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Staff : pupil ratio on trip

(21 Posts)
WoodenCat Mon 04-Dec-17 09:50:11

Small independent primary, 10 children age 9-11 go on school minibus to spend afternoon at a schools' competition. 90 mins drive to venue using motorway.

1 member of staff only on the trip. Not as well as the driver, they drove the bus. Surely there should be min 2 adults? Eg a parent volunteer. 1 adult to drive, supervise, organise isn't right is it??

irvineoneohone Mon 04-Dec-17 09:53:24

Why don't you volunteer?

TuftedLadyGrotto Mon 04-Dec-17 09:54:15

Over the age of 7 there are no legal ratios, just for the school to work out risk assessment. As long as they have risk assessed it and deemed it OK, then 1 to 10 seems OK.

Why does it matter that they are driving on the motorway?

PortiaCastis Mon 04-Dec-17 09:55:09

You could always volunteer to help

WoodenCat Mon 04-Dec-17 10:04:09

This is after the fact! Which was clear from my post. I would happily have volunteered if they'd asked! But equally I could be unable to volunteer because work, childcare for smaller children, disability... why do people have to jump on a thread just to be aggressive??

What I was unsure of was whether the ratio was ok either legally or practically. E.g. If they broke down on the motorway or if a child was taken ill or the member of staff for that matter. Just didn't seem like enough people. And I'd like to raise it with the school and - shock - offer to volunteer in future trips! But it's good to know what the legalities are as if they shouldn't have done this I might have worded my email differently.

irvineoneohone Mon 04-Dec-17 10:46:52

Uhm, I didn't mean to be aggressive at all. Why the suggestion to volunteer seems aggressive to you? confused
You could have just said you can't. Too dramatic, tbh.

WoodenCat Mon 04-Dec-17 11:06:34

Because my question was about whether the ratios were safe and the immediate response from others is not to offer a reply to that but to instantly tell me I should volunteer. The tone is if I think it's that's bad why aren't I doing anything about it???

prh47bridge Mon 04-Dec-17 13:02:01

From a child protection point of view I would expect another adult to be present at all times. This is as much for the protection of the adult as the children. In this situation it also means the driver can concentrate on driving leaving the other adult to supervise.

None of this is a legal requirement. It is just a recommendation. So the school hasn't broken any laws but what they have done is definitely not best practice.

WoodenCat Mon 04-Dec-17 13:38:12

Thank you prh47bridge that's really helpful.

BubblesBuddy Tue 05-Dec-17 16:36:34

I would agree with prh. There should have been a supervising adult in addition to the driver. The school should have a visits and journeys policy and that should tell you what the staff:pupil ratio is for journeys. There is an issue with motorways because you cannot always pull off the road safely and there is a safety issue in a motorway service station regarding crossing the car lanes etc. Therefore check the details with the school. This info should be freely available to parents.

BackforGood Tue 05-Dec-17 22:52:25

I would agree with prh too. I think it is really poor practice for the driver to be the lone adult with any group of children. Might not be 'legal ratios' but there is recommended good practice, which they have ignored.

trinity0097 Sat 09-Dec-17 07:11:47

This is perfectly usual in indeodent schools for matches, as it is only on the drive that the teacher is alone, once they are at the venue they are at another school with lots of staff.

Best practice would be to have two adults, but most schools can’t afford the extra staff to do this.

We looked at the cost of a chaperone on our home to school transport, you’re looking at about £17k a year, including on-costs to employ someone just for before and after school. That’s a lot of money to find.

Spottytop1 Sat 09-Dec-17 07:15:44

We always have to have a min of 2 staff for safeguarding purposes- even if only 1 or 2 pupils.

FabulouslyGlamorousFerret Sat 09-Dec-17 07:50:09

I think if you have a group of 10 children then you are protected in regards to safeguarding aren't you? If an allegation were to be made then you have a group of children to confirm or refute that allegation.

Spottytop1 Sat 09-Dec-17 07:55:00

Our local authority safeguarding team says 2 staff at all times...

It has been known for groups of children to make up stories so in someways being 1 adult on a trip with 10 pupils could make you more vulnerable if several decided to ' get mr/miss/Mrs in trouble' because they were told off or similar. It is unfortunately a very real possibility/concern, which is why the min 2 was introduced.

TheLastSoala Sat 09-Dec-17 08:04:58

So consensus is that there should have been an extra adult, just to protect the adult from the children.

Sounds about right

Bowerbird5 Sat 09-Dec-17 08:22:54

Always have a minimum of two staff. Reckless having just one.
Child could fall / be ill.
Adult could become ill/ fall( this happened on a trip) and need medical attention.
Accident.

Bring it up at a meeting or write to Governors.

shushpenfold Sat 09-Dec-17 08:35:42

Interesting. On a trip it would be usual to have 2 staff for all the reasons stated above, but for matches when you may have 6 teams in 6 minibuses all going in different directions, it may be impossible to do if you have to have an addition staff member for each trip. You also might not fit them in a minibus with the team, so it massively impacts cost. OP I think you had a few ‘strident’ responses because it sounded like a criticism from a privileged parent. If you offered to volunteer for trips/matches I suspect they’d be delighted (as long as they could fit you in) They might be even more delighted if you offered to drive your own car and follow instead as you can then assist for injuries etc. You’d have to be DBS checked too. Many independents can’t afford extra staff but some parents expect some frankly ridiculous ratios whilst refusing to believe that the increased cost has to come out of fees.

BubblesBuddy Sat 09-Dec-17 20:13:12

The op did not say it was a regular sports match. Obviously that would not be 90 mins away! This was a one off trip to a competition. That makes quite a lot of difference. Time and type of journey should be risk assessed. There are more things to
consider given the distance and the motorway and dangers/difficulties of stopping. A parent can be DBS checked to accompany trips.

You don’t pay staff on Home/school transport the same as a TA. Also, again, this journey was a lot longer and using motorways. It is different.

BubblesBuddy Sat 09-Dec-17 20:13:55

I would suggest the way out is parental help by the way.

Norestformrz Sat 09-Dec-17 20:21:39

We were told yesterday that parents no longer count in the ratio.

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