School trip policy

(19 Posts)
whoops Fri 02-May-14 10:15:51

Our school is taking the year 5s on a trip on Tuesday, they need parent helpers which after sending a text telling us they were desperate they now have too many!

We have just found out that they school now has a new policy and that you will have a group of children to be in charge of but you won't have your own with you. I don't have a problem with this as I know my dd usually behaves better for others anyway and I'm more likely to tell her off more too! It has caused a lot of outrage in the playground now to the point I think parents are going to pull out of helping on the morning.

Just wondering if this works well in other schools?

meditrina Fri 02-May-14 10:21:44

I can't actually remember if I was ever officially 'in charge' of any of my DC. All the little blighters were milling around anyhow, so it was certainly easy to be near her (though she largely ignored me). I did sit with her on the coach (she slept) on the way back.

The thing to remember is that you aren't there to have fun and bonding with your own DC. Your day will be spent frantically counting heads, wishing the school had a cast-iron inflexible uniform policy so you can spot them more easily, wishing spare water wasn't so heavy to carry and looking for a TA as child X needs to go to the loo again

WooWooOwl Fri 02-May-14 10:25:37

That's how it works in my school, and it's never been a problem. But parents are informed that they won't be with their own child when they are asked to volunteer, so they know what they're signing up for before they put their names down.

We have some part time TAs and they are usually drafted even if it's not their day to work to minimise the number of parents we have to take. Then the parents are carefully chosen (they don't know this) so that we get sensible ones who aren't so obsessed with their own children that they pay no attention to the ones they're supposed to minding.

Youdontneedacriminallawyer Fri 02-May-14 10:25:41

When we ask parents to help in Brownies, for meetings and on trips, we make a point of asking them not to help out with the group their own DD is working with. It's a recipe for disaster, as they tend to ignore all the other children. Parents are usually OK with this, though some find it harder to ignore their DD than others.

I'm right behind the school, but I wouldn't have announced the logistics until after the trip had set off.

StarDustInTheWind Fri 02-May-14 10:27:45

We had the opposite policy - that your child went in your group - that way your attention was on your group - not what your DC were up to with someone else.. worked well - but TBH I only went when they were in infants - in Y3 and above, school is their bit of space away from mum or dad...

17leftfeet Fri 02-May-14 10:29:22

I help out on school trips and have never had my own child in my group

I thought this was the norm as I can remember my mum coming on trips but I was never in her group

whoops Fri 02-May-14 10:30:54

Like I said I don't have a problem with the policy it's just the fact that I think it either should have been explained when asking for help or nothing said til everyone was on the coach travelling! Some of the parents are good at voicing their opinions and I'm for once quite glad I won't be in the playground picking up tonight wink

whoops Fri 02-May-14 10:33:03

I think part of it is on previous trips (I haven't been on one since infants) you always had your child in your group.

We very rarely place parents with their own child. Usually only if there is a medical or behavioural issue, whereby the child would possibly not get to come along unless they have an adult accompanying them.
It seems to work better if the parents and their children are not together. However, this is made clear at the beginning of each academic year when parents say if they would be willing to come on trips and get the necessary checks carried out.

TeenAndTween Fri 02-May-14 10:48:16

I agree that if it's a change in policy they probably should have said in advance.

However I think it is better not to have your child in your group. I always ask for mine not to be with me.
- it makes other children less upset that their own parent isn't there
- it gives your own child a proper school trip experience
- some parents pay too much attention to their own child and not enough to the rest of the group (I have seen this a few times, e.g. walking along a busy road, parent is talking to own child rather than supervising all the 6 children).

PatriciaHolm Fri 02-May-14 10:50:14

Our school make it very clear you won't have your own child in your group; I think it's a common policy. Sounds like your school needs to explain why it has done this.

Xihha Fri 02-May-14 11:41:39

We're not allowed our DC in our group at DSs school but we all know that's the policy from the first parents meeting when they start school so everyone knows they wont be with their DC before signing up. Parents that come in to help with reading and stuff at school are never given their own children either.

I'm a Rainbow leader and I deliberately put DD in someone elses group as much as possible so she gets treated fairly (it's quite hard to be unbiased when she argues with another child and I tend to tell her off more than I would the others) and if she's in another group I can pay attention to the other children without her clinging to me constantly.

mummytime Fri 02-May-14 11:54:15

My DCs school usually places children with their parent. They do ask if you want to be seperated. Actually its part of the reason I have rarely volunteered with no 3, I don't think she is as "oddly" behaved with other parents as me. I can do 1 on 1 with her, or look after a groups, just not her and a group.

hiccupgirl Fri 02-May-14 13:56:08

When I was a teacher parent helpers always had a group without their own DC in. We found some parents would spend all their time focused on their child and forget about the rest of the group.

Seems silly for people to pull out because of this - it supposed to be a trip helping the class not a jolly day out with your own child.

Jinty64 Fri 02-May-14 14:32:47

When ds1(18) was younger I was always asked to help out with school trips probably because he has ADHD and needed a firm hand more supervision than some children. He was always in my group, often with a couple of other boys who were also challenging I knew well. I helped a lot with ds2's(16) year, probably chosen as I was well known at the school and he was also always in my group.

I have only been on one trip with ds3's(7) class and was given a little group of girls so I don't know if our school policy has changed over the years. I was, however, quickly summoned from my group to deal with the bloodshed when ds managed to knock his wobbly tooth out with his water bottle. I'm sure he would have been far less hysterical if I hadn't been there!

HappyMummyOfOne Fri 02-May-14 20:43:41

Our schools policy is that parents can only help on a trip if their own child is not on it. It sorts the true volunteers from those simply wanting to be with their child and its a policy the local authority state is best.

TheGruffalo2 Fri 02-May-14 21:39:08

After an incident with a parent helper wandering off with her DC to see something different and abandoning the rest of her group we make it very clear that if you volunteer to help you will not be working with your child. We always had too many volunteers as many parents saw it as a fun mum/child day out where parents would be funded by the school.

Bilberry Fri 02-May-14 23:41:34

I helped out on ds nursery trip and wished I wasn't with my dc. My ds has speech issues so they thought I would be best just looking after him (only him) but that removed a lot of the point of it being a nursery trip! I 'acquired' another dc from a mum allocated 3 (ds friend) so at least my ds had his 'pair' like every other dc. Generally I think having your own dc under your wing removed the independence that is the point of these trips.

BackforGood Fri 02-May-14 23:46:33

I agree it's a good policy, but, with any change from tradition, it's generally good to let people know if they are signing up for something different from what they thought they were.

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