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to be irritated by these school trip arrangements?

(47 Posts)
ILookedintheWater Thu 20-Apr-17 12:31:19

6th Form English Lit trip to London to the theatre.

We are instructed that kids will be met at railway station 45 minutes from the school, cross country, at 11am, and returned there at 7 tonight.
At this point I'll explain we are rural: no stations within 10 minutes walk or anything, but are in an area where there are several lines to choose from: this station is closer to London but only £2 cheaper than a local station which is much easier to get to.
They are 6th formers so can't be ferried everywhere and DH and I need to work so I took DC to the closest station (not the cheapest to London so wouldn't have been picked but it is on the same line as the station the school are using). My DC gets train to meeting place and has a (very) leisurely breakfast as they have a couple of hours in hand. Then the teacher (with the tickets) is late and can't park so they miss the train (and the next one) anyway.
I would rather have paid £3 extra and taken DC to more convenient station, or paid £5 extra and had everyone travel from school together in a minibus, or made our own plan and DC met them at the theatre. The amount it cost to get to the further station has more than offset the miniscule saving on fare, and because they are late (as hardly any parking at chosen station) they will either miss the beginning or miss lunch. I'm not fuming, I do understand the amount of planning and the responsibility taken on to even offer a trip, but IABU to be a bit eye-rolly over the whole logistics plan?

TotalPineapple Thu 20-Apr-17 12:39:46

Then the teacher (with the tickets) is late and can't park so they miss the train (and the next one)

This is abysmal imo, they should have planned ahead.

Other than that, at a rural 6th form it may be that your local station isn't convenient for everyone, so I wouldn't have said plans were unreasonable per se.

RedSkyAtNight Thu 20-Apr-17 12:49:05

Well this is standard for any group trip anywhere surely?
The drop off / collection points and times are never convenient for everyone, so you just have to suck it up.

RaspberryOverloadsOnChilli Thu 20-Apr-17 13:00:41

Drop off and collection points may not be convenient for everyone but certainly the teacher should have allowed more time for parking to avoid missing trains.

2014newme Thu 20-Apr-17 13:05:25

I think my dd would have just got the planned train and teacher could meet them at the theatre.

EduCated Thu 20-Apr-17 13:07:37

The teacher had the tickets, 2014newme.

Scribblegirl Thu 20-Apr-17 13:16:34

When I did a 6th form trip we'd all make our own train arrangements and get to the main station near the venue - not sure why they couldn't do that? We weren't rural but the catchment for our 6th form was huge and so it made far more sense to meet at Waterloo than have everyone travelling for 45 mins just to get to the station in the middle of everyone.

MovingOnUpMovingOnOut Thu 20-Apr-17 13:19:39

The only bit that would have annoyed me is the late teacher.

I would have rolled my eyes and then almost immediately forgotten about it unless they missed the performance.

I don't get your point about the trains and lines. They picked a station and the students could get there easily. And?

ILookedintheWater Thu 20-Apr-17 13:20:43

That would have been more sensible imo Scribblegirl.

viques Thu 20-Apr-17 13:22:48

At least you are only irritated, not fuming!smile

sorry, I know you are annoyed, but usually this sort of issue sends the MN collective into fume mode...........

hope they enjoyed the play.

harderandharder2breathe Thu 20-Apr-17 13:33:25

Yes that is irritating, mainly that the teacher was late so they missed the train

listsandbudgets Thu 20-Apr-17 13:54:00

We did a trip in sixth form. The instructions were to either meet at the station
For a particular train or at the conference hall entrance at stated time. Everyone just bought their own tickets. At that age its easy to offer flexibility

EvilTwins Thu 20-Apr-17 14:09:17

What are they seeing?

Broccolirevolution Thu 20-Apr-17 14:24:00

So the teacher is our with your 6th former till 7 this evening trying to give them a good experience and you are irritated by this and that.

Maybe don't send your 6th former if it doesn't suit you. Easy!

Did you ask why they were late? Sick child/ car crash/ dead relative or does nothing trump the slight inconvenience of waiting.

I wonder how many parents will say thank you and how many will complain?

unlucky83 Thu 20-Apr-17 14:25:37

Did you ask the school about it? They might have been able to offer some kind of compromise etc -might have just not thought it through.
We are pretty rural and 11 miles from DCs school -there are school buses etc but not many normal buses and they take 45min-1hr. They also don't normally get home until 4.15pm.
They started doing theatre trips that involved leaving the school at 6.30/7pm and returning at 10-30/11pm - so either they hung around for 3-4 hrs after school or they came home for 30 mins to turn round to go back again on a bus or you would have to drive them in. And they had to be picked up cos there are no buses that late.
The most annoying thing was that the buses to take them to the theatre actually came in our direction - passed within a 5 min drive of where we live - and it is the catchment school so usually quite few DCs on those trips from this kind of area. I felt it was silly for us (even with lift shares) to drive them 11 miles only for them to follow us back along the same road on a coach.
I phoned the school about it -and they started picking up sometimes but always dropping off locally on the way back.
The only problem ever was when they got the finish time wrong and were 40mins early - I got there just as the coach was disappearing - leaving then 13yo DD1 (only local one on that trip) on her own in a deserted car park in the dark...and apparently when they got back to the school they left a few children outside the school waiting for their parents -so not like they couldn't have waited a few minutes for me to get there...
They also did one trip (joint with a few schools) that involved them being picked up 20 miles further away than the school at 6.30am - only for the coach to come back along the same road...passing close to us at around 8am.
I didn't realise that was what was happening or I would have been on the phone to them again -as it was another parent took a car full as they worked in the pick up location just had to go in early and leave later. Otherwise I would have struggled with younger DC to get to school locally etc, no direct public transport and no buses early enough for them to get a connection.
I think if they are eligible to get transported to school they should think about the impact of trips on DCs - I have a car but if I didn't she would have to miss out... or depend on another parent...

EvilTwins Thu 20-Apr-17 14:36:45

think if they are eligible to get transported to school they should think about the impact of trips on DC

This makes me 😡 Perhaps don't send your DC on trips if it's all such a massive inconvenience.

Organising a trip takes a huge amount of work.

I do think about the "impact of trips on DC" - I think about whether it will impact on them positively in terms of achievement, or understanding or what they're learning, or improving their cultural

If all parents started asking for their DC to be dropped off/picked up at a more convenient spot, it would be mayhem. And yes, I teach in a rural area

Broccolirevolution Thu 20-Apr-17 14:49:49

Unlucky83 you do realise the terrible people organising these trips at 6 in the evening are volunteers doing this simply for the benefit of your children? There is no personal gain (unless you think watching a show that appeals to teenagers while reminding them all to behave the whole time is a fun night out!)

Think I've got to get off this thread - I'm getting so annoyed I will end up cancelling all my free lunchtime clubs and trips if I read any more. Maybe I should anyway, seems like every extra teachers give is a huge inconvenience for parents and they would prefer it if we only did school hours.

MaisyPops Thu 20-Apr-17 14:57:02

Only annoying thing is the teacher being late, but even then it depends why.
To miss 2 trains it's going to be more than running a little late.
I've been 45 mins late to work because if s car accident blocking the road. If I'd been late to a trip because of it and parents were eye rolling I'd be miffed and feel like not running trips.

Everything else is just complaining that arrangements don't suit you. When I do residential and meet kids at 5am and I live an hour from school but I don't spend my time complaining.

Notso Thu 20-Apr-17 15:10:53

I don't see what the problem is aside from the late teacher. They can't please everyone.
DD's rural sixth form had a trip to a city, originally the instruction was to meet at X train station in the city at 11-11:30 as there was various station for people to start from. However due to 'a considerable number of complaints from parents of pupil never travelling unaccompanied by train' they had to get staff member to each of the starting stations. I'd be a embarrassed if my 17 year couldn't manage a 50 minute train journey by themselves.

unlucky83 Thu 20-Apr-17 22:52:58

evil and Broccoli - I do appreciate that these trips are organised and how they are organised.
I am not asking for them to pick up/drop off at the door - or in every area. The place I am talking about is on the main route they take - in fact for one of the first trips I dropped DD off at the theatre as that was closer than taking her back to and picking up from the school and another parent did the same... but if anything that was harder for the teachers - there were lots of people and other schools milling about - quite chaotic. Hard enough for them to keep track of pupils without ones turning up or leaving (they were 12ish at the time).
60% of children are bussed into the school and over 2/3 of those come from this side of the school.
It is not just about my convenience - surely it is madness for several parents to do a 20+ mile round trip - or a 40+ mile round trip if you don't want to hang around for hours - not when they are are coming within a couple of miles away - especially as I said it was only once that only DD needed dropping off.
I said I'm lucky - I have a car so I can do it if I have to .
But if I didn't there are no buses back here at 10.30 at night -at that time they could get a bus back to quite close to the area the coach can drop off/pick up - but that bus stop is on an unlit A road in the middle of fields, with nowhere particularly nearby to an adult woman I wouldn't fancy hanging around at that stop on my own waiting for her to get there...or for her to walk on her own from the stop to where I could park.
I know some parents who don't have cars - one a single parent couldn't afford to run a car (not even sure they can drive) and would struggle to pay for a taxi from that local bus stop or the coach drop off - never mind from the school- her child would have to always miss out ...and that isn't fair.
I am sure the teachers who organise these trips do so because they are beneficial to the children and therefore don't want anyone to be excluded. And it isn't a massive inconvenience for a coach to stop isn't an unreasonable ask.
Also as the catchment is so spread out you don't have the same contacts with other parents to lift share etc. (Some children who get off at the car park live eg 2-3 miles in the opposite direction - I don't know the parents, DD doesn't really know the children ...)
We aren't that rural - but we are on the edge of the catchment and the local authority - public transport links in the opposite direction are much better - why people can generally cope without cars...

Majorgoodwinschickenbeatstrump Thu 20-Apr-17 22:57:16

Ring them then before next time then and ask... what is the point of posting all this on mumsnet? confused as others have said, they are volunteering their time for nothing! Your child doesn't have to go!

5moreminutes Thu 20-Apr-17 22:58:01

School trips are always logistically awkward though aren't they - my DD has to be at school at 05:15 for a trip in a couple of weeks (also rural, definitely no buses at that time...) grin

emmyrose2000 Fri 21-Apr-17 03:43:44

I don't understand why the school didn't just organise a coach to and from the school to the theatre. hmmconfused That would've prevented all this other faffing around.

Everyone knows where the school is, and presumably there are no parking issues, so the teacher wouldn't have had that issue.

Scribblegirl Fri 21-Apr-17 07:28:32

notso - that's ridiculous! I was doing a 45 minute lone train journey to get to college when I was 16. How do they think these kids will cope at uni next year if they can't even make a train journey alone?!confused hmm

smilingsarahb Fri 21-Apr-17 07:35:19

In 6th form my teacher voluteered to give up his evenings and take us all to see some theatre I still remember 20 years later. Hope your DC remembers the show more than a journey.

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