To not want dc to stay in a strange house on school trip?

(107 Posts)
franincisco Wed 21-Sep-16 18:11:40

Can't work out if IABU or not, so wanting opinions here really.

Dc (14) plays a school sport, lots of weekend matches. Came home today, saying he has been asked to go to play in a city 7 hours away. The plan is an overnight trip, staying in a hosts house. We know nothing about the host and that is what concerns me. I am not the "paedophile around every corner" type but I just don't feel comfortable with this, for various reasons. The boys would be staying in pairs. I haven't even received a consent form from the school!

DerekSprechenZeDick Wed 21-Sep-16 18:13:55

He's 14, he will be staying in stranger places in a few years grin

I'd allow it. Even if you knew the host they could still be a pedophile. So that argument makes no sense to me

He's 14, not alone and it's one night. I can't see the harm

Eastpoint Wed 21-Sep-16 18:14:53

Dd's school now has a policy that if you host another child you have to have a DBS first. While it doesn't mean that there isn't a dangerous dog there it does add an extra layer of safety.

I think if they are staying in pairs they will be fine. How would you feel about them staying in a youth hostel or hotel & the cost rising substantially?

AdaLovelacesCat Wed 21-Sep-16 18:15:31

How will get to the city?
It does sound like a certain amount of risk for your son, for the glory of the school.

I stayed with my French penfriend during an exchange trip when I was this age, and both ds1 and ds2 went on choir trips abroad at a similar age, where they stayed with host families. They were in pairs, as your son would be, but I was on my own at my pen friend's house.

In all three cases, we were fine, and it was an enjoyable experience. I do understand why you are worried, but I'm sure there's nothing to worry about - he is 14 and will be with someone he knows, and it is only for one night.

Chances are he will be fine, and you will chew the ends off your fingers with worry - that's pretty normal, IMO!

Whatthefreakinwhatnow Wed 21-Sep-16 18:16:10

erm yes, I'm afraid you are being unreasonable. let him go he is 14 not 4!

dowhatnow Wed 21-Sep-16 18:16:26

We did the French and German exchanges in our day. They are in pairs. Presumably they would have mobile phones. They are 14. I'd be inclined to let them go but I must admit I wouldn't feel particularly comfortable about it.

AdaLovelacesCat Wed 21-Sep-16 18:17:54

no you are not being unreasonable.
Whose car is it? Who is driving?
Whose house is it? Who will be staying there?

At 14 I'd not be worried about one night!

Did you never do exchange trips as a child? Off we'd go and stay in a strange house for a week in a country where we barely spoke the language and certainly didn't know their weird food or customs... and we just get on with it. Except we were only 12.

franincisco Wed 21-Sep-16 18:19:18

I would feel more comfortable if it was a hotel/YH as at least the teachers would be on hand. Their mobiles won't work AFAIK as it is a different country and the network won't be covered which is another thing that worries me.

The teachers don't know the hosts either, apparently they send a text message around the club asking for volunteers to host, so I doubt any specific checks would have happened.

GnomeDePlume Wed 21-Sep-16 18:19:20

YANBU to question this. It seems quite common for boys to be seen as less vulnerable in situations where girls would be seen as vulnerable. I dont agree with this attitude. Boys can be every bit as vulnerable as girls.

mumsiedarlingrevolta Wed 21-Sep-16 18:19:34

Will your DS be staying in the home of parents of the children from the host school? Its very normal-we hosted some boys from Scotland who came to play rugby at my DS's school as part of a tour in England. The boys are in pairs and assume will have chaperones/coaches nearby? At 14 he is definitely old enough. The boys who stayed with me brought me small hostess gifts (mug from their school-things like that) all very civilised-and they were 12.

AdaLovelacesCat Wed 21-Sep-16 18:19:42

and did you have seven hour road trip to get there ?
Anyway, what you are describing isn't necessarily a 'good thing' is it?

Pineapplemilkshake Wed 21-Sep-16 18:19:52

YABU - it's people who you know rather than strangers who are likely to be a risk to your child. I recall having some amazing school trips, and stayed with a family on a trip to Berlin aged 14.

That said, I'd still want to find out a bit more info about the host - e.g. Who lives in the house, sleeping arrangements. It would be reasonable for you to ask for these details.

franincisco Wed 21-Sep-16 18:20:47

No I never went on exchange trips, so this is totally new territory for me.

I'm glad that a few also have reservations, it reassures me that i am not being pbf about this.

LBOCS2 Wed 21-Sep-16 18:21:08

It's no different from a foreign exchange surely? Without having to put up a strange teenager in return...

FasterThanASnakeAndAMongoose Wed 21-Sep-16 18:21:59

I would let him go.

When I was 15 I did a French exchange. She stayed with me for 2 weeks, then we travelled back together and I stayed with her for 2 weeks.

All we knew in advance was that her parents were non smokers exchange pal smoked like a chimney on the other hand and she lived in a village.

It was fine. Perhaps if it was my dc I'd prefer a dbs check. It'll be such a shame if they never get the opportunity though.

He'll have a phone and a partner, and presumably coaches or teachers will be staying close by - he'll be fine.

And as a pp said, he'll be staying in all manner of dodgy places in not too long!

AdaLovelacesCat Wed 21-Sep-16 18:22:11

look OP, if you told the school that you were sending the children on holiday to stay with a random host that none of you had ever met, they would call SS, and that is a fact.

Laquila Wed 21-Sep-16 18:23:14

I certainly don't think it's unreasonable to want more info from the school. Can you request a Skype with the host finally beforehand, or just an email address? In theory, it's all very normal and kosher but it's not unreasonable to want more details and reassurance.

LineyReborn Wed 21-Sep-16 18:25:18

I'd want a hell of a lot more information than that.

RunningLulu Wed 21-Sep-16 18:25:49

YANBU. My DS was offered a similar arrangement for rugby (no DBS checks etc), so I chose to go with him and booked a hotel for us instead.

dowhatnow Wed 21-Sep-16 18:37:48

Can't you talk to his phone provider and enable it for Europe for a short period?

WyfOfBathe Wed 21-Sep-16 18:39:44

I'm a teacher. We run a French exchange for Year 10 (and another in 6th form). The host families don't have DBS checks and only one student is placed in each home. We've never had an incident relating to host families.

Your son's mobile should still work abroad, you could phone the operator to check.

Also ask the teachers/coaches if they have any plans in place, e.g. when our year 10s go on exchange, we visit every home once during the week (but this wouldn't be practical if this was just a one-night stay). The students are all given a list of phone numbers (2x teachers' mobiles + the school landline) and told to put them in their phones as well as keeping the card they're printed on and we remind them that they can call us anytime, for anything - even if it's 2am and they're just a bit homesick or can't remember the French word for "toilet roll".

WyfOfBathe Wed 21-Sep-16 18:41:19

Oh, and the parents are given the host family's name, address & phone number (as well as teachers'/schools' number).

I would expect DS' school to organise measures similar to these, and put it in writing for you.

GnomeDePlume Wed 21-Sep-16 18:42:51

It is all very well for posters to say they went off and stayed with randoms and it was all fine but dont forget in the past we all said that nice Mr Saville was fine as well.

DBS is there for a reason.

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