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.

Dawndonnaagain Thu 03-Oct-13 14:12:14

In my experience, kids get swept up with things and go along with the crowd before they realise what they're doing
OP did say her dd has additional needs.
OP, I really think you need to have a firm word with the school. This happened to us when dd was in year 5. We caved and talked her into going, only to have a 'phone to pick her up by teatime on the first day. Had we listened to her all along, we wouldn't have put her through the trauma. She is 17 now and still remembers it.

hermioneweasley Thu 03-Oct-13 14:19:47

Tell them to stop! You don't want to be in a position where DD changes her mind and you have to say no because you can't now afford it.

WilsonFrickett Thu 03-Oct-13 14:20:35

OK, I think you should go to school and ask to see what they've done for a risk assessment (if TA is with a group and DD doesn't want to participate, what happens) and find out what exactly they are proposing as adjustments for DD.

atm the only adjustment is someone she likes may be attending the trip. That's not good enough. Unless they can plan proper adjustments your DD isn't going and you'd be grateful if members of staff stop putting pressure on her to change her mind.

moldingsunbeams Thu 03-Oct-13 14:24:45

Mistress I talk alot about the money because to us it is a hell of a lot of money, I am a single parent, I work but am on one wage with no support from exh at all and therefore one low income as I had to give up my well paid career when we left exh due to the hours and take a lower paid child friendly position as I used to work very very late hours and long days.

If dd wanted to go and would take part in all the activities then of course I would find the money.

What I am trying to say in the sleepover bit is it is a lot of money for me to find and pay out for her to refuse to join in which is possible.

Its a lot of money I could use on something else right now.

I have already said I am grateful to the school for trying and to the TA who I think is amazing.

DuckToWater Thu 03-Oct-13 14:42:33

I don't think kids even without additional needs should have to go on outdoorsy residential trips if they don't want to.

I went on one such trip when I was 15 and hated every minute of it. I was put into a group with some girls who were bullies, with no friends in the group at all, and we had to do team building physical activities and assault courses. Now I'm not un-sporty, but I wasn't very fit at the time, was carrying some puppy fat, lacking confidence in general, I hate heights, balancing, climbing, anything like that anyway, and there was loads of that. I spent the days getting battered, bruised, being made fun of and trying not to cry, and the evenings feeling lonely and left out as everyone else seemed to be having a great time.

As an adult I quite like cross country running now, have even walked up a few mountains and have survived skiing trips (though am still terrified) but the words "team building" and "residential" would have me running for cover, even now.

brambleandapple Thu 03-Oct-13 14:50:02

Absolutely agree Duck and they don't. This is why there is a permission slip. What the OP has described this school as doing, is tantamount to harassment.

If only I could believe her experience is the exception, rather than the norm....

moldingsunbeams Thu 03-Oct-13 14:53:39

Sorry Mistress just to be clear I was not refering to the entire trip as an expensive sleepover, just that thats what it would become if dd refused to join in the activities.

Xales Thu 03-Oct-13 15:03:33

Your DD has been bullied and emotionally pressured by her teachers now since April so for months in my opinion.

It must be hell for her to go in every day and be asked again and again.

What if your DD says yes, you cough up and then the TA doesn't go?

I think their behaviour is appalling and they need telling to back the fuck off. I would take this to the head and tell them to back off pressuring your DD.

Sunnymeg Thu 03-Oct-13 15:07:54

We had this with DS who was y6 last year. He didn't want to go, has SEN and wasn't the slightest bit interested in any of the activities that were planned. I had a meeting with his teacher, and the head and felt as if I was being pushed in a corner as they wanted him to go. We stuck to our guns, and the week before the residential the head rang me up to find out what I was planning to do with DS as they had no cover in place to look after him for the two school days his classmates were away. I sent DS in as usual and he ended up doing jobs like photocopying. This may be the real reason they want your DD to go, because they won't have anything for her to do if she doesn't. Hearing back from other parents about the residential just made me glad that I stuck to my guns, as hardly any of the children enjoyed it!

moldingsunbeams Thu 03-Oct-13 15:09:49

I honestly do think they are trying to help.
They have never had a child in his class that does not want to come to school so much apparently.
They have never had a child so against going on the trip.

I think in their way they are trying their best and I am torn because its the first time in juniors I have felt they are taking account of her needs and really want her to go, but shes had months to think about it and I do not feel now is the time after we have told dd we accept her decision and a parent has told them no to start pushing.

FlapJackOLantern Thu 03-Oct-13 15:12:00

Didn't you post a thread about this the other day? If not it is strikingly familiar.

moldingsunbeams Thu 03-Oct-13 15:12:19

Sunnymeg a child did not go last year for entirely different reasons, I think the place could not meet complex needs and he stayed in class below and did work. DD knows this and would rather do work apparently.

moldingsunbeams Thu 03-Oct-13 15:16:45

I think I posted asking advice before we gave a definate no decision Flap before I knew about all these little chats.

trolleycoin Thu 03-Oct-13 15:19:44

Hi OP. have to agree with some of the other posters here. Does seem as though however well intentioned, the school is bullying her into saying she'll go. They probably are only trying to help, but I think it might be time for you to step in and tell them to just leave it be. The last thing you want is for her to feel so pressured that she doesn't want to go to school either.

As you say, your daughter has had months to think about it and still doesn't want to go. This decision should be respected. If all the kids come back and talk about an awesome time they had and then she wishes she had changed her mind, well, its a lesson learned.

If it were me I'd stick by her and your original decision. She'll respect you for it and it won't have a negative effect on your relationship with her. Could you imagine sending her, she has a traumatic experience and you have to go and collect her early?

hettienne Thu 03-Oct-13 15:23:51

I think the school have gone beyond trying to help and have started harassing her.

I would go into school myself, speak to the teacher and make clear that she isn't going and is finding the pressure to change her mind too much. It isn't going to happen so they need to drop it.

moulding I think you are being very trusting and very kind hearted about what they are doing. Take your dds needs out of the equation and they are basically telling a kid who's mother said no because she can't afford it , everything she would and wouldn't be doing on the trip. Would the harassment and carrot waving be so acceptable then?

Please don't be pushed into it out of guilt.

You don't need to tell the school why, it's not their business and they shouldn't be harassing your child.

There must be some reason that they are desperate for your DD to go on this trip - an inclusion target to meet? Extra funding that can be accessed? It all seems a bit fishy that they would try and push it so much.

~disclaimer~ am an old cynic

JammieMummy Thu 03-Oct-13 16:06:41

I have to agree with Wormskinrug and I am not an old cynic (or at least I dont think I am) but you really have to question quite why they are going to such extreme lengths to make encourage your DD to go on a trip which she is adament she does not wish to go on and which you have already said no to.

I am not sure about the bullying comments but what they are doing is entirely inappropriate for any year 6 child, let alone one with SEN! If they had additional suggestions they should be contacting you and allowing you to discuss these with your DD. For what it is worth I completely agree that you would be paying for a sleep over if DD doesn't participate in activites but more importantly she will feel even more isolated.

Just a thought but if the others are doing picture projects etc about the trip upon their return to school could your DD do one about the trip you had over the half term? It would tie in nicely with the lesson structure/plan (so the teacher wouldn't have to do a separate plan for her) and would stop her feeling left out once the others returned. You never know you might find some children are jealous of her trip when compared to the school organised one.

Eastpoint Thu 03-Oct-13 16:13:15

We had this with my son last year. He was in yr8 and adamant he did not want to go and I told the staff I would respect his opinions and that he did not have to go. He does not have any SNs just knows that he doesn't like large outdoor adventure group activities (having had to go on other similar trips).

I went & spoke to them & told them we needed to treat him as an individual and that his views matter. He did not regret not attending at all, especially when he heard the food was dreadful.

Stick to your guns & stand by your child.

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