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About primary school tour

(116 Posts)
Rockandrollwithit Wed 29-Nov-17 13:16:08

Disclaimer: I'm on the senior leadership team of a primary school, although on mat leave at the moment.

DS1 will be starting primary school next year. Our catchment school is the only one we stand a chance of getting him into and it's outstanding and over subscribed.

I booked a tour round the school and was told not to bring my preschooler. That's fine, he's at preschool anyway.

DS2 is two months old and poorly. He was born with oesophageal atresia and had surgery on the second day of his life followed by a long spell in NICU. He's been in and out of hospital since and has problems with breathing / blue spells. I can't leave him with anyone.

So this morning I turned up for the tour with DS2 asleep in the baby carrier (no pushchair). The receptionist said that it's no children allowed so I explained the situation. DH has had almost two months of compassionate leave from his job as a teacher so there's no way he could have time off to look after the baby. She went off to confer with the headteacher, the result of which was that I wasn't allowed to join the tour. They have no other slots available until after the application deadline so I will now not be able to look around the school before applying.

Were they BU? I understand that children can be disruptive but I think that my situation isn't a normal one.

DS1's life has been drastically changed by having a poorly brother and I feel guilty that I haven't been able to do even this normal thing for him.

Discotits Wed 29-Nov-17 13:18:05

YANBU. I’m surprised they did this. What a shame.

RedSkyAtNight Wed 29-Nov-17 13:21:00

The school will have done it because of past experiences with disruptive pre-schoolers. Your situation may be unique but another parent won't realize that - they'll just see that school allowed you to bring your child and not them.

Ask if you can see the school at another time.

Failing that (or as well as) go to the Christmas fair, have a good nose round the school and a good chat with other parents.

tkband3 Wed 29-Nov-17 13:21:03

I think that's appalling. At my kids' primary school, you would have been allowed to take a healthy baby round (and DS1), and there would have been no question in your case.

drspouse Wed 29-Nov-17 13:21:30

What did they think your baby DS was going to do? Leap out and grab some children's work?
They were being very U.
I took my then 15 month old in a carrier to a couple of schools, everyone was nice as pie.
Some schools specifically asked for the preschooler to attend but we decided not to take him (too overwhelming).

Soubriquet Wed 29-Nov-17 13:21:31

No yanbu

A bouncy screaming toddler. No way!

A sleeping baby in a carrier? Why the hell not?

JaniceBattersby Wed 29-Nov-17 13:22:05

That’s really appalling. I wouldn’t want my child to go to a school like that anyway to be honest. Any other options?

Scroobius Wed 29-Nov-17 13:22:29

Jeez I would look at all other possible schools and apply to those instead. You don’t need a tour to tell you that they’re clearly not welcoming or supportive of families now

afrikat Wed 29-Nov-17 13:22:30

Honestly I think they were being ridiculous and it would really put me off the school. All schools I have looked round have allowed young kids apart from one - they were very strict about it and my friend who went on the tour said they were generally pretty unfriendly. That's not a good start in my opinion no matter what the Ofsted says. Our top choice is an out of catchment school which isn't outstanding but which was super friendly and welcoming and seemed like they would take really good care of the kids.

Sirzy Wed 29-Nov-17 13:24:15

I think in hindsight as they had said no children you would have been best explaining the situation in advance to find a way around it.

honeysucklejasmine Wed 29-Nov-17 13:24:32

What?! How ridiculous. I would question the quality of pastoral care at the school.

bloodyhamabeads Wed 29-Nov-17 13:25:37

What a difficult situation. Whilst they have to keep disruption to a minimum for the children in school, you would hope that they could make an exception. But maybe they are worried about how it looks to other parents on the tour who arranged childcare. A part of me would suggest you complain, but then you don’t want to affect the relationship with the school before your son even starts there. I’m also surprised you Couldn’t bring your pre schooler though- part of your decision could be based on how they welcome and interact with him.

TheSunIsFar Wed 29-Nov-17 13:25:37

Took my 3 yo around all the schools we've been to see! Surprised they said no!

Glumglowworm Wed 29-Nov-17 13:26:59

A sleeping two month old in a carrier is different to a toddler in a pushchair or a preschooler. I would expect anyone with a smidge of common sense to realise that.

By all means make it clear that you need to leave big DS2 starts crying, but to not let you in at all is ridiculous

SandyDenny Wed 29-Nov-17 13:29:29

I suppose from the school's POV every other parent on the tour may have made arrangements to find alternative care for their DC so to allow you to go round with a baby could cause problems.

I agree with the poster who said you shouldn't have turned up without checking first, they might have been able to find a way round it without pissing off the other parents.

SkeletonSkins Wed 29-Nov-17 13:29:51

I teach in a school and it's quite a big, high performing primary. Anyone is allowed on the tour, and I've had preschoolers come right into the room of y6s and twirl around! Y6 love it! That is not welcoming at all am- I'd be really put off.

CorbynsBumFlannel Wed 29-Nov-17 13:30:18

I can see why they they wouldn't want preschoolers running around but would expect some flexibility in exceptional circumstances. Is there someone reliable like a grandparent who could have him while you look around another time?
It would put me off tbh though. No doubt there will be similar issues at parents eves and school performances etc if your child ends up going there.

Rockandrollwithit Wed 29-Nov-17 13:30:58

You see, I often run these tours at work myself so I know that children can make it difficult. We ask parents not to bring pushchairs for space reasons etc. Also would have been happy to leave if he started crying.

To clarify, they didn't say no children when I booked the tour, just don't bring your three year old. TBH it's put me off the school a bit although there's little chance of him getting in anywhere else as we are SE and all the schools are over subscribed.

DeleteOrDecay Wed 29-Nov-17 13:32:37

YANBU they are being ridiculous. He is a baby in a baby carrier, worst thing he can do is cry in which case you could leave the tour.

Peppardew Wed 29-Nov-17 13:33:18

Taken both for mine along to all of the schools we visited. No on said anything.

Rockandrollwithit Wed 29-Nov-17 13:35:11


My Mum is good with him but wouldn't be able to cope with a blue spell. Very slight chance of that happening but enough of a chance to make me uncomfortable. She would also need to take a day off work.

LittleMyLikesSnuffkin Wed 29-Nov-17 13:37:31

YANBU even if another parent had had the hassle of having to get childcare for their own pre schooler so they could have a tour I don’t see how anyone would be annoyed at you carrying your tiny baby around with you, whether he’s ill or not! The receptionist and the head are batshit. I know it’s not easy to get a school place at all in some areas so you can’t be picky but this would really put me off sending my child there!

PinkyBlunder Wed 29-Nov-17 13:41:16

This would really put me off. We took our preschooler to all her prospective school visits because I also wanted to see how the staff and children interacted with her and how she felt being there.

coddiwomple Wed 29-Nov-17 13:41:48

Some schools do allow kids, and frankly it's a nightmare. Babies or toddlers, they are a disruption because parents do not take them out when they start being noisy!

I have seen others who asked for no children, and parents completely ignored the polite request. It was a nightmare too. Parents do not leave when the babies start crying, or the toddler starts shouting and running around.

I can't blame the school for refusing and have strict rules. They should have made it clear from the start, it's odd not to warn you when you booked the tour.

Chewbecca Wed 29-Nov-17 13:44:20

I think it's reasonable of you to expect to take him but it would have been much better if you'd spoken to them in advance, explained your difficulty leaving him and that you'd exit straight away if he cried or there was any issue.

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