School putting pressure on dd to attend a trip we have refused permission for.

(44 Posts)
moldingsunbeams Thu 03-Oct-13 13:19:21

I am a bit torn about this,

Dds class are going on a trip for 3 days including overnight.

DD is very quiet has a additional needs/SEN and has suffered consistant bullying last year and refused to go, things got quite bad at school and she did not want to go to school because of the bullying and was very very down.

She has been saying no since April and was able to come up with valid reasons. I did try and persuade her for months but a few weeks before she is still refusing. She has done the type of activity on offer before and hated if and found it very very difficult because of her needs. School offered to put a couple of things in place and dd still did not want to go. She struggles with noise and large team work type challanges too.

There was some offer that she would not have to do any activities she didnt want (which is all bar archery!) but its a lot of money to pay for her just to sleepover.

I can fully understand why she does not have any wish to go even though I see the benefits too.

As a result of both school and my persuasion failing I allowed dd to make the final decision last week in a long discussion explaining the full consequence of staying in school and missing out and told school she was not going and that was final and school said no child would be forced to go.

School have been told along the way she has no interest in going and why, dd has told them herself.

Since then school have been almost daily trying to persuade her to go, pulling her aside for chats about it, still asking her why she wont and also saying if we do x and y will you go, if your in a group with x teacher, bully wont be allowed in same room or group, DD has also continued to say no. They seemed to accept this but continued to talk to her.

I am very greatful they are trying and appreciate they are listening to her needs finally but the trip is a lot of money and after six months of being told no and then asking and being given a definate answer we booked a holiday for half term (week before the trip) so dd too had something to look forward to when all her class were talking about the trip.

End result is after six months of this yesterday after being told no yet again they have pulled a rabbit out of a hat and offered her beloved TA who was not on the trip to come and that she does not need to do the activities. I am very greatful especially to the TA who is amazing for giving her time up but I do not have the money to pay now anyway, we withdrew permission and now they have put daily pressure on her to go she is bound to buckle as she is desperate to please especially seeing she has now been told she does not have to do the activities.

Plus its a lot of money to pay just for a sleepover!

sweetestcup Thu 03-Oct-13 13:23:34

I wouldnt be grateful at all at the school trying to persuade her to go, I would be angry that they are harassing her trying to persuade her to change her mind when she has already said she doesnt want to go. Sounds like they are worried you will complain or something because of the bullying maybe.

YDdraigGoch Thu 03-Oct-13 13:27:08

I bet my bottom dollar that when she gets there she'll do at least some of the activities, and will enjoy herself. In my experience, kids get swept up with things and go along with the crowd before they realise what they're doing. And if she hates it, then its only 3 days.
If it's a lot of money, but you decide she should go after all, perhaps you could pay in installments (would have been offered when trip was first advertised).
If she doesn't go, it's not just the trip she'll be losing out on, it's all the talk about it afterwards, and school will do lots of activities and learning based on what they did on the trip.
How about telling DD that if she sticks it out for 24 hours, you will come and get her if she really really hates it? That's the trick I usually use, and I never have to go and get anyone.

quoteunquote Thu 03-Oct-13 13:31:10

It sounds like they are bending over backwards to accommodate her, these residential trips can be really good for group dynamic if done properly. She might make some good friends who will help with her confidence,

Could you be honest with them and say you can't afford it now, they might have some funding.

I agree with sweetcup

What they are doing is bullying and black mailing her.

moldingsunbeams Thu 03-Oct-13 13:33:49

Its the talk afterwards and linked work and photos that worry me too YD, shes not the type to be swept along with the crowd though, she prefers to be on her own, shes not a social child and she is bloody stubborn.

She had an accident on holiday in kids club which has terrified her and not helped at all and she steadfast refused to join in the water activities rest of week. Once its in her mind she is not likely to backdown if she is scared.

Nanny0gg Thu 03-Oct-13 13:34:02

Is this all between the school and DD or the school and you?

Because they should call you in to talk about it.

moldingsunbeams Thu 03-Oct-13 13:36:15

I think what also doesnt help is its been sold as a trip to "bond them" and she has no interest in bonding with them due to her sen, she is year 6, she wont go to same high school as them.

LtEveDallas Thu 03-Oct-13 13:36:28

At this stage I'd be telling the school that if it is THAT important for her to attend - THEY can pay. If they are not willing to pay, then they need to shut up.

They are emotionally blackmailing you and your daughter, and the constant badgering seems like bullying to me - so that's great, now she has learned that she gets bullied by her classmates AND her teachers.

I'd be going down there if I were you OP. This needs to STOP.

WilsonFrickett Thu 03-Oct-13 13:38:30

If her TA, who she trusts, is going with her and will be 'her' TA on the trip then I think it's fair enough to let her go. Presumably TA will work with her to push her where appropriate but will then not push her too hard?

I think though it's perfectly OK to say to the school 'we no longer have the money' and see if they come up with something to help you.

What I am on the fence about is their persuasion of DD. While it's has the desired outcome, there's something about it that I find a bit off. We spend our whole time teaching children (especially girls) to make decisions for themselves, to stand by those decisions, to not bow to peer pressure.

DD makes a reasoned decision and they then spend a lot of time doing the opposite hmm

moldingsunbeams Thu 03-Oct-13 13:39:42

This is all between school and dd Nanny
I have spoken to school on several occassions about it including on Friday when we came to a final decision and told school no and exactly why.

DD is now coming home saying Mr X has had a chat and said what if this and what if that and MrsY has had a chat and said the other.

DeWe Thu 03-Oct-13 13:43:23

I think you need to go in and say something along the lines of what you've put here.

You are greatful for the extra effort they are prepared to put in to enable her to go on the trip.
However she is feeling hassled about going.
She wants to please them, so may say yes, however you know that she really does not want to go on the trip, and is getting upset at home because of this.

Then follow it up with what will school provide for her to do that week in school, or would it be better for her to be homeschooled that week.
Once they've said what she is doing instead, it may clear their minds to see that she has an option.

moldingsunbeams Thu 03-Oct-13 13:48:26

Wilson, from what I can gleam from dd I think the situation with her TA is DD thinks another member of staff was due to go as each teacher/TA has a group while away. DD was originally going to be put in teachers group as he has most vunerable ones but dd still refused to go.

Because school know I really like the TA (who takes for sen group work) as we had jokingly mentioned we were stealing her for secondary and also dd absoloutely adores her , the class teacher has asked her if she might consider going instead of other staff member I think.

All I know is TA told dd class teacher had asked her if she would mind going to help dd and TA has said if head says it is ok and if she can get someone to look after horses and her husband doesnt mind then she might be able to go and dd could be in her group of children.

If not definate TA can even go yet but they have told dd above.

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Thu 03-Oct-13 13:48:56

I would be having a word with the school. They have taken it TOO FAR. It is on thing to do their best to accommmodate DD, but you have said 'It is a definite NO' they need to respect that and stop harassing her!!

SunshineMMum Thu 03-Oct-13 13:49:52

We had this exact problem with DS. We allowed him to go on the first one year?? but collected him for bedtime and because of extreme bully in year it was touch and go. We only decided that he could go, on the Thursday before the Monday and had insisted on seeing a risk assessment around 'the situation. I am so glad that we had done it in stages but had let him go. His confidence soared it was a PGL holiday and he did brilliantly [happy]

I should say you know your own child, her interests and her difficulties (DS has ASD) and you know if and when the time is right.

So what happens if the TA can't go? She won't ever trust them again and in assuming she would have a melt down or get anxious if it turns out she isn't there. It duesvt seen there's much regard for your dds feelings tbh.

SunshineMMum Thu 03-Oct-13 13:51:17

.. and just to add to that I was made to go at 11 and chose to on a holiday at 12 and both were horrendous experiences I shall never forget!

Rooners Thu 03-Oct-13 13:55:05

This is wrong. They should not be doing it. You should probably email them and ask them, politely, to desist as it is confusing for your dd.

JessicaBeatriceFletcher Thu 03-Oct-13 13:57:54

I think the school have gone way over the line on this. I'd be going in, being very firm that NO means NO and tell - not ask - them to drop it.

thebody Thu 03-Oct-13 14:00:06

there's a line between bending over backwards and absolutely trying to accommodate all the children's needs here,as the school seem to be doing,and on the other hand pushing and pushing to try and change her mind.

it may be that the teachers actually don't realise just how many little chats each of them are having with your dd as each would take it as a personal badge if honour that it was them who changed her mind.

if the TA can go be very careful as she will have a group of children not just your dd exclusively, that is two very different things. also will she stay the night or just drive there every day as can happen if the trip is near enough.

go into school and find out the final situation and then leave it to your dd to decide. then say that's a definitive decision and you don't expect any more discussion about it.

brambleandapple Thu 03-Oct-13 14:03:06

I think it is wrong for the school to put so much pressure on your DD or any other child for that matter.

I think these trips can be pushed a bit too forcefully. All the literature should make it clear that they are optional, which they are. If this happened consistently perhaps you would find there would be quite a few children who would prefer not to go. It is too much, too young. There should be absolutely no pressure.

I have known much older children / adults be homesick and miss their families.

MistressIggi Thu 03-Oct-13 14:04:51

They are making reasonable adjustments for your dd. they may have had students in a similar position before who benefitted from such a trip. You talk a lot about the money, it is not "just a sleepover' you are paying for as it sounds like IF this was a success it would be a big deal for your daughter.
I think the parent must have the final say, but I don't think there is much gratitude for the school's efforts - especially those calling it bullying! I can easily imagine the threads (quite rightly) complaining the a school was not trying to accommodate the needs of a student so they could go on the trip.

brambleandapple Thu 03-Oct-13 14:07:56

Mistress If someone pushes something you to buy something you don't want and in fact think could be harmful, you are supposed to grateful?

Schools should listen to the pupils and pupil's parents. How much is this for the school to look good and how much is this for the good of the pupils?

Jinty64 Thu 03-Oct-13 14:09:01

We had this with DS1 in P7. We refused permission as we didn't feel they had enough staff going to meet his needs - ADHD and he didn't really want to go. Teachers said his additional needs were very minor and made us feel silly persuaded us with promises of things that would be done so we relented. Turns out we were right and he returned (thank goodness) with tales of getting lost, falling in a river and medication not given. He also kept the teachers awake all night one night - oh dear! What a shame! I would stick to your guns.

They quite easily could have approached her mum and asked what they could do or put in place to enable her to come and to enjoy herself. They shouldn't be hounding a vulnerable child daily and making promises they aren't even sure they an keep.

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