1 carer. I've made it clear that I can't do this as I have nobody to leave my DS3 with. The school have said that was fine as it's only someone to push his wheelchair that ne needs, not a lot of extra care. However on the one school trip he has been on (to the theatre) the wheelchair was left at school as it was only 5 min walk from the coach to the theatre. This was too much for DS2 though and by the time he came back (late) he was screaming. I was meant to pick him up at 1pm which gives us enough time for an hours rest at home before picking up DS1 at 3.15pm but because it was so late I had to hang around in town for an hour with a screaming 4 year old and DS3 who was 22 months old and fed up with waiting around by this point.

I'm determined this will not be happening again but not sure how I can prevent it.

cory Wed 09-Jan-13 08:10:16

Ime children with SN will end up feeling they want to keep their needs private if they sense the school doesn't want to know.

Dd went to such a primary school. Whenever she or we expressed a need or explained a problem, the school loudly claimed that they had never seen any evidence that dd couldn't do X or struggled with Y. They repeatedly told her to her face that they didn't believe her. This despite plenty of medical evidence.

When they organised a school trip, they simply didn't "remember" to order the minibus that could take a wheelchair and only told dd she wasn't going the day before the trip- and then they got a supply teacher to break the news. (I got her on that trip <grim emoticon>).

In the end, dd's sole ambition was to keep her head down. And the school the felt that their non-involvement was justified, as corydd clearly wanted it that way.

In her last year, after a change of regime at the school, she did go on the residential- but she needed a lot of support from home to cope with the idea of trusting the school staff with her needs.

pigletmania Wed 09-Jan-13 07:56:26

He by had ASD too

pigletmania Wed 09-Jan-13 07:55:51

Capt its disgusting that schools still do this in this day an age. About 27 years ago there was a school trip that I could not go to beause of my sn (developmental delay) and had to stay behind for a week as it was a residential sad. Ff to today last year dd went to a mainstream primary, there was a trip to the zoo, dd (ASD) coud not go as I could not accompany her, so had to stay at school. Another boy in her year was nt allowed to go or stay at school so had to be at home sad. I believe he was a runner and would just bolt. They did work leading up to the trip and the little boy was sad that he could not go on te trip with his friends ( I know his mum). He saw te bus when the mum ad to take his sister to school and started crying that he wanted to go with his friends sad

MummytoKatie Tue 08-Jan-13 23:44:32

When I was in guides (so about 20 years ago(!!!) ) we had three guides with sn - one with downs syndrome, one with a fairly severe form of spina bifida and one who had quite severe sen. They all came on camp with us. It wasn't seen as a big deal at all.

From what I remember the girl who had spina bifida's mum came with us (but as she carried on as a guider after her daughter got too old I'm not sure that she was required to or if she just wanted to). But the other two just came as part of the pack.

Really shocked that something that was done without fanfare in the early 90s is not seen as just a matter of course now.

WeeWeeWeeAllTheWayHome Tue 08-Jan-13 23:35:49

Sorry, I've just re-read your post and seen that I got it wrong. I thought you meant that the HT suggested you wear a yellow star, hence my shock.

I'm sorry that people are so shit; it's hard to believe attitudes like that still exist, even though sadly experience shows it to be the case far too often sad

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