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14 yr old walking home alone at 4 am after school trip

(50 Posts)
ladyeve Fri 24-Oct-14 20:47:29

Is it acceptable/common practice to suggest to parents that, should they so wish and they (parent) have signed a consent form to this effect, their 14/15 yr old child will be allowed to walk home unaccompanied at 3-4 a.m. after returning from a school trip?

Views and or experience of this matter will be gratefully received

Spooklingbrook Fri 24-Oct-14 20:48:57

How far is the walk home? Sounds a bit odd, i am guessing most will be collected anyway?

CindyLou Fri 24-Oct-14 20:53:15

If a parent consents they can do what they like - if you are uncomfortable - don't consent! I wouldn't. Not because of fear of abductors, but because my 15 year old is still a child, and I would be there for him.

CaulkheadUpNorth Fri 24-Oct-14 20:55:35

Could it just be a generic form that has been used/slightly adapted and is the same for all trips and residentials?

Kewcumber Fri 24-Oct-14 20:57:03

I wouldn't let a grown adult walk home alone at four in the morning after a holiday. Why on earth would you let a 14 year old do it confused

JugglingChaotically Fri 24-Oct-14 20:57:12

I wouldn't allow it.

Kewcumber Fri 24-Oct-14 20:57:39

Though quite possibly Caulk is right

Hobnobissupersweet Fri 24-Oct-14 20:58:51

If you don't like it walk up to the school and walk home with them, job done.

SweepTheHalls Fri 24-Oct-14 20:59:03

I had this after taking a group of year 9's on residential. I walked him home instead.

LonnyVonnyWilsonFrickett Fri 24-Oct-14 21:00:41

Or they've had lots of problems in the past? If you were, say, a lone parent with other small DCs (and potentially no car) then it might be necessary to give the option for a teenager to get themselves home. Of course I'd move heaven and earth to avoid mine having to do that, but other people really might not have an option.

gunnsgirl Fri 24-Oct-14 21:03:43

This happened to us after an international school journey returning at 4am to the school.

I dont drive. The school was out of borough and therefore no friends living locally. I wouldn't have been happy with him walking home as it's pretty remote. Just gave him money, local cab number and told him to phone for a cab from the school - no problem.

s88 Fri 24-Oct-14 21:05:06

Not a chance !

Leeds2 Fri 24-Oct-14 21:05:46

It may be necessary to ask for families who can't collect. I wouldn't let my 16 year old DD walk home at 4am, so I certainly wouldn't let a 14 year old.

ElephantsNeverForgive Fri 24-Oct-14 21:08:02

Depends totally on the town. The small town I grew up in would be totally empty and perfectly safe at 4am.

Where I lived in the city was too near the park used by the local drinks to be totally sure.

I'm sure their are DCs who live near DDs school (also in a small town) who would walk home at that time, without bothering that much.

peteneras Fri 24-Oct-14 21:09:18

Not only is it unacceptable, I say, it is criminal negligence to even suggest that to parents.

ArkhamOffett Fri 24-Oct-14 21:11:14

Nope. Don't care what town it is or how quiet it is.

TeaAndALemonTart Fri 24-Oct-14 21:12:59

Nope, none of my DCs would be doing this.

ravenAK Fri 24-Oct-14 21:22:29

The usual arrangement would certainly be for parents to pick kids up - I organise secondary residentials.

Saying that, with 14yos we don't actually keep them on the coach until a parent turns up. They're all busily grabbing bags, finding parents in car park, often one parent has agreed to pick up 4 kids...

If a student's parent had said to them: it's a three minute walk home, are you OK to let yourself in & we'll see you when it's properly morning, we wouldn't be policing that.

Equally, like chuff would we be suggesting it & dishing out permission slips to that effect!

I shudder to think of the legal ramifications if someone then came to grief on way home. Good practice is that we are in loco parentis until an agreed handover point.

If the parent makes arrangements with the kid that they won't be at the handover & the child can find their own way home/get a lift with a friend, that's their decision.

But I'd be very twitchy about an officially sanctioned 'vacuum' (like a walk home) between the child leaving my care & being returned to their parents'.

DizzyDalmation Fri 24-Oct-14 21:38:42

The school probably have had kids in the past say, on arrival back at school at the lovely hour of 4am, that they are walking home alone. They probably then had to try and contact parents at 4am to get permission and check it is ok, so are trying to reduce the hassle. Or just using same letter format as for all trips.
I agree it is ridiculous and would not be wanting my DC who are 21 and 23 to walk home at that time, or anyone for that matter.

WineWineWine Fri 24-Oct-14 22:01:14

It depends on the kids and the location.
I would have no problem in my kids walking home at that time but it's only a couple of minutes walk. I would offer to meet them but it would be up to them.

Orangeanddemons Fri 24-Oct-14 22:11:48

It was probably a generic reply slip.

I've run loads of trips. We always offer the option for students to make their own way home. What amazes me is how many parents let them even if it's late at night. The school have to offer the option.

With those that are being met, I always make sure I see them go with their parents, and expect them to tell me. I wouldn't let anyone wander off with anyone. Even at 16.

Agggghast Sat 25-Oct-14 05:48:38

Hang on, the issue here is that parents need to be responsible for their children being collected at the end of a trip. These forms are to cover safeguarding issues. I say this as a teacher who once had to take a pupil home at 1.30am after parents failed to collect him(12) at 12.30. The poor kid had to watch all the others collected and his parents refuse to answer their phones. We got to his house and it was empty. Eventually his poor grandfather was contacted and came to meet us, his parents rolled up at 2.45 claiming they thought he would be back the next day. I got home at 4am.
It always amazes me that parents fail to thank teachers after trips, we don't get paid but the aggro from parents is endless. If any of my children was returning from a trip in the early hours I would assume it was my responsibility to collect them, I'd want to. Does OP think the teachers should escort each child home?

Hakluyt Sat 25-Oct-14 09:57:05

OP- why are you concerned about this? It being an option on the form I mean, rather than actually doing it?

LadyIsabellaWrotham Sat 25-Oct-14 10:15:16

I agree it's probably a standard form. Parents can use their own discretion to decide what's reasonable for their children. I'm failing to see the problem.

skylark2 Sat 25-Oct-14 10:21:52

I also think it's a standard form. If it isn't, the school has to decide where the cutoff is. Presumably you'd let a 14 year old walk home alone at 5 - they probably do it every day. How about 7? 9? If 9 isn't okay, is 8.30? What if they were supposed to get back at 8.30 but are delayed by half an hour?

I'd never choose it as an option for my kids because of where the school is, where we live, and the fact that we have two adults at home so there's no reason we can't go fetch. But if I was a single mum with three under 5s in the house who lived 400 yards from the school gate? Yes, I'd want the option for them to walk home. (I'd also want them to ring me when they arrived at the school, and go stand at the door to wait for them).

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