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Has this school trip broke any regulations/laws?

(544 Posts)
emma16 Sun 17-Nov-13 08:31:05

I would appreciate some help here please, my 5 year old daughter went on a trip with 2 other classes from her school on Friday to a wood which I was initially concerned about as we go there ourselves on a Sunday etc for walks & have never seen any facilities there.
I raised my concerns with her teacher the week before they were due to go, to which she hardly knew anything of the trip & when i arrived at home time another teacher i know told me that she'd been there & there were facilities, and 'as if' they'd take 3 classes of kids somewhere where there wasnt!
I wasn't pretty hot about this trip seeing as they've waited until the middle of November to do it, and as any genuinely concerned parent, I was worried about how cold my daughter would be seeing as they were leaving just after 9am & not returning to school until 3.15pm.

Off she went anyway, but when my husband picked her up from the woods car park the first thing she said to him was 'im so thirst daddy & my head really hurts'. He brought her home & we found out that they had not taken their water bottle's with them & she'd had nothing to drink whatsoever all day, despite being active for 5 hours walking & doing activities.
We also found out that there were no toilets provided & her & 3 of her friends were taken by some assistant she doesn't know to wee behind a tree out in a public wood!!!
She also told us, when questioned by us, they never went in any buildings & were outside all day. They'd sat on little stools under a sheet to eat their pack lunchs.

Now some of you on here will think i'm over reacting no doubt & appreciate it if all you want to say is a snide comment about my over bearing parenting, but, in my opinion i feel they have done wrong.
I have made several enquiries with other people & as far as they know, there are no facilities whatsoever up at this wood, which my husband & I are going to visit this morning to find the country ranger & ask him himself.

If there aren't this means that no risk assessment could have been carried out, those teachers lied to my face after voicing my concerns, they let my daughter go without any fluids for over 5 hours despite being active & came home ill & with a headache, they let some stranger to her pull her pants down in a public wood to wee, and they gave them no form of shelter/heating for even a short period of time just to warm them up before going back out again.
Is any of this ok, does anyone with some knowledge actually know? From a parents point of view there's all sorts wrong with it. If there were facilities why did they choose not to use them?

beechforest Thu 12-Dec-13 12:45:55

The "normal sensible dte" posters are verging on the sneering and dismissive IMO. Way way back the op actually said she liked the fact her dd was outdoors (break to get warm, toilet and drinking issues aside), but dozens of posters have wasted time going off on tangents about how important the outdoors are and how shocking it is that British children aren't experiencing it enough and it's all the fault of parents like these.

I would have hated hated hated the wee behind a tree thing at the age of five. No neurotic parent trained me into that, it's just how I was (my siblings were happy 'anywhere available' wee-ers). I would just have had a miserable day worrying about needing the toilet, hanging on for dear life.

Without that, I would have loved being in the woods, climbing any tree I could reach, whatever. Loving the outdoors and hating weeing behind trees are not mutually exclusive you know!

And even if there were proper toilets somewhere on the OP's trip, there are better ages IMO than 5 for going far enough away from them that weeing behind a tree might become necessary. That just seems like bad planning to me when you've got 90 children that age - it's completely different when it's just your own kids and you know they're fine with an emergency wee behind a tree, and it would be more reasonable if the kids were a bit older, too.

It's easy to invent backstories about hypothetical instructions that have been ignored by the child or the parent, to explain everything in a way that makes it their fault and not simply bad organisation, but statistically, somewhere in the country every day, in amongst all the well planned trips, there must be a tiny minority taking place that aren't well planned. We don't actually know for sure this wasn't one of them so sneering at anyone raising concerns could be very unhelpful.

mammadiggingdeep Wed 11-Dec-13 22:22:52 was a bit epic...

handbags88 Wed 11-Dec-13 22:19:37

Just looked at the date on this - whoops!! And when I posted, did not realise it had 500 responses...will check more carefully next time blush

mammadiggingdeep Wed 11-Dec-13 21:56:53

Oh handbag...

Don't think anybody has the strength to resurrect this thread [grins]

handbags88 Wed 11-Dec-13 21:49:58

Did the teacher send home a permission slip? Usually this will explain that the children should come to school that day with appropriate clothing, a packed lunch and drink.
Did you give permission for your daughter to participate in the trip?

Galena Tue 19-Nov-13 12:47:49

You know what I reckon happened wrt the drink? On a normal school day, the children come in, put their drink bottles in a tray, put coats away and sit down. OP (who has mysteriously disappeared)'s daughter came in on trip day and, despite being told 'Just sit down with all your stuff', put her drink in the tray. When they lined up to go to the coach, she probably failed to mention to the teacher that she had put her drink in the tray, and left with her lunch, but no drink.

And for those who will say that the teacher should have checked the tray to ensure all children had their drinks, she probably assumed the drink was left from the day before, because she'd told the children to sit down with all their stuff.

This is a really common style of thread at the moment. 90% of normal, sensible, down-to-earth posters, and 10% who are rather pink and fluffy (and would probably have tickers if they could wink ) who feel that the other posters are being mean and snide and neglecting their own children!

QuintessentialShadows Tue 19-Nov-13 10:44:30

They were also just £10 in the sale. <skips into a merry dance>

QuintessentialShadows Tue 19-Nov-13 10:43:59

Ds has walking boots from Mountain warehouse. They were neither gore tex nor waterproof, but my local shoe show back in Norway put them through the "impregnation machine" so the shoes are now water repelling, which helps a bit. But it is still not great for puddles and mud.

<<waves to PacificDogwood>> - I am in semi-rural west scotland too. Mine don't wear wellies, but we got them really solid, leather walking boots (well, I think they were leather) from Sports Direct at a tenner a pair, and they have been fine in those through several winters, tromping through the snow to get to school.

FrauMoose Tue 19-Nov-13 10:37:35

I think one of the few times I am an authoritarian parent is when there are outdoors activities in which there's no option of nipping back to the house for additional/more suitable clothes.

I stop being liberal and laidback and simply repeat, 'You are wearing this. There is no discussion. No choice.'

I do this so rarely, it works!

QuintessentialShadows Tue 19-Nov-13 10:33:32

Teddy bear costume?

That is what ds2 insists on wearing, and only that, when it is cold inside! wink

rabbitstew Tue 19-Nov-13 10:30:41

How do you get over the layers-aversion, though? grin

Abra1d Tue 19-Nov-13 10:19:49

Cotton is not a good base layer. The modern, wicking fabrics are much better and you can find them on eBay for very little money, as Quint says.

I do think wool is actually good as a layer, though, and it is breathable. When my two do DoE expeditions they wear thermals, wickable, non-cotton modern fabric long-sleeved layer (often secondhand ski shirt from eBay), then something like wool/fleece, then waterproof.

QuintessentialShadows Tue 19-Nov-13 10:02:32

I disagree with some of what MinesAPintOfTea is saying.

Cotton as a base layer is particularly bad with a non-breathable rain jacket. When you get warm, you start sweating, and then cotton gets wet, and then cold. Even (or maybe especially) the warmest dressed child will feel a chill. Cotton is not wicking the moisture away from the body in the same way as a technical or merino base layer does (neither of which need be expensive). It does not dry on the body from the warmth of the body either, like merino or technical base layers do.

rabbitstew Tue 19-Nov-13 09:34:10

The worst of all my clothes was a knitted jumper handed down through several generations that appeared to have been designed for someone with a tiny head. By the time I had managed to get it on, I would have the most atrocious headache and be terrified of the effect on my ears when I tried to pull it back off again. grin Still, better than my mother's stories of the knitted swimming costumes she used to have to wear, which would balloon around her if she tried to swim in them.

FrauMoose Tue 19-Nov-13 09:31:35

It's a variable thing. I find a lot of synthetics slimy and uncomfortable and sweaty. The cheapest wool can be harsh - though it can be worn over a long sleeved cotton polo neck.

Shops - at least the major High Street ones and online retailers - often don't provide a lot of choice. In particular they don't do practical outdoor wear, which has gone over to specialist 'outdoor' shops dealing with walking, camping, certain types of sport.

Bonsoir Tue 19-Nov-13 09:24:41

I think we are, quite rightly, more aware of the importance of physical comfort these days. I remember, as a child, being (a) freezing (b) wearing horrid itchy clothes. I had to focus so much energy on trying to put up with being cold and itchy that I couldn't do anything else for much of the time. I try to make sure my DC are warm and comfortable so that they can use their energies productively.

rabbitstew Tue 19-Nov-13 09:15:32

I do think children are more sensitive these days and less tolerant of mild discomfort. Kitting my kids up in the sorts of clothes I used to wear out in cold, snowy or wet weather, was met with howls of disapproval at the bulkiness and discomfort of it all. They hated wearing layers. Mind you, the addition of waterproof trousers finally shut them up. Then they were evenly bulky all over. grin

FrauMoose Tue 19-Nov-13 07:59:52

It's odd how hard it is to buy woollen jumpers now - even in charity shops. Maybe we've got addicted to buying machine washable stuff. And fleeces can be warm. I'd also agree that very few people routinely have warm coats - perhaps climate change/a spell of cold winters will change things.

I've used jumble sales, eBay, charity shops and hand-me-downs as a source of warm clothing. I can understand that for some people this isn't acceptable - buying cheap, less adedquate, supermarket gear is seen as the more proper thing to do.

But I imagine the big change has been central heating and the fact that so many journeys are made by car. (Perhaps for children, the provision of more home entertainment, the fact that there are fewer parks and playing fields, and an increased perception of outdoors unsupervised play equalling danger and parental neglect.)

WorrySighWorrySigh Tue 19-Nov-13 07:30:39

This thread has led me down an interesting and rather sad diversion. I had a look at the range of coats available from my nearest supermarket - ASDA.

Good choice of outdoorsy coats for boys with the cheapest (garish orange) coat being £9

For girls I didnt spot a single outdoorsy, non fashionable coat.

MinesAPintOfTea Tue 19-Nov-13 06:36:04

You don't need a "base layer": they need a thin cotton layer (so a basic t shirt/leggings), a warm layer (fleece/jogging bottoms) and a waterproof layer (not necessarily breathable, cheap waterproofs are fine, its all there was for anyone 20 years ago). Oh and a pair of boots, thick socks if they are just wellies. I could get all of that from a supermarket for about £20 for DS and most of it is needed to be able to go to the park in winter.

SatinSandals Tue 19-Nov-13 06:33:09

We got a lot of it from charity shops, jumble sales and hand me downs and just had a huge bag that came out for outdoor activities, you don't want good stuff if you are going to get wet and muddy.
The saddest thing I saw were 2little girls in a dank, drizzly, day in November on a muddy path in the Lake District wearing beautiful pink, embroidered coats with white wool linings! I don't see how they would ever have got them clean had they fallen over. They also had fashion boots on!
I can't help feeling that some of the people who say they can't afford it are just peculiar over second hand and children getting dirty.

ChippingInLovesAutumn Mon 18-Nov-13 23:09:27

Well, at least the OP wont be cold, with that many pairs of socks she will stay toasty grin

PacificDogwood Mon 18-Nov-13 22:49:59

No, thanks, I'll have a look.

I am not buying another pair of wellies though until they come asking for them.
I have many pairs of wellies unworn by DS1 and 2 which I end up keeping in the vain hope that DS3 or 4 might wear them...
I should just chuck the lot. Or pass them on to Emma and Kate and Charotte grin

QuintessentialShadows Mon 18-Nov-13 22:44:12

Have they tried Dock Boots neoprene wellies?

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