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AIBU/WIBU to have complained to the school?

(226 Posts)
DarkBlueEyes Mon 05-Oct-15 14:51:50

First post in here, takes deep breath...

DD1 returned from a school trip on Friday. We were told to pick up at 5pm unless got a text to say otherwise. Stood by my phone all afternoon and was waiting at the secondary school at 4.59pm. No sign of her. No sign of anyone. Asked for help in the school, no idea. Tried to phone another mum, my phone didn't work, so I rebooted it and headed towards another building. Phone rings with DH on the other end to ask if I was ok - HE had got the text at 3.45 pm to say they'd be back at 4 (half hour journey for us so even if I'd got it, I'd have been late), evidently I was the only one who didn't get the text.

DD1 had been sitting at reception with her friend for over an hour and NO STAFF MEMBER had thought to ring me or DH (sorry for shouty caps). I accept there was a technical hitch with my phone but think the school should have tried to phone us. Eventually at about 5.10 DD1 asked if she could use the school phone and phoned me (went straight to VM) and DH who then phoned me right back, worried I'd been in an accident (I am almost never late).

As we walked back to the car all the texts started to ping into my phone. I'm not cross that the text didn't reach me, shit happens. I am cross that DD1 and friend were waiting for over an hour and no one thought to call DH. Head of year 7 tells me that she doesn't usually bother to ring husbands as it usually goes straight through to voice mail... WTF. Had long and very awkward conversation with head of year this morning who would not accept she should have/could have called DH, that my daughter was safe and she had 73 children to sort blah blah blah.

WIBU to expect the school to have called a parent when the other parent hadn't turned up as expected? Or do I have to just suck it up?

She eventually conceded she could have called DH. No apology. If she'd said in the first 30 seconds that she was sorry and she should have called I'd have said thanks very much and moved on. Now I'm still stewing. If only people knew how powerful "I'm sorry, that must have been upsetting for you and your daughter" could be....


DoJo Mon 05-Oct-15 14:55:18

How upset was your daughter to have spent an hour in a familiar place with a friend and an appropriate adult around? In the teacher's position, I wouldn't have even started to think about doubling up the calls until after 5 as I would assume that some parents had planned their day around picking up at that time, and those who happened to be available earlier would come whereas those who weren't would show up as expected at the original time.

CrabbyPatties Mon 05-Oct-15 14:56:37

Year 7? Maybe your DD needs her own mobile.

arethereanyleftatall Mon 05-Oct-15 14:56:47

Thing is - they contacted both of you by your phones. Neither of you responded nor showed up. If they called either of you, it would be calling the very same phones they'd sent a message through on.
I think you should accept some responsibilty here.,

EeyoresTail Mon 05-Oct-15 14:57:13

Did your DD not have a phone?
Why didn't she call her father?

Chrysanthemum5 Mon 05-Oct-15 15:00:04

Your DH did get the text and didn't fetch your daughter so there was no point in the head calling him again.

However, YANBU in challenging the sexist assumption that it's only worth calling mums. And for what it's worth, my DD gets upset if she's not picked up on time so in the situation you describe she would be really upset.

laffymeal Mon 05-Oct-15 15:00:50

In our LA schools we have EE2 forms with all the appropriate emergency contact details and the school goes through them systematically until they hit paydirt, I can't understand why this school doesn't operate the same way.

arethereanyleftatall Mon 05-Oct-15 15:02:42

They sent you both a text, neither of you came early to pick your child up, so it's a fairly reasonable assumption on their part that you couldn't get there earlier than 5. I'm sure they would have called you, had it gone past the original pickup time.
Also, your dd was safe.

DarkBlueEyes Mon 05-Oct-15 15:03:12

They weren't allowed to take their mobiles on this particular trip.

She did call her father eventually, I'm just surprised the school didn't think they should have called - obviously something had gone wrong somewhere.

I didn't respond to the message as I didn't GET the message until 5.30pm when it was sent at 3.45. I can't take responsibility for the failure of the Vodafone network! If they'd have emailed rather than texted I'd have got the message.

DH was on a train heading north to watch the Rugby....

Sighing Mon 05-Oct-15 15:03:39

Re yr 7 mobiles: generally not allowed on school trips. They don't want to be liable for loss/ damage/ theft.

PotteringAlong Mon 05-Oct-15 15:03:54

They did contact you, you by phone and your DH by text. Neither of you showed up. What did you want them to do?

PotteringAlong Mon 05-Oct-15 15:05:05

If your DH knew she'd be back early why didn't he call you?

ValancyJane Mon 05-Oct-15 15:05:22

I don't really see the issue. Your DD was in a safe place that she knows with a friend and was being supervised by her HoY. There is no way in hell the HoY would have gone home until all students were collected, it would be a major breach of safeguarding procedures. In the HoY's shoes I would have assumed the parents hadn't got the message (not everyone can have their phone on at work) and wouldn't be collecting until the arranged time of 5, therefore trying to ring you until after that point (on the same numbers you had been texted on) wouldn't make sense. And quite honestly, it's polite to give 10-15 minutes past the agreed pick up time in my opinion in case of traffic etc. And when asked, the staff happily allowed your DD to try ringing your DH.

I can see why you might be mildly miffed, but honestly I think YABU.

DarkBlueEyes Mon 05-Oct-15 15:06:28

I wanted them to try to phone one of us to check we were on our way or to find out where we were or at least to have checked we got the pick up message!

The head admitted their IT system showed I got the message at 5.17, so if she could have checked that today, she could have checked it Friday...

RockNRollNerd Mon 05-Oct-15 15:06:52

However, YANBU in challenging the sexist assumption that it's only worth calling mums.

This, a thousand times over. I am constantly having this with school and it drives me nuts. DH has historically done most of the school drop offs/pick ups and works much nearer to school. He never gets called unless it's actually a dire emergency and they have failed to reach me at home, work or on mobile.

We've even had the ludicrous situation where they've emailed me for a meeting, I've replied copying in DH, and explaining that I will be out of the country that week therefore they need to liaise with him directly should the meeting need rearranging and they reply just to me confirming the meeting and enclosing forms for it.

DarkBlueEyes Mon 05-Oct-15 15:07:11

HOY did leave as a matter of fact. The girls were left with the school receptionist.

DarkBlueEyes Mon 05-Oct-15 15:08:15

Anyway, thanks for your feedback. I'll try to toughen up.

ValancyJane Mon 05-Oct-15 15:08:16

Oh, I missed that bit about it not being worth calling Dads. YADNBU to challenge that particular gem!!

lunar1 Mon 05-Oct-15 15:10:11

But it wasn't worth calling your husband was it. He got the message and didn't do anything! Didn't even check you had got it too. So your husband is the unreasonable one in this.

BonnieBeaumont Mon 05-Oct-15 15:11:14

Your husband should have contacted you and, between the two of you, made arrangements for collection. You have one child to worry about, the HOY had 73! YABU!

neepsandtatties Mon 05-Oct-15 15:11:33

Hate to say it (as it's your first post in AIBU) but YABU.

School will have assumed that given it was late notice, parents who are unable to pick up at the revised 4 pm will turn up as planned at 5 pm, and in the meanwhile, the school will kindly look after your child.

The school had texted you both to tell you that the children were back at school so I don't know why you would expect them to follow this up with a phone call.

Scarydinosaurs Mon 05-Oct-15 15:11:33

Seeing as you arrived at the time you expected them to be back, I can't see the problem. They were back early, I imagine her friend was there because her parent couldn't get them earlier. It really isn't a big deal: she wasn't in danger, she couldn't be late for anything as you weren't expecting her that early and there were teachers around. Exactly what do you want an apology for?

YouMakeMyDreams Mon 05-Oct-15 15:12:43

As they were an hour early back I assume they just didn't see the need to call again because they had tried to contact you at short notice to inform of early return and you hadn't showed up. So I guess they assumed you'd show up for the original pick up time. I'm.fairly certain they didn't expect every parent to arrive at 4pm.prompt with 15 minutes notice.
Your phone failed it happens. Tbh I'm baffled why you didn't check with reception as a first port of call anyway when you were concerned. The school had contacted you. You hadn't got message and turned up at the planned time. Your dd was sitting safely at thr office. No issue.

LurkingHusband Mon 05-Oct-15 15:12:56

If they'd have emailed rather than texted I'd have got the message.

email is no more reliable than texts.

eddiemairswife Mon 05-Oct-15 15:14:34

Why didn't you go to reception to ask about the trip? If you had you would have found your daughter.

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