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was the school at fault?

(17 Posts)
dentydown Thu 05-May-16 10:04:51

DS (age 9) is allowed to walk home, I've signed a form to say he can and we're only 10 minutes down the road. One day a week he goes to an afterschool club and I pick him and his brothers up at 5.
I get a phonecall at 4:30. The supply teacher let him out instead of being picked up by the club. (they have a walking bus through the school corridors).
The school were nice about it ringing round his friend's parents, and they found him, but their parting words were "well you signed the form".
The club leader was fuming because she had responsibility for him and insisted the school ring me to tell me what was going on.
My son said he thought it was a different day and went off to play with his mates!
I don't really want to make a fuss, but I don't think it was my fault he went missing?

araiba Thu 05-May-16 10:09:32

at fault for what? nothing happened

MadHattersWineParty Thu 05-May-16 10:17:18

So the school have your permission to let him leave. He left. The only slip up I can see is that he didn't remember about after school club confused

dentydown Thu 05-May-16 10:21:00

Nothing happened to him, but he disappeared for a couple of hours. He should of been in the afterschool club being supervised. If he'd of come home there would of been no one there to answer the door.
School made it out to be my fault because he walked out of the door.
I'm getting mixed messages from everyone ranging from sue'em. hmm to ...you should always know where your children are!

InTheSandPit Thu 05-May-16 10:23:26

No, school were following your instructions, which, paraphrased are "I trust my son to do the right thing after the bell has gone"

What should he normally do if no after school? Walk straight home? Or is he allowed to play with his mates? I'd say it's his fault for forgetting after school if blame is going to go anywhere.

MadHattersWineParty Thu 05-May-16 10:25:28

Well, presumably he knew he was breaking the rules then by going off with his mates even if he forgot about after school club, if he usually just goes home. He should take some responsibility for causing people worry about him. Can't see how the school is at fault for that.

QuiteLikely5 Thu 05-May-16 10:25:32

I think the school were at fault because here if your child goes to the club then the teacher has the names of who goes and what days they go.

If your child is not going on occasion you are expected to communicate that to the teacher & the club.

I'd be more worried that your ds had taken off and gone to a friends house without your permission and knowledge. This would lead me to question whether he really is ready to walk home alone.

Yourface Thu 05-May-16 10:25:47

You did think you knew where your child was...you thought he was at after school club. It's irrelevant that he is allowed to walk home the other days. Presumably there would be someone at home to sound the alarm if he didn't arrive home within 10 minutes. On this occasion there wouldn't.

The school is absolutely at fault and you shouldn't sue but you should complain. This is dangerous practice and the blame should not be shrugged off to you.

Primaryteach87 Thu 05-May-16 10:26:17

I don't think it is the school's fault. It's next to impossible to remember the precise arrangements of every child at pick up as a teacher. Obviously if it was every day and you'd not signed a form then I would agree with you. But the point of the form is to say that you trust your son to leave without an adult's say-so. In this case, I'd say it was a simple mistake on your son's part.

InTheSandPit Thu 05-May-16 10:26:18

OK, so I'd talk to your son about why he needs to remember about after school, and why he needs to walk straight home, so people know where he is. And what to do if he gets home, and noone is there.

Sue them??? No way. I think your doing the right thing giving him some independence, but he needs a bit more guidance, and perhaps pointing out because he wasn't where he was expected to be, you and teachers were worried.

Whatthefreakinwhatnow Thu 05-May-16 10:32:02

Sue?! confused

You need to remind your DS when his after school club is so thst he doesn't forget again. The school did nothing wrong, he is not 5 so capable of knowing what he should be doing, and you gave permission for him to leave without an adult.

SoupDragon Thu 05-May-16 10:33:40

I would say the fault is your DSs - he should have remembered to go to the club. However, if it was this week, the bank holiday has messed up my perception of which day it is so it's not that surprising your DS got confused!

Why did your DS go to friends house? Surely he realised he'd made a mistake when he got home and you weren't there (I assume you weren't there!)

BarbarianMum Thu 05-May-16 10:42:42

Not the school's fault, not your fault, technically your son's fault but an easy mistake for him to make. Forget suing but be clear with your ds about what you want him to do if he gets home and thee is nobody there (for whatever reason).

curren Thu 05-May-16 10:44:07

So where was he?

I think this is your ds' fault. If he is sensible enough to get home from school on his own, he is sensible enough to know he should have gone to after school club.

You signed a form telling them he could leave alone. He left, alone.

Personally I would be reconsidering wether he actually was sensible enough to be getting himself home from school

dentydown Thu 05-May-16 10:45:22

The outcome is, they are going to put a notice in the register just to remind teachers which pupils go to what club.

I talked to him, telling him that he made a lot of people worried and he did say he got the wrong day.

I'm getting him a cheap PAYG mobile today, just so he can be contacted/can ring home.

I accept the majority vote here that he shouldn't of walked out, and the school were just obeying orders.

I did roll my eyes at the "sue'em" comment, mainly because nothing happened and the school were very helpful in Finding him.

Nicknamegrief Thu 05-May-16 10:50:37

The school is at fault. If he is booked in to an after school club then they have responsibility for him until that time. This would be akin to him leaving school at lunch time and
While the school has the ultimate responsibility, your son by going to his friends and not coming home, when that is what he should do ordinarily, has not kept to his side of the deal.
My 10yo is allowed to walk home independently, he was meant to attend an after school club, he forgot but did come home straight away. When I spoke to school about this they agreed it was a safeguarding failure on their behalf and revised a few procedures.

MyNewBearTotoro Thu 05-May-16 11:30:23

I'd say it's your son's fault. He should have remembered what he was doing that day, even if he forgot it was after school club why didn't he head straight home? He shouldn't have been playing with his mates.

From the school's point of view you've signed a form saying DS can leave independently - it's not their responsibility whether he leaves to go home or to go to ASC or anywhere else. It's not their job to check he's doing the right thing or heading the right way if you've signed a form to say he can be trusted to do this himself.

This is a lesson that maybe he can't be trusted but that's not the school's fault. Maybe you now need to look at alternatives such as picking him up yourself so he is never leaving school alone as it sounds like he can't be trusted.

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