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to think school should give parents an emergency contact number?

(98 Posts)
MrsMcColl Mon 07-Jul-14 14:17:27

DC is on a 5-day school trip. She's in year 6. School won't give parents a number in case we need to make contact in an emergency - they say we need to go through school. But what if there's a family crisis of some kind outside the school day and we need to get in touch? Am I BU to think we should be able to get hold of them quickly? School clearly think I'm nuts. Am I?

SarcyMare Mon 07-Jul-14 14:19:38

the trouble is you will be sensible and only phone for an emergency but some other parents will be phoning every night checking little johhny has his blankie, has been given a kiss and cuddle and tucked in.

jeee Mon 07-Jul-14 14:21:29

In a dire emergency I am sure that the police would be able to help. Anything less, and honestly, you probably don't need to contact them.

Do you not know the name of the centre where they are staying or the company who is running the excursion? Is google not your friend?

Hakluyt Mon 07-Jul-14 14:24:53

What sort of crisis do you mean?

SixerofthePixies Mon 07-Jul-14 14:26:06

No you're not bu. At Brownies we always have an emergency contact number when we take the girls away/out. That person knows all the details of who we have, where we are and our programme. I make it very clear to parents though that the number is for emergency use only.

AuntieStella Mon 07-Jul-14 14:26:14

IIRC, we were given a mobile number for out-of-hours use. It was carried by the deputy head (who was not on the trip, but who held all the numbers to get through rapidly). So easy contact in an emergency; no possibility if ringing just to say goodnight. I think that works really well (unless the main point-of-contact person is strange/unreliable person, but I think you'd have to be very unlucky for that).

TimeForAnotherNameChange Mon 07-Jul-14 14:27:37

Normally our school give the head or another senior member of staff's mobile number to parents, with the proviso that it only be used if a parent or sibling is dying, basically. But yes, I'd have thought you'd surely have the number of the hotel/cebtre they're staying at, it can't be difficult to find, surely?

HecatePropylaea Mon 07-Jul-14 14:27:41

If you know where they are going, then in an emergency, you can contact the police who will send someone to the location and get them in touch with you.

PatriciaHolm Mon 07-Jul-14 14:27:46

i can't think of a situation in which you would need to contact your child so urgently it couldn't wait the 15 minutes it would need to go via school. Also, school will have a list of all contact details for teachers involved, not just the one, so would stand far more chance of getting a teacher than you would on one number.

diddlediddledumpling Mon 07-Jul-14 14:29:36

I've taken several school trips away, parents are always given an emergency contact number for out-of-school-hours. It means if there's an emergency or a pupil has to be given bad news (which has thankfully never happened), it comes through a teacher and not eg when the pupil is alone.
Your school should have provided this, I would have thought.

Mintyy Mon 07-Jul-14 14:33:21

PatriciaHolm - think about it, a family emergency can take place outside the hours of 9-3.30 Monday to Friday.

As it happens, I agree with op. You would have the same trouble contacting the activity centre outside of normal daytime hours.

MrsMcColl Mon 07-Jul-14 14:33:37

Going through school is fine, as long as it's in the school day! What sort of emergency - death or serious illness maybe? That's the thing with emergencies - you don't plan them.

The number doesn't have to be of someone who's actually there on the trip, just someone who can make contact if needed. It just feels very odd for school to leave us with no way of making out of hours contact if the need were to arise.

Tinpin Mon 07-Jul-14 14:34:13

The worst crisis I ever had on an educational trip was the death of a parent. That is certainly not something you deal with over the phone! It is probably sensible to have one emergency contact number. I thought most trips did this now.

Nomama Mon 07-Jul-14 14:35:50

So, is there a number on the school website?

I would assume there was... but know full well what assuming can do for you smile

MrsMcColl Mon 07-Jul-14 14:36:36

Exactly, TinPin. The school didn't provide it. And when I asked, wouldn't. And then laughed when I gave an example of an emergency.

Notso Mon 07-Jul-14 14:37:24

I think YABU. Even if something horrendous happened, someone died for example I wouldn't want to tell my child over the phone anyway.
We get given the number of the outward bound centres but told centre staff will not answer questions about how children are getting on.
When DD went to Poland for 5 days we had to contact school who would contact staff in an emergency.

Notso Mon 07-Jul-14 14:38:30

X-post

TortoiseUpATreeAgain Mon 07-Jul-14 14:44:09

If there were a parent-or-sibling-dying type of emergency (and they are in the UK) then the police would help, I think.

MrsMcColl Mon 07-Jul-14 14:44:21

There's not a number on the school website. (There's almost zero on the school website - whole other issue!) If something were to happen, I wouldn't want to tell DD over the phone. I'd want to tell a teacher, who could help us get her home.

I don't think it'll happen! But we don't take out insurance thinking something will happen - you just have everything covered just in case, surely? I'm surprised it's a surprise to the school.

MrsMcColl Mon 07-Jul-14 14:45:07

I'm sure the police would help, yes. Doesn't seem like good practice to me though.

TortoiseUpATreeAgain Mon 07-Jul-14 14:48:33

(but yes, it would be a lot less hassle if the school would just give you a number for out-of-hours emergencies)

Notso, I don't think it's so much that you want to tell the child over the phone as that you'd like to be able to contact a teacher in charge to tell them what's happened and arrange what's going to happen next (e.g. someone coming out to collect the child).

TortoiseUpATreeAgain Mon 07-Jul-14 14:51:51

It was my father's headmaster who had to tell him that his father had been killed. Not on a school trip, admittedly, but bad stuff does happen unexpectedly sometimes and not everyone can be like my grandfather and arrange for it to happen between 0830 and 1530 Monday-Friday. In fact, statistically it's more likely to happen outside office hours.

Notcontent Mon 07-Jul-14 15:07:13

I would feel very uncomfortable not having an emergency number.

MrsMcColl Mon 07-Jul-14 16:58:02

Friends who teach at other schools say they always give parents an emergency contact number.

This lack of info is totally consistent with our overall experience of this school - utterly offhand about communicating with parents and treating us like an irritant if we ask for info on anything.

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