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Is school being unreasonable about the park?

(49 Posts)
OhFFSNowWhat Thu 03-Dec-20 18:19:11

I live in a Tier 2 area although my borough has consistently been the lowest infection rate in the country. This morning the mum of ds2’s friend told the teacher that I would be collecting him as we were going to the park over the road for half an hour before she’d come and pick him up. Due to both of our working hours this is something we’ve done for years as it means whoever is working doesn’t need to rush back for pick up.

I get a phone call 15 minutes before the end of school when I’m already on my way to collect from the school receptionist telling me that they had been ‘made aware’ that I was breaking lockdown rules and as a result they would not allow me to collect ds’s friend from school. I told them we were going to the park over the road as we always did which isn’t against the rules but she said she believed he was going to be coming to my house. I said that they are able to see the park from the school and if they were that concerned they were very welcome to check I was in the park and that friend would be collected within 30 minutes of school finishing. She said that they don’t have time to do that and shouldn’t be put in this position and that they wouldn’t allow me to collect him. I asked if they’d managed to contact friends mum as she would be expecting him to be in the park and I know she wouldn’t be able to get there for pickup even if she left work now. They’d left her an answerphone message and said on this occasion they’d keep child at school until mum could get there so they could explain the seriousness of the situation.

Aibu to think this is completely bonkers? We’re not breaking any rules. They seem convinced that I was going to be taking him back to my house but we never do that as he lives in the opposite direction to where we do so it always makes sense to just play at the park for half an hour. Are they even allowed to say a point blank ‘no, you’re not allowed to collect’ when the parent, the child and the person collecting want this to be the arrangement?

It’s absolutely infuriating and will make the last few weeks of term really tricky if both myself and other mum are expected to leave work 30 minutes early once a week for no reason at all. Dc’s are in Yr4 and not allowed to leave school without an adult or secondary school aged sibling accompanying them.

OP’s posts: |
Nettleskeins Thu 03-Dec-20 18:21:26

Bonkers.
It is informal childcare surely?

Pamelaaaaa Thu 03-Dec-20 18:22:59

That's crazy. Even if you did take him home with you, you are allowed to have people in your home to provide childcare to allow a parent to work, which is exactly what you are doing.

GivenchyDahhling Thu 03-Dec-20 18:25:00

I’m amazed that you have DC at a school where the staff have time to monitor this nothing situation.

And YA obviously NBU whatsoever

SummerHouse Thu 03-Dec-20 18:27:36

In all my years of school (DS in yr 6) I have never had cause to speak to the head teacher. On this occasion, I would. I think wires are crossed somewhere and they need uncrossing.

M0mmyneedswine Thu 03-Dec-20 18:28:03

I would tell them you are each others childcare bubble and its therefore within the rules

greensnail Thu 03-Dec-20 18:29:04

That's crazy, you're allowed an informal childcare bubble for this purpose. Or school will let them leave independently from year 3 if the parents want them to as well.

TokyoSushi Thu 03-Dec-20 18:30:01

Totally ridiculous!

Dontlickthetrolley Thu 03-Dec-20 18:30:17

That's informal childcare and you could take the child to your house if you wanted. Not for the school to police, especially when they're policing it wrong!

Baloonist Thu 03-Dec-20 18:30:56

There aren’t any lockdown rules atm as we aren’t in lockdown.

YANBU, they are definitely BU.

kowari Thu 03-Dec-20 18:31:49

It's childcare. And safer with Covid to play outside than to go back to your house anyway.

OhFFSNowWhat Thu 03-Dec-20 18:32:25

Thank you. Tbh I stupidly hadn’t thought of it as being childcare and was more thinking that I can’t get away with saying we’re ‘bubbled’ together as they know I’m with my mum for that (small town, everyone knows everyone else’s business).

Other mum is furious as her son was really upset and confused and she apparently got a bollocking from the teaching assistant for putting the school at risk confused.

I’m glad I’m not the only one who thinks they’re being ridiculous.

OP’s posts: |
pinkstripeycat Thu 03-Dec-20 18:32:52

Support bubble is totally allowed. Not their job to police it. Friends mum should give them a telling off

user1325352314 Thu 03-Dec-20 18:34:19

Aside from anything else, I would be objecting strongly to the school declaring me a liar in such a way. Totally out of order.

user686833 Thu 03-Dec-20 18:34:57

This doesn't make any sense. Surely you would be allowed to take him to your house regardless as it is childcare? I might be wrong on that one but I don't think so. Even if you were breaking rules, which you are not, I don't think it is their right to refuse to release the child to you if it is the parents wishes and you are a named pick up person. They aren't the police. So so strange and unreasonable of them.

Stompythedinosaur Thu 03-Dec-20 18:46:06

If ask to discuss with as senior person as you can manage. Clarify that you are not in breech of the rules and ask them to confirm in writing that they will be be preventing you from collecting the boys.

Nottherealslimshady Thu 03-Dec-20 19:01:50

Disgusting behaviour from the school. Definitely speak to the headmaster and whoever is above the headmaster if they're no use.
You're allowed to provide childcare so they're wrong in the first place.
But they also have no right to refuse to hand your child over when the mother has told them to give him to you. I'd have thought that's a serious breach of some safeguarding rules, they cant just keep a child back as and when they please unless there's a real concern about the childs safety. What happens when your son starts telling them that he's going to a party at his cousins house this weekend? No you're not having your son back because we think you're going to break covid rules hmm

Redwinestillfine Thu 03-Dec-20 19:07:07

I would raise it with the head. I have had teaching assistants tell my daughter all kinds of incorrect information about Covid rules in school, and got a bit too enthusiastic about 'enforcing'. When I questioned it with the reception staff they checked and got back to me basically saying 'yup, no idea how she got that from the clear rules circulated by the head' and they had a word and the problem stopped.

LolaSmiles Thu 03-Dec-20 19:13:20

Unless school have a policy in their risk assessment to only release children to members of their family or named childcare providers then I don't think they've got a leg to stand on.

I wouldn't get into childcare bubbles with them because if later you need to use grandparents or form a bubble then you technically can't as childcare bubbles are fixed.

Speak to the head about the school's policy for releasing children during covid and take it from there.

FrazzledChip Thu 03-Dec-20 19:14:25

Absolutely crazy and even in a tier 3 area childcare is allowed. I would speak to the other parent and both of you contact the head directly. I'd be fuming.

SafferUpNorth Thu 03-Dec-20 19:21:45

WTAF!! Even if he was coming to your house, informal childcare is allowed. They should get their facts straight and butt out. Give the head a call.

ohwhatamiserableyear Thu 03-Dec-20 19:28:00

I'm kind of with the school, but not because you were picking the child up. I despair of the overrun playgrounds outside of school where all the 'bubbles' are gone as they all mix together climbing on things and touching things.

defeats the entire purpose of our school bubbles

nosswith Thu 03-Dec-20 19:28:31

The school cares about protection of people from Covid 19, that is a good thing. They contacted the other child's parents, a good thing. Wanting confirmation of this arrangement from them, a good thing in my view.

Telling you off, and the other parents, not good and this is what I think you should raise with them.

mooncakes Thu 03-Dec-20 19:30:16

Rule of 6 outside anyway so this within the rules.

nosswith Thu 03-Dec-20 19:30:40

Incidentally, the government not going down to borough level and your area being in tier 2, and the nonsense of Holy Island/rest of north Northumberland, Tunbridge Wells and northern Lancashire being in tier 3, I have sympathy and agree with you is nonsense.

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