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School Trip / Homesick - not allowed to stay second night

(157 Posts)
facedontfit Thu 25-Jun-15 10:02:05

First AIBU don't be harsh am feeling a bit delicate

Daughter (Year 6) is on a school 2 night residential trip. Last night I had a phone call from headteacher at 1.05 am saying daughter couldn't sleep and could I come and collect her, spoke to her on the phone and she was tearful. Collected her and she was fine spoke excitedly about the day and was looking forward to the following day and staying the following night. Said she had been feeling homesick.

Took her back at 7.45 this morning and was told she could do todays activities but could not stay tonight. I was to collect her this evening Daughter devastated, burst into tears. I tried to put my case that she wanted to stay, she was being punished for being homesick and marginalised. Daughter said she won't get homesick and is desperate to stay. HT said she had made her decision. She stayed two nights last year with no problems. In school letter about trip it says you will be asked to collect if homesick but does not say you will then not be allowed to stay 2nd night. She has had a difficult time at this school over the last year and am worried that this experience isn't helping her.

HT says she doesn't want another night like last night. A number of children were still up at midnight (including daughter) having toast and biscuits. Isn't this all part of the school trip? Feel this has ruined the trip for her. Have left her there in tears.

AIBU to think that she should stay the second night? What can I do?

BarbarianMum Thu 25-Jun-15 10:06:50

(Gently) I think UBU. Teacher's need sleep and are entitled to a bit of downtime too. As homesickness can't be turned on and off your dd can't promise she won't feel the same, unless last night was a bit of a put on.

haveabreakhaveakitkat Thu 25-Jun-15 10:07:34

Midnight feasts are NOT a normal part of a school trip. The teachers need a rest!!

Wolfiefan Thu 25-Jun-15 10:08:10

Sorry but if she got really upset last night then I can see why they don't want her there tonight. Being awake after 1am with an upset child then having to look after the others all day sounds grim.

hiddenhome Thu 25-Jun-15 10:10:16

Any teacher worth their salt can easily deal with homesickness by providing distraction and helping them tough it out. Unless there are serious, underlying mental health issues, there is absolutely no reason for a teacher to phone parents to come and collect, that's ridiculous.

Kids need to learn how to cope with uncomfortable feelings, and that leaving a situation is not usually the best way of dealing with minor difficulties.

facedontfit Thu 25-Jun-15 10:10:59

The midnight feast was with the teacher.

NRomanoff Thu 25-Jun-15 10:11:08

Yabu. Staying up and eating at midnight isn't a 'must do'. The teachers and other pupils need sleep. I can see why they don't want to risk it tonight

PurpleSwift Thu 25-Jun-15 10:12:10

Yabu. The teachers need sleep too. Last night they'll have had disrupted sleep already because of your DD and after another day they'll most likely need all the sleep they can get!

Biscuitsneeded Thu 25-Jun-15 10:12:11

I'm surprised they phoned you at 1.05am. Your daughter was homesick, but it wasn't a dire emergency. If they had helped/encouraged her to stick it out, she probably would have been fine the next night.
However, I can sympathise with the teacher. Teachers on school trips like this get absolutely no down time. They need to get at least enough sleep to be able to be responsible and alert the following day, and if tearful kids won't go to sleep the teachers can't sleep either (I have been there...). They probably want the message to go out loud and clear to the kids that they really can't be keeping everyone awake into the wee small hours. It's tough, but no, toast and biscuits and midnight, if it means the teachers can't sleep, is not 'part of a school trip'.

DeeWe Thu 25-Jun-15 10:12:22

Thing is the chances are she will feel homesick again as bedtime comes. And the other problem is one feeling homesick sets the others off.

I remember one brownie camp. All was fine during the day. As soon as bedtime came one dissolved into tears, followed by the rest of the dormitory. None of the other girls had ever had an issue staying away before.

It must have been pretty bad for you to have to go and fetch her.

facedontfit Thu 25-Jun-15 10:12:41

Thanks, hiddenhome that is just what my best friend (social worker & mother of 5) has just said.

PurpleSwift Thu 25-Jun-15 10:13:52

I don't think enjoying a midnight feast and consoling a homesick child at 1am is quite the same. I doubt they'll be doing the same the 2nd night after little sleep the first night.

Almostfifty Thu 25-Jun-15 10:15:49

I am a Scout Leader. If a child wanted to come back, we'd let them. They're always shattered the second day and the teachers will get plenty of sleep tonight from everyone.

I've had plenty of children wanting to go home at about 4pm the second day, by the time they've had their dinner and a sing song they're all happy to pop off to bed to be ready for the next day's activities.

Biscuitsneeded Thu 25-Jun-15 10:16:05

And if the teacher was present for the toast and biscuits that will be because the kids were awake and needed to be supervised, not because the teacher wanted to have a midnight feast! I think the teachers were ill-advised to get you to pick your DD up. They should have gently but firmly distracted your DD and put her back to bed. However, if they can't trust that she won't do it all over again tonight I think they are entirely within their rights not to have her back.

SaucyJack Thu 25-Jun-15 10:16:42

YABU I'm afraid.

If she really was genuinely that homesick, then it's best that she stays at home. Nothing will have changed in a day.

And if she was just was putting the dramz on..... again, it's more than appropriate that she stays at home and the teacher doesn't have to spend another night babysitting a bunch of weeping tweenagers.

NRomanoff Thu 25-Jun-15 10:17:21

Teachers should deal with home sickness to a point. For them to call at 1am for you to collect her, it's can't have been going well. And what about the parents that would kick off because they hadn't been phoned. Teachers are damned if they do and damned if they don't.

If it was actual homesickness rather than they were just playing up and claiming homesickness, then you dd doesn't know if it will happen again. If she knows she can control it and get over it, she should have done that last night.

PuppyMonkey Thu 25-Jun-15 10:18:48

I would be extremely unimpressed at getting a phone call at 1.05am because of homesickness. Broken leg, yes. Being a bit sad, nope. I would probably have said I couldn't get there to pick up actually.

Appreciate teachers working hard and doing a nice thing etc, but don't organise the trips in the first place if you haven't got strategies in place for this.confused

BarbarianMum Thu 25-Jun-15 10:19:10

Teachers should be expected to support, encourage and distract for a while but I think by 1am they are not unreasonable to conclude that it's not working and send a child home. Would you really have been happy for her to have been distraught all night? Or have a teacher who'd had no sleep in charge of her the next day?

At the end of the day either you dd was either really unhappy - in which case it could happen again despite her best efforts or she was being a bit attention seeking - in which case not being allowed to stay the second night seems a suitable sanction.

IME it's really unusual to actually send a child home so would assume they'd tried everything with no success.

FarFromAnyRoad Thu 25-Jun-15 10:19:38

Quite right hidden - more than once I had this with my DS and he had to tough it out. It's a fine balance, of course, and not a suitable method for all children but I think that the decision having been made to send her home then that would need to be that. I wonder what would have happened had you been unable to collect her? Presumably they'd have had to use an alternative - but would that have ended well? I don't know - but knowing how dreadful I feel on not enough sleep my sympathies are just slightly more with the teacher in a case like this.

Heels99 Thu 25-Jun-15 10:20:06

It makes sense for her to go home if the home sickness is that bad. And she can still enjoy the daytime activities. Sounds like she needs some help with anxietyetc generally.
Huge she enjoys today

formidable Thu 25-Jun-15 10:21:54

Pretty pathetic of the teacher to ring you to collect to be honest.

A year 6 child could at least wait until the morning to see if they still want to go home. I think unless your child was hysterical, the teacher overreacted.

I would have let her stay the second night, but tbh wouldn't have sent her home in the first place.

However, it's the teacher's call on this one and I don't see there's much you can do. He/she is the one on the ground.

reni1 Thu 25-Jun-15 10:24:21

I think if they couldn't calm her by 1am it must have been unmanageable so they are right to conclude she might be upset again tonight. Or BarbarianMum second idea is right and there was an element of attention seeking to it, which also makes repeat a big possibility. Sad as it is for dd, I do understand the HT. This experience might not be great for your dd, but would be much worse if there is another such night.

facedontfit Thu 25-Jun-15 10:30:41

She hadn't been upset all night. She was up with others for toast and biscuits, then went to bed and then she got upset. Other pupils went to get the teacher. She was not upset all evening.

regularrectangle Thu 25-Jun-15 10:33:24

Yesterday I came back from a 2 night residential with a Y6 class. They were well behaved throughout, but I spent 46.5 hours directly supervising, not including time when I was sleeping (7 hours in total). Even when asleep, I could have gotten a knock on my door at any point. On Tuesday, I was supervising from 5.00am to midnight, due to kids waking early/going to sleep late, without a break. I then went back to school and attended a staff meeting. I dont get any additional pay. If something had gone wrong, I would've been directly implicated and liable.

If a child had come to me and was homesick, I would have tried to calm them. However, if they were disturbing others at 1am, I would have phoned the head. Especially if it was stated beforehand that that was what would happen. I would also have been extremely reluctant to have them stay the following night. However 'pathetic' that makes me.

BitOutOfPractice Thu 25-Jun-15 10:41:36

Clearly OP you don't think YABU so what was the point of posting?

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