Teacher's family accompanying school trip

(269 Posts)
Trifle Thu 26-Sep-13 19:25:46

DS1 (age 13) went on a school trip today to the zoo. One of the 6 teachers accompanying the 104 children on the trip took his wife and two young children.

Does anyone know what the legal ratio of teachers to children is for this age?

I think it is highly unprofessional to do this as the teacher spent the majority of time with his family and not supervising the children.

If the ratio is 1:17 then he should have been acting as a teacher first and foremost. If it is 1:20 then, fine, but really, a day off at the zoo just because a school trip happens to be going somewhere fun for his kids.

I'm pretty peeved at this as I had to pay for the trip and wonder if I am paying for his family too.

What would you do ?

scarlettsmummy2 Thu 26-Sep-13 19:27:40

I wouldn't care. How do you know he spent the entire day with his family??? Your child is 13, not 5.

curlew Thu 26-Sep-13 19:27:45

"I think it is highly unprofessional to do this as the teacher spent the majority of time with his family and not supervising the children."

How do you know?

And how much supervision do 13 year olds need in an enclosed environment like the zoo?

enjolraslove Thu 26-Sep-13 19:30:19

A trip like a zoo the ratio is probably 1:20 but may even be higher (1:25?). If his wife was there too isn't it more likely he was doing his job and she had his kids? I would imagine you were not paying for them- more likely the school had bought x tickets but didn't manage to sell them all so had spaces. Won't have affected the cost to you but meant his family could go for the reduced cost that a school trip attracts.

Caitycat Thu 26-Sep-13 19:32:03

What Scarlett said, his wife was looking after his dcs so if he had been needed he would have been available but otherwise he was just a presence keeping an eye on children just in case which he could do even if with his family at the same time. Children of that age don't need escorting to toilets etc.

SilverApples Thu 26-Sep-13 19:32:11

It's the ratio of adults to children, not teachers. So how many adults did they have?
How do you know he spent the day with his family, was he in charge of a group at the same time?

Tinlegs Thu 26-Sep-13 19:32:13

Oh, FFS. He will have paid for them. You child, at 13, will have been fine in the enclosed environment of the zoo. And his wife was there so, presumably, had he been needed for anything, she would have managed their children (you know, as many parents do).

Really, foaming at the mouth about this. What on earth do you do when things really are corrupt or badly managed?

lilackaty Thu 26-Sep-13 19:32:25

Were the children supervised while going around the zoo? My dd went to Disneyland in Year 7 & they weren't supervised in the park, just sent off & told where & when to meet up. And all the other trips she has been on have been the same.
As far as I know, the school sets the ratios to what they are happy with in terms of risk assessment but the zoo may have their own ratios. I may be wrong about this but I think 1:20 seems more than reasonable. And the teacher was present and available if there was a problem.
What are you thinking of doing?

There is no legal adult to child ratio on school trips.

Government guidelines recommend one adult to every 15-20 children in Year 7 and above.

jacks365 Thu 26-Sep-13 19:32:53

In an enclosed environment at that age I'd expect the children to go round in friendship groups without a teacher. At 14 my daughter did her bronze DofE for that they do a long hike without direct supervision.

SilverApples Thu 26-Sep-13 19:33:17

The ratio of children to adults should be on the risk assessment that the lead teacher completed for the trip.

Williammarshallsmissus Thu 26-Sep-13 19:33:25

There is no legal mandate on staffing for school trips - recommended ratio from the teaching union ATL is
For trips to local sites and museums, government guidelines suggest a ratio of one adult adult to every:

six pupils in Years 1 - 3
10-15 pupils in Years 4 - 6
15-20 pupils in Year 7 and above.

Hope your daughter enjoyed her day.

Trifle Thu 26-Sep-13 19:33:34

This is the same teacher who took 20 boys on a cricket tour to South Africa. His wife and children went on that too. Do you think there were a few tickets going spare then too?

janey68 Thu 26-Sep-13 19:33:47

Your dd is the same age as one of my kids, and they certainly wouldn't feel they needed a teacher breathing down their neck on a trip to the zoo.
Did the teacher taking his family impact on your dd in any way? Or are you just jealous that said teacher involved his family in a nice day out?
I also suspect that the trip took longer than a normal school day (unless you live next door to a zoo!) so presumably the teacher was giving his own time voluntarily.

A pet hate of mine is parents who moan and pick at teachers for no good reason- and I'm not even a teacher

Cremepuff Thu 26-Sep-13 19:35:17

Bloody hell you're brave.
Criticising a teacher here? Be prepared to be told what an unreliable account your DC will have offered .... For starters.

janey68 Thu 26-Sep-13 19:35:36

Cross post there. So he volunteered to take a cricket tour lasting - what? - a week? Fortnight? He must have been doing way over contracted hours- don't blame him for making it as enjoyable as possible

Caitycat Thu 26-Sep-13 19:35:59

Just checked, there are no numbers required by law but councils usually set guidelines of 1 adult to 15-20 children of secondary age so the trip would have been fine even if he hadn't gone.

ravenAK Thu 26-Sep-13 19:36:03

I took my ds on a recent overnight school trip (I was the teacher in charge).

As a result, I wasn't counted in the ratios - we had 1:9 including me, so a perfectly OK 1:10 without.

I paid for his place (which became available when a student dropped out at the last minute).

Honestly, it's fine.

SilverApples Thu 26-Sep-13 19:36:09

Cor, you really have an agenda here don't you, OP? grin
Put your questions in an email to the governors, we have none of the unbiased facts required to answer your accusations and insinuations.
State school?

teacherandguideleader Thu 26-Sep-13 19:36:25

I regularly go on school trips that the family of staff members go on. My DP is CRB checked through my school so he can come when we go at weekends. DP counts as an adult in the ratios. My friend regularly brings her children. The students don't pay from it but they benefit - if it was stopped teachers would be much less willing to give up their free time to take the students out.

ubik Thu 26-Sep-13 19:36:30

I would be a bit taken aback if it was just him and his children - but his wife was there too...so what's the problem?

I think it's a certainty that he pays the costs of his family and in any case on the South Africa trip possibly his wife had some pastoral duties? No way have they gine free - he will know there are people like the OP snarking away. We had random adults on residential school trips too. My dad used to go with a friend's school on D of E expeditions. Mosty it's people giving up their time to have as good a time as you can when accompanied by teenagers.

Seriously OP - let this go.

you need to get a grip.


bearleftmonkeyright Thu 26-Sep-13 19:38:07

If a teacher was prepared to staff a trip abroad, why shouldnt he take his family with him? I don't see the problem in either circumstance.

enjolraslove Thu 26-Sep-13 19:38:09

I think if he gave up his time to do an international trip then I would just be grateful rather than upset that he chose not to be away from his family all that time. Presumably the other option is the tour didn't happen?
If his head is happy with the arrangements then be presumably trusts that the teacher can maintain professionalism with his family present and I see no reason why you think otherwise.

Caitycat Thu 26-Sep-13 19:38:25

Sorry huge xpost and yes staff quite often bring family members on residential trips. As long as they are not adding unsupervised dcs I still don't see the problem (assuming they paid for the extras)

MoominMammasHandbag Thu 26-Sep-13 19:38:29

But presumably the teacher was working, and being paid for it. Quite unprofessional I think, to bring your family along when you are working.

noblegiraffe Thu 26-Sep-13 19:39:32

Teachers don't usually supervise secondary school children on trips. They send them off with instructions to be back by a certain time, then sit in cafe and drink tea mill around keeping a general eye out for trouble.

Driz Thu 26-Sep-13 19:39:44

You do know that teachers don't get paid extra to take children on trips don't you trifle? And he took 20 kids to SA? So what if his family also went, I doubt very much that YOU subsidised his family's trip, but I am pretty certain that the school/school district subsidised your son's trip.

CeliaLytton Thu 26-Sep-13 19:40:28

What would I do?


Are you jealous op?

What's wrong with his wife going on a school trip abroad with him?

scarlettsmummy2 Thu 26-Sep-13 19:40:59

Why do you even care of he took his family on cricket tour? Our PE teacher used to bring his family on the school ski trip to France- made no difference to anyone! His wife was actually really lovely! Honestly, you have little to worry about.

Caitycat Thu 26-Sep-13 19:42:16

trifle he was paid exactly what he's usually paid but when you're on a trip you can't go home at 5 and see your family so why not have them with you? The school will still get far more than your contracted hours out of you in the course of one week plus of non-stop contact time

Trifle Thu 26-Sep-13 19:42:29

I'm astonished to be told I'm being unreasonable, never expected that.

But, I reiterate my point as Moomin has grasped, if a teacher is being paid, is it really professional for him to take his family on what is supposed to be an educational trip, all done within school hours.

He is at work at the end of the day.

littlemisswise Thu 26-Sep-13 19:42:41

What Cremepuff said!

This won't end well.

McNewPants2013 Thu 26-Sep-13 19:43:15

the teacher must have under 4, so i think it is nice that they got to spend some family time together.

Teachers work very long hours and do a lot of work from home.

unless the children was school age and they have been taken out of school yabu

Retroformica Thu 26-Sep-13 19:43:45

There were just some spare seats on the coach I'm sure. Why waste them

theoriginalandbestrookie Thu 26-Sep-13 19:43:48

My friend and her DCs are going on the school ski trip in a couple of years with her DH who is a teacher. They are paying for their own fares. Personally I think it's a much needed perk for the fact that he is constantly away on geography school trips, rugby coaching and other activities which he isn't paid extra for.

littlemisswise Thu 26-Sep-13 19:44:16

Caity my DH is away for four months doing his job. Strangely enough the kids and I weren't offered the chance to go with him!

Retroformica Thu 26-Sep-13 19:46:03

I'm sure them man is capable of teaching whist on a trip with wife around.

I think it's quite nice for the pupils to see the teacher as a regular human, with a family.

Finola1step Thu 26-Sep-13 19:46:12

I don't know what the back story is here. But, I'm about to don a hard hat ... I'm a teacher and I do find this a tad irregular. If it is the teacher's working day then s/he should be working, not having family time. I take Year 6s on various trips, including residentials. Every summer I do the leavers Chessington trip. I would love for my husband and dc to join me. But I am working.

I did take my ds to Chessington once. On my day off to complete the risk assessment before I took the kids the following week. A school trip is a working day and should be treated as such by the staff accompanying the children no matter how old they are.

Have I missed something here?

scarlettsmummy2 Thu 26-Sep-13 19:47:19

Look, it isn't really the same as a normal school day. If he brought the children into the class room, that would be unprofessional, but a trip to the zoo or a sports tour, completely different.

littlewhitebag Thu 26-Sep-13 19:47:29

littlemisswise There is a big difference between having to work abroad for a period and volunteering to take children abroad on a residential trip.

NoSquirrels Thu 26-Sep-13 19:47:41

My parents were teachers. From the age of 5/6 onwards my sibs and I went on ski trips that my dad was the organising teacher for. We paid the going rate, my parents did their job as the accompanying adults and looked after benignly neglected us.

In fact, not only did "we" as a family pay the going rate, my parents made my sibs and I contribute from the interest on our Post Office savings accounts!

Happy days, I have lots of fond memories of those trips.

If you weren't there, and you just have the word of your 13 yr old I think YAprobablyBabitU.

janey68 Thu 26-Sep-13 19:47:45

you know the teacher was paid for all the extra hours for a trip to S. Africa do you? hmm

Because I have never known of a teacher being paid anything extra for trips and residentials- they volunteer their time. So, if it really bothers you that much OP, he no doubt worked for FREE more hours than he would have been paid for during that trip. Maybe that fact will calm your fears a bit

By all means write to the head and governors if you're still sweating on it, but they'll think you're an interfering busy body with not enough going on in your life

SilverApples Thu 26-Sep-13 19:48:04

Ok, I wouldn't do it.
I have forced OH to go on trips with me when we didn't have enough adults and were in danger of having to cancel.
OP, you need to check what the school policy is on this and challenge it if it really annoys you. Better to do something about it through the usual channels and get answers to your questions than ferment in bile and outrage for weeks.
Just write and ask.

McNewPants2013 Thu 26-Sep-13 19:48:31

shocking i have been on a few of DC school trip ( for free) as a parent helper.

I didn't even have a CRB check.

frogspoon Thu 26-Sep-13 19:48:48

I don't see the problem.

I assume his wife was supervising his kids, whilst he was supervising the students as part of their trip.

SilverApples Thu 26-Sep-13 19:50:31

'I did take my ds to Chessington once. On my day off to complete the risk assessment before I took the kids the following week.'

I used to do that Finola. For years, all I had to do was unleash DS and if there was a hazard, a death trap or a possibility of something going horribly wrong, he'd find it.
DD was far less useful in that respect, but she thought of lots of useful questions.

littlemisswise Thu 26-Sep-13 19:51:50

I know there is, littlewhitebag. Caity's reason for the teacher going to SA was he didn't get to go home at 5 so why not have his family with him. My DH, and many other people, don't get to go home at night but don't get the chance to have their families with them so I don't see why a teacher can't do a school trip without their family.

Oh and my DH is doing way over his normal hours for the next four months too, before anyone says that.

marriedinwhiteisback Thu 26-Sep-13 19:52:58

Well perhaps an extra woman was needed and there weren't enough female school staff/volunteers available (you know 13 year old girl starting her period on the trip or fainting due to cramps) and his wife went along (with the kids due to childcare) to stand in in the event of a problem.

I wouldn't have a problem with this, really I wouldn't. In fact my dd (who is 15) would probably have offered to look after the children and have had a better day as a result.

McNewPants2013 Thu 26-Sep-13 19:54:06

My DH, and many other people, don't get to go home at night but don't get the chance to have their families with them

so if you was allowed to go, you would simply decline because dp/dw/dh in suppose to be working.

curlew Thu 26-Sep-13 19:54:11

"My DH, and many other people, don't get to go home at night but don't get the chance to have their families with them so I don't see why a teacher can't do a school trip without their family"

Well obviously they can. But why should they? If they pay? Teachers don't get paid any extra for going on residential trips, you know.

Trifle Thu 26-Sep-13 19:55:13

There were no girls, it's a boys school, a private one too so the state is not subsidising anyone.

My dad was a teacher. He was the teacher who always took kids on residential trips at his high school ... And he would always take us and mum. Ok this was in the early 1970s but we had a fab time as young kids with the big high school kids. My mum would be in charge of cooking whilst the teachers were doing all the activities. We would go camping at half term. Dad would do kayaking, orienteering, climbing and basic woodcraft with the kids. I went to Italy and Paris with his 6th form when I was in my 6th form at another school.

I know this doesn't answer op but it brought it all back to me with smiles....

pozzled Thu 26-Sep-13 19:57:08

Are you sure that it was actually a working day for the teacher? I used to work three days and I considered taking my toddler on a trip that fell on one of my days off. I wouldn't have counted in the adult- child ratios and wouldn't have been paid- strictly voluntary. I didn't do it in the end, for various reasons, but I can easily see it happpening in other schools.

SilverApples Thu 26-Sep-13 19:57:28

Private schools write their own rules, go and have a stomp and snarl with the head teacher.

UnicornsNotRiddenByGrownUps Thu 26-Sep-13 19:58:07

The words you are probably looking for is "thank-you"!

He took his family on a school trip where he was working non-stop 24hrs a day for a week to provide an experience for your child? What a bastard!


Drinkprunesbutstaynexttotheloo Thu 26-Sep-13 19:58:55

I once took my des on an excursion. It was a day I wasn't supposed to be working, so I was actually going on a day off. But parents wouldn't have known that.
OP is expressing a similar attitude to one I've heard from children "do you get to go on this trip fur free miss? Er yes and it is far from a holiday for me to take lots of kids canoeing, of that I am sure!

cees Thu 26-Sep-13 19:59:25


I can see where your coming from Trifle, he is at work and his focus should be on the kids in his care.

I can just imagine what people would say if something awful happened to one of those pupils while he was off with his family.

curlew Thu 26-Sep-13 20:00:08

Oh, a private school! That explains everything. No, of course they should be properly supervised, not left to run riot like the hoi polloi....grin

BoundandRebound Thu 26-Sep-13 20:00:13

It is unprofessional and we wouldn't allow a teacher / staff member to take members of their family on a school trip.

littlemisswise Thu 26-Sep-13 20:01:04

I wouldn't go McNewPants because my DH is working 12 hour days, 6 days a week then has a secondary duty. I, also, have 2 children to consider.

curlew Thu 26-Sep-13 20:01:08

Seriously though, 13 year olds at the zoo just need to be told when to turn up at the lunch place, then the coach home. No supervision necessary.

ShatnersBassoon Thu 26-Sep-13 20:02:51

Definitely write to the Head, simply because I really want to see the response.

marriedinwhiteisback Thu 26-Sep-13 20:03:01

Sorry OP but my DC go to private schools and one of the lovely things is the sense of community and how well we have got to know some of the staff and some of their families. I really, really wouldn't have a problem with this. Our DS has left this year and we have made some lifelong friends and watched some of their DC grow up and join the school on subsidised places because they are staff and I have no problem with that whatsoever.

MadBannersAndCopPorn Thu 26-Sep-13 20:03:14

I agree with most posters on here that there's no problem with bringing family members on trips especially as it was his wife who probably did most of the looking after of the children whilst he worked.
If he'd brought six kids with him and no other help then maybe a reason to get annoyed.
They will have paid their way no doubt...
I'm sure their presence didn't affect your dd or the level of safety in the slightest; it meant that the teacher's family got a trip out without having to organise it/ do it on a precious(sp) weekend

MoominMammasHandbag Thu 26-Sep-13 20:03:22

All you teachers who are paying for your school trips are missing out. My teacher BiL is always getting freebie trips abroad - I assumed that was standard practice to be honest.

NotYoMomma Thu 26-Sep-13 20:04:55

you make it sound like a freebie holiday. he is working

curlew Thu 26-Sep-13 20:05:43

Teachers don't pay.

However, I bet your BIL's "freebie trips abroad" are pretty stressful and hard work!

Kayakinggirl86 Thu 26-Sep-13 20:05:51

In the last academic year I have spent 23 weekends away running field trips and d of e hikes! Plus revision weeks during holidays.
If staff are not allowed to take other halfs- one we would never have enough qualified people to run d of e- or would I see my family.
Teachers don't get paid extra to give up hours and hours of there life planning trips for your dc, or the time on the trip it's self.

enjolraslove Thu 26-Sep-13 20:07:09

Plenty of jobs involve travel and for plenty of those families accompany the person working. As a kid I travelled quite a bit as my dads job required.
Some may not have that option but that doesn't mean all shouldn't.

Groovee Thu 26-Sep-13 20:12:07

If it's bothering you that much, go to the head about it!

doobeedee Thu 26-Sep-13 20:13:20

This is completely normal and not a problem at all as long as ratios (which are only guidelines) are sensible. Trip organisers often get discounted places for their families from the travel companies.

Tinlegs Thu 26-Sep-13 20:13:48

Have my actual first ever biscuit

Trifle Thu 26-Sep-13 20:14:09

Teachers must get paid a lot more than I thought if they can afford to pay for their wife and two children to accompany them to places like South Africa.

iklboo Thu 26-Sep-13 20:14:39

Wife might also work?!

gobbynorthernbird Thu 26-Sep-13 20:14:42

littlemiss my OH works away lots and there is always the option for the family to join him. We'd have to pay for ourselves, and amuse ourselves while he was in meetings, but there's nothing to stop us going. In fact, the company encourage it. The fact that I can't spend a week in California, Singapore, wherever because of my job is not the company's problem.
Unless your OH is doing a tour of Afghanistan, you could easily join him if you wanted.

BonaDea Thu 26-Sep-13 20:14:56


Once again, a prime example of teachers taking the utter piss in a way no other professional would ever dream of. Entitled entitled entitled.

(Am donning flame retardant pants)

vj32 Thu 26-Sep-13 20:15:28

As others have said - if you don't like it, complain to the head, after all, in a private school you are paying for it! However, if they do bring in new policies etc, expect there to be less trips.

SilverApples Thu 26-Sep-13 20:16:17

Well, you know the private sector is full of backhanders and bribes and the network of Good Old Boys. He probably got complementary tickets from Carruthers of the First XV who was always a reliable chap. grin

Teachers must get paid a lot more than I thought if they can afford to pay for their wife and two children to accompany them to places like South Africa.

Are you for real. The teacher did a good thing by taking kids to the other side of the world for a cricket tour, in his own time, unpaid, and because folk have told you you're unreasonable, you're now snarking that he must be paid too much.

There's times I really am glad I don't have to meet mners in real life and this is one of them.

clam Thu 26-Sep-13 20:19:44

I can assure you that he wouldn't have been paid extra to take those boys to South Africa on a cricket tour. So he was on duty 24/7 for the duration of the trip.

So, another "prime example of teachers taking the utter piss" hmm

BonaDea, you don't need flame retardant pants, you just need an anti-arse hat.

Maryann1975 Thu 26-Sep-13 20:23:00

Littlemiss, Comparing a teacher taking a group of children on a trip is slightly different to the military going away though. I don't think you can compare any job to the military, it is unlike any other form of employment I can think of. (I assume your dh is in the military?). One of the hardest things for my husband when he was away (raf) was that he couldn't come home to us, even when on an exercise a few miles away from home. I don't get why you would want other people to suffer that. Especially when they are not being paid for the extra work they are doing and have volunteered to do something good for other people.

Bowlersarm Thu 26-Sep-13 20:23:10

My DCs are at private school (not sure whether it's relevant tbh whether state or private).

I would not give this a second thought. Other than to ask the wife, if I saw her, whether she and her DC's had enjoyed it smile.

thebody Thu 26-Sep-13 20:23:17

so glad my dds teachers and families accompanied my dd on a school trip.

the teacher was killed, his wife seriously injured along with other if the adults and many children.

the teachers dd rescued many of the girls and is an absolute heroine.

I find your post mean and offensive to many wonderful teachers.

ubik Thu 26-Sep-13 20:23:32

Our teachers used to bring their children on school trips too..in fact I recall several trips with my dad's school which was very exciting. In those days I also went to work with my mum and dad - from age 2 I was going into whatever nursery was attached to the school where my mum was supply and I recall going to dad's school and having a lovely time choosing punishments for naughty boys.

People didn't seem to have rods stuck up their arses in the 70's

littlemisswise Thu 26-Sep-13 20:24:33

gobby I can not join my DH, ok? It is not possible.

IceCreamForCrow Thu 26-Sep-13 20:24:34

Yanbu (but I'm not surprised you are being told otherwise)

My dh gos away on work trips but my presence and dc's are not part of the expectation. Then again he's not a teacher.

ravenAK Thu 26-Sep-13 20:25:32

<nods> You're absolutely right, Bonadea.

Complete flaming liberty for me to pay full whack for my ds to join me on a school trip for which I was giving up my Saturday in order to supervise 90 teenagers in London for precisely £0.

Can't imagine what I was thinking...grin.

bearleftmonkeyright Thu 26-Sep-13 20:26:23

OP, I really don't understand what you expect from teachers. They are expected to accompany your children on a trip thousands of miles away for no extra pay? And leave his young family behind? You are the one who is entitled by virtue of the fact that you can afford private education. You seem to think teachers are your staff.

thebody Thu 26-Sep-13 20:28:08

some parents are unbelievably entitled and mean spirited. Shane on them.

enjolraslove Thu 26-Sep-13 20:29:12

Teachers salaries are not a secret. There are national scales look them up if you are bothered. Though if it is private they may be different but you will get a ball park.
As for 'another example of teachers taking the piss'. A few other jobs I have come across where spouses/children accompany on trips are - academia (often there are even special activities for spouses during conferences), marketing, law and most recently a doctor.
Honestly think about stuff a bit rather than just leaping to a cliche about teachers having it easy.

Spinkle Thu 26-Sep-13 20:30:02

Any idea how stressful it is being in charge of other peoples kids, en masse, out if school. I do not, for one minute consider it a 'family day out' for him.

I do not sleep at all the night before a school trip. I come back (late, no overtime) with a few more grey hairs.

bulby Thu 26-Sep-13 20:32:24

Some posters are completely missing the point that when teachers take a group of pupils out of school in anything other than normal school hours they are doing it totally voluntarily. You cannot compare it to 'my husband goes over seas 2 weeks at a time and I can't join him'. Well that is because he isn't working 24 hours a day for free!

morethanpotatoprints Thu 26-Sep-13 20:33:03

I know many teachers who take their oh and dc on residential trips.
I really don't see what your problem is.
My friend and her dc went skiing with her dhs school not long ago. Its a cheap holiday for them, a perk of the job. Ffs teachers don't get many perks grin

curlew Thu 26-Sep-13 20:34:09

I notice the OP is ignoring the point about 13 year olds not needing supervision at the zoo. And the question about how she knows he spent the majority of the day with his family, and not supervision the children.

teacher123 Thu 26-Sep-13 20:34:46

I have been on lots of school trips both at home and abroad. I have on occasion taken DH (a qualified teacher but now in a different job) as an accompanying member of staff when I wasn't able to get anyone else to attend with me to make up the ratios. He has been CRB'd and is more than capable of supervising children.

If he took his children to SA he will have paid for them. His wife will probably had a free ticket as she will have been added to the ratios. School trips are not holidays. You are responsible for other people's children 24 hours a day. I have dealt with head injuries, a mass outbreak of norovirus, children's rooms being broken into whilst children were asleep, homesickness, bullying, drunkeness, 32 hour coach journeys.

Teenagers are hard work. Even the nice ones. I love doing school trips, I love seeing the kids develop responsibility, independence and initiative, and forming relationships with each other that they wouldn't in the classroom. But it is not the same as someone working abroad, or on a business trip. When meetings are over you go back to your hotel room, it is unlikely that you'll be woken up at 3am by a frightened homesick teenager who can't sleep because they miss their mum.

Bue Thu 26-Sep-13 20:37:29

This is totally standard. DH took a group of his students to Africa for a month this summer (a month of his own holiday) and I was asked to go as the second leader with him. I couldn't, and another teacher went instead, but had I gone I would have been one of the adults in charge and as such been paid for. Someone has to be the adult in charge, so why on earth not me?

Our headmaster's university-aged daughter accompanied us on a trip to Paris when I was 14. So what? It amazes me that people care about such petty things.

youbethemummylion Thu 26-Sep-13 20:37:55

Is his wife accompanying trips in a capacity as a female adult for the girls to seek help from. We used to go on ski trips all the adults were male and ones wife always used to come in case girls felt uncomfortable approaching the male adults for certain things.

gobbynorthernbird Thu 26-Sep-13 20:37:58

littlemiss, that's fair enough. What I am saying is that on most jobs which involve traveling, the family can go. If the family can't go for practical reasons, then they stay at home, but it doesn't mean that they don't have the option.

thebody Thu 26-Sep-13 20:38:03

I am in awe of teachers doing this at no extra pay. the responsibility is massive and in my dds case cost her teacher his life.

shame on you criticising.

viewwitharoom Thu 26-Sep-13 20:39:40

Maybe he needed his wife to come to have sufficient accompanying adults as the other teachers in the school are sick of parents moaning about every detail of the previous trips and have decided its more hassle than its worth to be involved in any more...just a guess mind!

Caitycat Thu 26-Sep-13 20:42:47

I don't know how much you imagine teachers are paid but yes I would say it is reasonable to assume that two working parents in professional jobs would be able to afford to pay for one adult and two children to go to South Africa if they chose to do so. Dh and I both earn that sort of amount and could afford to if we wanted to, probably not another long haul holiday as well but we might consider that trip enough. And I have accompanied dh who is not a teacher abroad at our own expense when he is working from time to time. I don't see him during the day but I'm a grown up and can amuse myself (and dd if we decide to do it again) without his help.

sunnybobs Thu 26-Sep-13 20:43:24

What happened to the idea of schools as a family community? My DH & I are both teachers, met at school, got married to the delight of the pupils - took an extra wedding cake in for our forms who referred to each other as sibling forms for years. I took my babies in to see my form after mat leave, our first post baby date was to the Yr 11 prom to say bye to some fabulous young people. Now moved to different school & see more lovely young people at church, in shops & on streets etc. Schools are constantly stressing their community & family ethos but its not often truly lived out. As long as no student is ever at risk or overlooked & the teachers remain professional in all they do what's the issue? Surely this is a sign of a family connected to the school, supportive of the teachers career & students etc? My dad who was not a teacher did sometimes take us into the office & it was always fun though probably not work related. I'm genuinely confused as to what the problem with this teacher on trip is!

Lottiedoubtie Thu 26-Sep-13 20:48:42

OP, specifically what do you feel the teacher should have done but didn't?

Practically, how was your DC disadvantaged? Or is it just an 'on principle' thing.

And the idea that an independent school teacher couldn't afford a trip to SA is depressing. And fortunately for me and my family untrue.

Crowler Thu 26-Sep-13 20:50:27

Professionally grumpy OP.

sonlypuppyfat Thu 26-Sep-13 20:53:07

Now usually I don't have much time for teachers but for pitys sake he's 13 he's not going to climb in with the lions is he.

Bue Thu 26-Sep-13 20:53:14

Teachers must get paid a lot more than I thought if they can afford to pay for their wife and two children to accompany them to places like South Africa.

Yeah because as we all know, air travel in 2013 is the preserve of the elite and a middle income professional usually makes do with a week in Blackpool hmm

ohmymimi Thu 26-Sep-13 20:53:26

What would I do? I'd be grateful that my child had the opportunity to participate in out of school activities and that teachers were prepared to enable that, with or without their partners and children.

Drinkprunesbutstaynexttotheloo Thu 26-Sep-13 20:56:19

Thebody, your experience was such an awful one and although thankfully rare, is at the back of your mind when accompanying children. Somehow it is an even bigger responsibility than looking after your own dcs.

McNewPants2013 Thu 26-Sep-13 20:56:25

I wouldn't go McNewPants because my DH is working 12 hour days, 6 days a week then has a secondary duty. I, also, have 2 children to consider.

I bet the children and you would love to stay with him for the weekend every few weeks, that if you could.

judgejudithjudy Thu 26-Sep-13 21:01:56


CaptChaos Thu 26-Sep-13 21:06:28

Oh dear.

What an utter bastard that teacher and his wife absolutely aren't.

Have a nice brew to go with being awarded my very first biscuit

Enjoy that, and then get over yourself.

livinginwonderland Thu 26-Sep-13 21:08:34


My teachers often brought their spouses/kids on school trips. Normally because we needed a female/male adult there due to legal issues. No big deal. They always had to pay their own way, so what does it matter?

I have read this whole thread in amazement because I cannot work out what the OP's problem is or why it should matter to her in the slightest . And I am someone who often gets worked up about little things. But in this case I honestly can't make any sense of it. There must be something you're not telling us. Do you have some sort of personal grudge against the teacher, his wife or his children? Why does it matter to you?

We had this happen a few times on residentials when I was in school - we used to bicker over who would entertain the little ones smile. I really have found memories of it, and it made our teachers seem a bit more human too - when we saw them as parents.

And to be honest, I don't think I would have been impressed with a trip to the zoo at 13.

WorraLiberty Thu 26-Sep-13 21:11:35

Oh come on OP

No-one lost a tit or a testicle

Does it really matter? confused

mrsjay Thu 26-Sep-13 21:12:44

what would I do I would do nothing these children are 13 not 5 and the ratio for teenagers is probably about 20 - 1 and the mans wife was there looking after his children are you really concerned about this why is it worrying you ?

magnumicelolly Thu 26-Sep-13 21:13:58

I'm guessing that the OP has never volunteered to help out on a school trip of any kind herself. Doesn't strike me as the type!

beatricequimby Thu 26-Sep-13 21:14:53

Is the worst thing that has ever happened to your dc at school?

Get a grip.

mrsjay Thu 26-Sep-13 21:16:47

I think it matters to the OP because I think she thinks the wife and kids are getting freebies through the school especially on a nice trip to south africa and WATF south africa school cant be short of a bob or 2 maybe the teacher wangled afew extra tickets wink

phantomnamechanger Thu 26-Sep-13 21:17:34

I actually know 2 teachers who GOT MARRIED on a school trip abroad. Stick that in yer pipe, OP. All the kids went to the ceremony.

Go on, bleat about the cheek of it, the fantastic "free honeymoon", forgetting they had 24/7 care of all those DC on their so called "holiday"

Maryz Thu 26-Sep-13 21:18:20

I suspect most 13 year olds would be delighted if their teacher spent time at the zoo with his wife and kids rather than traipsing around after them trying to make it all educational grin

Ooh phantom - I can't imagine a worse honeymoon than one spent chaperoning a load of teenagers.

mummydarkling Thu 26-Sep-13 21:19:40

dog in the mangerism- did you want to go to the zoo too? My 13 yo would die if I went on a trip with him!

mrsjay Thu 26-Sep-13 21:21:24

I think you are right maryz grin when dds went to a theme park a teacher took her young son with her and tbh i dont think the teachers went round with them just had meeting points and they were 13/14

mrsjay wow, I guess it's true that the richer you are, the meaner you are wink

phantomnamechanger Thu 26-Sep-13 21:23:34

genuine question OP - if there are empty seats on the coach/excess tickets to a venue which they have not sold, what do you want them to do? make a loss, so they say "we wont do THAT again" or try to flog the spares and save money that will be spent elsewhere for the good of the kids in the school?
or are you just narked cos YOU did not get a cheap day out?

BoffinMum Thu 26-Sep-13 21:25:24

Strictly speaking there isn't a legal ratio for trips. Teachers just do a health and safety assessment.

FWIW I think you are very odd minding this. It's pretty normal, and actually quite sweet IMO.

Maryz Thu 26-Sep-13 21:25:34

I'm a cub leader, and I used to take my kids with me on trips out.

So shoot me grin

phantomnamechanger Thu 26-Sep-13 21:25:58

this reminds me of the thread bitching about a brown owl whose DD always got to go to the trip/day out/camp, when other girls were selected out of a hat if oversubscribed. the brown owl should apparently have left her own DD at home to accompany other peoples cherubs on the jollies, and been grateful for the opportunity too! hmm

phantomnamechanger Thu 26-Sep-13 21:26:29

x-posts LOL

Bue Thu 26-Sep-13 21:27:28

yes phantom that was a good one!

BoffinMum Thu 26-Sep-13 21:28:21

I even TAUGHT at DD's school for a bit.
Shocking, isn't it. wink

Maryz Thu 26-Sep-13 21:29:56

I remember that phantom.

It's like sports coaches including their own sons, that's always good for a bitch-fest.

But seriously, if you have three children and your dp heads off to coach junior rugby every Saturday morning, you'd be rightly pissed off if he didn't take any of your kids with him, wouldn't you?

Morloth Thu 26-Sep-13 21:30:10

I would have thought she was there to up the adult ratio so the trip can go ahead. Or to buy tickets so that the school can go ahead with numbers.

I would be just fine with the teachers are my DS's school doing this.

jamdonut Thu 26-Sep-13 21:30:25

I don't really understand why it is bothering you so much.

When my daughter was doing one of her DofE expeditions one of the teachers brought her younger children to sleep at the campsite.But admittedly that is not done as school time,it is voluntary.

Everyone has some perk in their job,whatever they do.

mrsjay Thu 26-Sep-13 21:35:56

I remember the brownie thread , dh used to be a do e leader we went to log cabins it was fab grin while they all went in tents

maras2 Thu 26-Sep-13 21:37:50

No idea about ethics of this but I'd say perks of the job.

jo164 Thu 26-Sep-13 21:40:08

Most school trip companies offer a reduced rate for the partner and children of the organiser - generally not free. For example some of the ski trips I have recently investigated offer 50% reduction for the partner and 10% off each child. Believe it or not school trips are really not what most of us would choose to be doing in our school holidays, but we put them on for the benefit of the children. If we can take our family, and spend a little time with them during the trip what is the problem? Most teachers would not dare flout health and safety rules particularly on residential trips - and most schools would take a higher number of staff than is recommended to cover all eventualities. Maybe no other teacher wanted to give up 2 weeks of their holiday time to go on cricket tour? Perhaps it wouldn't have happened at all if his wife hadn't agreed to go? If you don't want to subsidise the teacher organising the trip for your child, then don't let them go.

I went on an exchange trip with dh and ds once. DH spent his days with his pupils and I erm wellbtopped up mybtan only joining DH in the evenings when he was no longer in charge of pupils and we would eat with other teachers,hosts and families. Was a fab trip.
So shoot me op.

One of my earliest memories is of going on my Dad's class trip to Flamingo Land when I was about 3 or 4. My Mam and sister went too, she was just a baby, and we were the spoiled, petted, and adored "new toys" for a coachload of 15 year olds, boys and girls grin
Of course that was in the early 1970s when people were less PC and more laid back and relaxed about stuff confused

Hulababy Thu 26-Sep-13 21:46:48

These are 13y at an enclosed zoo, yes? Did they not just go round in their own in friendship groups? So basically teacher was there mainly to accompany on journey, to be on hand for emergencies and requests and to "check in with" every so often, yes?

TBH really can't see an issue.

As for SA. There are rules in place. YOU as a parent can't be asked to fund other people's travel costs, bar the official accompanying adults in some cases. Though many companies who organise these kind of trips throw in free adult places for every x number of students.

So he will have funded his own family going with them. It won't have cost you more.

And you know - maybe she has a job too, you know to help him with paying and all that. I was a teacher, not a HLTA and pn an even lower wage - but DH earns far more - so yes even as a "teacher" I can afford to go to distant shores when I want to.

And as they have two young children she will be responsible for them and won't count towards the required supervising adults.

You do know the easy solution to all this though don't you? don't send him on the trips - don't pay at all, keep him at school or at home. They you won't need to be annoyed at the teacher giving up his own time (presumbly even the zoo trip included his lunch times and break times, and SA included his evenings, maybe his weekends, maybe even his holidays.)

It was all so much easier years ago when teachers just lived in a cupboard in school.....

Hulababy Thu 26-Sep-13 21:51:22

Actually in my first teaching job I took DH along with me on one trip - to the Millennium Dome. Was a full day, left home about 5am, home nearly midnight. Took over 1000 pupils on several coaches. He went for free too - counted as a supervising adult, though was partnered with me - so yes, spend all day with him and we loosely supervised the group - they were similar age - checking in at intervals etc.

Mind you - was last trip he ever did with me. He vowed never again - he was shattered, lol!

LynetteScavo Thu 26-Sep-13 21:52:04

There were no girls, it's a boys school, a private one too

Ha! I was going to say this is the kind of lovely thing that goes on at private school, which would never happen at a state school.

It's the kind of thing thing that may actually convince me that I want my DC to go to an independent school. I also really like the idea of the HT taking his dog to work with him - again that would never happen in a state school.

catinboots Thu 26-Sep-13 21:52:06


curlew Thu 26-Sep-13 21:56:26

"the HT taking his dog to work with him - again that would never happen in a state school."

Did in ours. The year 5 teacher used to bring her dog in on Fridays and if if her class had been good they went and played with her on the field.

Rudejude7 Thu 26-Sep-13 21:58:47

Sorry to disagree with most of you MNers but even if his wife was CRB checked, which I doubt she was , YANBU.

YoniFoolsAndHorses Thu 26-Sep-13 22:00:45

How lovely :-)

I do the same in my job in a school, as does DH who is a Head Master of a public school. Wow, what lucky children to see typical families and their interactions and to see a male member of staff in a pastoral role. How good this will be for the boys and they are forming impressions of what good family/work/life balance is.

I run a school ski trip and pay the full cost for my child to come along to. She's a damn good skier and ultra mature and she just joins in and gets on with it. To be honest, the fact it felt like a massive "family holiday" is a major selling point to the next trip. Funnily enough, the students seem to appreciate that.

So yes, I do think YABU.

everydayaschoolday Thu 26-Sep-13 22:01:18

I remember my school overseas ski trip as a teenager. Teacher was great and worked v v hard to arrange everything, organise all our gear and ensure we had a good mix of ski-school stuff and apris-ski. His wife and kids came along, and his wife helped out immensely and was a real asset. I cannot commend teachers highly enough for providing trips, and I think it's great that his wife supported him.

Maryz Thu 26-Sep-13 22:01:20

Why Rude? What's the harm?

She isn't like to be alone with a child, she may well be CRB checked. So what's wrong with it?

SilverApples Thu 26-Sep-13 22:01:25

'It was all so much easier years ago when teachers just lived in a cupboard in school....'

I miss my cupboard. It had stock in it, and a kettle and no computers and a little light and if you shut the door no-one knew you were there

YoniFoolsAndHorses Thu 26-Sep-13 22:02:24

Yes, and my dog comes to work with me too. She sits under my desk and then when I go for lunch she is tied up outside the dining room. The students all cuddle her, and she laps
up the attention.

crazyspaniel Thu 26-Sep-13 22:02:53

Teachers must get paid a lot more than I thought if they can afford to pay for their wife and two children to accompany them to places like South Africa.
I agree, it's shocking, and the school is undermining its very raison d'etre. One of the reasons to send your child to private school is to prove that you are in a income bracket, and enjoy a lifestyle, that is superior to that of the average person. When it becomes clear that the staff are able to participate in the same kind of trip that you have been able to afford for your children, it kind of defeats the purpose, doesn't it? I think you should write to the headteacher and demand to know just how much this upstart teacher is being paid - after all, it's you that's paying his salary.

Hulababy Thu 26-Sep-13 22:04:26

LynetteScavo - DH came with me on a school trip - in a state school!

Hulababy Thu 26-Sep-13 22:07:26

Better than what DH has just reminded me of his school trip memories:

Went on a one night residential and the teachers went, but also a school dinner lady. Turned out one of the teachers was having an affair with said dinner lady!!! Think it would have been far more professional and appropriate had the teacher taken his wife and children instead of his mistress tbh.

morethanpotatoprints Thu 26-Sep-13 22:07:58


You have just given me the most awful flashback.... not your fault.
My teachers cupboard had a lock on it, which she used often to lock me in when I struggled with Maths and English.
I cried for ages, I was 7 years old, y3.

Give teachers holidays, not cupboards. grin

catinboots Thu 26-Sep-13 22:08:09


I take 3 dogs to work with me every day. I work in education. FE.

FourEyesGood Thu 26-Sep-13 22:10:47

crazyspaniel - grin

Oh, and OP: YABU.

BellaVita Thu 26-Sep-13 22:15:31


MrsMongoose Thu 26-Sep-13 22:16:28

When I was 13, my form tutor brought her 14 year old son to school on days his school was closed and ours open. He mucked right in with us, made some nice cakes in food tech.

He was fit too, we loved having him in. Same when the PE teacher brought his toddler, she was so cute. I expect kids often feel this way about staff's kids.

tyaca Thu 26-Sep-13 22:16:28

what crazy spaniel said. that comment about pay was dirty and nasty OP.

ExitPursuedByADragon Thu 26-Sep-13 22:17:33


catinboots Thu 26-Sep-13 22:18:00

Hi Bella!

<waves manically>

BellaVita Thu 26-Sep-13 22:19:59

Hey cat grin

Hulababy Thu 26-Sep-13 22:20:10

MrsMongoose - my DD comes in for half to a full day every so often too. She 11y now. I work with y2. We give her specific tasks to do with groups of children - such as a specific game, to support with some task - or give her admin type stuff to do like sticking in work to exercise books, etc. DD loves it and works really hard all day to be fair to her - she wants to be a teacher when she grows up. And the Y2s absolutely love it when she comes in. They all want to be in her group and they work really hard for her - great to see the way the "older child" motivates lots of little ones.

ImperialBlether Thu 26-Sep-13 22:22:32

OP, you come across as a very sour and mean spirited person.

JakeBullet Thu 26-Sep-13 22:28:13


Get over yourself.

pourmeanotherglass Thu 26-Sep-13 22:32:36

DD has just got back from year 6 camp, where one of the adults was the teachers 22 year old daughter. She helped with DDs group, and they absolutely loved her! She was clearly good with this age group and a real asset to the group. Saved taking another teacher out of the school for a week. A lot of years ago, when I went to year 6 camp, the teacher's wife and baby came, and we all loved having them there.

whois Thu 26-Sep-13 22:39:06

What's your problem OP? Did your thirteen year old need help wiping her nose and he wasn't to hand? No? Then no problem.

thebody Thu 26-Sep-13 22:41:07

the sort if people who always moan about teachers and trips are the same people who do fuck all for the school. just criticise.

not posting again about my dds experience as have done too many times but thank god for teachers I say.

bad form and mean spirited op.

whois Thu 26-Sep-13 22:41:51

FYI my teacher bought her husband and kid along on school ski trips. Daughter was the same age as me and bunked in with the children. Husband was. A member of staff (was a teacher at another school). I thought it was great.

BoffinMum Thu 26-Sep-13 23:04:22

My English teacher used to bring her rather butch girlfriend on school trips. This was the 1980s when it was still illegal for blokes to have gay relationships under the age of 21, so the whole gay thing was a bit new to schools. It was most interesting for us nosy teenage girls. grin

MidniteScribbler Thu 26-Sep-13 23:09:51

I run the annual ski trip, and if I don't take DS, then it doesn't happen. I'm a single parent, and I'm not giving up a week of school holidays to take other people's children to the snow and leaving my own son behind. I actually pay for my own trip and my son's. I've never actually skied myself when on the trip because I'm too busy dealing with all the little issues that young children away from home have to deal with. Do you know how much extra I get paid for the week? Not a cent. I get the cost of my petrol paid, because I'm the only one who goes that has a 4WD and we need a vehicle in case of emergency. So I pay for my trip, pay for five dogs to go in to kennels for a week ($840 for the week), miss a week's planning, sleep for about three hours per night if I'm lucky, AND I NEVER GET ON THE BLOODY SNOW!

Quite frankly, if a parent came in and started sulking about my DS going with us on trips, that would be the last trip I ever organise. Although to be fair, our head would tell you to bugger off before I even got to say anything.

ExitPursuedByADragon Thu 26-Sep-13 23:16:43

Those bastard teachers eh. Taking our children on holiday.

Shesparkles Thu 26-Sep-13 23:20:30

Teachers must get paid a lot more than I thought if they can afford to pay for their wife and two children to accompany them to places like South Africa.

Then send your ds to the local comp and you can be sure the gpteachers there won't be able to afford trips to SA


Lottiedoubtie Fri 27-Sep-13 07:08:00

I've just caught up with this again and I'm still raging at the OP
Please come back and explain your comment about professional teachers not being able to afford foreign holidays. What exactly were you getting at??

My mum is a teacher. When I was a student, I would regularly go on her trips as a supervising adult, as its often difficult to get enough suitable people to accompany them. I was (still am) regularly CRB checked, and went all sorts of places - was 'loaned out' to other teachers too, when they were short of helpers. I never paid a penny, but I did a day's work, supervising groups of small children, and never received pay for it. I think that's a pretty good deal! Oh, and my dad went too sometimes - it can be really hard to get enough men to go as supervisors sometimes too. So, OP, YABU!

phantomnamechanger Fri 27-Sep-13 07:32:25

as for the comments about it not being OK if the wife was not CRB checked, FGS, do you suppose they also asked every other member of the public to show an enhanced disclosure before entering the zoo on that day?

she obviously was not there as an extra supervising adult if she had her own DC to look after. maybe folk think she needs a CRB/DBS check to look after her own Dc on an "official" trip?

plenty of times trips at our primary have only gone ahead because staff have supplied their own teenagers/mums/aunties or DHs to assist on trips, because there were not enough parent helpers signed up - is this also Not On?

Orangeanddemons Fri 27-Sep-13 07:45:36

This is normal and permissible. In my school, there is even a part on the risk assessment for families of the organiser.

It will be to do with ratios, and it will be to do with needing an adult of each gender. IME trips are always at the limit for staff ratios, as the school don't want to release a member of staff. So an extra hand is always helpful. I used to take ds on our school trip to Alton Towers years ago

Blu Fri 27-Sep-13 07:47:58


As a capable adult it is 't as if his wife needs his supervision or support and on a trip to the zoo I can't quite see how her taking her kids round would impede his professional involvement. Maybe them paying for spare places on the coach kept the price down!

You sound over invested in this, bitter, jealous, suspicious and looking for things to criticise. Do you have other dissatisfactions with the school, or are you projecting some upset on to his being happy to have his family around him?

phantomnamechanger Fri 27-Sep-13 07:53:57

maybe the wife is REALLY HOT and the OP is worried about their kids "feelings" , or that the teacher was sneaking off for some nooky behind the monkey house


LIZS Fri 27-Sep-13 08:00:10

if he had taken his kids without his wife ywnbu. She was there to supervise her dc and he to accompany the trip.

Is there anything that teachers can actually do? Is there anything that won't get them a slagging off? OP withdraw your son and home ed then you can accompany him at all times.

BreeWannabe Fri 27-Sep-13 08:08:41

This is ridiculous. YABU.

And teachers are paid above the average annual salary. My DH and I are both teachers, have a lovely 4 bed detached home and foreign holidays every year, so not entirely sure why people are being so scathing with the "teachers can't afford x/y/z." We may not earn like investment bankers, but we are degree-qualified professionals and are paid as such.

bigTillyMint Fri 27-Sep-13 08:14:45

1) 13yo's do not need to be closely supervised in a zoo. (Never mind why a zoo trip for 13yo's) My DC were allowed free-range on Y6 school trip to amusement park
2) There are usually x number of free places on school trips for the supervising teachers
3) Your DS goes to a fee-paying school - the HT can choose how to spend those fees (possibly paying for/subsidising family)
4) It is none of your business unless there was a serious accident shown to be down to lack of supervision

Spottybra Fri 27-Sep-13 08:19:36


Congratulations to the school and other companies whose families are encouraged to accompany them.

PlatinumStart Fri 27-Sep-13 08:20:11

I find it a bit odd to be honest.

I also find the justifications along the lines of "teachers work really hard, they often do work out of the classroom and late in the evening" bizarre. This is the same for everyone I have ever known with a salary and a career rather than an hourly paid job.

cory Fri 27-Sep-13 08:28:54

I hope this is just an instance of mean-spirited attitude towards teachers and not an indication of how the OP regards her son.

He is 13! He should not need constant supervision at the zoo. If he does, then there is something you have forgotten to teach him. So be thankful that the school does.

WorrySighWorrySigh Fri 27-Sep-13 08:30:00

I dont know.

I think you have to be careful of saying that nothing happened so that's all right then.

All too often emergencies or crises are just a perfect storm of small oversights. One of these can be inadequate supervision.

Okay, not a lot will normally go wrong at a zoo but what if it does? A fire in a building, an escaped animal (happened in Rotterdam Zoo), a vehicle crash.

Instinctively will the teacher look first to his family or the students?

As a parent I would want to know how the group was going to be supervised. If all the teachers were taking their families then while it might make a lovely group at the same time I might be rather concerned that should the worst happen would I be happy that my own DC would be looked after?

they are 13

at that age I was regularly in central London with friends at all times of day and night. my grandparents had all left school and were working by that age

besides which, op's comment re teachers' salaries makes it clear it's not about safety but pure mean-spiritedness

cory Fri 27-Sep-13 08:40:09

WorrySigh, surely those things could equally go wrong when the 13yo is making his way to school, or popping out to the shops or going to the cinema with a friend?

Or are you really saying that 13yos should constantly be under the eye of a designated adult in case something goes wrong and he needs help?

(and how could you even kow it won't be the adult needing help instead?)

We are talking 13yos. Youngsters who (if in state education) would be doing their work experience next year. Youngsters who might well be bigger than their teacher and in the case of fire are just as likely to have to help the teacher out.

And yes, I have a 13yo. He went to a football match the other night. With a friend and no adult. In case of emergency I would have expected him to do what the other fans did: to make his way to the exit. And lend a helping hand to anyone who needed help. Or if anything happened on the way home, call emergency services on his mobile. Which I know he is well capable of, as he has already assisted at the scene of one accident. He is 13 and not 3.

He is doing his school trip to Belgium next month. Which I know will involve a walk around the city centre unsupervised. Not much different from walking round the city centre here, which he does every weekend. Except that I pity the natives who have to try to make sense of his French.

cory Fri 27-Sep-13 08:42:49

To clarify: the teacher is needed as a point of contact, to provide advice in emergencies and make sure everybody gets back to the bus on time.

But he will hardly be required to help every individual child to the loo or walk around with them or carry them to safety.

So most of the time, he will be required as a presence, not actually to do anything or say anything. He could bring a book or an iPod. Or an adult to talk to. Won't make much difference.

WorrySighWorrySigh Fri 27-Sep-13 08:46:39

The OP's initial comments were about supervising ratios.

Does it matter whether some posters were gallivanting round London or Grandparents were down 't pit at the same age?

cory Fri 27-Sep-13 08:52:48

It does matter about what is considered normal for 13yos today.

And from anything I can see, for 13yos to be out and about without immediate adult supervision is normal. They make their own way to school, they go shopping, they hang out with friends. It is a normal important part of growing up.

Next year, they will be expected (if in state education) to go round looking for a job placement, to actually organise a job and to function for 2 weeks in the workplace. So it's not about going down the pit in ye olden days: it's about what society expects from 13yos today.

Schools are usually very aware of the need to foster independence and try to accommodate this- hence the details of ds' school trip to Belgium.

Supervising ratios are age related and take into account the level of indepence that can normally be expected at different ages. As posters have pointed out at this age that would be 1: 20+. So the teacher is not doing anything wrong if he is in charge of his class and the wife is in charge of the children.

ubik Fri 27-Sep-13 08:55:27

This is how the world of work used to run though... when I was a newspaper reporter a colleague would pick up her two school age children at 3pm and bring them back to work a few times a week. They would mess about on the computer, do home work and mooch about.

Yes all very unprofessional etc but it did allow my colleague to work full time and really wasn't an issue for anyone else.

My mother put me school nurseries as a toddler as it was the only way she could do supply and get childcare. MIL - a nurse - was telling me how she put SIL to bed in the childrens ward during nightshifts as she was breastfeeding.

worry if you read the rest of the thread inc the op's other posts, she makes it quite clear that she resents teacher's family going on the trip because they shouldn't earn enough to afford it

I and many others travelled to school in London independently from age 11 onwards. many kids do today. but you think that they need hand holding at a zoo ?

incidentally my grandparents were also in London so not so much down the pit!

maddy68 Fri 27-Sep-13 09:03:11

Why shouldn't his family go with them to SA.? You do know that that teacher is doing this in his own time? Teachers are not paid 24 hrs a day?
The family will have paid for themselves you seem to have an agenda

cory Fri 27-Sep-13 09:04:14

But Worry, if the teacher is to help them out of the zoo individually in case of fire, wouldn't they have to walk around all day in a group closely supervised, like 6yos? Otherwise how could he get to them all when the lion escaped?

Surely this is not an efficient way of teaching 13yos on a field trip?

Have you ever been to a secondary school? They are not constantly under the eyes of a teacher, they are often allowed to leave school at lunchtime at this age, and they usually make their own way there.

What a ridiculous thread!!

So a teacher is kind enough to agree to take your children on trips at no extra pay, and whom without the trip may not happen and you're pissed off because he brought his wife and kids who he woulda paid for? She was another unpaid adult helping with your kids say thank u ffs.

And as for this "my dh can't taker with him" stuff? How bloody selfish you would wish to inflict that on others . Sour grapes much..... Well they do say misery loves company.

maddy68 Fri 27-Sep-13 09:10:10

Why shouldn't his family go with them to SA.? You do know that that teacher is doing this in his own time? Teachers are not paid 24 hrs a day?
The family will have paid for themselves you seem to have an agenda
As for the zoo. You won't have paid for the teacher to go either, they will have been offered free teacher places as all organisations do as they want school trips there. Students never pay for the teachers places. ( however loads of teachers pay for the kids that their parents cba or can't pay for places so that the kids don't miss out.
I reckon I have paid over £100 last term for kids to go on trips out of my own money so they don't miss out

WorrySighWorrySigh Fri 27-Sep-13 09:19:21

No, of course I dont expect a group of 13 year olds to be closely supervised. My youngest is now 13 so I am quite aware of teenagers' needs and wants for supervision.

Not a lot is likely to go wrong but in the event of an emergency would a teacher's mind be on the students or his family? On the whole I would prefer to know whether my DCs were going on a school trip or a family trip.

All too often industrial accidents occur because concerns about safety got ignored or ridiculed.

bigTillyMint Fri 27-Sep-13 09:22:20

FFS, his wife was there with the kids - I'm sure he could have left her to supervise his DC whilst he did his jobconfused

maddy68 Fri 27-Sep-13 09:26:25

This is why I have actually stopped running trips. I have never once had a thank you from parents or staff for giving up my own time and everyone has a criticism.

I fact this is one of the reasons I am also considering leaving teaching. The constant criticism when I am working my backside off

Are people really suggesting that in an emergency the teachers won't be doing all they could to help ALL the kids to the best of their ability because their family is there?

quoteunquote Fri 27-Sep-13 09:28:46

Were his children dangerous?

and if you are really concerned about adult to child ratio, then wouldn't his wife being there improve things?

noblegiraffe Fri 27-Sep-13 09:29:05

In an emergency, the zoo staff would be in charge, they would know the fire evacuation procedure, the phone number of the lion tamer, whatever. They would be dealing with it.

cory Fri 27-Sep-13 09:29:06

The point here I think is that there is actually an adult there (the wife) to look after the teacher's children, so he can concentrate on the students. They will have thought about the job division beforehand.

Of course, they may be on his mind, but then he could be worrying about them any time- that doesn't stop him from doing his job even in the case of an accident. I have gone in to work when I knew my dd was suicidal- didn't stop me from doing the job I was paid to do.

We have frequently travelled on the ships where my brother was a helmsman: it didn't once occur to us (or to him) that in a case of accident he might abandon his part in the evacuation routine to rush to find his family: as a professional you just don't do that. Or rather, if you do do it you can expect to find yourself in a similar place to the captain of the Costa Concordia: in court and reviled by the international press.

Doctors must sometimes have family members being brought into their hospitals: they don't ditch the patient they are operating on to rush off to find them; they just have to trust that whichever member of staff is in charge of their loved one will be doing their job looking after them. As the teacher will have to hope his wife is doing hers.

Threalamandaclarke Fri 27-Sep-13 09:31:33

I don't really think that taking your family to the zoo in work time can be termed " working my backside off" tbh.
I really don't know whether I'd be bothered about this.i know teachers do work hardetc.
But if the point of being there is to supervise the pupils, even as relatively independent teenagers, I would have thought that being woth one's own family would be a distraction from that.
But maybe it doesn't matter. <slightly on fence>

cory Fri 27-Sep-13 09:31:36

What noblegiraffe said. grin

I don't see why a teacher would know more than a 13yo about how to deal with an escaped lion. If it ever happened to me, I'd hope the zoo keeper or, failing that, some of ds' nature minded friends would be around to tell me what to do.

Mumoftwoyoungkids Fri 27-Sep-13 09:58:46

I totally agree Op.

The teachers should have been going round with the children saying things like

"Look children, a lion! What noise does a lion make Susie? That's right: roar! Shall we all roar? Good roaring!'

Oh - hang on a minute - I think I misread your child's age!

Generally I'd say someone who is wandering round with their kids is probably in a good position to keep an eye on everything as there would have been lots of parents with young kids there so he would have been invisible to the average teenager.

DeWe Fri 27-Sep-13 09:59:33

One of our teachers used to quite often bring his wife and children. they were lovely, but they always separated from us for the trip and the wife took the children off. Teacher reckoned it improved the behaviour of the pupils on the trip too having small ones around.

BoffinMum Fri 27-Sep-13 10:05:10

I have been reflecting on this overnight.

Not only do I think it is acceptable, I think it is actually a positive thing. My reasoning is that the more human and normal teachers look, with functional personal lives and so on, the better example this sets to the children in their care. It also means that children are more likely to behave well at school and feel the adults giving them instructions have good reasons for doing so, rather than just being quasi factory managers barking commands. So bring it on, I say.

BTW in my non-teaching professional life it has been fine for me to take relatives on business trips as long as there wasn't any extra expense for the company. I have also been taken on company outings and business trips on this basis in the past. Teachers apply the same rules to their own activities. If there's no cost to the school, and it's been properly risk assessed, then it is not seen as a problem and indeed means teachers can organise a lot more trips than they otherwise would have done (bear in mind trips are an optional part of the job).

Thymeout Fri 27-Sep-13 10:05:27

I used to be part of the team taking the whole of Yr 1O to the zoo every year. (Part of their GCSE coursework.) It may come as a surprise, but our main focus was not to save pupils from the escaped lion but to protect the paying public from the impact of 120 teenagers let loose in the area. Sorting out loud behaviour, acting as a deterrent against shoplifting - that sort of thing.

CbeebiesIsMyLife Fri 27-Sep-13 10:07:13

Wow, dh (an accountant) has recently been asked to work in London more. His work are sorting him out a flat and they have told us the dc (1&2) and myself are welcome to stay whenever we like. It's a good job some employers are more understanding and family friendly than the op!

Threalamandaclarke Fri 27-Sep-13 10:08:01

I think an informal atmos on these days is probably quite nice. I assume DW would have been crb checked as I think that's required for accompanying adults.
But really, I am hearing how it's all terribly demanding and very few ppl are up to the job and these trips are jolly hard work and at the same time nobody needs to be supervising teenagers.
So, which is it?

Ok. Slightly TIC, sorry. But if it's ok to bring family on such a trip maybe it could just be explained as such without the need to take offence at a pretty reasonable question from the OP.

BoffinMum Fri 27-Sep-13 10:08:31

Thyme, you have hit the nail on the head there. When my mum used to take the German exchange at her school, she had to do a little speech on the ferry about how flick knives bought in France and Germany were illegal in the UK, and the kids may wish to drop any such recently purchased items overboard accidentally on purpose, rather than attempt to take them through customs. wink

noblegiraffe Fri 27-Sep-13 10:14:05

It depends on the trip as to how hard work it is. A cricket tour to SA would be very hard work, all that travel, kids away from home, being in a foreign country etc. A day trip to the zoo is a piece of piss in comparison, because the kids normally go off and do their own thing.

I used to do a weekend residential where the teachers organised all the activities, teamwork, a hike, games and so on. That was bloody hard work, you were not only never off duty, you were also jumping about like a mad thing keeping the kids engaged. Then we'd go back to school and teach another full week without having had a break. It was very rare that a parent said thanks, more likely that they'd complain about a lost jumper or whatever.

Thymeout Fri 27-Sep-13 10:14:59

Boffin - you've just reminded me of something that happened on one of the French trips my father organised. A boy tried to import a beetle in a matchbox because it resembled some potato-eating insect he'd seen on posters in the UK. He wanted to claim the reward. grin

littlecrocodile Fri 27-Sep-13 10:18:57

Really don't see the issue, if there was space on the trip why shouldn't it be offered out to his family, who are after all members of the wider school community. I'd much rather that than places going spare.
I come from a teaching family and as a child regularly went on school trips. It was often either that or my mother wouldn't have been a&e to run the trip at all. She always paid for my place though and I highly doubt in this example that they didn't play for the children at least (she may have been part of the adult ratios?). Really can't see the problem or any detrimental effect this had on the pupils?

As for " Sorry to disagree with most of you MNers but even if his wife was CRB checked, which I doubt she was , YANBU." - we don't know but she may have done. Doesn't matter though as she wasn't undertaking regulated activity so no more needed a DBS/CRB check than anyone else at the zoo that day.

thebody Fri 27-Sep-13 10:23:58

I agree with Boffins comment on making teachers seem more normal and human with families of their own help improve and form children's behaviour. the teacher is demonstrating a good example of family life.

in my dds accident if the girls had inky had the teachers to rely on it would have been catastrophic as one had died while others were critically injured and trapped.

teachers dd and other parents were vital to saving their lives.

the more adults the better really.

to add in an emergency all adults and children do what the emergency services tell you to do when they arrive.

cory Fri 27-Sep-13 10:26:12

Threalamandaclarke Fri 27-Sep-13 10:08:01

"But really, I am hearing how it's all terribly demanding and very few ppl are up to the job and these trips are jolly hard work and at the same time nobody needs to be supervising teenagers.
So, which is it?"

I'd say from my experience with teenagers (not as a teacher, though the child of a teacher who did take teens abroard) that it's both at the same time.

You cannot and should not supervise them constantly in the way you would smaller children: this is simply not good for them.

Otoh you have to be prepared to exercise your authority in a very effective manner should the need arise.

And you absolutely have to have them believe from the start that you are capable of doing so.

So it's more about being able to impose your personality than about constant little rescue actions. Hard work and not hard work. Like teenagers in general really... Less hard work than a baby- and more hard work.

Less demanding of ratio, more of personality.

BoffinMum Fri 27-Sep-13 10:26:51

Thyme grin

Luffs kids, you never ever know what they are going to do next. gringrin

nobodysbaby Fri 27-Sep-13 10:31:11

Walking round the zoo with 13 year olds might not be the hardest day, but the planning and paperwork that have to be done before any trip take hours on top of the usual workload. Teachers don't have to take your kids out, they do it because they want to offer enrichment to their students despite the extra work that it creates. And there will always be parents that moan and nitpick '- fortunately, the children usually enjoy trips and sat thank you like decent human beings.

ubik Fri 27-Sep-13 10:37:36

Plenty of parents accompany children on school trips... I don't think they have to be CRB checked (although I am because of my job) confused

McNewPants2013 Fri 27-Sep-13 10:39:52

I imagine it is very stressful to take a group of teenagers on a school trip.

I do think it is rather unusual for a teachers family to join them on a school trip. I do think it is unprofessional as well. Regardless of the field you work in, taking your family to work is generally accepted as not the done thing and something to happen only in exceptional circumstances.

The teachers wife joining them to make up ratios, I could see that as a valid reason, but taking the family i'd be a bit hmm as well.

We all know the perks and pitfalls of the career path that we choose, and so shouldn't really be feeling so hard done by. I used to work as a midwife in the NHS but after years of never seeing my children due to the anti social shifts and not being able to get time off for school plays, sports day etc I changed paths and now work in an office, where I still wouldn't be able to bring my children to work or take them on business trips but at least have a bit more flexibility. Why would this be any different for someone who has chosen to be a teacher? I do agree that like most service workers teachers work damn hard for their salaries and put in more hours than Joe Public usually give them credit for, I still feel that it is unreasonable and unprofessional to take your whole family on a school trip, regardless of if they paid the full rate or went for free.

nonmifairidere Fri 27-Sep-13 10:43:17

Phew, I'm so glad that the voices of reason are more numerous than the mean spirited, 'why should they do it 'cos I can't', gratuitous teacher bashing contributions - but I give the latter credit for utterly blinkered tenaciousness.

DreamingofSummer Fri 27-Sep-13 10:44:03

I see the miserable arse OP hasn't reappeared

Oh and one more thing! ITS A PUBLIC PLACE!!!!!
Everyone has a right to go regardless of relationship with any other person there. If they want to pay and go along they are allowed. They don't need anyone's permission.

randomAXEofkindness Fri 27-Sep-13 10:49:15

I only read the original post, but for what it's worth: YABU. He got a chance to spend some extra time with his wife and lo's - that's nice isn't it? Your ds is a teen, not a baby. If he needs constant supervision, I'd be concentrating on what you're going to do to fix that, I wouldn't be wasting my time being resentful of other family's enjoying themselves...

Mumoftwoyoungkids Fri 27-Sep-13 10:54:57

From what I remember of school trips at that age the main risk is probably that they will find somewhere that will serve them and get alcohol poisoning. So really the teachers should take up residence in the bar!

Bue Fri 27-Sep-13 10:58:40

I changed paths and now work in an office, where I still wouldn't be able to bring my children to work or take them on business trips but at least have a bit more flexibility.

But why wouldn't you be able to take them on business trips? Tons of people take their partners and family on business trips. I have accompanied my mother on business trips. Obviously she paid for my flights and meals. This is hardly unusual practice.

From what I remember of school trips at that age the main risk is probably that they will find somewhere that will serve them and get alcohol poisoning. So really the teachers should take up residence in the bar!

This! - nothing worse than trying to deal into pubs and finding ur teacher there blush grin

ubik Fri 27-Sep-13 11:33:09

At 13?

I remember our sixth form Shakespeare trip to Stratford was largely spent in the pubs and curry houses.

WorrySighWorrySigh Fri 27-Sep-13 11:48:20

I have been on a number of health and safety courses through work recently so perhaps that colours my views. You only need to see footage from various recent disasters and hear first hand accounts to be reminded that none of the people involved expected anything to go wrong that day.

All first hand accounts said that in the first instance it is instinct and panic that kicks in. So actually, no I would expect that in a crisis the teacher with young family would be looking out for them first.

I dont expect school staff to be involved in direct rescue attempts or something their main role will be accounting for students as quickly as possible. Were the 'when the shit hits the fan' plans constructed on the assumption that Mr Smith would have his wife and children with him?

In Rotterdam zoo it was actually a gorilla which escaped. A nice, cuddly and as it turned out rather bitey gorilla.

As I said upstream industrial accidents tend to happen because too many people are happy to ignore or ridicule anyone who points out risks.

noblegiraffe Fri 27-Sep-13 11:56:55

There is also a risk that when the shit hits the fan, Mr Smith will be injured or faint or be in the toilet or any other of a billion possibilities meaning that he can't carry out his role. Teachers have to risk assess trips, but you can't account for every conceivable eventuality. You have to rely on people also using common sense when the time comes. You cannot include in your risk assessment 'Mr Smith abandons his duty of care'.

What if Mr Smith decides not to help his family, but some toddler who is separated from his family and is perilously in the path of the gorilla? Risk assess that too?

thebody Fri 27-Sep-13 12:05:13

worry you are absolutely right and health and safety courses and serious incident policies account for jack shit when the shit hits the fan.

as a parent I certainly had no idea that dds school trip would end so tragically for all on board.

in dds case the adults not dead or critical DID have to get the girls out/ give first aid.

that included the teachers dd ( thank god she was there) and the adult helpers on the trip who assisted the most badly injured first and NOT their own children.

I don't agree that panic is the first instinct, the first instinct is to save lives, panic and collapse comes later and that's why even 2 years post the accident counselling is required.

LilRedWG Fri 27-Sep-13 12:17:17

I loved my teacher's wives and children coming on a camping trip with school when I was about nine.

WorrySighWorrySigh Fri 27-Sep-13 12:19:19

I agree that you cant account for every eventuality. However what you can account for is that Mr Smith has his family with him. I'm not saying he shouldnt just that as a parent I would prefer to know what the supervision arrangements are. If my DCs go on a school trip are they being supervised or only accompanied?

Because I'm not allowed to. I did ask with regard to one that was a course on the Friday and Saturday, it was close to Alton towers I mentioned to work that I might take the dc with me and my sister so she could look after the dc while I was working and was expressly told that it would not be appropriate.

When there is a real crisis, as thebody has pointed out eloquently, no-one knows what will happen. People help whoever they can. Some people go into shock. The idea that it's more dangerous for a 13-year-old on a trip to the zoo (!) if one of their teachers has their spouse and family present is ridiculous. Nothing to do with H&S or risk assessment whatsoever.

If 'instinct and blind panic' kicks in, presumably the teacher would be more likely to try to help those students whom he likes, rather than those who are a pain in the arse!

How do you risk assess that?

The OP (who has disappeared) was just bitching that the teacher dared to involve their family in a day out to the zoo. FFS. Can't get the staff these days.

and I wasn't suggesting that they stayed with me, but an extra room booked for sister and dc, plus paying my own room for the additional night.

I the end dsister came up with the dc on the Saturday and we stayed in a cheapy premier inn.

Lottiedoubtie Fri 27-Sep-13 13:46:51

*"But really, I am hearing how it's all terribly demanding and very few ppl are up to the job and these trips are jolly hard work and at the same time nobody needs to be supervising teenagers.
So, which is it?"*

Both. Teaching is hard work and demanding.

Organising school trips the same.

Supervising them, is a massive responsibility, but practically not terribly difficult- unless something goes wrong.

So fine for teacher to spend time with family, and then help where nec. As wife would be 'in charge' of their children.

Mumoftwoyoungkids Fri 27-Sep-13 14:21:19

ubik Good thought - it was the Y10 Spanish trip (so 14) where someone was hospitalised for alcohol poisoning.

The Y9 trip was an outward bound trip and one of the girls got off with one of the instructors. So perhaps the teachers need to go round the zoo, spot the most shaggable zoo keeper and hang out with him all day! grin

My sixth form trip involved staying in university accommodation so my main memory is of me and the boyfriend I'd split up with 6 months earlier taking each others clothes off.

Not sure what teachers should have done about that.

Bue Fri 27-Sep-13 16:40:34

Dontlet I'm sorry to hear that, that is your employer being ridiculous. I'd actually question if they can tell you you can't bring your DCs in that scenario. But it's your employer who should be more accommodating, not others who should be less so.

Threalamandaclarke Fri 27-Sep-13 16:42:06

Fair enough Cory

Threalamandaclarke Fri 27-Sep-13 16:53:38

Lots of interesting views on each side. I'm still on the fence and I doubt I'd mind tbh. But the "dealing with a crisis" points have been note worthy.

I don't think that accompanying family members on a business trip is neccessarily the same as a school trip though.
When I've accompanied DH overseas, it has often been at the expense/ request of the paying client (or not) Also, there are times when my presence is more or less likely to affect business and that's taken into account. I can lounge about on the beach while he is in a meeting. I can accompany him to a lunch, but I'd get in the way if I was present when he's actually "on the job" grin

Sorry the body

DontWannaBeObamasElf Fri 27-Sep-13 17:03:18

I went on a residential 10 years ago when I was 13/14. The teacher who organised it brought his family with him. Two small children who were a joy and his lovely wife.

Everyone grew really fond of his family and it was nice to have his wife there as she was so loving towards us and very motherly if anyone was homesick.

None of the other teachers had children.

rallytog1 Fri 27-Sep-13 17:07:19

YAB totally U

When I was at school, teachers often brought their family on trips. It was great - we got to see our teachers more like actual human beings and we got to interact with a load of new people. Often their spouses had useful skills, such as being a doctor or sports coach, which came in pretty handy too. They were often giving up their own annual leave to come and help out.

When my mum was a primary school teacher, I often went on her class trips. As a teenager I was a useful extra pair of hands.

And this really is going back in the day but when my teacher grandmother had my mum, her headteacher insisted that she should return to work and just bring the baby with her. So she spent four years in charge of a class and her daughter at the same time. The HORROR.

Sorry OP, but you need to get a grip.

babybythesea Fri 27-Sep-13 18:00:30

I spent 10 years teaching school kids who were on trips to a zoo.

First of all, to the poster who asked what could 13 year olds be doing in a visit to the zoo, the answer is loads - I taught everyone from nursery to university students. Ecology, evolution, conservation issues, adaptation, microbiology (when an animal is ill, what do you do - includes looking at parasites, and bacteria through the use of techniques like agar plates), genetics (essential if you are breeding from a limited number of endangered creatures), not to mention the broader topics like 'how science is used in the work place'. Then you've got those who study psychology and the detailed behavioural studies they can carry out on the gorillas and orangs etc as the starting point of their course. And that's before you get to the non-science topics - enclosure design (design and technology), English (writing for marketing material, sign writing and so on). Zoos are not just for little kids to gawp at animals.

Second, the idea that a teacher would be less effective at helping in a crisis if his family is there is daft. Sorry. But the people you'd need would be the zoo staff. Our zoo was divided into zones, with designated 'safe places' in each. If there was a threat from an escaped animal, staff from each zone would go out and sweep their given area, gather up any visitors and get them into a particular building. I would not have been allowing anyone to leave that area to look for someone else, because another person elsewhere in the zoo would have been collected by another zoo staff member and taken to safety elsewhere. Bear in mind that some of our safe places would be off view to the public so your nearest safe place may not even be somewhere you know exists. Zoo staff also are likely to know where the animal is - everyone carried radios so letting someone head off to find a missing student might mean them unknowingly heading right at the danger situation. Whether his family is there or not is irrelevant - zoo staff would take over. Same with a fire or bomb procedure. And every zoo (in the UK)has to have someone on duty who is fire-armed trained. If an animal is posing a real threat, we have to shoot them. But before that there are people trained in the sue of dart guns so the animal can be sedated... You really can't convince me that a teacher who has left his family at home is far better in those situations is better than a teacher whose family are present. I can't think of much they'd be able to do in either situation - you need the people who know the setting, the animal and the procedures in place to manage an incident, not a member of the public.

babybythesea Fri 27-Sep-13 18:16:22

Oh, and my parents were both teachers.

Dad took a bunch of secondary kids on a trip to Holland once. My mum went too, as another adult to help on the trip, but they also were on the receiving end of nasty comments about freebie holidays etc.

Two years later I was born. Dad never offered to take an overseas trip again. He wasn't about to leave his own children behind, in order to offer chances to other people's kids when they couldn't be bothered to offer the children these chances themselves, but were happy to bitch about someone who did. He'd rather just spend the time with us.

MrsLouisTheroux Fri 27-Sep-13 18:37:03

You haven't a clue have you OP?
This teacher has a wife and young family and he does not have to go anywhere with your DS and the rest of his pupils if he doesn't want to.
He generously gave up his time to do this trip and took his family because he can.
Did you thank him? I'm betting you didn't even think to.

BoffinMum Fri 27-Sep-13 18:48:56

Thebody I am so sorry you all had to do that. I am not sure what happened but it does put things into perspective.

GatoradeMeBitch Fri 27-Sep-13 19:07:36

It's nothing I've heard of before, and it certainly sounds unprofessional and like he's grabbing personal perks - but if he's being too cheeky he'll get into trouble sooner or later.

I think that two small children might have a civilising effect on a group of 13 year olds. It strikes me as enriching to allow the pupils to mix with staff families.

As for the cricket tour, perhaps his wife works and he normally cares for their children during the holidays (she might get the minimum 20 days plus bank holidays off). If he couldn't take his children, she would have to take 2 weeks off work to care for them and then they would only have 2 weeks off together during the rest of the year. If that was going to be the case, he might well not want to take the cricket tour and nothing would compel him to do so.

I've also had a freebie trip courtesy of DH's work (not a teacher). It was cheaper to fly me out economy than fly him back business class. I had a lovely few days looking round San Francisco while he worked and we then took a a week's holiday together (we paid for our car rental and hotels for this bit). Then I flew home and he went back to work. It all made business sense. Should we have worn hair shirts on our holiday or is it ok because DH isn't a teacher?

Arisbottle Fri 27-Sep-13 19:23:01

I a a teacher and I don't think it is professional to bring a family on a trip that runs on a school day, when the teacher would be at work anyway. The only exception might be a reward trip at the end of a year which might be more informal. But even then, I am not sure.

When I was teaching part time I once took one of my children on a school trip because the trip was on my day off and I was working unpaid on my day off and the school needed me but thought it was unfair to ask me to pay for chilcare for dd2. I agreed, - this was a trip to a theme park on the last day of term for secondary students. I am not sure I would take my child now.

I used to run our schools DofE expeditions and would sometimes takes the whole family camping at the same time - but that was at a weekend and slightly different.

I have also been on school trips as an extra adult and paid my way -it is not always the case that teachers places are free.

ravenAK Fri 27-Sep-13 20:06:50

Ultimately, it comes down to individual school policy.

Our policy is:

It's sometimes OK, subject to HT discretion, & on the premise that any teachers' brats are both paid for in full AND occupying a place that cannot otherwise be filled ie. student drops out at last minute, no waiting list.

Also, the teacher taking their own child can't be counted as part of the official teacher:student ratio.

Therefore it's only practical on trips organised via an outside company which provide more teacher places than our working ratios demand, or on weekend/holiday trips with no actual teacher cost, such as DofE.

I suspect that if a parent complained, my HT would say That's Quite Enough Of That Then.

At which point DofE would cease to happen, as would our annual 2 day KS3 jolly to London. Which would be a bit of a shame IMO.

School trips trade on teacher goodwill. They really don't have to happen at all, & there's an increasingly limited pool of willing mugs happy to run them.

BoffinMum Fri 27-Sep-13 20:46:22

Ach, the Teach First clones will do all that in the future, before they burn out wink

Arisbottle Fri 27-Sep-13 20:50:34

I am a teach first clone , one of the very early ones - still running trips and fat from burnt out

Donkeyok Fri 27-Sep-13 20:56:42

Poor teachers I thought they wanted to escape. I have to praise the Teachers at my dd school she's just back from a couple of days away in youth hostel, marching up hills and getting lost all day long. It sounds like they had a riot. Well done teachers for both fun and responsible, adventurous adults in my dc lives. I don't think you get paid enough and I wouldnt begrudge you a day out - mean post.

ravenAK Fri 27-Sep-13 21:00:07

<nods> I'm fat from burnt out, too.

It's all those mid-term Friday nights falling asleep over a takeaway curry & bottle of wine.


Thymeout Fri 27-Sep-13 21:00:28

I'd second that, Raven.

We used to run 6th form residentials to Paris and New York, alternate years. We wanted them to be as inclusive as possible. Did all the planning ourselves to keep costs down, even undertook special training so we could take pupils with Cystic Fibrosis and Thalassaemia.

Freebies to Paris and NYC? I've never been so shattered in my entire life. Surprisingly enough, there wasn't a queue of teachers lining up for their 'perk'. No extra pay, no time off to recover, no expenses. Those with small dcs couldn't make it work. We had to rely on office and site staff to make up the numbers. Eventually, the teacher organising the trips, IN HER OWN TIME, visa's, accounts, bookings - you can't just turn up at MoMA on spec - had to call it a day. The demands of her day job took over.

So we used a commercial firm. They massively scaled down the itinerary, wouldn't use public transport and the pupils with medical needs had to be left behind. 'Too much responsibility'. Oh - and they doubled the price. Too much for the inner-city kids who were working in Saturday jobs to raise the cash.

All very sad.

OP - there's absolutely no reason why the teacher concerned shouldn't have been able to do his job because wife and chn were using up spare places on the coach. I'm sure if he hadn't been pulling his weight his colleagues would have made him aware of the fact.

Arisbottle Fri 27-Sep-13 21:09:49


I am actually a bit fatter from going into teaching.

Tinlegs Sat 28-Sep-13 13:20:24

I run a massive school trip. Some of it is in school time, most of it is in my time. I have spent hours in casualty with children, been awake all night while someone vomits and needs her hair held out of the way and sips of water. I have raised money for that trip over evenings and weekends.

I love the trip. But if some parent started telling me I was getting a freebie, I would go nuts. It costs me a fortune. Motorway food both ways (12 hour journey). 7 days of bought lunches and some evening meals. Small incidental things (last time it was plasters and eye drops, sanitary pads and aspirin) which I can't really claim for, and never do.

I don't get paid extra. In fact, when I was part time and ran the trip! I didn't even get paid for the 2 working days I worked as an extra.

Next time, I will take my DH. He works at the school now. Both our children will be on the trip. Why shouldn't he come, as staff? He is the one who has covered for the many days and nights I devote to this trip.

And, if I stopped running it, it would stop running.

OP - you see to have run away! Wonder why?

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now