School trips and volunteers

(48 Posts)
AngelsWithSilverWings Wed 09-Jul-14 11:15:18

I'm really interested to know how your school manages school trips. At our school you can only volunteer if you have a CRB check carried out by the school. You only get one of those if you commit to working one morning or afternoon per week as a classroom helper.

Added to this the school won't allow you to help on your own child's trips!

So this morning there are desperate pleas for crb checked volunteers for a trip later this week.

Are all schools like this?

PlaydoughGirl Wed 09-Jul-14 11:18:15

At our school, volunteers need a DBS check, but are allowed to volunteer for trips with their own child's class.
I've been DBS checked and have accompanied 2 trips with my daughters Reception class this year, and despite me offering to help in the classroom on a weekly basis, I haven't been taken up on my offer.

scaevola Wed 09-Jul-14 11:20:08


Our school checks all regular helpers.

But one-offs accompanying trips aren't counted as "regular" and they are arranged so parent helpers do not have unsupervised contact with children.

It is however pretty normal not to be assigned to your own DCs group. You are there to assist in the running of the trip, not have a day out with your own child.

HouseofEliot Wed 09-Jul-14 11:25:11

No parents allowed on trips. Only teachers and TA's.

Hakluyt Wed 09-Jul-14 11:28:40

No DBS checks for one off helpers. And yes,you can go with your child- usually you are assigned your child's group, unless either you or your child request otherwise.

BreconBeBuggered Wed 09-Jul-14 11:28:47

Our school checks all volunteers, whether they are in regular contact with children or not, eg governors. This means there's a pool of people who are already DBS checked and can be asked to help out in an emergency. PTA are checked too, though most of them are at work so unlikely to be able to step in at the last minute.

ElephantsNeverForgive Wed 09-Jul-14 11:37:43

Small school, combined classes, pretty much impossible for many parents not to have one or other sibling on the trip.

Frontier Wed 09-Jul-14 11:40:52

We rarely use parents but when we do need to, they're not DBS checked on the basis that they will never be alone with the children.

Jellyandjam Wed 09-Jul-14 11:45:19

My children's school regularly use parent helpers for trips (always from the own child's class). No DBS checks required as they are never alone with the children.

ChickenFajitasAndNachos Wed 09-Jul-14 11:48:35

At my DC's school, you need a DBS done by the school. You can help on a trip with a class your DC is in but you will be not be helping with the small group your DC is in.

Seeline Wed 09-Jul-14 12:04:32

regular helpers are checked. Trips are not.
Volunteer to go with your own child's class, and will usually be with that child's group unless specifically requested by either you or child not to be.

Hoppinggreen Wed 09-Jul-14 12:37:19

At pure one offs are ok but for regular contact you need a DBS.
If you go on a school trip you won't be with the group your child is in.
I volunteer T school but wouldn't do a school trip unless they were desperate

HereComesYourMam Wed 09-Jul-14 12:44:19

Regular helpers are checked at our school, not sure about those helping on trips. There are a lot of trips - when I go I'm always with DS's class, and with DS's group.

FeministStar Wed 09-Jul-14 12:44:50

I've been on a few trips and have been with my own child, mainly because they have a life threatening condition so it made sense for them to be in my group. Often other parents were with their children so I don't think they always separate them.

FinDeSemaine Wed 09-Jul-14 12:50:49

People who help on trips are all DBS checked at our school - what if they need to take a child to the loo or something? And the helper's child is always placed with their parent if there are groups. I can quite see that they don't get many volunteers if being with your own child isn't allowed - I would be happy to help anyway but I wouldn't because DD would be really upset if I were there and she wasn't allowed to be in my group.

AngelsWithSilverWings Wed 09-Jul-14 12:53:09

It's interesting that there are no hard and fast rules governing school trips. Our school is clearly being super cautious.

They are very likely to cancel the proposed trip because they are short of volunteers. This is so sad.

If they just relaxed the rules a little they wouldn't have this problem.

I feel bad because I've said I can't help - my DD is having a birthday party and I've made arrangements with a friend to spend the day preparing the food and cakes etc.

I went on a whole day trip last week and what with two sports days and the borough sports event, on top of spending the entire school fair day serving in the kitchen and doing my classroom helper sessions it feels like a full time job!

Ilelo Wed 09-Jul-14 12:55:17

No checks on volunteers for school trips at ours and you will be responsible for the group your child is in. I think it's to help focus the mind on looking after the children if your child is there too especially going on the underground smile.

MrsStark1 Wed 09-Jul-14 12:56:20

At both school's my children go to they don't do a check for trip helpers and helpers can stay with their children. Also i have not been checked by either school where i help.

AngelsWithSilverWings Wed 09-Jul-14 13:00:42

With regards to being alone with the children. One of the rules of being a CRB volunteer at our school , is that we are never permitted to be alone with a child.

All toilet trips etc are supervised by a teacher. The parent helper is stationed outside a public loo while the children are in there with the teacher. Our job is to politely request members of the general public to wait outside the toilets until all of the the school children are finished.

If the member of the public refuses to wait we have to order all of the children out of the toilets and wait again. It's all madness really.

BookieTubules Wed 09-Jul-14 13:01:06

Everyone has to be checked at our school and the school has said of this year that if they DBS check anyone that person needs to commit regularly. They have also said they will only do DBS checks in the Autumn term. So far we have ignored the regular commitment and have enough CRB checks still valid that it hasn't been an issue as we have a pool happy to help out. It will however become a massive issue in future years as not unreasonably people are happy to commit to coming in to listen to reading or whatever a couple of times a term but I don't think any of our parent helpers would be willing to do once a week.

You have to be checked to help on a school trip as you will be alone with a group of children. This will again become a problem as if they limit the number of people getting DBS checks as above then as the CRB checks come up for renewal the pool will go down.

We have pointed this out to the school but I suspect until they actually start realising they cannot run trips because they do not have six parents per class with valid DBS checks willing and free to help on that particular day, and then they may reduce their requirements for frequent commitment in order to get a DBS check done.

OldBeanbagz Wed 09-Jul-14 13:01:32

No CRB checks for parent helpers on the school trips at my DC's school and normally parents are not in charge of the same group of children as their own child. Not sure why. Maybe they've had kids playing up in the past?

Regular helpers are CRB checked though. They seem to have plenty of helpers throughout the school and the popular trips are always over-subscribed.

Cheebame Wed 09-Jul-14 13:08:56

No CRB check at school, but parents can't take the kids to the toilet or be left alone with them - there is always a member of staff around - these are reception age.

The good trips have so many volunteers they have to have a ballot, but you can go along with your own transport if you want. The trips to the local shops have rather fewer volunteers smile

FinDeSemaine Wed 09-Jul-14 13:22:17

You have to ask members of the public not to go into the toilets if there is a child in there? That sounds insane and unworkable. We go in with the children and keep an eye on them. I mean, not in the cubicles, obviously, just to the area where the cubicles are and then supervise handwashing. Quite honestly I think members of the public are more at risk from over-excited children being annoying than the children are at risk from adults going to the loo in their own cubicles!

And what happens if you are taking a group of five children around and then one of them desperately needs the loo. Are you meant to go and find a teacher?

3bunnies Wed 09-Jul-14 13:29:05

Volunteers ideally need to have dbs clearance but always with your own child's class and in their group. I think that there is a lower level of check which is cheaper, but if you have that one then you can't take them to the toilet.

I have never been told to ask members of the public to wait for the toilet. Why do they not let you go with your own child? I see why they don't want volunteers reading with their class/ helping out but not sure why on school trips.

AngelsWithSilverWings Wed 09-Jul-14 13:30:57

It is insane! And last week on the trip it was my DD who desperately needed the loo outside of one of the designated toilet stops. I was helping to supervise another class and the whole group had to wait while a teacher took my dd off to the loo.

I also had to ask permission to reapply my own daughters sun cream as I could see from afar that she was burning.

The other kids were also burning but because of the school rules no kids are allowed to carry sun cream and teachers are not allowed to apply any either.

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