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Booster seats in teacher's car?

(53 Posts)
LifeIsBetterInFlipFlops Thu 02-May-13 20:17:30

Would you expect a teacher to have booster seats when taking Y2 children to an event?

DS and other children travelled about 4 or 5 miles, 1 mile of it on a motorway in a teacher's car without booster seats, on a trip which was a trip planned in advance.

Apart from the safety implications, I'm amazed that insurance-wise this was ok.

Any teachers here who can advise please.

Jinty64 Thu 02-May-13 20:21:04

I would not expect a teacher to take children in her car with or without booster seats.

It would have been illegal for her to take them without seats unless they are particularly tall children.

SwishSwoshSwoosh Thu 02-May-13 20:21:26

I have no info to help you but am marking my place out of sheer curiosity, as this sounds odd to me. I am quite surprised they went in a teacher's car at all from the insurance angle.

Sparklingbrook Thu 02-May-13 20:22:24

If the teacher/Headteacher drove DSs at that age we were asked to take booster seats in beforehand.

Cloverer Thu 02-May-13 20:23:01

Legally she should have had them in seats. Am a bit surprised they were driven by the teacher at all though - does she have business insurance on the car? Is this a state school?

Fuzzymum1 Thu 02-May-13 20:25:24

Our school has a supply of booster seats in school for the odd occasion that children need to travel by car during the school day.

auntpetunia Thu 02-May-13 20:28:10

Sat in the cupboard in my office are 2 booster seats incase teachers ever have to take a child in their car, it's happened once when little boy missed coach for trip to museum due to his mums car braking down, mum and child devastated never normally late, headteacher took him in his car and we used the car seat.

pizzaqueen Thu 02-May-13 20:28:44

I'm another one who is surprised she was allowed to take them in her car at all. Was their another members of staff/parent helper with her? I used to do youth work and we were not allowed to take young people (age 12-25) in our own cars for safeguarding and insurance reasons. (Although that was just our policy not the law).

Regardless if the children were smaller than 120cm tall legally they should have been in booster seats and she has broken the law - please raise it with the school so it does not happen again. This journey ended well but their are a lot of idiots on the road the next one may not and boosters could save lives or serious injury in an accident.

Did you not question the mode of transport before the trip?

LifeIsBetterInFlipFlops Thu 02-May-13 20:38:23

I will be raising it with the school.

It is a state school.

No, I didn't think to ask about mode of transport, I had assumed it would be a minibus.

AvrilPoisson Thu 02-May-13 20:40:51

It's perfectly easy to get car insurance that covers you for business use- it doesn't really cost more than normal. We had to have it at my last place of employ, specifically because children did sometimes need ferrying around.

Always, always with appropriate seats/restraints though.

AvrilPoisson Thu 02-May-13 20:41:51

Is it 120cm for coming out of booster seats? I thought it was 135cm, and a certain weight too.

HamletsSister Thu 02-May-13 20:43:04

Our children regularly travelled into swimming, trips in a teacher / other parent's car. The school keep a stock of booster seats for this purpose. I teach and my insurance covers me for this type of thing.

jellysmum77 Thu 02-May-13 20:43:50

As a teacher I would answer yes, if the children need a booster seat then it should be used. We have had smaller year 5's who still needed the booster seat. They hated it but were told it's either that or we can't take you.

LifeIsBetterInFlipFlops Thu 02-May-13 20:57:11

Thanks all...wish me luck talking to the school tomorrow. Would you go straight to the head teacher or to the teacher who drove?

Avril it is 135cm.

SwishSwoshSwoosh Thu 02-May-13 21:11:11

I would go to the head to enquire about policy and take it from there.

Either the teacher followed policy, in which case you want to query the policy with the head/governors or the teacher did not, in which case it is a complaint/disciplinary issue.

Either way, it is pointless talking to the teacher themselves IMO.

pizzaqueen Thu 02-May-13 21:40:35

I stand corrected it is 135cm

Willsmum79 Thu 02-May-13 21:43:07

I have taken children in my car but generally when we were travelling to netball matches. It was before the legal requirement for booster seats and I had insurance on my car. In fact, when I renew my insurance, the company always ask if I will be travelling with children in my car as a matter of course because they know my occupation.
Driving with children in your car is by no means 'weird' or 'abnormal' if that is what the school usually do. But schools and indvidual satff need insurance for it and it isn't that difficult to get it - quite straightforward.

HamletsSister Thu 02-May-13 21:44:49

Not entirely sure that this should become a great big fuss. So, the teacher made a mistake, perhaps through ignorance. But (and don't forget this) he/she was being helpful, using his/her own car to transport children so they could involve themselves in some activity.

Really, the thought that some decent, caring teacher might lose their job over this, given that everyone is OK is an over-reaction. A bit less frothing, a quick reminder about the law and that should be enough.

HamletsSister Thu 02-May-13 21:46:36

Also, if booster seats are not available / too many children in the back, I think the law makes an exception. Look it up.

Sparklingbrook Thu 02-May-13 21:48:40

DS1's year group had 11 children in it so no point hiring coaches.

Startail Thu 02-May-13 21:59:07

Our primary HT always got parents to transport small groups. Parents all new each other so I guess they sorted at seats.

It's generally Y6 for inter school sport and many of them are 135 anyway. Also I've always kept DD1s booster so have two.

Cloverer Thu 02-May-13 22:01:57

Hamlets - children (over 3) can only travel without a seat if there is no seat belt in the back, it's an emergency and there isn't a seat available, or if a 3rd seat won't fit in the back.

HamletsSister Thu 02-May-13 22:09:36

That was what I remember. You can have a 3rd child without. Agree there should have been seats but just don't like the furious hang em/flog em tone when someone tried to give children a trip out.

pizzaqueen Thu 02-May-13 22:15:54

Hamlets - I don't necessarily feel the fault lies just with the individual teacher here and this one incident should not lose them their job.

However, this teacher broke the law by transporting children without the required seats and endangered children's lives. I doubt this was intentional but a major oversight on their behalf. We entrust teachers with our children and would hope they do everything they can to keep them safe in their care. This teacher did not do that.

There should have been more checks in place to prevent this though. The head teacher should have checked legislation was being complied with in relation to staff transporting pupils. Who did the risk assessment for the trip, and why wasn't car seats raised on that? Why weren't parents informed of how their children would be travelling and given the opportunity to provide car seats.

As I say in this case the trip went fine and there was no accident but it could have easily gone very wrong.

I would be furious if someone transported my DS without an appropriate car seat (unless an absolute emergency).

LifeIsBetterInFlipFlops Thu 02-May-13 22:17:50

That's a really good point Hamlets...I love the school and the teachers are fantastic; I don't know this particular teacher, but agree with you, I'd hate it to cause trouble. Although, the safety issue needs addressing.
I'll have a quiet word with DS's teacher and see what she says.

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