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School Trip Consent Forms

(25 Posts)
groundhogmum Tue 13-Oct-09 17:10:17

My eldest DD has just started in reception and has brought home today a form for parents to sign giving consent to any school trips taking place throughout the year, including trips to the church which is just up the road.

They do state on the letter that they feel it is unnecessary red tape to get the parents to sign consent every time a school trip is planned so they do annual consent forms covering the whole year.

I do understand this point am just a little concerned that they may decide to take the children out of school without letting the parents know as technically they are covered then by this form if we sign it.

For example the church is a good 5 minute walk from the school and I wonder how well 1 teacher and 2 TA's could safely herd 24 kids crossing 2 minor roads, but walking alongside a busy road.

I want DD to do as many school trips as possible and have no problem with them at all I would just like to be told first. DP feels very strongly about this and doesn't want DD leaving the school premises at all without us being advised in advance. I do agree with him but I don't want to kick up too much fuss and cause any difficulties for the school or make DD be the only child not allowed to attend.

The school have also put a line in about making sure that any drivers helping out have valid Car Insurance and Volunteer checks etc. That's great but we would never let any of our DD's travel in anyone's car without a car seat for safety reasons not legal ones (although I know the law allows one offs).

Do all primary schools work like this? What about child to adult ratio, Insurance etc? Surely if these trips are spontaneous then they won't have insurance or extra helpers??

Sorry such a long post have never posted here before would be grateful for any comments/advice?

LadyGlencoraPalliser Tue 13-Oct-09 17:16:11

Schools do a detailed risk assessment for each and every trip they take out of school grounds. All this points are covered. The reason for the blanket permission form in my experience is not because they might suddenly decide to take the children somewhere random on the spur of the moment, but because it is a right pain getting ALL the signed permission slips back in the first place, leading to situations where the teacher is desperately trying to grab parents in the playground on the morning of a trip and children whose parents haven't returned a slip being left behind at school. A blanket permission at the beginning of the year for minor trips is easier administratively - and cuts down on the number of bits of paper parents have to deal with as well.
I think your DH is being over protective TBH.

owlandpussycat Tue 13-Oct-09 17:18:04

I know that we do same- to avoid unnecessary form filling, and the lost/forgotten slip which means child doesn't get to go.

Are often chasing up forms for weeks- so quite unrealistic. I had one child who had no consent form, despite been given 4, who was unable to come on a trip to the pictures on Friday. She was very upset, understandably, and there was no contact details for parent. I knew mum wanted her to go as had provided snack, but hadn't signed form. Managed (with a lot of fuss) to sort it out in time, but couldn't do that with a classful.

However every single trip is planned in advance, with a letter going home explaining the details. We have to complete a risk assessment form for EVERY trip even to our local park, so no sponteneity. Ratio strictly adhered to, with more helpers if possible.

But please raise your concerns with the school, even if to gain reassurance.

groundhogmum Tue 13-Oct-09 17:27:46

Thanks for your quick replies! I did think I was probably being a bit overprotective as she is the eldest it is hard not to be sometimes blush

I will speak to the school and just check we are going to be told in advance when and where they are going - if nothing else I would quite like to help out where possible. Also if I do help out then I will have a better idea of how they organise the trips etc.


IneedacleanerIamalazyslattern Tue 13-Oct-09 17:38:40

We signed a blanket consent form at the start of the year and I think it is a great idea.
We have some lovely green land near the school that the children have been taken to for nature walks, there have been trips to the local church for various events and to a local communtity centre for a thatre production by local students etc.
We don't necessarily get told about all these in advance and TBH it had never occured to me to mind.
I trust the school to take the children out as I trust them to keep her safe every single day. I know that these trips although not always planned hugely in advance still have a lot of paper work involved.

For bigger trips that involve going further afield they send out individual consent forms.

primarymum Tue 13-Oct-09 18:02:14

If you want to help out on school trips you may well need to be CRB checked, we don't let any parent helpers come on trip, however short, unless they are. I would check your school policy on this.

crokky Tue 13-Oct-09 18:12:58

Although you sign for the whole year, it is usual for you to be notified in advance of an outing.

I have signed for the year, but always get notified in advance of a trip taking place.

If they want parent helpers, they will prob send a letter home. I have been a parent helper on a trip (holding the hands of my child and another child when walking along pavements to get somewhere). Parent helpers aren't CRB checked in my school, but my school took lots of mothers on the last outing so that there was a very high adult:child ratio. Each adult was responsible for specific children.

IneedacleanerIamalazyslattern Tue 13-Oct-09 18:31:26

At dd's school they have asked all the parents in the early years from nursery up if they want to do the disclosure check for the very reason of more hands to hold.

atworknotworking Tue 13-Oct-09 20:23:48

Slightly different situation but probably for similar reasons, I'm a CM and have a general consent for taking mindees out on local trips and outings, this covers things like the park, nature reserves, local museums playgroups etc, but for specific trips I also have a planned outing consent which goes out a couple of weeks before we plan to go along with a risk assessment and details of transport, carer:child ratios etc.

It is often difficult to get signed permissions back and although you know parents are ok with their child going on the trip you can't take them without specific consent. I have signed one for my DD at school, although we do get a planned outing consent also for trips further afield. WRT using helpers as drivers personally I wouldn't like this and wouldn't consent to my DD being transported in this way I expect school trips to have a professional driver with a fully maintained vehicle and insured staff, I do this as a CM so therefore I would expect the school to do the same.

RustyBear Tue 13-Oct-09 20:37:34

I work at a junior school & we used to do the once a year forms, but our LEA has recently decided that we have to get the parents to fill in a full signed EV2 form with medical contact details & NHS number for every trip, which is a pain for both parents and office staff.
Our head is rebelling slightly & only asking for one every term, plus an updated one for residential trips, but it still means we have to do a lot of chasing up - the year 3 children were going on a walk this morning but despite several reminders we still only had 12 out of 55 forms back, so the TA set up a table at the entrance to the playground & caught everyone as they dropped the children off.

sunnydelight Wed 14-Oct-09 03:44:52

I prefer event specific consent forms as it gives me more control grin and I'm happy that our school does individual forms for the primary classes, but a blanket "annual consent" for the high school (which seems sensible as the chances of them returning the forms on time are minimal!), but I think if it's your school policy to do a blanket form you haven't got much choice. You could try and get policy changed via the PTA if you feel very strongly about it, but schools do have limited admin resources so you can't really blame them for trying to cut down the paperwork.

If you are in a position to, maybe you could let your child's teacher know that you are available/willing to help with school trips? If you can see how things work first hand you might feel more reassured.

MrsMagnolia Wed 14-Oct-09 16:04:34

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

hocuspontas Wed 14-Oct-09 16:48:54

I think the walk to the church would require more adult helpers. I can't remember the ratio for R children outside of school but I think it is something like 1:5.

We don't ask for individual consent for walks and parents would only know we were going if we put up a notice asking for helpers!

All other trips would be on an individual basis (not least because we would need a 'voluntary contribution' from parents for it to go ahead grin)

cece Wed 14-Oct-09 16:56:18

Believe me trips are not spontaneous! There is considerable health and safety paperwork, even just for a walk to the local church. There are also strict rules on child to adult ratios which have to be adhered to as well.

Fennel Wed 14-Oct-09 16:58:38

I'd much rather sign once for the year, with 3 I already seem to sign a lot of forms about trips, photos, medical stuff, all sorts of precautions. and my 5yo goes on little trips out around the village most weeks with her class, more or less spontaneously, it would be tedious to have to sign for them each week.

They nip to the shop or the church or go and spot different types of buildings, or visit old people's clubs, or float boats they've made on the stream.

crokky Wed 14-Oct-09 17:06:41

MrsMagnolia - it's a private nursery school but I find they operate most stuff exactly the same way as state schools. The trip I am referring to involved each mother holding the hands of 2 children. Total 5 adults (incl teacher) and 10 children. None of the adults or children were ever out of the teacher's sight - perhaps this has something to do with the absence of CRB checks? Not really sure, but in this instance, all parents had to sign a form saying not only that the child could go on the trip, but also that there would be other parents helping out. Perhaps that was the get out for the CRB stuff?

jamescorvette07 Fri 07-Dec-12 20:47:27

My nephew children go to private school and they used a parent notification system to give any notification or information about any event in their school. where ever they take the children out of school they gives notification and the school also have helpers to help children where ever they go. I really like the way they communicate and take good care of children.

legoballoon Fri 07-Dec-12 20:51:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Amerryscot Fri 07-Dec-12 20:54:08

At my DDs' school, they send out a blanket permission form at the beginning of the year.

For every educational visit, they email the details and invite us to decline permission. No response means parental agreement. They include relevant details from the risk assessments, without being overwhelming.

SamSmalaidh Fri 07-Dec-12 21:03:34

I signed an annual consent form for my son's nursery, but in practice they do mention in the morning if they are going to the park or something. They have never gone anywhere in a minibus/car though.

I think you would be more than reasonable to ask about ratios and car safety.

DS's nursery also doesn't CRB check parents who accompany trips, but actually they are only taking responsibility for their own child and are never unsupervised with children. I'm fine with this and think CRBing everyone is overkill and doesn't make children any safer.

Startail Fri 07-Dec-12 21:12:50

I wish all schools, scouts, etc did this. I'm dyslexic and I have an amazing talent for making a mess of forms.

The secondary has the most ridiculous long form. Ok for a week abroad, but for everyday trip??

Surely most of this stuff is on the computer.

Anyhow, I'm dreadfully laid back I really don't care, I'm sure school will look after them.

Anyway there has never been room on the form for the only important piece of information.

"Please remember, Star's DD1 lives in a dream, she has absolutely no sense of time or where the rest of her group are. Don't let this worry you, she actually can look after herself."

Haberdashery Fri 07-Dec-12 21:51:22

My DD's school does blanket consent forms too (she's in Y1). It's great as it means they can do a bit of getting out and about as part of lessons. For instance, small groups of four or so were taken out by a TA for half an hour and they did map-making of the local area, then came back and wrote/drew their maps while another group went out. I think it was a brilliant activity. They also did small groups in the nearby park, doing life drawing of leaves and berries. Completely normal state school. All parent helpers are CRB checked, though, even for very short trips. I thought everyone did that. What if the children need to go to the loo or something?

RiversideMum Fri 07-Dec-12 22:06:55

There is no need to CRB check adults unless they are going to be left unsupervised with children. Any offsite trip will have had a risk assessment and adult:child ratios will have to be complied with. We also do a blanket consent form for short trips like this.

LynetteScavo Fri 07-Dec-12 22:24:58

Believe me, no Reception trip is ever spontaneous!

I thought I had signed a once a year form (written in all main European languages) for my Y9DS). However, they want me to sign once again for him to walk 10 mins down the rd, I I suspect they will ask again when he does the cross country run which goes just outside the school boundary.

LynetteScavo Fri 07-Dec-12 22:26:17

Yes, all parent helpers will be CRB checked, which will usually mean only the PTA mums will help out.

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