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 Mon 24-Mar-14 09:18:37

We don't know how tall OP's DS is, but I am 5ft 6ins and some juniors look down on me!
Perhaps OP could come back and say what she thinks the school should do with no minibus and no money.

mrz Mon 24-Mar-14 07:42:38

My infant class takes part in inter school sports competitions (we provide a coach before anyone asks) but they would all need booster seats ... and of course some junior children aren't very tall.

Don't feel guilty about not being able to reciprocate lifts during the school day. You will find, especially as your DC gets older, that there are lots of sports or music activities at weekends and in the evenings and you can always offer to give lifts to them. It all works itself out in the end.

Delphiniumsblue Mon 24-Mar-14 07:16:22

Some junior children are taller than some adults, would they need booster seats?

linney Mon 24-Mar-14 07:12:57

Mrz highlights an important point. My Dp is a football coach. He is not allowed to organize parents to give lifts to away matches- but if parents make arrangements amongst themselves to give lifts that's fine. So he tells everyone when and where and they sort it out. That's why schools word things so vaguely. Because of my aforementioned 7 seater, my ds was always asked if his mum was "coming to watch". He would ask me- then if I could I would offer lifts.

mrz Mon 24-Mar-14 07:02:05

Did I say that BackForGood? No I said parents shouldn't be expected to take other children ... if they offer it's a very different thing. How many parents have multiple booster seats for a start!

Delphiniumsblue Mon 24-Mar-14 06:49:53

Sorry, him not her.

Delphiniumsblue Mon 24-Mar-14 06:49:14

If I was the school and OP made any fuss at all about a perfectly kind and reasonable offer of a lift I would have to drop her from the team.
It is simple, the child needs to be somewhere so OP has 3 choices:
1. She takes time of work and goes.
2. She accepts the kind offer of a lift.
3. Her child is not in the team.

I suspect that OP wants a coach, at no cost to her, from a non existent school budget!
Is she coming back to the thread after a weekend of 'stewing over' the horror of a parent daring to volunteer to take those whose parents can't manage it?

Nocomet Sun 23-Mar-14 23:25:38

Because I changed courses and fetched up as an over 21year old at university I could borrow the dept. Minibus for a society I was in.

Chaning from a small hatch back to a transit, a great deal longer is interesting, especially when in town. The students I took places were old enough to appreciate I didnt do it every day and shut up.

I'm much less sure about about DDs Y6.

BackforGood Sun 23-Mar-14 23:20:22

Well said linney and Delphiniumsblue
In y previous job, when I couldn't get time off to take my dc to things, my ds didn't miss out because other parents were kind enough to help out. I was extremely grateful to them. Now I have a more flexible job, and have been able to take my younger dd to thing, I realise that it's no big deal to offer a lift to another child whose parents aren't able to do it.... of course, I've never met any of these complaining MNers in RL, just other parents all trying to do our best for our children, and all a) willing to help each other out, and b) grateful and appreciative to those who do help us out.

Oh, and I am hugely appreciative to the school for offering my dc the opportunities they have had, and for their common sense approach to allowing parents to sort out lifts amongst themselves to get the children there.

Delphiniumsblue Sun 23-Mar-14 22:56:30

I think that if I was a parent who had had a child in the same class as OP for 5 yrs, had a clean driving licence and a CRB check and was being kind enough to offer a lift to her child, because she was working, I would expect her to thank me not describe me as 'random' parent and assume I want something in return! I wouldn't expect her to be stewing over it all weekend and writing furious letters. I would like her to tell me to my face what is wrong with me and why a teacher, who doesn't get much experience of driving a minibus and probably hasn't been driving as long as me, is better. It is a mad world- and such odd people make MN fascinating. (I don't meet them in RL)

linney Sun 23-Mar-14 22:56:23

There's an underlying attitude here that I find very distasteful- sort of "well, if the school wants my precious super talented child to perform for their benefit, the least they can do is arrange transport for him to do it. Not my fault if they can't"

Not "well, it's huge fun and a brilliant experience for kids to represent their school at things- lets's see how we can help to make it happen"

Picturesinthefirelight Sun 23-Mar-14 22:48:10

I guess we don't really have many 'small' schools in stoke on Trent.

BackforGood Sun 23-Mar-14 22:47:34

So, Mrz - you are suggesting that only dc who have parents who are both available in the school day, and have their own transport can play in the teams?
How selfish.
In my world people help each other out. It's what makes the world go round. If my dc play in a team, and their team mates' parents are unable to take them, then they are very welcome to come with me, just the same as on a Saturday when they play for their league teams, and just the same as when I'm taking them to cub camp, or to swimming training. Equally, when there have been times when my dc wouldn't have been able to do things as I can't get them there, other parents have offered to take my dc.

Delphiniumsblue Sun 23-Mar-14 22:45:09

Personally I would rather have mine in a car, with a parent, than in a minibus with someone who isn't very used to driving one.

Delphiniumsblue Sun 23-Mar-14 22:43:50

Another problem Pictures and another reason small schools don't have them.

Picturesinthefirelight Sun 23-Mar-14 22:38:37

Dh had to do minibus training to drive his schools minibus.

Delphiniumsblue Sun 23-Mar-14 22:37:08

Small schools generally do it and parents are generally grateful!
OP can't do it, you would imagine she would be pleased that the school arranged transport rather than drop her DC from the team.

Nocomet Sun 23-Mar-14 22:19:51

Favour

Nocomet Sun 23-Mar-14 22:19:29

Our teachers wouldn't take children in their cars, because that would be buisness use, but parents are ok.

I guess it just counts as a caviur for a friend.

Did at our school as I invariably ended up with girls I lift share for swimming or have for sleepovers as they always want to go with their friends.

Delphiniumsblue Sun 23-Mar-14 22:16:01

I wonder which planet people live in if they think that all primary schools have minibuses. hmm
Schools actually organise it all for the benefit of the pupils so the obvious answer, if people are like OP, is not to bother. Sad.

intheenddotcom Sun 23-Mar-14 20:38:02

"It is risky driving the kids around, and many have to pay for insurance out of their own pocket" - same for parents.

"A lot of schools insist on two members of staff as well for transport." - which should be ditto for parents. If one staff member cannot be trusted alone with DC, how can the school endorse parents?

"All in all, it's easier to ask parents." - to do something considered inappropriately risk for teachers.

Cost/convenience I agree with. But saying that it's too risky for one group of adults but not another is just wrong.

Reply: It's a bit different when you are transporting your own child, which I assume the OP does to get them to school in the first place! Parent's do not have to pay for extra insurance, and regularly drive their children around on their own. Big difference doing something as a parent than as an employee.

Martorana Sun 23-Mar-14 20:34:31

"s far as I'm concerned if the school organise it & want a child to represent the school in an event. It's up to them to get them there"

Because it's entirely for the benefit of the school, isn't it? hmm

Picturesinthefirelight Sun 23-Mar-14 19:52:27

I thought all schools had mini buses. I've never heard if parents having to take them in any of our local schools

As far as I'm concerned if the school organise it & want a child to represent the school in an event. It's up to them to get them there.

If I arrange it or want to take my child out of school for a music exam perhaps or sport/dance event, it's up to me.

Nocomet Sun 23-Mar-14 19:47:14

Our primary now has a mini bus, but when the DDs were there it was quite normal for parents to take pupils to sports.

Only tended to be Y5-6 by which time we all knew each other (small school) so no one worried.

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