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Leaving children on their own - school

(32 Posts)
CinderellaRockefeller Sun 31-Jan-16 11:42:32

My DD attends a ballet class at the weekend, for an hour and a half. Normally I drop off and pick up but yesterday I stayed and there were two occasions when the teacher went off, presumably to fetch something or to the toilet or something, and left the class unattended for a few minutes each time.

They're five and six year olds, and there are about 15 of them. I suppose my aibu is really, am I unreasonable thinking this isn't ideal? Yesterday I was in the corridor outside, so keeping an ear out but I'm not usually there - nor are other parents But it's only for two or three minutes, so am I being silly and it's totally normal? I haven't said anything to the teacher or the school and DD enjoys the class so don't want to make a fuss. Hopefully this is standard - they are all relatively sensible girls.

GreatFuckability Sun 31-Jan-16 11:44:09

It wouldn't bother me, 5-6 year olds are capable of being left alone for a few minutes.

CinderellaRockefeller Sun 31-Jan-16 11:47:44

Thanks, that's reassuring! smile I don't normally hang out in schools so I have no idea what teachers normally do - just wanted to sense check it

Lurkedforever1 Sun 31-Jan-16 11:48:48

I think if a dc can't be left for a few minutes in that scenario, it's the parents duty to stay, rather than the teachers responsibility to avoid it.

Babymamamama Sun 31-Jan-16 12:10:47

Don't think the teacher should be leaving them unattended. Sorry. She should have cover if she needs to pop out. Why can she not make it through an hour long class?

MrsLeighHalfpenny Sun 31-Jan-16 12:13:16

Unacceptable. But she shouldn't ever been the sole adult in the room/available anyway. Partly to protect herself from allegations, partly in case there's an emergency. I'd raise the issue in the bigger context, rather than as a one off leaving them alone incident.

balletgirlmum Sun 31-Jan-16 12:16:05

I used to run children classes & up to age 6 there was always a teaching assistant in the class as well.

From age 6-8 children were allowed to go the toilet etc unacompanied but it was a secure building with buzzer entry.

mudandmayhem01 Sun 31-Jan-16 12:19:51

Of course an adult can be alone with a room of children, isn't that normal for all sorts of teaching and activities. Only adult on the site is a different matter but most church halls, community centres will have other activities/ classes going on at the same time.

Flossyfloof Sun 31-Jan-16 12:21:33

Weekend ballet class isn't school. It is highly unlikely that a teacher would leave a class alone for that long.

Floggingmolly Sun 31-Jan-16 12:22:07

I don't think it's appropriate for her to be popping out several times during a class, no.

pinkcan Sun 31-Jan-16 12:22:12

It depends on whether a child could exit the building (or an intruder enter it) or whether the building is locked/pass coded or whatever.

Veritat Sun 31-Jan-16 12:44:07

Were they totally on their own? Does she have anyone like a pianist, and are you sure she didn't have anyone helping her?

tacal Sun 31-Jan-16 12:52:34

At all the different types of classes my ds has been to their is always at least two adults.

clam Sun 31-Jan-16 12:52:56

Just be prepared for fees to go up, if an extra adult is employed.

CinderellaRockefeller Sun 31-Jan-16 12:56:14

Yes totally on their own, I popped my head round the door to check the second time she did it (they all looked sheepish and went quiet) but definitely no adults. Building not secure, if they were minded they could wander off into the car park (or someone could wander in). There are adults further down they would have to get past to get to the door though.

CinderellaRockefeller Sun 31-Jan-16 13:00:06

I would imagine by the time they'd decided to wander and made a start though the teacher would be back, we're only talking a few minutes here.

Iliveinalighthousewiththeghost Sun 31-Jan-16 13:02:53

Yes it can be a safe guarding issue leaving a group of 5/6 year olds alone. They are mostly sensible at that age, but anything can happen. However it isn't the teacher's fault. If nature calls and she needs the toilet. What is she to do, There should definitely be 2 teachers.

arethereanyleftatall Sun 31-Jan-16 13:47:00

All the out of school clubs round my way are no where near the level of security you get in schools. The holiday clubs are the worst. Generally run by teenagers who have no clue. There are actually no set rules - anyone can hire a hall and set up a dance class. Because of this (I went to pick up dd1 when she was 3 from a holiday club, she was sat outside on the grass, no adult anywhere, gate wide open to the main road) I didn't let my kids go again to such clubs till they were 5 and old enough to not leave unless there's a fire.

Veritat Sun 31-Jan-16 13:59:14

Is it worth having a word with the teacher along the lines of asking whether it would be helpful to have a rota of parents who are willing to stay to keep an eye on the kids if she has to go out?

Though I suspect this was a one-off, maybe she had the trots or something.

IguanaTail Sun 31-Jan-16 14:02:38

I don't think it's ok. From an emergency point of view and from an allegation point of view. I would never leave a class of 14 year olds unless another member of staff could see them. I definitely wouldn't leave 5 year olds. Perhaps schools have a more acute sense of responsibility.

MaisyMooMoo Sun 31-Jan-16 14:07:09

iguana makes a valid point re an emergency. What if for example a fire broke out whilst the teacher was away and she got trapped or couldn't make it back to the children.

manicinsomniac Sun 31-Jan-16 14:16:45

I think they're a bit young.

A few years older though, and I don't think leaving children alone in a classroom is the huge issue that others sometimes think it is.

I will leave my classes of 9-13 year olds for a few minutes if I need to photocopy them something, get a piece of equipment, find something out for one of them etc. But I wouldn't leave my 6-9 year old classes.

LalaLyra Sun 31-Jan-16 14:20:46

I don't think it's ok to leave the group where another adult (in this case you) had access to the class. That's not on. I run a playscheme and afterschool care (all volunteers) and we'd get caned by inspectors for that. The fact something is run by a volunteer or one teacher doesn't exclude them from all of the rules.

BackforGood Sun 31-Jan-16 14:25:01

I agree with MrsLeighHalfpenny. They need to look at their safeguarding policy all round. Apart from this issue, what protection does she have from any accusations herself ? Equally - if you put your head in without her knowing, what's to stop anyone else? What does she expect 5 yr olds to do if she had an accident herself?

IguanaTail Sun 31-Jan-16 14:28:59

One could push another
One could push an emergency door and leave
Anything can happen.

And the very first question which would be asked would be about the supervision.

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