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Parents helping in changing rooms at school swimming lesson.

(86 Posts)
TattiePants Thu 09-Feb-12 21:23:16

DS is in yr 1 and his class have swimming lessons this year. Parents are invited to watch the lesson and are also encouraged to help out in the changing rooms before and after the lesson. In yr 1 this tends to be more ordering encouraging them to do it themselves than drying /dressing them but last year it was more 'hands-on'.

Actually when I say parents help out, what I really mean is mums. Due to pressure from other parents, the school only allow mums in the changing rooms, although dads can and do observe the lesson.

AIBU to think this is mad and out-dated. As a mum why am I less of a threat to 5 and 6 yr olds than DH? I understand that some dads may feel uncomfortable in this situation but surely they should have the choice. BTW there is always a teacher / TA in the changing room.

faeriemoo Thu 09-Feb-12 21:25:10

It's probably easier to keep all the kids in one changing room, rather than scattered between two - therefore needing two sets of teachers/PSAs. Not that they think your husband is a paedo.

McHappyPants2012 Thu 09-Feb-12 21:25:34

Very good question.

I think any parent should be able to help

Hassled Thu 09-Feb-12 21:25:36

Yes, mad and outdated. Are these parents all CRB'd? That would be the only requirement at our school.

purplepansy Thu 09-Feb-12 21:26:54

YANBU. Total lunacy.

McHappyPants2012 Thu 09-Feb-12 21:29:15

Why should there be 2 changing rooms.

There is a boy in my son's class that the father has full custody over, I know this is rare but why should all the other children get help and this child not because his mum isn't around

lesstalkmoreaction Thu 09-Feb-12 21:29:50

Often the teacher for reception/yr 1 gets in the pool and has to sort of change at the same time as the kids, she may not want a bloke around, Is that the case in your school.

troisgarcons Thu 09-Feb-12 21:30:18

I hope all helpers are CRB checked.

Why would there be two changing rooms? children of that age get changed in a communal one.

TBH - little girls do not want strange men around them, they are quite body aware of what is appropriate or not. Dad or not, you are male and they will feel it inappropriate to get changed infront of adult males. They won't know why. It's just one of those things that just is.

But you have answered your own question in your OP *
Due to pressure from other parents, the school only allow mums in the changing rooms* - the mothers dont want males there.

faeriemoo Thu 09-Feb-12 21:32:16

Sorry I am making assumptions from my own experience. At our local swimming pool, the pool (and therefore the changing rooms) is open to the public at the same time and just a section is sectioned off for school use. Obviously if it were only the school using the pool, I wouldn't see the need for separate rooms.

GrahamTribe Thu 09-Feb-12 21:32:45

As McHappyPants says. One of my friends is a lone father. What would happen there?

troisgarcons Thu 09-Feb-12 21:34:29

O/T all our leisure centres have been rebuilt - and all changing rooms now are communal Ikk* adults and children alike.

TattiePants Thu 09-Feb-12 21:34:37

faeriemoo - you are right, they are all in changing in one room but the mums helpers are helping other boys so why would it be any different for dads to be heping the girls.

hassled - we are not CRB checked. Parents have to give consent to other mums helping their child or can ask that only the teacher assists.

BackforGood Thu 09-Feb-12 21:38:09

I think the school are bonkers to be taking 5 and 6 yr olds swimming ! there just isn't the time they need at this age to dry and dress themselves. How big is the changing room exactly ? All changing rooms I've taken classes too there's barely enough room for the dcs, let alone several parents of either gender.

workshy Thu 09-Feb-12 21:38:11

I'm a bit shock that you aren't CRB'd

I had to get CRB check to go in and read with the children, never mind be in a changing rom with them

TattiePants Thu 09-Feb-12 21:39:56

No the teacher doesn't get in the pool so that is not an issue.

Troisgarcons - I totally understand why the school does this. My question was more from a parents POV. Why would they prefer a woman to a man.

DS's teacher is a female but I wonder what would happen if she was male?

LikeAnAdventCandleButNotQuite Thu 09-Feb-12 21:41:27

Tbf, I think the school are more bonkers allowing any parent in to help, let alone which one. Kids should be encouraged to be independent. If they are not able to (SEN students excepted if needed) indress and re-dress for swimming then maybe they should re-think that age group doing that activity.

TattiePants Thu 09-Feb-12 21:42:43

They have a large communal changing room, certainly big enough to change 18 kids with 1 teacher and perhaps up to 5 volunteers at any one time.

halcyondays Thu 09-Feb-12 21:47:08

Have any dads actually offered to come in and help children get changed? It does tend to be more often mums that volunteer for things like this.

I don't think it's bonkers having parents helping, when I was at school, they used to have some mums come into help with changing for P.E.

I'm surprised that they don't CRB check them.

troisgarcons Thu 09-Feb-12 21:47:21

I totally understand why the school does this. My question was more from a parents POV. Why would they prefer a woman to a man.

I never buy into hysteria. I cant say it would bother me BUT I have boys. Im casting my mind back to my (female) perspective at that age. Of course we are a lot more open now but I was expected to get changed for bed in the privacy of my own bedroom from 6 or 7. Today, my 11 has only just cottoned on to the fact that privacy is appropriate for such things. Times move on.

MotherOfSuburbia Thu 09-Feb-12 21:50:39

I'm amazed the school is allowed to do it tbh. I had to be CRB checked as a Governor and PTA committee member when I wasn't even spending much time with the children.

Not that I think it's actually a problem when everyone is in there together, just surprised that in this day and age with all the checking going on, that it is allowed.

Hassled Thu 09-Feb-12 21:51:29

The school needs to get the helping parents CRB'd pronto. I'm pretty shocked that they don't, tbh. I know that technically the parents aren't alone with a child and so maybe it's not obligatory, but it is standard practice and all the schools I've come across would have the CRB requirement within their Safeguarding policy.

TattiePants Thu 09-Feb-12 21:52:41

I had never even thought about CRB checks. The letter we signed giving consent for parents helping out made it very clear that only mums were welcome.

WhereMyMilk Thu 09-Feb-12 21:54:42

At DC's school you have to be CRB checked even to listen to the children read in a corner of the classroom surrounded by 29other kiss plus teacher and TA!

WhereMyMilk Thu 09-Feb-12 21:55:23

Kids obvs not kiss

NigellaLawless Thu 09-Feb-12 21:57:20

statistically the perpetrators of sexual abuse are more likely to be male than female, however, you can argue that sexual abuse at the hands of women is under reported so the statistics may be skewed. In my anecdotal experience there is a greater stigma attached to sexual abuse by women, i.e. people are far less likely to admit it happened to them. Who knows why this is, although I think that a lot of it is to do with the fact that as a society we don't want to believe women could or would abuse children in this way (hence the ridiculous rule in the OPs school).

The media and the law seem to be more accepting of the fact that there are female perpetrators out there now so perhaps attitudes will change and risks will be assessed more realistically in the future.

I would not want any other parents helping my child get dressed and undressed especially where there are no CRBs (not that CRBs are a cure all by any stretch of the imagination) I would also not be comfortable helping another child get undressed in such circumstances.

Personally this whole set up seems really risky to me, for the children and the parents. The children are at risk of grooming and the parents at risk of false allegations.

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