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Ok or not? Access to balcony on first floor...

(25 Posts)
BelleBoyd Thu 28-Sep-17 11:01:55

My year 3 daughter has a large balcony outside area attached to her first floor class. It has a 4 or 5 foot ledge and obviously a big drop below.
I'm really uneasy about it. The kids probably wouldn't try to get over the ledge but there are big planters up against the ledge that are easy to climb on and from there the ledge is much easier to get up on.
My 3 year old at a open afternoon climbed up on said planters and I grabbed him down of course and disallowed him to go out there.
Her teacher has said pupils are allowed out there unsupervised and she didn't think it was a problem.
So anyway I won't take my 3 year old in there again but what about other little siblings being safe or indeed the older ones? Only takes one of them daring the other to climb up and it could be fatal.
Maybe I'm just being overprotective just seems mad when they go on about health and safety re low climbing equipment in the playground but allow this?

OP’s posts: |
twee1 Thu 28-Sep-17 11:18:00

I think the set up seems completely unworkable you would think that they would have had to do a risk assessment.

I would bring it up with the head.

sirfredfredgeorge Thu 28-Sep-17 11:31:57

You're asking if 8 year olds should know and be trusted not to climb over a 4ft wall with a 3m drop?

Yes they should.

user789653241 Thu 28-Sep-17 11:44:20

So are you suggesting the children shouldn't be using the area because it maybe dangerous for little siblings?
It's parent's job to look after the kids if they take them into yr3 class room, and I think 8 year old should know better.

WhatHaveIFound Thu 28-Sep-17 11:53:44

In theory Y3 children should be trusted to use the area and parents should always supervise any younger siblings taken up there.

However speaking as someone who is very nervous of balconies (due to a friend's death) I would be suggesting they move the planters away from the ledge so that there's no chance of them climbing up.

paxillin Thu 28-Sep-17 12:17:34

I imagine a year 3 classroom has several things not safe for toddlers, but you wouldn't remove the glue, paint and scissors in case a small sibling visits and their parents fail in their duty to supervise.

sirfredfredgeorge Thu 28-Sep-17 12:30:26

I would be suggesting they move the planters away from the ledge so that there's no chance of them climbing up

I cannot imagine a balcony arrangement in a school where planters would make it possible for an 8 year old to climb onto the side where they couldn't already do it? My 6 year old can probably wall run 2m!

BelleBoyd Thu 28-Sep-17 12:43:11

Planters are about 3 ft so easy to climb up against a 5ft wall so yes does make it easy whereas 5ft wall not so easy.
Accidents with paint, glue and scissors aren't often fatal.

OP’s posts: |
paxillin Thu 28-Sep-17 12:43:15

I would imagine the response to pointing out a KS2 classroom isn't safe for toddlers would result in toddlers being banned from it rather than baby-proofing a non-baby room.

BelleBoyd Thu 28-Sep-17 12:44:37

Not suggesting siblings shouldn't be under parental supervision. Totally understand that.

OP’s posts: |
BelleBoyd Thu 28-Sep-17 12:47:32

Its not just the siblings I'm uneasy about. I won't be taking my littlest again. I'm still uneasy about it regarding the older ones..
I'm just not sure you can say all 7 year olds would never do anything risky?

OP’s posts: |
FrancisCrawford Thu 28-Sep-17 12:50:56

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

allegretto Thu 28-Sep-17 12:51:25

I have two 7 year olds and live in a 3rd floor flat with a balcony. They could climb over the rail and throw themselves off the balcony, I suppose. But they are 7 and know that wouldn't be a good idea! If you're looking for hidden dangers then surely a window is just as bad?

BelleBoyd Thu 28-Sep-17 12:59:19

Yes I understand, but you wouldn't say put boxes next to your balcony or a step ladder up against a staircase balcony? You wouldn't try to maximise risk in other words. I think the wall is probably ok but not with such easy access from the planters up against it..

OP’s posts: |
allegretto Thu 28-Sep-17 12:59:58

Actually I do have planters and a bench next to the rail!

sirfredfredgeorge Thu 28-Sep-17 13:02:53

5ft should be easy for an 8yr old to climb up, in fact I'd say having the planters there makes it safer (since they stand on the planters to look over the top of the wall rather than having to climb on it)

As FrancisCrawfood suggests, there's plenty of 4m drops where it's possible to deliberately avoid the barriers and drop, but they all take the person wanting to do it, and at 8 personal responsibility is to be expected.

BelleBoyd Thu 28-Sep-17 13:08:11

Maybe I am being overprotective then. My two climb on and up anything they can. Perhaps we need to work harder at personal responsibility!

OP’s posts: |
thedowntontrout Thu 28-Sep-17 13:14:41

How did your 3yo climb on a 3ft planter?

BelleBoyd Thu 28-Sep-17 13:16:26

He's quite big for his age! And strong and very determined. He easily pulled himself up onto it...

OP’s posts: |
user789653241 Thu 28-Sep-17 14:12:18

Don't you think by taking away every danger from young(but old enough to know) children, you are setting them to more danger in the future?

If the child has never had experience of crossing a road, they would never know the danger of crossing a road without looking.
I think it falls into parenting responsibility to teach you shouldn't clime on to a wall which might end up in fatal accident.
Play equipment is meant to be used for climbing. Windows and walls are not.

multivac Thu 28-Sep-17 14:17:08

Actually, OP, I think your concern is perfectly reasonable. This is a safeguarding risk, that is easy to address (by moving the planters). It's irrelevant whether the children 'should know better'; this isn't a private home, where parents can make decisions about their own offspring's safety - it's a school, and those in charge of it have a statutory duty to manage risk responsibly.

PotteringAlong Thu 28-Sep-17 14:19:32

Why would younger sibilings be in a year 3 classroom?

BelleBoyd Thu 28-Sep-17 17:33:04

There are events on that take place in the classroom weekly that parents come to sometimes with younger ones plus other events and parents evenings etc.

OP’s posts: |
twee1 Fri 29-Sep-17 03:09:36

Op your concern is justified - I would have some questions

Furniture should not be able to be moved out to the balcony - as kids can climb it.

People should not be able to sit on the balcony edge.

There should not be any horizontal indent or ladder like material that can be used to grip the balcony and climb over.

How do they ensure not too many children can wander out.

The more I think about it the more i think the set up is ridiculous especially if they invite family into the balcony.

Falling from height is unfortunately one of the major causes of death still in construction industries even with all they do to ensure good edge protection.

Ginfernal Fri 29-Sep-17 03:22:15

Siblings come under parental responsibility. 7/8 Year olds should be trusted with not climbing a balcony and in my experience, putting something off limits makes it more appealing to a child

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