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Outcome of Residential YHA Trip Saga

(20 Posts)
luciemule Thu 05-Nov-09 17:13:12

So I saw the srip co-ordinator this afternoon who confirmed that there were no policies within the county that enforced primary schools to have soul use of a building and that because of this, the outcome would remain unchanged.
Statistically, she said, the risk was so very low.
I asked whether any other parents knew about it and she said they wouldn't tell parents because the school wanted the children to go! I said surely if they thought it unnecessary to change the sleeping arrangements, why would they not want to tell parents?!
Oh well - will not be sending DD this year.
Apparently, the governors weren't even told about my query. Surely the governing body of the school should have been told something like this? They are advocates for children, parents, staff and the community aren't they?

luciemule Thu 05-Nov-09 18:16:53

link to original thread

PixiNanny Thu 05-Nov-09 18:23:54

I remember this. If I were you I would make sure that the other parents were aware of the circumstances behind the accomodation, it's completely wrong for them to refuse to tell the parents!

PixiNanny Thu 05-Nov-09 18:27:05

I notice that at the end of your last topic you put about your DH thinking it would be underhanded and sneaky? Tell the school that they have until the end of the week to warn the parents of the circumstances or you would do it yourself. Not being sneaky then!

hocuspontas Thu 05-Nov-09 18:28:50

That's a disappointing outcome. I very rarely get worked up over threads but I did over this one. I agree with your decision about not letting her go. I wonder if county realise how the school are interpreting the non-sole use clause? (re the sharing of facilities with unchecked strangers)

I would tell the other parents - the school are being a bit sneaky. As a complaint has been raised they should be putting everyone's minds at rest by explaining how 'safe' their arrangements are.

EldonAve Thu 05-Nov-09 18:30:16

You could write to the governors direct - then they will know about your query

bibbitybobbityhat Thu 05-Nov-09 18:33:01

Write to the Governors. Tell the other parents. I too very rarely get worked up about things but I think this is totally and utterly unacceptable. And outrageous.

MadBadandDangerousToKnow Thu 05-Nov-09 18:37:46

.... Surely the governing body of the school should have been told something like this? They are advocates for children, parents, staff and the community aren't they?

Well, yes and no. The GB are not advocates. The GB has statutory responsibility for overseeing the strategic direction of the school and must be a "critical friend" to it, but day to day management falls to the school and the GB can't oversee every decision that the head teacher takes.

However, I remember your original thread. Plans for residential trips do need to go before the GB and the GB needs to be satisfied that there has been a risk assessment. Have you asked to see minutes of the GB meeting at which the trip was discussed and any report which the HT put to the GB? That might show how the non-exclusive use of the hostel was covered in the risk assessment. Did the GB agree that the risk from non-exclusive use was low enough to be acceptable?

luciemule Thu 05-Nov-09 18:39:53

Thanks guys.
We are going to write to the governors; not simply about the actual details of the trip but also about how the school aren't telling the governors about important issues raised by parents.

GunpowderTreasonAndDragons Thu 05-Nov-09 18:45:19

Y6 at DSs school go to a hotel on the Isle of Wight for 5 days in the summer. The school books the entire hotel.

luciemule Thu 05-Nov-09 18:45:49

Madbad - see what you're saying but tbh, unless they change the accommodation, then we're not sending her. I feel though as though I can't just leave it like this and so that's why I was going to write to GB to illustrate my worry that things aren't being discussed as they should be if a parent has a serious concern. This is something I would expect to be discussed by them and not just passed over; especially as it has implications for all future trips.

luciemule Thu 05-Nov-09 18:46:39

Gosh - yr 6 are 11 yes? HOw many spare rooms would there be in the hotel then? Lots?

GunpowderTreasonAndDragons Thu 05-Nov-09 18:46:50

FWIW though, I agree with the school saying that locking the rooms is not acceptable. This is more dangerous IMO than having 4 rooms occupied by other people.

GunpowderTreasonAndDragons Thu 05-Nov-09 18:48:35

TBH, I don't know. I think it's a small hotel - it must be or the cost would be prohibitive. There are a maximum of 90 children going plus adults. Yes, they're 11.

MadBadandDangerousToKnow Thu 05-Nov-09 20:58:48

Lucie - I didn't mean that you shouldn't write to the GB - or withdraw your daughter from the trip - so I'm sorry if my post came across that way.

What I was trying to say is that it may (emphasise may) be the case that the GB was aware that the school would not have exclusive use of the hostel and took the view that the level of risk attached to (perhaps) having unknown people in the rest of the hostel was acceptable. I wouldn't necessarily expect the GB to be made aware of complaints or queries from parents but I certainly would expect them to be informed of basic facts such as whether the accommodation was exclusive or shared. That's why I think it's worth your probing what the GB did or didn't know about the arrangements before it (presumably) gave its approval.

(Incidentally, I think there's a widely-held belief that all parents' complaints to the school are automatically put before the GB. They're not. Each school can, AFAIK, set up its own complaints procedure but generally, complaints are handled by the head teacher and, if parents are not satisfied with the outcome, the next stage is to raise it with the GB).

Anyway, whatever view the GB took, of course you're entitled to withdraw your daughter if you're not happy.

luciemule Thu 05-Nov-09 21:34:16

Madbad - don't worry I didn't take your post in any negative way.
It's sad really though that although I've had so much support from this thread and my friends and family, that the school have made me feel totally neurotic and an overreacting parent who is depriving her child of the trip. That isn't the case at all; we really wanted her to go.

ihearttc Fri 06-Nov-09 12:10:25

Haven't read the entire previous thread Im afraid but have managed to get the gist of it...from what I understand the school is letting the children stay in a youth hostel that is at the same time being used but other people as well?

I completely agree with you and would definitely not let my child go.

Many years ago when I was 17 and doing my A-levels our school took us on a trip to Stratford to see RSC perform and we also had to stay in a Youth Hostel. At the time I wasn't especially worried about it and was just excited to be getting away for a couple of days with my friends! There was 9 or 10 of us if I remember rightly and the girls were in 1 dorm thing and the boys were in another. Bit of a long story but I sneaked down to the boys dorm in the night to see my boyfriend (as you do when you are 17!) and left the girls in our dorm. We'd actually put mattresses on the floor so that we could all stay in the same room cause none of us wanted to go alone.

Anyway in the morning I went back up to our room before the teachers surfaced and found all my friends crying and screaming. They showed me this piece of card which had been blank the night before (my friend had been using it to balance her contact lenses on) but which now had a picture drawn on it of girls bodies covered in blood. It appeared that someone had come into the room at night and had been in there a while and drawn this picture and if Id have been on my mattress on the floor near the door he would have had to step over me to get in...which really freaked me out.

Obviously teachers were called and they blamed the boys but I was in the boys room all night and nobody left-I spent all night awake cause couldn't sleep so I had to tell them that Id been in with the boys and nobody had gone anywhere so it couldn't have been then.

We actually left that morning and they contacted the police but as nothing had actually happened they couldn't do anything.

It was all rather odd and not exactly that bad now when you think of what some people are capable of but it just goes to show that all sorts of people use these places...yes we were 17 and in a group and probably quite capable of defending ourself to a certain extent but imagine if that had have happened to a group of primary age children?

cory Fri 06-Nov-09 12:35:55

Regardless of the dangers, I think the school is completely out of order trying to conceal circumstances of a school trip from the parents. Every trip my dcs have done, we have been absolutely bombarded with information, down to the minutest little detail that I really felt I didn't need to know about. But it gives a good impression, that they have nothing to hide. This does not give a good impression.

I think I would probably not let my DD go in the circumstances. Plus the school are totally wrong for not informing the parents.

My DD goes to a tiny school so they can't afford to book a place out for sole use, so they team up with another school. I think this year it wasn't even a local one but one from a few counties away. The 2 schools then book a place between them - the cost is shared and everyone is either a teacher or a pupil even if from a different school. May be worth mentioning to your school that they could look into this?

luciemule Wed 11-Nov-09 17:56:54

Well, I've just read the email from the LEA guy in charge of outdoor trips (he spoke to the head today) and I've now lost all hope of ever trying to do the right thing for anyone else's children again.
He said that she told him she'd organised many other trips to the same hostel, that she's in contact with the YH manager (well she wasn't last week) and that he wouldn't expect any risk assessments to be ready yet as there are things such as muedical condtions and numbers to tae into account.

If they need to do all of that, then why on earth didn't they leave the trip meeting and the commencement of payment until after they had all the details and could fully inform parents.
She also told him that would be discussing it at the governors meeting next week. Bit late once all of the parents have started paying! Have told a couple of parents about it and they had just assumed that it would either be sole-use or just schools using the building.
Think I might be handing out flyers in the playground!!!

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