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How do you think a school should handle this? (lateness/school trip)

(39 Posts)
DebbieFiderer Wed 24-Jun-15 14:09:07

If a primary school class (KS1) were going on a school trip, for which they need to leave early (before school would normally have started), what do you think should happen if a child hasn't arrived by the time they need to leave? If it makes a difference, imagine it is a child who is habitually late (15-30 mins late every day).

I'm trying not to be too specific as it is (or could be) a real situation at our school, but not one which I am directly involved in as either a parent or staff. I am just curious as to what people think would/should happen in this situation. Should the whole trip be delayed (possibly by up to 45 mins, which with the increase in traffic could mean more than an hour of the planned activities affected), or should the trip go ahead as planned and the child miss out if they are late?

GreenEggsAndNaiceHam Wed 24-Jun-15 14:11:24

The trip should go ahead as planned. The late child would go into another class for the day.

AuntieStella Wed 24-Jun-15 14:12:31

They should make every effort to contact the parent (or whoever drops off) to find out where they are.

If they can wait for a near miss, all to the good (there's usually a few minutes built in to the timings for a last minute hitch) because it would be very hard on the child to miss out.

But, there does come a point where you just have to leave.

OddBoots Wed 24-Jun-15 14:15:04

Leave on time, other parents will be waiting around for them to go and other children would be getting annoyed too so it would be worse to be the child who 'made everyone late' in the long term than to be the child who missed out.

It would also set expectations in future that the school would wait which may become a growing problem.

stealthsquiggle Wed 24-Jun-15 14:16:36

Trip should go ahead.

You don't decide lightly to leave before normal start time - there was a good reason. Yes they could try and call the parent/drop off person but after that, and unless they are almost there, you just leave. It's hard on the child in question, but then so is being late every day. sad for them.

BertPuttocks Wed 24-Jun-15 14:16:55

Ideally, if the child is late every single day, someone should have spoken to the parent the previous day to warn them that the child wouldn't be able to go if they were late.

If they were late then the trip should then have gone ahead at the planned time.

In our school the persistent lateness would have been tackled long before now. Any more than two or three and the school would have been in touch to find out why and offer support where necessary.

Poor child.

DebbieFiderer Wed 24-Jun-15 14:18:51

I think I agree; if it was a child who is normally on time then I would say hang on a few minutes, they will be there, but for a child who is always significantly late (even coming in to the class assembly for parents halfway through, after they should have done their part sad ) then I think you can't just hang around forever. So hard on the child though, at that age I really don't think they are responsible for whether or not they get to school on time.

AdventureBe Wed 24-Jun-15 14:20:18

We would go without them - we have no idea if they're going to turn up at all.

If it was a family known to need support (which is often the case with persistent lateness) someone might have been in touch beforehand to emphasis the importance of being on time and if the child particularly needed a treat in their life, someone might go round and collect them, if their lateness is a virtual certainty.

We once had a child miss a trip because his mother hadn't understood the instructions (non-English) speaker and HT drove the boy to meet the coach, but we wouldn't delay the rest of the trip.

mugglingalong Wed 24-Jun-15 14:21:39

The parent and child should ideally be told directly a day or two before that the trip will be leaving on time whether they are there or not and then the trip should leave on time. Our school always asks them there about 20-30 mins before they actually march out to the coach. In an ideal world you shouldn't have to speak to the parents beforehand but being ks1 and being generous I might make it clear to them. I imagine that the 29 other children have paid a fair amount to go on the trip and they shouldn't be penalised for one child who is late. I know that some families do have a tough time in the morning due to SN, time management, etc but to ask them to be there at the arranged time point once in a year I don't think is too much to ask. Most people even with children with SN manage it every day.

westcountrywoman Wed 24-Jun-15 14:32:16

At our school the late child would be accommodated in another class for the day. A 'buffer' of 10 minutes is usually built into the departure time but after that, tough. If it's too early for school, the coach would leave without the child and a message would be sent to their parents letting them know to attend school as normal and Little Jonny would be in x class today.

TeenAndTween Wed 24-Jun-15 16:01:46

Agree, leave on time.

However, I would consider some flexible thinking to enable the child to arrive on time at least for that day. Talk with the parent, could anything be done to help? Could another parent call for the child for example?
I guess it depends on the reason for regular lateness (which should be being addressed anyway)

redskybynight Wed 24-Jun-15 17:10:31

Agree, leave on time. DC's school makes a point of saying on letters where they are leaving before normal school time (or even just after normal school would start) that they strictly do not wait for latecomers.

Wellthen Wed 24-Jun-15 19:29:34

My experience that habitually late, inappropriately dressed children are always perfectly dressed and on time on trip days. Children who regularly miss up to three days a week (not for illness) never miss trip days, non-uniform days, party days or anything else fun.

Its incredibly irritating for teachers and children alike.

Leeds2 Wed 24-Jun-15 19:39:52

I find that really sad, Wellthen, and had no idea that that was the case.

StupidBloodyKindle Wed 24-Jun-15 19:40:47

Trip goes ahead, pre-warn me ditzy parent in advance that will happen and stick to it. It sounds like a Pedro in Peppa Pig situation. I am currently always running late (nursery, not school). If I am not there by 9, game over, doors are shut, Dd stays with me for the day. Trips..there by 8.00 or not going on trip or to nursery that day.
I think that's fair enough even if I'm paying. My kids do transpire to make me late mind. If it was just a flaky mum, then maybe a TA/teacher could do a one-off intervention? (when I used to teach, I picked up a couple of kids who had EWO concerns so they did not miss some essentials, but maybe this is frowned upon now).

mrz Wed 24-Jun-15 20:00:58

At my school trip goes ahead and a member of staff follows in car when the child turns up but as said the children who are persistently late every other day are often the first there when there's an outing.

minionmadness Wed 24-Jun-15 20:38:03

This situation did happen at our school last year. The coach left on time without the two children who were late.

child one is late often...

child two is usually on time...

Sadly both children missed the trip as the coach just couldn't be delayed and there wasn't a member of staff free to follow the coach. They had to go into another class for the day.

SuburbanRhonda Wed 24-Jun-15 20:39:51


Not sure how long ago it was that you would go and pick up stragglers in your car, but these days every adult in school has a job to do from the moment they come in. Taking a TA away from the class to pick up a latecomer could mean several children miss an intervention; if a teacher were to go, who would look after her class? And what if the person going to pick up was supposed to be going on the trip themselves and was held up in traffic bringing the late child into school?

I agree with telling parents departure time is earlier than it actually is.

DebbieFiderer Wed 24-Jun-15 20:52:37

Interesting that those who are habitually late usually manage to be on time for trips, I wonder why that is? The trip would only be motivation for the child, not the parent...

reddaisy Wed 24-Jun-15 21:00:28

It is so sad that children miss out because their parents can't be relied on. I think some sort of intervention - i.e. an offer to collect said child from by someone appropriate - would be best for the child but no idea if that is practical in reality.

mugglingalong Wed 24-Jun-15 21:44:33

It is an interaction though between the parent and child. So if the child is highly motivated then they will get ready more quickly - even the most reluctant one. Every day though they don't have the same motivation to be up, dressed and ready so then it is down to a battle of wills between parent and child, alongside some lack of organisation and time management by the parent. My children are generally still getting ready about 8:20, on school trip days I have known them to be up, dressed and ready to go by 7am!

lljkk Wed 24-Jun-15 21:50:37

I'm not sure why the habitually late bit matters.
we had a few yrs of being habitually late, btw, not angels.
I can only write this from a parent perspective.
A 10 minute buffer on departure time is great idea, but beyond that:
If the school has tried to ring the carers & they don't reply to say they'll be in there within 2 minutes, then the trip proceeds. Doesn't matter if the pupil is usually on time or not, it's not fair on rest to have them waiting for unknown.

WhattodowithMum Wed 24-Jun-15 21:57:51

If you don't leave on time, as planned, it shows an utter disrespect for everyone else.

StupidBloodyKindle Wed 24-Jun-15 22:32:08

rhonda I used to pick them up on my way to school so it was organised in advance. But, another time, 1999, they'll all be grown up now, bless.

Ragusa Wed 24-Jun-15 23:09:12

Our head/ deputy will go around to pick up a particular child who is often late or doesn't attend. I feel so sorry for her; she's learned early in life that the one person she should be able to rely on can't be relied on sad. I love our school staff for being proactive.

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