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To confront head teacher

(57 Posts)
MissedTheBusHome Wed 05-Dec-12 13:10:46

DD aged 7 should have got the bus home from school today.

Usual procedure is after lessons finish at 2:15 she waits in atrium and is collected by bus monitor and arrives at collection point 2:50.

Today she was not collected from atrium. She along with 6 other children were missed off the bus. The first I knew of this was when I received a call from person meeting her to say she hadn't arrived at collection point.

I rang school - for twenty mins I couldn't get through. After twenty mins the answer phone indicating the school office was now closed kicked in.

There is a second bus that runs to deal with DC's who do after school activities so I asked the person due to collect her to wait in case she was on that one. It usually arrives at 3:50. It eventually arrived at 4:15 and thank goodness DD was on it but I am fuming.

For almost an hour and a half I had no idea where she was or if she was safe.

The school obviously became aware at some point that she missed the bus but didn't think to call me to let me know all was ok.

I'm minded to head to school first thing tomorrow to let the HT have it with both barrels -AIBU

genuine a since I may have lost perspective due to another incident

mummytime Thu 06-Dec-12 10:54:08

I would then complain loudly and make it clear that you are not going to "shut up".

There could well be a culture of not acknowledging fault, and of if you do anything then you are the one who will be blamed. So if anyone had spotted the kids and tried to contact you, they would have been the one in the firing line.

I have to agree it is totally unacceptable in your circumstances, and the excuse of local culture does not apply.

MissedTheBusHome Thu 06-Dec-12 09:36:54

Ok trying to deal with all qs:

shhh. My DD was the eldest of the group at 7, as I think is usual with DC of her age she had very little concept of time. She knows she has to wait in the atrium to be collected and would have I think struggled to realise when she had been waiting "too long". Additionaly one of the fundamental rules we drum into her is that if she gets lost or someone doesn't collect wait where you are and someone will always find you.

I don't know when the school found out she hadn't been put on the bus - sometime after the first leaving at 2:15 and the second leaving which is usually about 3:15/25. The significant point is for at least one hour they knew she was somewhere other than she was supposed to be and no one thought to let me know (or check that she would be met from a bus she wasn't supposed to be on)

I absolutely know they weren't trying to phone me when I was phoning them. I used a landline number to call the school and I have a work and personal mobile that didn't rung the entire 1.5 hours. They have the two mobile numbers (which they contacted me on as recently as last wek) but not the landline.

No SN.

No idea why they missed the bus - they're supposed to be resorted from class to atrium where they are handed over to bus monitor. For context the school is huge: 2000+ students from 3-18. Home time is not a peaceful affair!

We're in middle east. Whilst some might argue there is a more relaxed culture re DC it's a major British school, the teachers are all Brits and had this happened to a local family heads would roll.....

mummytime Thu 06-Dec-12 08:17:04

I am wondering (you sound like an ExPat, from the time zone comment) if the people local to you would worry about this. For example childrn in lots of European Countries are expected to make their way to and from school at a much younger age than in the UK. Much more like the situation when I was young.

Does your child have any SEN, and how old are they? Because these are all relevant factors.

AndABigBirdInaPearTree Thu 06-Dec-12 06:56:25

sorry, my younger child who is older than yours is what I meant.

AndABigBirdInaPearTree Thu 06-Dec-12 06:56:03

This has happened a number of times with my older child (which isn't as worrying, but still concerning, especially considering how scattered he can be). I talked to the school and asked if there was anything that could be done because it really scared me and I was worried sick that something had happened to him. The special needs coordinator came up with some ideas and they worked.

I agree that getting cooperation and sympathy from the staff is more likely to get you what you want than tearing them to shreds.

sashh Thu 06-Dec-12 06:44:25

I understand why you are angry but I'm suprised that out of 7 children not one thought to go to reception and say they had missed the bus. And how did they miss the bus in the first place? I can sort of see one missing but seven?

From the times you have given the school found out she was not on the bus at the same time you did.

Do you know they were not trying to call you when you were phoning them?

I'm not saying that your dc was in anyway at fault,, what I am saying is that the procedure needs to be looked at.

needsomeair Thu 06-Dec-12 00:30:47

What is going to satisfy you?

A wholehearted apology for the abysmal f**k up (to both the parents AND the children who must have been quite worried)?
A forensic examination of "what went wrong"?
An assurance that procedures will be put in place to make sure this will NEVER happen again?

All of the above in writing wink

That's what I'd want as a minimum smile

Rudolphstolemycarrots Wed 05-Dec-12 22:20:23

Make the complaint in writing so they have to record it officially. Chew his ear off when handing over the note?

bamboostalks Wed 05-Dec-12 21:17:06

Why did the school finish up so early? Are you inIreland?

ohfunnyface Wed 05-Dec-12 21:01:04

Awful system. Email ahead first then go in so you can be given some answers.

showmethetoys Wed 05-Dec-12 20:55:40

I know this was not a lighthearted OP, but I am really LOLing at this thread!

kim147 Wed 05-Dec-12 19:42:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mummytime Wed 05-Dec-12 19:22:25

US is where I know of there being two sets of buses, and depending on school procedures and age of children, children could "decide" to stay for the late bus.

I think the worse aspect is phones not being answered while children are still on the premises, although I have this with DCs senior school (which seems to assume after school all children can be contacted by phone, even though they are strict about their non-use during school hours).

ByTheWay1 Wed 05-Dec-12 19:19:59

There are many many ways a system can break down through no one person's fault... so I would make sure of all the facts before going in with all guns...

I would first - check with child, were they at the collection point for the monitor at the correct time and paying attention so they (the six) didn't miss anything - were they the only ones waiting to be taken by the bus monitor, or were they late or overlooked.

Was the bus monitor called away or taken ill at a crucial time?

The office should have contacted a parent when the kids were put on the later bus in case of pick up issues, but have you checked they have your correct number....

(your child could also have asked the reception to call you since they had not got the bus)

was there a problem with the bus? the second one didn't get there on time - did the one she was meant to get actually go?

just saying.... since I am one to jump to conclusions and end up with a red face when there is sometimes a convoluted combination of facts that have played out a totally different way to reach the same end....

whattodoo Wed 05-Dec-12 19:04:44

Wow, i'm not surprised you're fuming. Is DD ok? What have you told her to Di tomorrow at pick up/bus time?

MissedTheBusHome Wed 05-Dec-12 18:57:39

No worries pendeen whilst I remain fuming I will be calm and collected.

There are so many failings:

No adult waiting with them
Monitor not accounting for their absence
When school realised they weren't on bus failing to notify me
Putting them on later bus without ensuring the would be collected.

I'm actually getting crosser - anyone of those failings would get me cross but all of them?!

Anyway I decided to email HT it will be waiting for him in the morning...will be interested to see what his response is. I am betting v defensive

LeeCoakley Wed 05-Dec-12 16:42:57

Also, does the bus driver have a register of who should be on it? If there is a discrepancy he/she could put a call in to the school. If there are children missing or children who shouldn't be on it then there needs to be some way of accounting for them.

quoteunquote Wed 05-Dec-12 16:40:05

Suggest that in future that all children are collected from reception, then if there are any problems, the children are already in the care of the people who would be able to deal with it.

Clearly the system does not work at the moment as this incident has demonstrated , so by making sure the children are in a place of safety, the system is less likely to fail.

We3bunniesOfOrientAre Wed 05-Dec-12 16:34:58

If you know who the other 6 children are then I would try to contact their parents and organised a united front.

Panzee Wed 05-Dec-12 16:32:56

I am a teacher. If I had made an error like this I would expect both barrels. This is completely unacceptable and needs to be sorted.

Pendeen Wed 05-Dec-12 16:28:28


Fair enough, my error.

It was your "... I am fuming" in relation to the "... both barrels" which made me think of some of the more vociferous mums I have seen 'in action' at our school when things have gone wrong.

MissedTheBusHome Wed 05-Dec-12 16:25:42

needsomeair yes I think email might be good idea - trying to compose now but I'm struggling - I am raging!

cumfy Wed 05-Dec-12 16:23:32

Think bus monitor will be getting both barrels.

needsomeair Wed 05-Dec-12 16:15:27

I would send an email tonight. Make it clear, precise and detailed.

Say that you want a meeting first thing to discuss what you believe to be an appalling breakdown in procedure/security etc. and that you will report to the office first thing.

twinklesparkles Wed 05-Dec-12 16:14:14

That's really unacceptable

Am glad your dc got home ok, hope the other kids did too

I'd definetely be having serious words with the headmmaster

Why wernt they collected from the atrium? :/

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