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...to think that schools could lay on transport for events in school time?

(44 Posts)
Katisha Fri 05-Jun-09 10:31:34

DS has been picked to play in a football tournament today. It takes place in a school some distance away, in a different town. Apparently it is my responsibility to get him there for 1.30. They can't tell me what time it will finish but I have another child at the same school who will need picking up at normal time.

I work full time.

This keeps happening - happened with an orchestra event a few weeks ago - was parental responsibility to get them to it at lunchtime.

I have to rely on other parents to give lifts, which is always what the school tells me to do when I get slightly cross. But I feel this puts me in an awkward position of never being able to reciprocate.

Why does the school keep assuming that all children have a non-working parent? Is this right? If it's in the school day is it not their responsibility? How much would it cost for them to hire a minibus? (I don't actually know - maybe it is prohibitive?)

naturalblonde Fri 05-Jun-09 10:38:38

I work in coach hire and it can be expensive, bu we do jobs reasonably for our local college as they do all their coach hire with us.

It's cheaper if the school use a school bus so it can do morning and afternoon school runs. We'd hire out a coach for about £150-£200 for a local job, so about £3-£4 per child. But obviously, if there's only half a dozen children then it's far too expensive,

gerontius Fri 05-Jun-09 10:40:46

YANBU.
Katisha, is your name from The Mikado? Always wondered that.

islandofsodor Fri 05-Jun-09 10:40:50

I agree it should be up to the school to get them there if it is in school time.

It is very expensive to hire transport though. Perhaps some fundraising could be done to buy a minibus.

OrmIrian Fri 05-Jun-09 10:41:15

Because they can't afford it? Yes it is prohibitive and I'm sure that many of the parents wouldn't be prepared to cough up. I am in your position but I understand the school position. It isn't up to them to assume anything about the parents working status. Sadly it's your problem (and mine) not theirs.

stillenacht Fri 05-Jun-09 10:42:27

I think they should too - parents don't mind paying a little extra for a coach - its the inconvenience for parents who work that pees me off. (I am a teacher and am fully on your side for this one).

Have noticed this with DSs cubs as well - going on camp last summer we had to take them to camp which was over 60 miles away (its hard for us to do as we have SN son as well). When i was in Brownies we used to get a coach to camp.

Tamarto Fri 05-Jun-09 10:42:31

YANBU

Katisha Fri 05-Jun-09 10:48:19

There would be about 10 children. Is a minibus as expensive to hire as a coach?

Yes sigh, I suppose it is my problem but I never expected to have to be available to ferry kids about in the middle of a working day.

(Gerontius - yes I am a mad old hag from the Mikado. Are you an Elgarian dream?)

OrmIrian Fri 05-Jun-09 10:50:14

Perhaps it might be cheaper to pay for a taxi minibus? I do remember when my DD went to the Rural Life museum we had to pay £6 even though the entry was free hmm All the rest went on the hire of a coach. So that might tell you how much it could cost.

gerontius Fri 05-Jun-09 10:50:28

I most certainly am grin.

cat64 Fri 05-Jun-09 10:55:13

Message withdrawn

goldrock Fri 05-Jun-09 10:55:26

I know that at my DCs school they can't afford to hire transport and so rely on parents to be able to help out rather than not being able to go at all. As I was recently made redundant I can now help out whenever necessary and I don't mind at all taking children whose parents are at work and I can't see why anyone would.
I can see how you feel about never being able to help but I wouldn't worry too much, maybe just be sure to thank the parents who take your child (I'm sure you do that anyway)and offer to help if you are ever in a position to do so.

jicky Fri 05-Jun-09 11:00:24

Any short, one off, trips in school time for the dc, our permission form asks for offers for drivers - and asks how many children you can take. It does ask if your car has MOT and insurance and asks parents for consent for the children to travel in private cars. I always offer when I can as I have a big car with lots of car seats and am CRB checked. Maybe you could suggest this to your school - takes the presure off individual parents asking round.

Regular events like swimming they get a coach and for longer days out or trips further away.

OrmIrian Fri 05-Jun-09 11:02:02

It's also a bit different when it's an activity when only a few children are going. Fair enough for the school to fund a whole class activity but when only a few are gonig wouldn't that be unfair?

stillenacht Fri 05-Jun-09 11:03:57

cat64- I would be willing to help but it is so difficult with SN son and working (almost)full time.

Minibuses cost a fortune for schools. I have taught in many that don't have them as they suck up money.

goldrock Fri 05-Jun-09 11:04:33

Jicky - thats interesting about the MOT and insurance, I've never been asked about mine and it does seem a sensible thing to ask but it is a small school where everyone knows everyone else so maybe they feel a bit more relaxed. They have started to ask recently on permission slips if children are allowed to travel in the front seat of a teacher/parent's car, not sure why though.

KristinaM Fri 05-Jun-09 11:07:56

our school always transports then if its during the school day

even if its only a few children eg a gymnastics competetion

Katisha Fri 05-Jun-09 11:11:11

Does the school pay for it Kristina?

It's all compounded for me by the casual and last-minute way in which we get the info as well. The letter for today's match came two days ago...Still no clue as to end time for pick-up. We are obviously all expected to be at liberty to hang round a tournament all afternoon waiting for it to finish with no other children that need collecting.

And if I sound uninterested in my son's footballing prowess, it's just that I have hung round at approximately 10 billion tournaments in the last couple of years...

Grrr.

GetOrfMoiLand Fri 05-Jun-09 11:11:33

This does seem very different from DD's school. DD is involved in loads of sporty stuff, both after school inter-school matches, and one-off cricket/football/whatever tournaments that run for a whole or half a day. The school transports them to all of the events. I think that they have a couple of minibuses and the teachers drive them.

I am very very glad of this as there is no way I would be able to transport DD around in the middle of the day, I work 50 miles away from her school.

GetOrfMoiLand Fri 05-Jun-09 11:14:35

Katisha - the school funds the transport, I have never been asked to contribute, they travel quite far and wide as well, all over the Cotswolds.

Kristina - I am like you. I love the fact that dd is good at football but after years of Saturday morning training at 9am in all weathers, and all day tournaments on Sundays where I could be sitting in the garden drinking pimms doing housework my enthusiasm has waned!

RustyBear Fri 05-Jun-09 11:21:02

When we have events like this at our junior school we ask for volunteer parents to take two or three children each - they have to complete a form to confirm that their insurance will cover them for this & usually it does, though there are apparently some companies that charge extra. We have a couple of spare car seats but generally parents drop off the seat with the child if they need one.

We have looked in to hiring a minibus, but Minibus hire with a driver is fairly expensive, round here anyway. If the school has their own minibus or hires one without a driver, they also need someone qualified to drive it & anyone who passed their test since 1997 doesn't have the automatic qualification for a minibus that older drivers do. Although there's a concession to allow drivers with an ordinary licence to drive a minibus they must "receive no consideration, other than out-of-pocket expenses" and if teachers or support assistants drive during their working hours it's seen as part of their job, so they are 'recieving consideration'

KristinaM Fri 05-Jun-09 11:21:50

the school pays for trips that are part of the curriculum

if its a fun day out type of activity eg summer trip to park, pantomime ,then parenst are asked to contribute

its never very much, usually about £3

cat64 Fri 05-Jun-09 12:46:11

Message withdrawn

KristinaM Fri 05-Jun-09 21:34:32

Its funding is £3,126 per pupil. But its very well managed smile

zipzap Fri 05-Jun-09 23:13:10

Can't add anything I'm afraid as DS1 is just about to start school in Sept and all this is a joy to come - thought I would drop in and learn a little about what to expect grin

Just wondering - what would happen if you said 'sorry, can't take him to football/orchestra/whatever' and I haven't been able to organise a lift for him with parents that I know. Don't want him to go in a car with parents that I don't know as you don't know about their driving habits/mot/insurance etc etc'.

Would they sort something out or would they just drop your DS? And would there then be repercussions on your DS?

Must admit, am dreading ds being good at sport and getting into school teams (hadn't even begun to think of things like orchestra!) as I loathe and detest sports, hated it at school, was never in teams at school, hate watching on TV etc and the thought of having to give up lots of time to something so dreary and horrible is just filling me with fear.

Reading that back I realise it makes me sound a mean mummy potentially but already there's not enough time to do everything so I am just worried about fitting everything in as it is, let alone adding other stuff in that means hanging around IYSWIM. arrgghhh.

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