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School trips problem

(6 Posts)
Sleeperandthespindle Fri 18-Nov-16 06:44:59

For the fourth time this year, DDs primary school has arranged a trip with 4 days notice (quite good comparatively) which requires drop off and pick up in a different location to school at a different time. This one is 9.30- 2.45 in a village 5 miles from school.
The accompanying letter makes it very clear that ONLY children who attend breakfast and after school club will be transported by school staff.
I can, of course, ask around other parents to help (it is not possible for DH or me to manage this drop off). The dc go to a childminder and she will not be able to do it as she has other children to look after.

So I will be able to solve the inmediate problem, and I understand that this is to keep costs down, enable the school to provide the diverse and interesting curriculum that they do, but would others find it difficult to? It always feels like the school expects parents (mothers) to be available at all times. Any meetings, plays etc are also in the school day and we just cannot manage them due to the nature of our own jobs.

I have another, more serious SEN issue to discuss with the headteacher and am worried about rocking the boat.

louisejxxx Fri 18-Nov-16 07:35:20

I would just go in and ask them what happens if you can't get your child there and explain the situation that you're in (putting much emphasis on the fact that with more than 4 days notice you could've arranged a day off work or similar but you don't have the opportunity to do this seeing as it was so last minute) and just see what they say.

bojorojo Fri 18-Nov-16 14:31:09

This is not acceptable. Schools can assume parents will drop children off a bit early at their own school and make arrangements with another parent if this is difficult, but 5 miles away is unreasonable. It is also penalising poorer parents who may not have a car. Sometimes a few parents complain about the cost of transport but really would rather pay than having a 10 mile round trip. If this trip is part of the curriculum, children cannot be left out so the school must have arrangements to cover the costs of children who are on free school meals etc. Other parents have to pay a reasonable cost for transport but the school should not provide transport for breakfast club children and not the others. All must have the opportunity to go if it is a curriculum trip and the transport should run from the school. Personally, I have never heard of such discrimination and you must tackle it. Will there be staff in school to accept the children who cannot get to the meeting point? If parents pay for a coach, then why does the school say it is saving money by not providing a coach? It is reasonable to ask parents to pay for transport and entrance fees for enrichment activities, just not for the actual teaching.

I would write to the Chairman of Governors if the Head will not change her mind. I would also look at any anti-discrimination policies the school has because this is not inclusive. Look at their School Visits Policy too and their Charging Policy. Hope it get resolved.

allowlsthinkalot Fri 18-Nov-16 14:44:49

I wouldn't be able to manage this as I can't drive and have three other dc.

MrsWhiteWash Fri 18-Nov-16 14:50:28

Probably find it impossible - or at least very hard. We don't drive and have other children and work to fit round. I suppose a vetted taxi service might be possible.

In fact never come across this situation before - school have walked together to locations or asked for payment with coaches or on much rarer occasions asked for permission to transport child in a school adults car. Plays and meetings being in school day are a more normal situation.

FrayedHem Fri 18-Nov-16 17:11:53

We've had similar, late notice class trip. Had to collect DC after lunch, drive them 7 miles and collect at the same time the school closed. So anyone who worked between school hours, didn't drive or had other DC at the school had logistics to sort. Which covered nearly all of us.

The wording of the letter was "to support the national curriculum we have arranged x. You will pick up your DC at lunchtime; drive to Y and collect at pm"

It was not a popular letter! I'd never expect school to be aware of individual circumstances, but I do expect a general awareness that short notice makes it difficult for parents to work out suitable arrangements.

I have a similar SEN scenario to you. Some other parents were taking it further and I said I was happy for them to use my particular circumstances as an example, if they wanted.

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