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Worries about safety on residential trip

(14 Posts)
TomOfBedlam Thu 09-Nov-17 21:36:19

DC is 7 and at a very small primary school (under 50 pupils) which only has 2 classes - infants for yrs R-2 and juniors for yrs 3-6. DC also has suspected but as yet undiagnosed SN (we think ASD). On top of this DC has an August birthday so since this term's move up to the junior class is the youngest child (by 10 months!) in their class.

This term a child from yr 6 has found DC very hard to get on with and this has slipped into verbal bullying (including threats) and over the last two weeks into physical assault. Last week DC was punched in the head and this week a lunchtime dispute ended up with DC being pushed to the floor and kicked in the head and back several times.

As well as all the worry this brings us (and tbh we are considering removing DC altogether but that's logistically very difficult and I don't know how well DC would cope with the move so it's a last resort) there's an additional issue which needs sorting out asap which is the planned residential trip for the whole junior class next May. We have to sign the form and pay the deposit by next week if DC is going. It's expensive (to us - we are not exactly well off) and I'm in two minds about whether to commit to it or not.

DC wants to go and will be very upset to miss out but I feel quite strongly that unless staff can absolutely guarantee that at no point they will be unsupervised (even when in bed) with the child who has hurt them, then DC won't be safe. Staff are already going to need to provide DC with extra support with things like dressing (this routinely takes 30-40 minutes at either end of the day). I suppose what I'm asking is, is that request reasonable? What if anything should I expect the school to put in place to keep DC safe?

TeenTimesTwo Fri 10-Nov-17 09:58:01

If they are in dorms, one for boys and one for girls, then he will end up unsupervised.
If they are in smaller rooms, they can ensure he isn't in a room with the boy.
However, with the best will in the world I think it is unlikely they will be able to absolutely guarantee they will be separate for the whole time.

Are the school accepting there is an issue with the older boy and taking active steps to sort it and keep your child safe at school?

Can you ask whether, under the circumstances, they can let you make a late decision?
How far away is the residential? I assume there is no chance on him doing the day activities but be dropped and picked up each day by you?

Presumably there will be another residential in a year or two or three? Maybe just save your money and send him when he is older and bigger, and hopefully a bit more independent?

BubblesBuddy Fri 10-Nov-17 13:17:10

To be quite honest, if he goes, could you go too as a parent helper? This may be welcomed with open arms. Or go daily as suggested. My DDs both did residentials in Y2 and the teachers and parent helpers had rooms at the end of the dorms. I too cannot see how a school can guarantee supervision of your child all night and all day. If you decide he shouldn’t go, explain to him why not.

If the child who kicks another child in the head is allowed to go on a residential, I would be surprised at the Head permitting this if it is a holiday trip. He clearly has needs too and also requires close supervision. If this is a holiday and not curriculum based, they can refuse to take a child. Which is it?

viques Sat 11-Nov-17 10:34:43

If they do the residential every year then why not leave it for a year, the bully will have left and your child will be a year older, maybe a bit more mature, able to cope with dressing etc.

How exactly do you envisage staff supervising the children at night? Your expectation of 24 hour supervision would raise hackles with other parents.

Hulababy Sat 11-Nov-17 18:33:31

You need to find out what the sleeping arrangements are. If they are a number of twin/triple rooms then it can be arranged that your DS will not be in a room with this boy. However, if it is a dorm, then they will be unsupervised. The likelihood of a teacher sleeping in the same room as children is very small ime. They don't normally.

I can't see any school guaranteeing that your child and this other child will be totally supervised 100% of the time. I can't see how that happens in a normal school day tbh, let alone on a residential.

However, the other child should be having some form of intervention for his behaviour and, imo, should not be allowed to attend if he is bullying or injuring other children. In many schools he would be only going on a condition of big changes in his behaviour between now and then.

PotteringAlong Sat 11-Nov-17 18:52:52

Your child will not be supervised when sleeping. They're just not on residentials.

MidniteScribbler Sun 12-Nov-17 00:55:15

There is no way teachers can provide 24 hour supervision. They are allowed to sleep as well (although to be fair, there is little of it!). Also, teachers will not be sleeping in the same rooms as the children.

A child that needs 30-40 minutes at each end of the day to help getting dressed is going to be a problem with if he has no diagnosed SN and therefore an aide with him. There simply isn't time in the schedule for teachers to individually be dressing children, and there is no chance a teacher is going to physically undress or dress a child.

GreenTulips Sun 12-Nov-17 00:59:27

Can you volunteer to go too?

Some parents share a room with their own kids

Friend has been asked due to her child's needs and they have offered to reimburse her salary while she is missing from work

ForgivenessIsDivine Sun 12-Nov-17 08:17:56

I would be very concerned about the safety of my child in this scenario and if in any doubt, would not send my child.

Have the school explained what measures have been taken in school to ensure the safety of your child and what measures are in place for the trip?

I know that school are not obliges to tell you what sanctions were placed on the child who hit yours, but if they are unwilling to ensure that this child is constantly supervised or excluded from the trip, mine would not be going.

RavenWings Sun 12-Nov-17 16:56:56

No. 24/7 supervision is not a reasonable request. With the best will in the world, that can't be 100% guaranteed - unless a staff member is expected to sit by your childs bedside at night.

Strawberrybubblebath Sun 12-Nov-17 22:26:15

I went as a TA on a residential this year. There was a row of rooms with children sleeping 4 to a room with teaches rooms at either end, which I understand us a pretty common format.

We did go to bed and get a few winks of sleep (although not much as you are woken quite often plus it's hard to sleep as I felt I had to keep an ear out.

I couldn't have supervised 24hrs a day for 5 days. I was utterly utterly shattered. 2 adults looking after 30 children, many away on a residential for the first time and all the behaviour that a school residential involves.

Also please that remember teachers/TA's on a residential are there on a volunteer basis. I am a part time TA and was only paid my normal weekly wage. Most of my time that week I was unpaid.

Please give some consideration to the teachers/TA's and what they can physically do.

I enjoyed my week on the residential and am looking forward to the next time. It was rewarding but it was very very very hard work!

rcat Tue 14-Nov-17 19:37:07

The pupil that assaulted your dc shouldn’t be allowed to go on the residential.I wouldn’t send my dc if the bully was permitted to go,just out of safety.

If you go with your dc that might be a compromise but I would be very concerned about the other dc behaviour.

BubblesBuddy Wed 15-Nov-17 10:16:03

If this trip is to study the curriculum you cannot ban a child from going. If it’s a holiday, you can. Therefore it totally depends on the trip. You have to make it possible for all children to go and it could be that the child who behaves badly needs extra supervision from a parent.

I think the OPs child will also be difficult to manage on the trip. So the school needs to address all the issues.

BubblesBuddy Wed 15-Nov-17 10:16:30

Also, if it’s for y3-6 is it curriculum based?

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