School being unsympathetic over year 6 residential

(417 Posts)
Monkeybumbum7 Fri 15-Oct-21 15:17:03

Details of the residential have been sent out and a deposit is due next week. The deposit is non-refundable.

I have a very anxious child who never wants to stay away from home. He gets anxious at bedtime to the point of needing hundreds of cuddles before he will rest for sleep. He is a real homebody who doesn’t want to go on holiday even with us.

I’ve spoken to the school about what to do about the residential. I was told that nobody has ever missed it, and to just tell him he is going and that’s it.

I know he will be in floods of tears every day if he goes and really unhappy. They’re also not allowed to call parents if distressed.

In addition most of the activities involve heights. He hates heights. It’s all zip lines/ abseiling, that sort of thing.

I don’t know what to do.

OP’s posts: |
TeeBee Fri 15-Oct-21 15:19:31

Just don't send him. They can't make him go. Yes he will miss out on important bonding and fun but he sounds as though he will hate it and will be impossible to manage for the teachers. However, it sounds as though he may need additional help to get through the next stages of his life because you can't be permanently attached to your parents for everything.

Marelle Fri 15-Oct-21 15:20:42

You’re the parent - just don’t send him?

arapunzel Fri 15-Oct-21 15:23:03

Don’t send him.

You know he’ll hate the residential aspect and the activities.

And how horrible the school won’t even let the children call their parents. I would not be accepting that at all.

Ultimately you know your child best, and what’s the right thing for them.

Floristry382 Fri 15-Oct-21 15:23:19

We were in a similar position with our DS at that age although he loves all the activities just not the sleeping over. We'd had many failed sleepover attempts.

I spoke to the Head who advised that we should really encouraged him to go. We had weeks of anxiety in the run up to it and I seriously doubted we were doing the right thing. On the morning when he left I think it was allnout of his system and he was just excited. He did get very very upset the 1st night but loved it after that.

I actually booked a b&b 20 mins aways from where they were as I didn't want to do a 3 hour drive in the middle of the night to collect him (they said they would ring if he didn't settle and he eventually did thankfully!) I didn't tell him I was staying up the road from him and never have since!

There were 3 children in his year group who didn't go so if you don't feel it's right for you DS then don't over think it just keep him at home on those days.

DS is a teenager now and so much more confident. They do get there eventually and I'm sure your DS will too. Its not easy for us mums along the way though!

Legoisthebest Fri 15-Oct-21 15:23:38

They can't make him go. My daughter didn't go on hers. There were 8 out of the 30 that didn't go. Various different reasons reasons.

SockFluffInTheBath Fri 15-Oct-21 15:24:34

Just don’t send him, they can’t make him go. When DC went on theirs there was always 1 or 2 who stayed behind, and they ‘helped’ in the lower years for the week.


Legoisthebest Fri 15-Oct-21 15:24:38

Not sure why 'reasons' is twice there.

WheelieBinPrincess Fri 15-Oct-21 15:25:01

It’s really standard on residentials now for children not to call their parents. I’m many cases it makes anxiety and homesickness worse and they get hung up on calling/when to call/ how long etc.

I don’t think he should be sent, he won’t cope.

Seafog Fri 15-Oct-21 15:27:49

I am sure this will be hard at first, but with lots of support, I'd send him.
'd try and help him to manage his fear as well. This is the sort of thing that helps children grow, to understand their limits and how much they can really do.
It's a safe risk, a bonding experience, and rite of passage.
Imagine the excitement he might find, the growth in confidence and friendships strengthened.
If you focus on the opportunity, it might help him do the same.
It is so hard to see our children unhappy, and I do feel for you bothflowers

MaybeAMoaner Fri 15-Oct-21 15:28:02

When my children have gone on their year 6 residential there are always at least 5 kids who don’t go.
So just don’t send him .

Classicblunder Fri 15-Oct-21 15:28:59

What is it that you want from the school? You don't have to send him, if you don't want to. You just need to decide what's best for him.

WorraLiberty Fri 15-Oct-21 15:29:20

I’ve spoken to the school about what to do about the residential. I was told that nobody has ever missed it, and to just tell him he is going and that’s it.

That's extremely unusual. Are you sure you didn't misunderstand them?

Couldhavebeenme3 Fri 15-Oct-21 15:30:47

How much is the deposit? I'd be tempted to pay and use the time between now and then to get to the bottom of why he's so anxious. Does he have diagnosed anxiety or additional needs? Not wanting to go on holiday with parents is very unusual, and needing hundreds of cuddles at bedtime sounds quite worrying at 10/11 years old. He's heading to secondary school soon, he needs to be learning some coping techniques for all the new experiences.

mdh2020 Fri 15-Oct-21 15:30:57

Most schools arrange an alternative programme for the children who don’t go on school journey for whatever reason. My son had a friend who didn’t go because his parents simply couldn’t afford everything on the packing list.

WorraLiberty Fri 15-Oct-21 15:31:11


When my children have gone on their year 6 residential there are always at least 5 kids who don’t go.
So just don’t send him .

Same here.

I have 3 DC. There were around 90 kids in each year and at least 5 or 6 from each class didn't go. So that's around 15 - 18 kids.

LizziesTwin Fri 15-Oct-21 15:31:26

DS didn’t go on his. He said he’d tried all the activities and knew he didn’t like them. We respected his wishes & he stayed at home.

Hellocatshome Fri 15-Oct-21 15:32:23

Don't send him then, they cant make you.

PetrifriedPumpkin Fri 15-Oct-21 15:33:08

Is it because they won't know what to do with him otherwise? The last school trip mine went on (6months ago) was optional due to COVID but the parents had to sign to say:
Child is going, I'm happy with the COVID arrangements of two classes sharing a coach, masks voluntary etc.
Child is not going, parents agree to take responsibility for the child for the duration of the trip. (I.e. they're not allowed in school)

Awwlookatmybabyspider Fri 15-Oct-21 15:33:14

No you don't say to him "You're going and " that's that".
You're his mum you know what he can and cannot cope with.
These school trips certainly aren't cheap are they.
Therefore all you'd be paying out all that money just for your son to be fretful and you to be worried. They don't sound like the type that would be sympathetic if he woke up sobbing in the night wanting his mum.
Not all kids are full of confidence and can just throw themselves into anything. It seems that way though.
I also don't buy that bull shit that "No other child has ever missed it". Do you honestly believe you've got the only child in that school past or present to suffer with anxiety.
The school sounds like an absolute disgrace to be honest.

trumpisagit Fri 15-Oct-21 15:35:48

Have you asked him if he would like to go?
Give him as much info as you can and then abide by his decision.
There is no point paying for him to have a miserable time.
My DS prefers to be at home but he loved his y5 and y6 residentials. I would never have made him go though.

JohnGetHomeNow Fri 15-Oct-21 15:36:08

School have to organise someone to be in school with him or they go into someone's class but not core usually art or music. That is why school say to go. Otherwise a TA has to provide stuff for him to do usually related to the trip.

Every year we get some children who don't go, medical reasons, religious reasons, for food allergy reasons. My friend's daughter has never been on a school residential trip and she is 15.

If he truly is the only child not going then I would give him the choice of staying home after the first day alone in school if he hates it.

AosSi Fri 15-Oct-21 15:38:18

I'm not really sure what you're expecting the school to do? They're not going to change the activity type just because he hates it. Nor would I let a child plan to call home, it'd cause massive upset among the other children.

However, the school can't force you to pay or to make him go. Just say he's not going.

Fwiw I took my class on an overnight trip a couple of weeks ago and one parent was exactly like you. Child was nervy before it, floods of tears etc. When we got down there the child had a ball and not a tear was shed. Not saying that's what will happen with your child but maybe that's been the school experience thus far.

AosSi Fri 15-Oct-21 15:39:34

And in my school, anyone not going couldn't have gone into someone else's class due to Covid regulations. Might be different for you as we're not in the same country. But that may also factor into the school saying it's this or nothing.

girlmom21 Fri 15-Oct-21 15:41:28

Have you actually asked him?

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