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Parent drinking alcohol before assisting with school trip

(87 Posts)
Baydreams Mon 11-Mar-19 16:21:08

I would describe the parent of one of DCs classmates as a functioning alcoholic.

I frequently see them post-morning school run sinking 4 tins. Despite this, they never seem particularly inebriated to me.

This morning I saw this parent doing their usual 9.30am routine, and then this afternoon I saw the same parent returning from assisting the class school trip (primary school).

So, my questions are:

1. What would you do?

2. This question is for anyone who works in schools or has knowledge in this area - what action might the school take? Short of breathilising them, it’s a he said / she said situation, so I’m interested to know what the standard course of action would be if I had a conversation with the school.

And 3. Do I need to check my double standards? Eg, I wouldn’t bat an eyelid at PTA mums drinking a a handful of glasses of mulled wine at the Christmas fair whilst still running the show. There are other helpers and teachers around so should it be up to them to judge if someone isn’t
up to the job of assisting with the class?

I feel like it’s important that I do mention it to the school (although I’m pretty certain this isn’t the first time a parent has made the school aware), but think I just needed to mull over my thoughts first and ask what others would do.

greenlynx Mon 11-Mar-19 18:12:37

I’m surprised that some PPs still couldn’t believe OP. When you live in the area and use the same route/ go to the same shop every day you notice people doing the same things around you.

Aragog Mon 11-Mar-19 18:12:47

Definitely tell school. I would ask to speak to one of the safeguarding team - the head and/or deputy will most likely be part of that team, or a learning mentor perhaps. Tell them facts, without any prejudice, assumptions of judgemental comments - it will be better for school if it is just straight facts such as dates, times, place, etc.

School will keep such information on file. It helps build a picture.

We have had functioning (and non functioning) alcoholics as school parents. They have never been allowed on school trips, and are supervised/watched on visits into school generally. When they have looked inebriated or smell of alcohol/drugs we have not allowed the child home with them, esp where we believe they may be driving. We have procedures in place as to how to handle this.

If school are aware Im surprised they allowed them on the trip, so definitely worth passing on known information.

AutumnCrow Mon 11-Mar-19 18:14:33

OP, thanks for explaining further. It's what I'd expect the school to ask you tbh, as you're potentially going to be asking the school to exclude this parent from school activities. You have to be sure.

Aragog Mon 11-Mar-19 18:14:36

It depends if the adult was part of the ratio and had responsibility or not.

Not really. Our safeguarding policies would not allow an inebriated adult any where near a school trip, regardless of whether they were part of ratios or not. They'd simply be told no.

kbPOW Mon 11-Mar-19 18:19:17

^ what @Aragog said. Nothing to do with ratios. You cannot be under the influence of alcohol and be on a school trip.

excitedtobehere Mon 11-Mar-19 18:22:47

*As long as they are not driving, it's not really anyone else's business.
I'm sure plenty of high flyers go and collect their kids high on drugs and fine wine.*
hmm Really?? Well that makes all the difference so.

There are children involved. You reckon it's No one else's business if a parent is under the influence while having children in their care.

Aragog Mon 11-Mar-19 18:26:56

I am surprised how many people seem to not thing its an issue for an inebriated parent to be in school/on school trip and potential supervising a group of children!

This is a HUGE safeguarding issue which schools should be taking very seriously.
It's not a case of not being someone else's business. It most definitely should be when that parent is in school and working alongside children. It is the whole school's business if that is happening.
No way would I want a parent, or any adult, working alongside my child at school when that adult had had a drink.

Can you imagine if it was a teacher back in class after a lunch time pint or glass of wine? There'd be uproar! It's no different - this parent is still working alongside children in their school!

PinkSmitterton Mon 11-Mar-19 18:37:52

With any safeguarding issue the default is always to report it

"If you suspect there's a problem, don't think 'what if I'm wrong?' think 'what if I'm right?'"

The school will then decide whether they need to act on it: based on the welfare of the child of that parent and in this case the welfare of other children on the trip.

TapasForTwo Mon 11-Mar-19 18:41:09

It takes a village ......

Baydreams Mon 11-Mar-19 18:48:21

@Aragog Thanks for the advice, I'll find out who the safeguarding contact is at the school

LaBelleSauvage Mon 11-Mar-19 19:23:12

I'm a massive snob so it's mainly the 'tins' and the time of day that bothers me.

I'd be the same as OP re some mulled wine at a fair.

Perhaps worth a mention to the organiser. I wouldn't want my children near a tin. I hope a glass was used at the very least grin

AJPTaylor Mon 11-Mar-19 19:30:40

My dd had a friend with an alcoholic dad. He would walk around drinking a 4 pack of special brew. Literally drank himself to death.
I would tell the school.

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