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School Trip - DD (5yo) wandering off

(32 Posts)
Amanda1 Tue 28-Jun-05 22:20:12

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gigglinggoblin Tue 28-Jun-05 22:24:46

omg . ds1s teacher lost him twice - but that was only in the school thank god and he had the sense not to leave the building. i would say no, absolutely not to the wrist bands and ask her if they have adequate supervision for these trips as they so clearly failed last time. would consider reporting this to lea actually. am now all angry cos it reminds me of ds last school - head said same to me about this never happening before - to which i replied that was more down to luck than good management.

soapbox Tue 28-Jun-05 22:28:58

I would ask them to reconsider the wristband, but TBH at 5 YO she should absolutely not be wandering off on her own. She really is old enough to be very aware of that (same age as my DS). I would be livid with him if he did that on a school outing, or indeed any outing!

I think with a big group teachers rely on pupils of this age to herd together and to do what they are told - wandering off is a big no no!

WideWebWitch Tue 28-Jun-05 22:31:48

Oh ffs! She's FIVE fgs! It's THEIR responsibility to have a high enough ratio and to watch them. Sorry, I'd be peed off with the head in this instance, it's obvious you can't rely on 5 yos not to wander off!

marthamoo Tue 28-Jun-05 22:31:50

Talk about One Strike and You're Out! They do sound like they are overreacting - particularly the "15 years as a Head" b?ll?cks - for goodness's sake, if it's the first time this has happened she's led a very sheltered head-teaching career!

But they do have to cover themselves, which I guess is why all the palaver - just seems rather OTT to me. Ds1 did a similar thing when he was in Reception - though not on a school trip. He disappeared at playtime, they didn't realise 'til they had all been back in the classroom for quite a while. He was in a different part of the playground (where he shouldn't have been) and hadn't heard the whistle - they sent out a 'search party' to retrieve him. They talked to him about it, told me, and asked me to talk about it to him too - the importance of not wandering off. That was deemed sufficient and he never did it again. It seems to me that thay have labelled your child already as a serial absconder; probably because the "what if" scenario of her wandering off frightened them to death.

Also, I know they can't watch them all the time - but on a school trip they are particularly conscientious - should have a good ratio of adults to children for 5 year olds and should be doing constant head counts - so possibly they are feeling liable in this and seeking to turn the blame onto you?

I would go in again, say you have had time to think about it, you have talked to your dd and are fairly confident she will not do this again. But I would be adamant that if my child had to wear a wrist band then so should all the other children - it would be in their interest anyway.

Bit of a waffle, but HTH!

Amanda1 Tue 28-Jun-05 22:33:15

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WideWebWitch Tue 28-Jun-05 22:33:47

For example, as a parent I wouldn't have just eaten my lunch in a park with my 5 yo without considering that I should to watch him/be aware of where he was, any more than the school should.

WideWebWitch Tue 28-Jun-05 22:35:00

She's covernig herself I reckon, well over the top reaction.

Amanda1 Tue 28-Jun-05 22:37:40

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Angeliz Tue 28-Jun-05 22:41:32

I totally disagree with the wristband.

If it were me i'd be LIVID at the School for ALLOWING her to wander off.
She was under their supervision and it's their fault.

If they know that she deliberately ran away someone must have watched her run, what did they do? Just watch???

soapbox Tue 28-Jun-05 22:48:07

I think my views are unpopular, but having done 2 class trips with 4-5 year olds this year, I really am surprised that people think 5 YOs are too young to understand that they shouldn't wander off. That certainly isn't my experience of the 5YOs in my DS's class.

I do think that the school is overreacting though. You really should get them to reconsider and allow her one more chance. Having said that once a child has been found to be wandering off surely they can just up the supervision given to her on these trips. Not to do so would surely be negligent on their part - and that doesn't mean the lazy option of treating her like a showground freak!

Tanzie Tue 28-Jun-05 22:51:37

Definitely covering herself (the headteacher).

DD1 escaped twice from her first nursery school (at the age of 2 1/2). The ratio of teachers to children was 1:4. DD still managed to climb out of the window, go through the garden and over a fence to the street. DH found her walking along the road on her own when he went to collect her, went in with her and they hadn't even noticed she'd gone! They said it was our fault for not disciplining her properly at home . She did the same thing the following week, whereupon we withdrew her from the school. We're also quite sure of her escape route as the door was always locked and access was only via buzzer.

swedishmum Tue 28-Jun-05 22:52:00

On the flip side children do run off and the school needs to cover itself. I wouldn't complain too much myself - children should know about wandering off at five. You are asking the school to take care of her. They feel this is what they need to do to ensure her safety.

If I thought my child was not totally safe in someone else's care, there's no way I'd leave her there. Get a one-to-one carer if your child needs special supervision. You'll be the first to complain if your child disappears in the school's care. Shoot me down in words but at the end of the day your child's safety is ultimately your responsibility.

Tanzie Tue 28-Jun-05 22:54:43

Swedishmum - yes, true, but unless we wrap them in cotton wool and take them with us everywhere! The school is in loco parentis and should therefore take responsibility for the children on a trip.

DD1 would not intentionally wander off, but she might get distracted by a butterfly or something and drop behind and get lost that way.

Amanda1 Tue 28-Jun-05 22:56:40

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Skribble Wed 29-Jun-05 00:19:19

I have to agree that at 5 yrs the ratio should be high enough to monitor all children. At 5 yrs it doesn't take much to distract them and lose track of their group, the adults should be keeping the kids together and watching them not th other way round.

I was considering a play scheme for my two but I am very wary of the trips. I have see a lot of kids on trips in or town as it is a popular destination for trips. They wander through the town centre with the kids trailing behind in a long snake with nothing more than a couple of staff who seem oblivious to the fact that a kid may stop to look in a shop window or "wander off".

I have even seen a group on a playscheme trip sitting on the floor of the waiting area of the train station eating their pack lunches this area is disgusting and littered with ciggarete ends and lots of rubbish. I wouldn't put a bag down never mind expect a child to eat his lunch there.

At the age of 17 I worked on different playschemes, one was excellent and very well orgainised the other was pretty bad and used a lot of teenage temporary workers who had lttle experience.

My DD is going to a dance summer school for a week and DS to a NT club for a week.

tatt Wed 29-Jun-05 04:32:53

My immediate reaction to this is round objects Children of 5 get distracted and are easily lost if the responsible adult is not sufficiently attentive. They may not have actually lost one before but that simply means the staff haven't been so incompetent previously. I've accompanied trips with small children and we had one adult to something like 4 or 5 children. You can still have problems if two decide to go in different directions but you watch them closely enough to grab one and chase the other. There are kids who never wander and others who see it as a joke but they are minorities with most 5 year olds capable of separating from a group.

I'd probably ask a few pointed questions about the level of supervision on these outings (because none of my friends have ever heard of this type of restraint being used by professionals ) but bottom line is if you need the summer school you're stuck. I'd be looking for another school though.

tatt Wed 29-Jun-05 04:44:19

another thought - a friend's playgroup had a washing line. When they went out on trips all children had to hold on to the line. Anyone who let go was promptly reattached by one of the several adults watching them like hawks. You might suggest it to them as a way of ensuring better control.

Big difference between children not knowing they shouldn't wander off and making a single mistake.

Amanda1 Wed 29-Jun-05 07:04:51

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Carla Wed 29-Jun-05 07:09:41

I agree with the others. I'd be LIVID if someone had allowed my child to wander off. When I accompany my children on school trips we have to have a ratio of at least one adult to a maximum of five children, or the trip's off. Go tell her to stuff her wristband! Why should your child be ostracised just because of their negligence? It's their job to make sure none of the children wander off, surely?

kid Wed 29-Jun-05 07:21:53

How many adults were on this trip with your DD's class?
How can the Head even consider putting a wriststrap on a 5yo. Couldn't she attend Summer Club but not go on the trips?

Hope you manage to sort something out.

Amanda1 Thu 30-Jun-05 09:57:08

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marthamoo Thu 30-Jun-05 10:16:03

Sorry you're not getting anywhere with this, Amanda. I've just re-read the thread and for the first time realised that you said wrist-strap not wrist band - I had translated that in my head to one of those ID wrist bands because I don't think my brain could cope with the concept of wrist-strapping a five year old That's outrageous. I hope you get your money back.

sylvm Thu 30-Jun-05 13:16:24

Not saying anything new Amanda but I think the school are terrified. When your daughter is at school (or on an outing) it is they who are responsible for her. It is irrelevant whether or not she "shouldn't have run away", they are responsible. Personally, I think they sound as if they are terrified you might take this further or spread this and then their reputation would be at stake. If your daughter is going to be staying at this school for the next few years, you obviously need to sort this out satisfactorily, to stop her being "the child that ran away when she was 5" for ever. Hope it all sorts itself out OK (and healthwise for you too)

janinlondon Thu 30-Jun-05 13:30:00

Amanda I think 1 to 6 for a reception class outing is too low. According to The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents website this is an appropriate ratio for older children, but not reception children. Many local authorities will have guidelines for schools. Do you know what your LEA policy is? Our school will not take reception children on a trip without a minimum 1 to 4, and every one of those adults has a major job keeping tabs on their allocated kids. I do think the school is trying desperately to avoid a legal wrangle here - you have after all left your child in their care and they could be said to have acted negligently. I do hope you get your money back.

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