to think teachers should not be drinking when on a school trip?

(151 Posts)
KimbettyBooBah Wed 27-Mar-13 13:28:39

DD (14) came back from her school France trip saying that the teachers had been drinking beer at lunch time, and one time in the evening too.

AIBU to be angry about this?

Xmasbaby11 Wed 27-Mar-13 13:30:41

Depends how much they drink. If it's just a couple, I can't see the problem. YABU

redskyatnight Wed 27-Mar-13 13:31:20

If they all were drinking excessively to the point of insensibility - YANBU
If it was the occasional beer and always at leastone non-drinker - YABU

Do you ever a drink when you are responsible for your DC?

CloudsAndTrees Wed 27-Mar-13 13:32:00

I wouldn't mind them having a drink. There is a difference between them having a beer with lunch and a glass of wine with dinner and them being drunk.

Any more than one or two would make me question their sense of responsibility, but I don't think there's anything wrong with them having a couple. They are giving up a huge amount of their own time when they take other people's children on holiday, they don't get paid and they have a huge amount of stress and responsibility. I don't think it's fair to begrudge them a couple of beers.

KimbettyBooBah Wed 27-Mar-13 13:32:22

I think only one or two beers, and one of the teachers is tee total. Is it OK though?

HDEE Wed 27-Mar-13 13:32:32


They gave up their free time, time that isn't paid, time that they could have spent pursuing hobbies of with their families, and you begrudge them a beer or two? Really?

Adults drinking healthy amounts around teenagers, and showing them that they don't have to fall around drunk can only be a good thing surely?

Rat-arsed and vomitting teachers would BU.

ThingummyBob Wed 27-Mar-13 13:32:39


People drink at lunchtime, no biggie as far as I'm concerned.

Evenings on a school trip with 14 year olds? I'd say the teachers deserve a drink wink I doubt they are being paid round-the-clock.

I'm assuming they weren't sat there getting shitfaced in front of the pupils.

WowOoo Wed 27-Mar-13 13:32:41

Was this all of the teachers?

As long as they weren't getting totally shit faced I don't think I'd mind too much.

KimbettyBooBah Wed 27-Mar-13 13:34:02

There was one who doesn't drink at all so I'm told.

issypiggle Wed 27-Mar-13 13:34:16

that was the point of our trips to france when i was at school. the teachers had one(day trip). it was only ever a couple of them and some of them wouldn't.

if that was you with a group of teenagers in a different country would you pass up an opportunity for a quick one?

TheOriginalSteamingNit Wed 27-Mar-13 13:34:27

yes, it is OK. YABU.

whistleahappytune Wed 27-Mar-13 13:34:54

YABU. If they had a beer or a glass of wine with a meal, then I don't see a problem at all. In fact, I would be happy to buy the teachers a drink as I'm sure they deserve it.

I not much of a drinker myself, but I really don't think you have any cause to be angry.

PollyEthelEileen Wed 27-Mar-13 13:35:07

They shouldn't be drinking if they are directly looking after students.

Most teachers will do a rota for supervision. They do get some off-time.

I would doubt anyone was rolling drunk at lunchtime and well able to react to any emergency or other need.

KimbettyBooBah Wed 27-Mar-13 13:35:21

Do teachers usually do this? Never heard of it before.

YABU. Why do you think it's inappropriate?

NatashaBee Wed 27-Mar-13 13:35:28

a pint = OK.

a bottle of vodka each = not OK.

Basically I think they need to be capable enough to deal with any emergencies and drive a child if required. I don't think a pint of beer necessarily prevents them doing that.

Cluffyfunt Wed 27-Mar-13 13:35:36

I would need to drink if I were in charge of a load of hormonal teens!

Seriously though, having an alcoholic drink doesn't mean that the teacher was drunk.
If all the staff were pissed, then I would be a bit wound up.

Your dd is 14 so not a baby and I doubt she needs protecting from the sight of adults drinking (responsibly).

complexnumber Wed 27-Mar-13 13:35:46

Maybe not at lunchtime.

But in the evening? I can't see a problem, assuming they are drinking sensibly.

KimbettyBooBah Wed 27-Mar-13 13:36:51

I don't think any of them were driving, they took a coach.

AuntieStella Wed 27-Mar-13 13:37:22

Having a drink - fine

Getting perceptibly drunk (even mildly tipsy when it's teens) - not fine

jamdonut Wed 27-Mar-13 13:37:28

As long as they weren't rolling drunk,I can't see that a beer with a meal is much to worry about.

I know that teachers waiting for groups on Duke of Edinburgh award expeditions, which my daughter went on,waited in a local pub for them, had a meal and a drink. But then they were driving too, so I don't suppose they would had enough to go over the limit.

I don't think it is worth getting angry about. But that is just me.
(It is more than their lives are worth to have been out of control.)

whistleahappytune Wed 27-Mar-13 13:38:04

OP, are you worried they are drunk and therefore incapable of dealing with an emergency? Or are you worried about some kind of example they are setting? I'm really trying to see what you are upset about.

IIRC, when I was at school the teachers always had wine with their Christmas lunch.

KimbettyBooBah Wed 27-Mar-13 13:39:27

I just thought it would be against the rules. I don't suppose it's a big deal unless they were being irresponsible. I can take it, I admit IABU. Thanks

DiscoDonkey Wed 27-Mar-13 13:40:08

Wouldn't bother me.

They seem to be setting a good example of how it is possible to drink without getting drunk. In the current drinking culture that is very valuable.

TeamEdward Wed 27-Mar-13 13:41:05

This is completely normal on school trips with teens. As you've said yourself, there was at least one teacher who wasn't drinking, none of them were drunk and none were driving. It's a non-issue.
As someone said upthread, it is also demonstrating responsible drinking.

diddl Wed 27-Mar-13 13:42:58

It sounds OK to me as well tbh.

Daughter was recently on a school trip & they went to a disco.

Where the teachers sat in the "teacher's lounge" & monitored them remotely!

How great is that?

YoothaJoist Wed 27-Mar-13 13:44:29

Did your daughter have anything to drink on this trip, OP?

Only when I used to take school trips abroad, I spent the entire time dealing with teenagers who were trying to sneak booze and fags, and shagging each other/the locals. Nightmare.

YABU. Be more grateful to the professionals who give up their free time UNPAID for your DC's benefit.

DrSeuss Wed 27-Mar-13 13:46:16

Teachers do not get paid any extra for taking on a massive, round the clock job on a school trip. A drink with lunch seems fine to me. Presumably the op will volunteer to run the next trip, as taking a bus load of teens away and having 24 hr responsibility is such fun. Presumably she has also ensured that she thanked the staff when she collected her child and has asked her daughter to write short notes of thanks?

Sidge Wed 27-Mar-13 13:48:03

In France it's practically compulsory to drink with meals. They'd have been sacked if they hadn't had a drink as it wouldn't have been an authentic French trip.


Poppet48 Wed 27-Mar-13 13:50:19

YABU if it was just the two beers.

YANBU if they were drinking excessively.

KimbettyBooBah Wed 27-Mar-13 13:51:03

So where do you draw the line, out of curiosity?

AuntieStella Wed 27-Mar-13 13:53:00

This has just reminded me of a trip when I was a pupil, and Teacher A was caught sneaking out of Teacher B's bedroom. Both left the school shortly after that one.

A couple of beers seems positively tame.

badguider Wed 27-Mar-13 13:55:16

French lager can be as low as 2.2% and they don't serve it in pints but in smaller glasses, having one with lunch is very french and I wouldn't consider it a problem at all. In fact, I wouldn't consider a french-sized glass of wine with lunch an issue either (their glasses are usually just 125ml).

Where do you draw the line? I think you trust the teachers to use their own judgement. They are no more insensible after a half lager at lunch than after a night of broken sleep or long coach journey.

Dawndonna Wed 27-Mar-13 13:56:04

I think most people have said fairly explicitly where they draw the line. If a teacher is out of their tree, or drinking excessively then obviously it's too much. But, as has been pointed out, a glass or two of wine with a meal, or a beer at lunchtime are fine and none of your business.
I'm a bit concerned about the attitude of you and your dd toward alcohol. Is she not allowed a little now and then? Let's face it, I can guarantee that a french child would not have questioned this.

I personally would draw the line at being under the limit to drive.

MeSoFunny Wed 27-Mar-13 14:02:08

Been there, done that. Trust me, you need a drink at the end of the day when you take teenagers on a residential.

EuroShaggleton Wed 27-Mar-13 14:16:38

Sounds fine to me. Our teachers always had a few drinks on school trips to France. I'm not seeing the problem if they weren't falling out of bars and mooning the students, frankly.

EndoplasmicReticulum Wed 27-Mar-13 14:20:52

I'm a teacher. I never drink on school trips, can imagine that it would not look good if there was some sort of disaster and I'd been drinking.

Movingtimes Wed 27-Mar-13 14:21:15

OP - have you thanked the teachers for giving up so much of their free time to take your daughter on a residential trip? Or were you saving your breath to give them a blasting over daring to drink a small amount of alcohol with a meal.

IloveJudgeJudy Wed 27-Mar-13 14:24:21

I think your DD is trying to get you to cause trouble for the teachers who took her on the trip, instead of her and you being grateful for the opportunity to go away with people who don't get paid for looking after the DC for that time.

Do you really want to cause trouble for people who are doing so much? I really cannot understand your attitude.


complexnumber Wed 27-Mar-13 14:26:52

"So where do you draw the line, out of curiosity?"

I imagine if any teacher is 'dad dancing' then they have probably crossed the line.

toomuch2young Wed 27-Mar-13 14:29:42

Be grateful -when I was 14 we were taken on a school trip that involved wine binging tasting.

The pupils and staff alike were various stages of drunk/tipsy for the whole after noon and evening and the news had somehow filtered back (well before facebook etc) and coach home was met by angry parents!!

Hulababy Wed 27-Mar-13 14:30:50

As with the thread about scout trips the other day.

I would have absolutely no problem with this at all, if it is just one or two drinks, taken with food, drank sensibly.

When my DD was in Y3 and Y4 they had a 3 night residential. I know that the teachers shared a bottle of wine in the evening, with their meal. It meant a glass each.

Likewise when DD goes on a day trip, in the holidays, to London, I would have no issue with the teachers having a glass of wine with their evening meal before coming home, should they wish.

The teachers are on duty 24/7 on a school trip. It is a very long day, and not actually a jolly - hard work. If they wish to have a glass of wine or beer whilst eating, or in the evening, I think good on them tbh!

So long as there is a designated first aider and driver available, in case of emergencies, really what is the problem?

Hulababy Wed 27-Mar-13 14:32:14

Drawing the line - is getting drunk, not having a responsible adult available in case of emergency, or teachers behaving irresponsibly.

livinginwonderland Wed 27-Mar-13 14:35:52

we went on a school trip to paris when i was in sixth form (we were all 17) and we were allowed out to drink on our own, and when we came back to "check in" with our teacher at night, he was only upright because was supporting himself on the doorframe!

however, other teachers were totally sober.

scarlettsmummy2 Wed 27-Mar-13 14:53:52

If I was on a school trip with a pile of hyper teenagers I would be having a drink too!grin

seeker Wed 27-Mar-13 14:58:33

Another mother and I delivered some wine to a school trip venue once- it was an outdoor centre and it had rained every day for 6 days. We reckoned the only chance our children had of coming home alive was to let the teachers have a glass of wine or two.......!!!

blackteaplease Wed 27-Mar-13 15:05:01

Would you drink at home when in charge of your dc's? It's just the same thing as long as the teachers aren't over the limit, I wouldn't have a problem with it.

DH is off on a week's ski trip next week with 40 12-16 year olds, over 24 hours on a coach each way. I'd want a drink in the evenings if that was me.

Wolfiefan Wed 27-Mar-13 15:05:49

A drink with a meal would be fine.
Drinking all afternoon and/or evening. Far from fine.
It's easy.
If you are that bothered then I'd offer to go on future trips and be the responsible/sober adult so a teacher can have a holiday (instead of working unpaid on a school trip) and enjoy a drink with friends/families without being judged unprofessional.

mamaitaly Wed 27-Mar-13 15:24:02

Those poor teachers. They give up their spare time, unpaid, with the responsibiliity of lots of teenagers and instead of a word of appreciation, OP posts at her 'anger' at them having a beer. We will soon become a society where teachers won't provide these extra but hugely important opportunities. I believe teacher's unions are already recommending this.

Schooldidi Wed 27-Mar-13 15:26:24

I've been on 2 school trips abroad as a teacher and I had a couple of glasses of wine with dinner most evenings. One of us was always the designated non-drinker (the teacher in charge actually as her French is better than the rest of us so is better equipped to deal with a proper emergency) but none of the rest of us were even vaguely tipsy.

spg1983 Wed 27-Mar-13 15:30:52

I went abroad on an exchange trip and during the weekend there's only one member of staff "on call" as the pupils stay with host families - we all take turns to do this. I bumped into a pupil on one of these weekends and happened to be eating a meal with a glass of wine. The pupil came over for a chat and all seemed ok but then 10 mins later I got a call from my boss saying he'd just had a phone call from this child's parents to say their daughter had just bumped into me and I was steaming drunk! I literally had 1 drink and wasn't even on duty anyway but this child was either determined to get me into trouble or was totally unfamiliar with the idea of having a drink with a meal and not binge drinking. Not the kind of treatment I'd hope for when giving up 2 weeks' worth of evenings and weekends without my family with no extra pay or even any recompense for expenses.

Gempoo Wed 27-Mar-13 15:35:33

I think this is outrageous as I assume they are being paid to be there and in the case of an emergency even being tipsy could impair their ability to offer the best protection. Surely they have a duty of care towards the children and are supposed to be role models!

spg1983 Wed 27-Mar-13 15:40:58

No Gempoo teachers are not paid for any time on trips outside of the normal school day and often incur extra expense because of it. The rules at our school are that at least 1 teacher doesn't drink at all and the others have no more than 1 drink. We also don't knowingly drink in front of pupils.

seeker Wed 27-Mar-13 15:41:51

You are, I assume, being ironic, gempoo?

Hulababy Wed 27-Mar-13 15:43:11

No the teachers will only be being paid for their ordinary school hours and no more.The rest of the time is given for free.

Thewhingingdefective Wed 27-Mar-13 15:43:17

Unless they were all in their cups YABU. I have been on school trips as a staff member (although I am not a teacher) where the teachers have had a drink, but it is never to excess and there is always one person that doesn't drink.

It wouldn't bother me as long as the teacher wasn't mullered.

When mine went on their residential trips at primary dh went as a parent helper on all three trips. There was a bar and the adults had a drink in the evening when they did the evening activities, not a problem in my eyes.

grin at ds1's year 11 leaving prom [ 3 years ago] the french teacher was bladdered!

Airwalk79 Wed 27-Mar-13 17:07:20

I remember going to Spain with school. We had some vodka taken off us, the teachers drank it, and we had to sit out of the activity doing nothing on the next table as punishment. And they deserved it looking back!

Never did find out what happened to the pot they confiscated though!

hackmum Wed 27-Mar-13 17:10:08

In other European countries, teachers are paid if they take a trip like this. They think we're mad because we expect teachers to do it for nothing.

I think a glass of wine or beer with a meal is fine, as long as one teacher remains completely sober.

EndoplasmicReticulum Wed 27-Mar-13 17:10:43

I don't think it's the same as drinking at home with my children. The situation is different.

Maryz Wed 27-Mar-13 17:13:56

You draw the line with

(a) no-one drinking to excess, and

(b) one adult being alcohol free at all times.

By having a non-drinking teacher with them they were covered on (b) all the time. Did your dd see them drunk? If not, it isn't a problem.

I have a glass of wine or two in charge of my own children if I'm on holidays.

I remember going on a school trip once (we were GCSE Geography students - so 15-16) and two of our teachers who were great, decided to play a trick on us. They pretended they'd both had tattoos (covered with clingfilm etc) and we TOTALLY bought it...they got a bit pissed in the evening as well. There were other teachers who weren't drinking though.

It was a wicked school trip actually.

Panzee Wed 27-Mar-13 17:19:23

Our sixth form history trips always involved teachers and students getting hammered in the hotel bar. Best not think about that OP. grin

thebody Wed 27-Mar-13 17:21:00

Don't be so bloody daft.

I can't understand why teachers do trips, the responsibility is huge and this all done unpaid. Can you imagine any other job where adults would take on so much responsibility for free? I can't!

Also op as children like your 14 year old dd get to late teens they can legally drink in many countries so its really the teachers responsibility to go with them to pubs to make sure they are ok.

Children need to see adults drinking responsibly.

Bue Wed 27-Mar-13 17:27:02

DH is currently in France on his own holiday time with a group of 70 teenagers. While fun for teachers as well as students, these trips are bloody hard work. If the school then imposed a rule that all the teachers had to be teetotal in Paris for a week, I doubt they'd find anyone to volunteer to go!

OP get a grip and then thank this teachers for giving up their time to look after your DD. I take it her behaviour was impeccable whilst on the trip? DH takes trips abroad, mainly France and Italy and the hostel where they stay serves wine with the evening meal to staff daily. He has 1 with his meal as do his colleagues and then he spends the rest of his evening/night stopping hormonal teens from sneaking into each others rooms. Don't send your DD next time if your so concerned.

simplesusan Wed 27-Mar-13 17:32:47

I wouldn't begrudge anyone a glass or two of alcohol if they are looking after a group of teenagers.

OP it's people like you that put teachers off doing residential activities.

Sirzy Wed 27-Mar-13 17:34:01

I think that they are demonstrating sensible drinking which to that age group is quite a good role thing to witness.

malinois Wed 27-Mar-13 17:37:23

YABU, what you are describing sounds remarkably subdued compared to our school trips in the 80s.

Ski trips, history trips to WWI battlefields and Berlin - all inevitably
involved pupils and teachers getting completely hammered/stoned/shagged. Absolute mayhem grin

N0tinmylife Wed 27-Mar-13 17:37:43

Personally I think anyone who is willing to look after a group of other peoples children for days at a time 24/7 deserves a medal. I certainly wouldn't have a problem with a couple of drinks!

CinnabarRed Wed 27-Mar-13 17:52:02

I've noticed this odd attitude to alcohol on MN before (the dry wedding thread, for example) - some people find it impossible to imagine drinking without getting drunk. No idea why.

ChippingInIsEggceptional Wed 27-Mar-13 17:56:22

I'd have given the teacher a couple of bottles to take with him/her!

Some parents are beyond belief.

YouTheCat Wed 27-Mar-13 18:00:35

I'd say it's perfectly reasonable for the poor buggers to have a glass of wine or a beer.

It is a good example for the kids as well. One drink with a meal, not staggering about getting wankered.

FierceBadIggi Wed 27-Mar-13 18:14:27

I think ime there is a lot less drinking amongst staff. Probably linked to the attitudes of some parents.
Children, on the other hand, drink as much as ever.

Ilovesunflowers Wed 27-Mar-13 18:18:29

I completely agree with you OP. I used to be a teacher and would NEVER have had a drink when on a trip. Yes we work bloody hard while we are there but I still think it's unacceptable to have any drinks in your system if you are in charge of pupils. Most teachers wouldn't drink on trips. It amazes me that some think it's ok.

IAmLouisWalsh Wed 27-Mar-13 18:38:29

When I started teaching we would regularly go to the pub at lunchtime on Friday. On teaching practice, in fact, I went back having had a pint and a half of Guinness and was bloody hopeless in the afternoon. My mentor had bought it for me, so he couldn't complain!

Most people don't seem to be aware that teachers are not paid for weekend and out of term trips (or term time overnight ones). They are completely voluntary and without volunteers they don't happen. Even the teacher's food isn't paid for on some trips. I found it amazing how few parents and pupils took the time to thank the staff after trips, I assume that this is because they think of it as part of the job.

If your children do go on a trip then please take the time to thank the staff and get your children to thank them too - is is appreciated.

Hullygully Wed 27-Mar-13 19:20:54


freddiefrog Wed 27-Mar-13 19:26:57

A couple of glasses of wine/beers - fine
Enough that they couldn't deal with a problem - not fine

My eldest is going on a 4 night residential to France in July. The staff are going voluntarily, and paying for their own fair share of the trip - I would not begrudge them a couple of glasses of wine in the evenings. I'd be surprised if they didn't

DebK2012 Wed 27-Mar-13 19:30:50

When my dd went to France she said that all the teachers were very drunk from about 4 pm so much so that one sang YMCA without music!!!

Maryz Wed 27-Mar-13 19:36:24

Hully, are you not apauled as well?

freddiefrog Wed 27-Mar-13 19:40:50

When I went to France in high school, the teachers got plastered on all the alcohol they confiscated from us

My DD's teacher is quite a good friend of ours, from experience, I know a bottle of wine wouldn't touch the sides

StuffezLaBouche Wed 27-Mar-13 19:41:08

I'm off for two nights with my year sixes in June and will most definitely be partaking in a glass or two of wine in the evenings with my book. I will not be anything other than sober, but bollocks if I'm going away unpaid and incurring cattery charges AND denying myself a drink after a long day.
PGL was great like that - free wine provided of an evening at their cheese and wine evenings.

Rainbowinthesky Wed 27-Mar-13 19:49:01

I find it sad that there are adults who cannot get that some people can drink alcohol without the need to get plastered. It's perfectly possible to have a drink and stop at one. Lots of adults do this.

Celticlassie Wed 27-Mar-13 19:49:45

I definitely agree that it's a good lesson for kids to see that it is possible to have one glass of wine with a meal and then stop. When I've taken kids on school trips (unpaid) I've generally had a glass of wine with dinner.

gobbin Wed 27-Mar-13 20:00:08

Of course we drink on tour.

What the children won't see is any of us hammered, drinking outside of a pub/bar setting during the day or any of the staff incapable of making decisions in case of an emergency.

However, once the kids are settled in bed we generally repair to one of the staff bedrooms for a goodnight snifter or two.

During our tours we've coped with three pupils needing A&E/Out of hours pharmacy, one with sunstroke, a possible broken toe, one stranded in a European city on their own (wandered off from a group) and a stolen phone requiring a visit to the police station - all abroad.

A few glasses to drink was never a factor in us being able to deal with this.

It depends on individual staffs' standards. On one previous tour where I wasn't tour leader but my group were part of the touring party, our kids had to deal with seeing teenagers (age 15-17) from the other group being allowed to drink in public bars and running around the hotel drunk. Our kids were wide eyed because they knew that a) if they did that I'd kill 'em b) they knew that at some point I would be making my views known to the leaders of the other group (and were gleefully waiting for the ensuing exchange of views! I won and they weren't allowed out the second night...)

ravenAK Wed 27-Mar-13 20:21:55

The residentials I have done include coach tours around Greece (unpaid 18 hour days over my half term), PGhelling for a week with 12 year olds (in term-time, but long days & paying extra childcare to cover my own absence from home), DofE weekends (unpaid, missing out on weekends with my own family) & theatre trips to the other end of the country (ditto).

The arrangement has always been that certain staff are 'on duty' & don't drink, others are 'on call' & might have a couple, & over a week-long trip, everyone gets at least one 'night off' when they can bugger off to their room with a bottle & a book & won't be bothered unless the hotel's on fire. It works perfectly well.

I know a LOT of teaching staff who just won't volunteer for any of these trips. Too much hard work & stress, too much precious free time given up, & frankly, far too little appreciation in the current climate.

Realistically, I'm going to carry on doing them for as long as I enjoy them. One of the more enjoyable bits is relaxing with your colleagues over a glass of something in the evenings. Take that out, & you'll be needing someone else to replace me I'm afraid.

Euphemia Wed 27-Mar-13 20:59:47

My French gets better when I've had a few. grin

YouTheCat Wed 27-Mar-13 21:02:46

So does mine, Euphemia. grin

Fleecyslippers Wed 27-Mar-13 21:04:52

Am in your camp OP - can't imagine the shower of shit which would fall if a child was ill or injured and the kids reported back that the teachers had been drinking (However sensible they feel that they are being)
Just not needed IMO.

And another question about school trips, who pays for your trip if you take a group of children skiing in Italy for example? Do you pay the full rate? Or get a discount?

Fleecyslippers Wed 27-Mar-13 21:06:15

And I'd quite like ALL teachers to refuse to do residentials - then I wouldn't have to shell out £300 odd for DD to spend 4 nights in a travel lodge near Runcorn....... wink

Maryz Wed 27-Mar-13 21:12:46

Lovely Fleecy. I hope you don't send your kids if that is your attitude.

LadyBeaEGGleEyes Wed 27-Mar-13 21:13:02

I ran a youth hostel for many years, and we had a group from the same school every year, 3rd year teens so about 13/14.
We got to know the teachers/leaders very well, they were always the same three, with a different two or three annually covering the trip too.
We had some lovely nights sitting in the Common Room drinking, the teens had all gone to sleep anyway as they'd been out on the hill all day, and there was always someone to keep an eye on them.
Good times.

StuffezLaBouche Wed 27-Mar-13 21:13:45

Fleecy, IME the cost of the staff member is often included onto the price of the attendees, but before people leap on that and say it makes up for the unpaid aspect, it really doesn't. If a staff member is on a ski trip in Italy, they are still working unpaid.
You wouldn't say, for example, a life guard doesn't need paying because they're having a nice time on the beach. It's work.

Also, many places that accept school parties do not charge for the accompanying adults.

simplesusan Wed 27-Mar-13 21:14:12

Thinking about it I don't think I could look after a bunch of teenagers in my own time without having a glass of wine.
Either that or start smoking.

inabeautifulplace Wed 27-Mar-13 21:16:04

You don't need to wait for that Fleecy, you are at liberty to refuse your child access to these trips right now...

OP, YABU. Totally reasonable for the teachers to have a civilised drink in that scenario. Perhaps your DD has specifically told you this to try and cause trouble? I wonder if she was reprimanded for poor behaviour on the trip?

ImperialBlether Wed 27-Mar-13 21:18:30

OP, please don't forget to thank the teachers for giving up their time and their freedom to take your child away. A gift would be nice, too - perhaps some wine?

wherearemysocka Wed 27-Mar-13 21:19:46

Fleecy, do you really think that these trips are a holiday for the teachers? 18 hour days, very little personal time, being at the beck and call of teenagers all hours of the day and night?

I love running residentials and have been lucky in that the majority of parents and children thank me for them. But they are not holidays in any sense of the word, they are pleasurable but unpaid overtime.

thebody Wed 27-Mar-13 21:20:01

Strange attitudes here on teachers and on alcohol. Very strange.

Absolutely amazed teachers do trips to be honest.

But as we all know its not the kids who are a massive pain in the arse its the parents.

Celticlassie Wed 27-Mar-13 21:21:36

The school trip company pay for the adult. If you think about it, they're getting on average 20 paying customers due to the teachers' willingness to take them, so the teachers' places are covered by the company.

Loco Parentis (or however the spelling )t
Would you as a parent stay tee total, get drunk or have a beer? Probably have one beer, same s the teacher.

Personally I wouldn;lt as I am a lightweight... but unless he needed to drive its not a problem.

What did your child say about it?

However I did used to teach on a residential course in hte summer with kids and ate my weight in humus, raw cauliflower, cheese and cooked meats in the middle of the night whilst planning amazing things for the kids. We wrote songs, had a day of writing in rhyming couplets and created our own system of money. The creative atmosphere did us the world of good, and the kids.

Doingthedo Wed 27-Mar-13 21:29:20

But as we all know its not the kids who are a massive pain in the arse its the parents.

Well said!!!!

poppypebble Wed 27-Mar-13 21:30:42

We always work it that two members of staff at any one time are completely alcohol free - one to go with a child in case of emergency and one to remain with the rest of the group. The others might have a glass of wine with dinner of a beer.

I don't drink and I'm usually group leader, so I would remain with the group whilst the other sober member of staff would accompany a child to hospital etc.

Even day trips are knackering and stressful. It is amazing that some parents think we do it for a jolly, or are paid extra for it. It actually costs me a fortune in terms of care for my animals, spending money, travel etc.

alistron1 Wed 27-Mar-13 21:33:41

DP once got a 'free' holiday on a school trip to France. Shelling out cash to sub kids who'd lost/forgotten their spending money, sleep deprivation, worry - he had a great time!!

Our oldest son went on a ski trip this year. The staff had drinks with meals - I don't bloody blame them.

gobbin Thu 28-Mar-13 14:45:31

LOLing at Fleecy and anyone else who screws their face up at teachers getting a 'freebie holiday' when they take children on school visits.

Hell yeah, I'm going to New York in July. My 'freebie holiday' will consist of doing some regular touristy stuff like Statue of Lib, a show on Broadway, shopping at Macy's, Central Park etc.

The flipside is that I can't change on a whim where to go/what to do/where to eat/what to see. My days there will be pre-mapped out to the half-hour. I will act as guide, finance manager, entertainer, mother hen, hopefully not nurse for approx 18 hours a day. My brain will be constantly engaged ensuring everyone is ok, everyone is where they should be, everyone's having (hopefully) a good time, everyone's in their OWN room, everyone's ASLEEP, NOW!

All accompanied by 34 hormone driven ratbags children of mixed age group.

Do you think I'd perhaps rather be visitng New York with my family?!

quoteunquote Thu 28-Mar-13 15:37:54

I was walking around Wells the other day, visiting a child at the school, there was a big group of french children sat by the moat of the bishop's palace,

We noticed their teachers were enjoying a glass of red with their lunch, it seemed so civilised, none of the french teenagers were in the least bit interested in their teachers having a bottle of red wine sitting in the middle of their picnic.

Having a glass of wine or beer with a meal, is not really a problem unless someone makes it one.

sweetiepie1979 Thu 28-Mar-13 17:19:22

Your been completely unreasonable!

Feenie Thu 28-Mar-13 17:29:43

Most teachers will do a rota for supervision. They do get some off-time.

Not necessarily - that isn't the norm. Maybe this is why only 1 out of around 30 sets of parents will say thank you to me after a week's residential trip; they obviously don't realise we are looking after their children 24 hours a day.

Maggie111 Thu 28-Mar-13 17:31:58


On my school trip to Belgium (14) the teachers had a beer or two. I think someone should stay completely sober in case of an emergency.

I would trust them as adults to have a drink and not get drunk.

Feenie Thu 28-Mar-13 17:33:34

And another question about school trips, who pays for your trip if you take a group of children skiing in Italy for example? Do you pay the full rate? Or get a discount?

You think teachers pay for the privilege of looking after your children?

How can anyone be quite that ignorant? confused

seeker Thu 28-Mar-13 17:40:19

Teachers shouldn't get paid at all. They should be so awed by the splendiferousness of the universally gifted and talented children of mumsnetters the teach-no, sorry, not teach, they don't need teaching- guide that they should do it for nothing.

sauvignonismydrug Thu 28-Mar-13 17:58:07

Am off taking a bunch of 14-17 yr olds to Spain on Saturday ..... Eeek!
Although the teacher places have been funded by the travel company, I have already paid for my own airport parking and suitcase - the kids are taking hand luggage but as group leader I have a fair bit of paperwork and a medical kit to take too. When there I'll be paying for my own lunches every day as thanks for being allowed to take my lovely students away.
I will certainly be having a glass of wine once we are back in the hotel at night!

Euphemia Thu 28-Mar-13 17:59:39

Feenie Do you mean to say that parents are paying for teachers to go on holiday? shock


soverylucky Thu 28-Mar-13 18:04:15

You know when you go somewhere busy with your two or three children and you have to have eyes in the back of your head - teachers are doing that with 10 kids - in a place they are unfamiliar with (kids not teachers) and some of those children might not have the best behaviour. Quite often teachers don't have much say about whether they go on these trips or not. They often take place in the half term holiday so they are spending their unpaid leave with someone elses children. It is not really comparable to a holiday - it is a quite different experience alltogether.

ClippedPhoenix Thu 28-Mar-13 18:15:07

Taking school kids away is not a "holiday" for the teachers believe me! I'd be having a few too.

Are parents queueing up to take groups of other people's children on holiday or offering to accompany school trips to make up the numbers?

ripsishere Thu 28-Mar-13 22:45:16

My DH loves his 'free' holidays with school childen.
He looks foreword all year to the responsibility of worrying about safety, peer pressure, friendship issues, girls starting their periods on his watch.
I'd say it was the highlight of his year.

wherearemysocka Thu 28-Mar-13 22:50:35

Did you know that bus drivers don't have to pay for tickets on the buses they're driving?

In fact - get this - they actually get PAID themselves for all that bus travel!

(Do hope they aren't drinking on the job though)

ubik Thu 28-Mar-13 22:54:17

Our teachers used to get hammered on school journey. grin And give us fags. This was the 80's though.

ubik Thu 28-Mar-13 23:01:46

Our Geography teacher got us lost up a mountain grin They took us to a creepy glen at midnight and read us ghost stories. It was so much fun. We did so many thing; rock climbing. horse riding, mountain biking. Really grateful to them all, still good memories and I am nearly 40.

Thankyou teachers!

ComposHat Thu 28-Mar-13 23:07:27

My parents were both teachers and went on these trips and they are bloody endless work. It is about as far from a holiday as you can imagine. Holidays Reps and Tour guides don't pay for these trips, why should teachers?

If teachers were required to pay to go on these school trips and then work their knackers off I can imagine how many that a grand total of zero teachers would be prepared to take these trips, which would be a detriment to the students.

'Do you get a discount' shock As a languages teacher I have been on umpteen residential trips abroad with secondary age children. Fleecy, please tell me you don't think these trips are in any way a 'holiday' for teachers? Or that they should be paying for the privilege of supervising your children? Or that, in spite of the educational value of the trips, they wouldn't really rather be spending their free time going on holiday with their own families, where they could - dare I say it - be entitled to have a glass of wine without being derided? FFS.

Maryz Fri 29-Mar-13 00:03:53

My son is going on a rugby training trip to France this summer.

30 teenage boys, aged between 15 and 18. They will have to watch them like hawks, control their hormones, pick up the pieces when they get knocked over by cars/waves/girls and keep them from the pub.

The teachers will bloody deserve a drink at night, if they can keep the kids in the rooms.

Which reminds me -when ds was in the Gaeltacht last year, they had a wondrous system. All the bedroom doors were alarmed. At 11 pm, the alarm system was turned on, and they couldn't leave their rooms until 7 am.

That should happen in hotels with school trips.

Maryz Fri 29-Mar-13 00:05:18

And I certainly don't think the teachers should be paying. Why on earth would they.

I'm a cub leader. I go on camp every year, and I do enjoy it. I don't expect to be paid for looking after the kids, but I don't see why I should pay confused

ChippingInIsEggceptional Fri 29-Mar-13 01:44:32

FleecySlippers Please god tell me you don't actually think the adults should pay??

When was the last time you looked after 60 odd teenagers for a week?

How about you do that - then decide if a glass of wine is necessary or notgrin

seeker Fri 29-Mar-13 07:54:22

My dd is going on a school trip this summer- 25 boys, 6 girls on a coach to Poland.

If the teachers don't need a bit of gin at the end of the day on a trip like that then they must be bloody super human!

diddl Fri 29-Mar-13 08:21:32

Here the teachers aren't paid any extra.

Trips are in school time-always "only" Mon-Fri, but of course teachers are giving up their evenings.

They get the same accommodation "deal" as the children-which is usually a youth hostel with breakfast & evening meal-which is paid for for them.

If the trip is out of out our "county"-which the last ones were-then the teachers have to pay everything themselves.

In these cases parents have paid extra as the children wanted to go further afield.

nokidshere Fri 29-Mar-13 08:41:02

I'm eternally grateful to the teachers at my dc's schools for being brave enough to take them abseiling, caving, kayaking and a hundred other things that would terrify the life out of me and would mean my children wouldn't get to do these things.

And of course for giving me a weeks peace and quiet lol

A glass of alcohol with lunch or dinner is the least they deserve!!!!!

FeralStreep Fri 29-Mar-13 08:42:53

Our teachers used to drink on school trips, and not only that, they used to buy alcohol for us too.

This was only about twenty three years ago.

Shocking now, great at the time grin

teacherandguideleader Fri 29-Mar-13 08:44:47

I go on residential trips a lot - school trips, Duke of Edinburgh and Guides. On all three we wind down with a glass or two of wine at the end of the day, once the children have gone to bed.

No-one gets drunk on any of the occasions. On school trips/D of E there is always someone who doesn't drink and is able to drive the minibus (insured by the school) should an emergency occur.

On Guide camp, there is usually someone who doesn't have a drink although it isn't insisted upon. The difference here is that we don't have a minibus and if we drove a child to hospital it would be in our own cars under our own insurance. This opens a whole can of worms should an accident occur en route. Although I could have business insurance, I am not prepared to put myself in this position - we would use an ambulance or taxi.

I don't see the problem with children seeing adults drinking responsibly. It is good for them to see people having one or two drinks and then stopping.

I think it is disgraceful when we get asked to pay towards trips. Most trips I go on are at the weekend or school holidays and I don't get paid. There is some debate whether there should be a contribution to food - I'm on the fence as I think as I would normally be buying food if I were at home, it isn't an added expense, but another part of me thinks free food should be provided as a 'perk' of taking children away without being paid.

My Guides were offered the chance to go on a camp for May half term, Monday - Friday. It sounded fab until I read that leaders had to pay the £150 also, and as well they wouldn't be allowed to do activities but instead would be cooking for the children and cleaning. I may have been tempted if I could have taken my camp chair and relaxed while supervising the children whilst doing activities with instructors. We were not allowed to add a % on to what the children paid to cover our cost. Because of this, my girls are not going as I wasn't prepared to give up my week off to look after children not just for free, but have to pay £150 for the privilege. Instead, myself and my boyfriend have booked a week's camping with the £150 for just the two of us. Bliss.

Feenie Fri 29-Mar-13 11:40:20

Trips are in school time-always "only" Mon-Fri, but of course teachers are giving up their evenings.

Being on call for children 24 hours a day is not just 'giving up your evening'.
I have spent a night looking after a vomiting 11 year old, who was collected by his mum early the following day. No such luck for me - I had to go on a 15 mile hike and continue the week. There is always the occasional nightmare/tummyache, etc to deal with - so all those activities sometimes have to be done on depleted sleep.

diddl Fri 29-Mar-13 11:41:42

Oh excuse me for the phraseology!

ElliesWellies Fri 29-Mar-13 11:45:52

Well OP, to put things into perspective for you, one of our teachers used to drive the school minibus while he was stoned. One time he managed to scrape the wall of someone's house (while driving) and knocked all their plantpots off their windowsill...because he was stoned. Also, back of said minibus was always full of crates of beer.

One or two beers at lunchtime? Not a problem in my opinion.

Feenie Fri 29-Mar-13 11:48:25

Apology accepted, diddl smile

ComposHat Fri 29-Mar-13 13:05:00

And as for a glass of wine/beer- after overseeing sixty odd kids I'd need to be left on a valium drip in the evening combined with the odd shot of heroin to get me through the experience.

ginslinger Fri 29-Mar-13 13:09:09

Oh this takes the biscuit

Who'd be a teacher these days with this level of gratitude from the OP?

exoticfruits Fri 29-Mar-13 13:25:46

Who'd be a teacher these days with this level of gratitude from the OP?

It makes you wonder! Certainly you won't get any school trips if they have to pay for the privilege of taking a group of teenagers away. I should think they need a beer.
I think that some people think that teachers are superhuman. hmm

Wishihadabs Fri 29-Mar-13 15:35:14

When I was 17 we went on field trips with sixth form college. We went to the pub withthe teachers.

KatAndKit Fri 29-Mar-13 16:42:14

When I have been at exchange schools in France during school trips, they have wine in the teachers area of the canteen at lunchtime. Would be rude not to! Strangely enough their teachers are not plastered all afternoon because people drink one small glass at the most.

I have been on quite a number of residential school trips with teenagers/preteens and it is enough to drive you to drink.

On exchange trips where you stay with another teacher in their home, I see no good reason not to have a glass with your dinner.

exoticfruits Fri 29-Mar-13 18:23:11

I would just assume that teachers away with pupils are sensible, responsible adults.

Movingtimes Sun 31-Mar-13 16:21:31

Actually I have been thinking about this and other similar threads recently and I have decided that the best thing to do would probably be to require teachers to take a vow of total abstinence before graduating from teacher training. Then there would be absolutely no grey areas. There would be a simple, reliable test: Are you breathing? Then you shouldn't be drinking. It would avoid all the problems of your pupils being traumatised by accidently catching sight of you in a pub or restaurant out of school hours and realising that that glass in your hand didn't contain lemonade. This could be extended to cover other problematic activities, eg smoking, public displays of affection towards a partner whether longterm or casual, going to places of public entertainment where a pupil or parent may be present etc. I feel sure my fellow teachers will agree.

poppypebble Sun 31-Mar-13 17:01:52

I'd go one further, Movingtimes, and suggest that we should be locked in the store cupboards in school between the end of the day and the start of the next one. Obviously for school trips, productions, revision classes etc you'd be allowed out for a little longer, but not so long as to enable you to have any sort of 'life', whatever that is.

Won't someone think of the children? sad

fortyplus Sun 31-Mar-13 17:16:44

Your daughter is 14 not 4. One teacher didn't drink. YABU unless the teachers were being paid overtime 24 hours a day.

BoffinMum Sun 31-Mar-13 17:44:48

Not only should they enjoy the odd beer or glass of wine, just as a parent might in the same circumstances, the school trip expenses should be meeting the cost of this, given the massive subsidy the teachers are giving in terms of their time.

BoffinMum Sun 31-Mar-13 17:50:16

I am always amazed and grateful that my kids get to go on such great trips, and everyone I know does say thank you at the pickup.

doobeedee Sun 31-Mar-13 20:14:57

On our trips at least one member of staff doesn't drink. Teenagers will always exaggerate how "drunk" their teachers were on a trip. I have lead 3 trips to Germany in my own time so far. That's 150 pupils and I've had only 3 thank yous in that time!

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