Expecting Parents to Provide Transport to Sports Events within School Day

(101 Posts)
KnappShappeyShipwright Fri 21-Mar-14 16:13:22

DS1 is at junior school and has been selected to represent the school at tag rugby next week during the school day. I've just received a letter asking me to provide transport due to "health & safety regulations". I work full-time, my DH works full-time, we have no other family within a 100 mile radius and I'm not prepared to send him off with a random parent, particularly as I can never return the favour. The event is during the school day and finishes at "around" 5pm. I'm resisting emailing the school right now but I'm furious - I don't think it's up to parents to do this, is it? Any ideas on how I approach this as I've got all weekend to stew over it.

Delphiniumsblue Fri 21-Mar-14 19:13:30

It is the normal way. I thought all schools did it or how else would they get there? It doesn't mean that you owe a lift.

interestedteacher Fri 21-Mar-14 19:39:58

As a teacher, the H&S advice that has been forced upon us is that we can never be in a car alone with children. This means that it would take two members of staff to transport a maximum of 3 children. The logic being that we cannot monitor the behaviour of children when driving and could be distracted.

On top of that there is the need to have business insurance, at a personal cost to the teacher, and the need for booster seats for children below the required height.

We've been told that unless we have a minibus, it is much safer to let the parents sort out transport between themselves. I would never ask a parent to take another child, it is up to them to organise things.

I have taken children to sporting events for years and despair at the number of schools that don't bother anymore. These guidelines make it harder but luckily my head is quite good at organising transport and we have parents who are supportive and are happy to co-operate with each other and appreciate the school arranging events.

BambooBear13 Fri 21-Mar-14 20:15:08

Ok that makes more sense thx

pancakesfortea Fri 21-Mar-14 20:23:57

Never heard of it myself. But then we are in London so they just get the bus. Don't know what we would do if they ever did expect parents to drive during the school day. Hardly any of us have cars.

pancakesfortea Fri 21-Mar-14 20:27:10

So we do get requests for parents to help out on trips, but it's help to get 30 kids on the tube, not to drive a car load. Not sure which is worse....

spanieleyes Fri 21-Mar-14 20:27:22

Well, we have a bus on Tuesday to the nearest town, it leaves the bus stop ( half a mile away from the school) at 10.00, arrives in town at 10.30 and leaves again at 12,00 ,That's it until the following Tuesday!
We need parents!

mrz Fri 21-Mar-14 20:29:48

In my village there is one bus every hour and it takes 50 minutes to travel the 6 miles to town because the bus route takes in every village pancakesfortea

Martorana Fri 21-Mar-14 20:41:33

What are you furious about?

fuckwittery Fri 21-Mar-14 20:43:25

I wouldn't hesitate to give a lift to a child who had a working parent, it would be literally no trouble at all to put one extra child in the car. I've been that working parent who has to ask others for lifts or not send my child, and count myself to be at home now and be able to take my child places, I would freely share that good fortune to take someone's else's child and not expect anything on return. Of there's a party or something at the week end and you can return the favour, great, otherwise I wouldn't think anything of it. Have you got a class email list so you can ask for a lift, just explain you work etc

Taffeta Fri 21-Mar-14 20:47:54

This happens often at DSs school. I am able to help with a lift next week as it falls during the school day on my day off, very often I can't help as it is after school and clashes with DDs activities.

It's well accepted some parents can help with lifts and others can't. It's no big deal. I am happy for DS to travel with any other parent, tbh.

rollonthesummer Fri 21-Mar-14 20:52:20

My school has a minibus and members of staff willing to drive it. At my DC's school, they do as the school does in the OP; ask willing parents to contribute. What the school does depends on lots of factors.

clam Fri 21-Mar-14 21:02:44

What, or whom, are you furious with?
The school, for selecting your child to participate in a fun extra-curricular activity?
Or the current climate, whereby schools have had every blessed thing they try to provide, strangled by the red tape of H&S?
If you can't/won't take him yourself, and won't allow another parent to do so either, then withdraw him from the activity.

Martorana Fri 21-Mar-14 21:09:48

And I wasn't going to say it, but I will- as someone who has happily transported many children to many matches in my car (like someone else on here, I do suspect that my children's selection for things was largely based on my 7 seater!) I find being dismissed as "a random parent" a bit.......annoying.

missinglalaland Fri 21-Mar-14 21:16:54

Our school does this all the time for cost saving reasons. I think it is pretty standard.

I am a sahm, and I am always happy to take other children, when I am driving for these things. I realise that working parents probably can never return the favour, but I don't mind, I am driving anyway and I wouldn't want any of the dc to miss out, especially when there is room in my car. Don't feel embarrassed about accepting a favour.

BackforGood Fri 21-Mar-14 21:48:23

Like Rufus, it did go through my mind that there could be a link between my dd keeping her place on the cricket team, and the fact I had a 7 seater and can work pretty flexible hours so was usually around to help with transport grin

AChickenCalledKorma Fri 21-Mar-14 22:03:33

We get requests for parents to help with transport, but it's never expected that all parents will do so. I wouldn't feel remotely bad about saying "no I can't because I'm at work" - nor would I feel that I had to reciprocate. There are several SAHMs with large MPVs who are happy to take a gang of children to events.

We have also on occasion been asked for consent for staff to drive small groups of children.

The school has a set of booster seats for those who need them.

UniS Sat 22-Mar-14 14:58:22

I've just arranged a trip for a team of nine kids for a sports comp in school time. had more offers of transport than we need. which is a nice place to be in as I could say thank you but not this time to one of the regular 7 seated owners.
There are teams out at away fixtures every day next week in 4 different sports.

Lucyccfc Sat 22-Mar-14 17:15:54

Not normal at my DS's school. Parents are not asked to do this, the school see it as their responsibility, as it is part of a normal school day and enriches the curriculum.

The teachers who drive, have 'business use' on their insurance, so can take the kids or the teacher goes with them in a taxi.

My DS plays football for the school and chess and I have never been asked to drive him any where. I would find it very odd if school did ask.

BackforGood Sat 22-Mar-14 17:21:55

Why would you find it odd, Lucyccfc ?
It's not really 'part of the normal school day' if a team are going off to play in a tournament. I agree it's a great opportunity for them, but how do you expect the one staff member that goes with them to fit them all in their car (even if they have one, and have business insurance) ? That would only work if you were only taking 3 children somewhere, which seems a lot less likely than taking 10 - 14 for a team competition.

SpockSmashesScissors Sat 22-Mar-14 18:16:45

Not normal here, school has a minibus, caretaker drives it and class teacher/team coach accompanies the children.

DS was in a tag rugby tournament last year they went on the minibus.

We have never been asked to provide transport for any sort of trips, sports, maths tournaments etc.

Martorana Sat 22-Mar-14 18:25:48

Fantastic if the school can afford a mini bus- what happens if they can't?

Delphiniumsblue Sat 22-Mar-14 18:31:38

Very few primary schools have minibuses.

SpockSmashesScissors Sat 22-Mar-14 18:35:25

PTA funded our school minibus.

But suppose this is the difference perhaps between small primary schools and larger 2/3 class entry, city ones.

Martorana Sat 22-Mar-14 18:37:50

Anyway, many schools do not have mini buses- or PTAs which could afford to fund one. Or somebody able and prepared to drive one. What do the anti parents being a taxi service brigade suggest such schools should do?

RufusTheReindeer Sat 22-Mar-14 20:18:05

Two primary schools in our village, one 2 entry and one 3. Neither has a minibus

Senior school does though

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