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To think that the school should make sure the right children get on the bus home

(25 Posts)
notasausage Mon 03-Feb-14 19:55:51

DD1(5) gets the school bus home every night except Monday when DH collects her from school for swimming. The school know this as it's happened every Monday since she started school. They also have a list by the door saying who goes on which bus and on what night. The bus kids are escorted down a path to the bus - a different route from those kids being collected. They also leave slightly earlier to avoid the buses blocking sight lines for kids crossing the road. So far so good. Today DD got on the bus. Teachers couldn't say for sure this had happened but couldn't find her in the school. DH then had to race home to make sure she was indeed on the bus and not dropped at an empty house. She was on the bus and all was OK but AIBU to think that the school staff have a responsibility for making sure this doesn't happen. This is the second time this has happened.

CrohnicallyFarting Mon 03-Feb-14 20:01:29

YANBU- especially as you say it's the second time it's happened. After the first time (which, let's face it, would have been bad enough) there should have been procedures put in place to prevent such an occurrence happening again. Especially as 'teachers couldn't say for sure this had happened but couldn't find her in the school' what if she wasn't on the bus and had really gone missing?

I'd be writing a letter of complaint tonight and handing it in person to the head tomorrow, and give a copy to the governors and keep a third copy ready to make an official complaint to OFSTED if you don't get a satisfactory response- including the steps school are going to take to make sure this NEVER happens again.

bodygoingsouth Mon 03-Feb-14 20:14:02

gosh I would be very unhappy With my dcs getting on a bus by themselves at 5 in any event. whose responsibility is she if the bus breaks down or his forbid crashes? are there any adults in the bus beside the driver? dies she get dropped at your house direct.

having goose bumps thinking of it.

bodygoingsouth Mon 03-Feb-14 20:16:29

also if dd was supposed to be in the bus, and indeed was, why was your dh at the school panicking everyone? strikes me you were confused just as much as the school was to be fair.

CrohnicallyFarting Mon 03-Feb-14 20:21:06

Body- if you read the OP again the Dd wasn't supposed to be on the bus. Every Monday she is picked up by OP's DH.

OP's DH arrived at school, they couldn't find DD, thought maybe she was on the bus but didn't know for sure, so DH had to race home to check and also be there when DD was dropped off.

3bunnies Mon 03-Feb-14 20:21:14

But she wasn't due to be on the bus on a Monday bodygoingsouth. The first time I might forgive but to do it twice and not to have a head count/ register on the bus is not good enough.

phantomnamechanger Mon 03-Feb-14 20:25:32

body, the point is, the school put her on the bus today, which is the day she is collected by her dad.

OP, this is inexcusable. They have a duty of care and have failed miserably. Kick up a stink till they get better procedures in place. Our school has 3 different buses - the children say at morning register if they are getting the bus, there is a list for each bus at home time, staff are on duty and children are counted and escorted onto the correct bus

if a child goes home ill midway through the day their name is crossed off the bus list, if they come in late after the dentist etc, they are added to the bus list

in 9 years I am not aware of there ever having been a mistake

SadFreak Mon 03-Feb-14 20:25:41

Body - in lots of places (usually) rural this is a bog standard way for kids to get to school - on council run school buses. My DD did at age 5 too when we lived in (rural) Scotland.

I would be livid especially as this has happened before OP. I think ChronicallyFarting has good advice. Make sure your letter asks for a response by X date and that you expect the response to include procedures that are to be put in place to prevent this EVER happening again.

bodygoingsouth Mon 03-Feb-14 20:26:49

oh yes so sorry op, I missed that bit. them yes school should follow the list and especially careful as she's so little.

they need to tighten up their procedures.

phantomnamechanger Mon 03-Feb-14 20:27:19

the fact that its a regular arrangement makes it worse IMO, if it was a random one off due to an appointment after school, they could be forgiven for forgetting but even then, ONLY ONCE FOR ONE CHILD before they realised they needed better measures in palce

bodygoingsouth Mon 03-Feb-14 20:28:23

to add yes of course in rural areas this must be the norm. do they have another adult on the bus?

phantomnamechanger Mon 03-Feb-14 20:35:57

not here they don't have another adult - which among other reasons is why mine don't get the bus! and they also have kids from the secondary school too which I am not keen on TBH because of them setting a bad example/language etc, however, apparently, the one time there WAS an accident, the older kids looked after the littlies and had them all reading their reading books!

I do know of a couple of incidents where a parent has not been at the bus stop to collect on time and the kids have been dropped off anyway - luckily enough other parents around to look out for the child and someone knew the parents number but I shudder at the thought of kids being dumped by the roadside! If I am delayed in the car for any reason, I know my DC are safely in school till I arrive.

bodygoingsouth Mon 03-Feb-14 21:00:33

yes agree I would be worried sick at this young age but appreciate some parents have no choice in rural areas.

SadFreak Mon 03-Feb-14 21:21:53

Yes Body - I grew up in a suburb and walked to my school at the end of my road with all the other kids in my street (in the 70's).

When I moved to rural Scotland when I married DH and found myself putting my daughter aged 5 on a school bus I nearly had a nervous breakdown with the nerves and stress of it all. Luckily I had some fab local friends (who grew up going to school like this themselves) who were fab despite probably thinking I was mad. I did eventually get used to it but then we moved back down south and it all changed. DD is now 15 and I shudder at the thought I put her on a bus like that when she was so small. Its weird, but it was and still is the done thing in some areas.

Mmmbacon Mon 03-Feb-14 21:54:42

I took 2 weeks holidays off work due to the stress of putting dd on bus, I used put her on, then drive after bus to watch her get off the other end, then drive back down at pick up to watch her getting on bus and race up the road to drop off point before bus, it is scary to start but you get so used to it after a few years you dont even think about it

bodygoingsouth Mon 03-Feb-14 22:23:11

I suppose it's also the case that in a smaller rural area people are more familiar with each other's kids and circumstances!! total guess here as city born and bred.

PandaFeet Mon 03-Feb-14 22:38:12

I got the school bus when I was 5. It was a bit scary, with the older kids, and back then the bus just had bench seats up the sides of the bus, and no seatbelts. So it took all my strength to not slide or fall off my seat.

But there was never any errors like this one. There were headcounts, and lists and different lines in the playground.

Definitely complain. When your DH went to ask where she was they should have been able to say, "she is on the bus, sorry, we forgot the monday arrangement."

"She might be on the bus" is scary and completely unacceptable.

notasausage Mon 03-Feb-14 22:48:46

Thanks for all your replies. We are in rural Scotland and it's a small school with about 46 on the register. Not all of those get the bus so we're only talking about 2 minibuses. DD thinks the bus is the best part of the whole day! DH has just about calmed down. I will phone and spreak to the Head tomorrow.

Tinpin Mon 03-Feb-14 23:01:08

Times have changed. At the age of 5 I caught the local bus to school and found my way to the bus stop at the end of the day to catch it home again. I remember watching the older children on the bus to see when to get off. My mum had taken me on the route twice and then it was down to me. That was the late 1960's. The bus stop was at the end of the road in which we lived.
I think that their mistake is not acceptable. However when I see this kind of post I remember how self reliant we all were -of on the bus to the local town when we were 8 to go swimming-and wonder where we went wrong as a society to have such dependent children.

phantomnamechanger Tue 04-Feb-14 16:16:29

ye gods, they only have 46 kids altogether and they managed to lose one! That's more than 2% of their pupils unaccounted for!

Joking aside, please do not let them play this down. she was not where they were supposed to have her, and they were not even sure where she was. Unacceptable.

notasausage Wed 05-Feb-14 14:03:01

I phoned the school on Tuesday morning and got an unreserved apology from the Head. They had already reviewed and updated their lists and colour coded by bus. The children will now line up by bus and a roll call taken before they get on the bus with a named staff member each day responsible for this. DD told me that this had happened so I'm happy enough that they have taken some action.

I think that because it is a small school they had got complacent because they are only dealing with about 25 kids getting buses rather than 100 or more in some of the schools in our nearest town.

As an aside, I was told by a colleague of a school bus breaking down in another area. Drivers phone not working so he started flagging down passing cars, not to use their phone as you might think but to decant the kids into these cars so they wouldn't be late for school shock

PenguinsDontEatKale Wed 05-Feb-14 14:04:58

Gosh, I wasn't sure when I clicked on the thread, but aged five? Absolutely they should check. Our KS1 aren't allowed out the door until an adult has been identified for them, shouldn't a child taking the bus be roughly the same procedure: bus has a clear list of the children for whom they are responsible.

Awful

phantomnamechanger Thu 06-Feb-14 10:19:46

glad you got the full apology OP and they have taken steps to improve their lax practices. they are probably thanking their lucky starts you don't wish to take it further.

as for this not to use their phone as you might think but to decant the kids into these cars so they wouldn't be late for school if that's for real, words fail me!!!

ProudAS Thu 06-Feb-14 11:11:08

How recent was this bus breaking down incident sausage? I assume it wasn't 30+ years ago if driver had mobile but attitudes in early 90s were different to now.

notasausage Sun 16-Feb-14 20:53:06

I think it was fairly recent

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