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Residential visits question

(28 Posts)
Malbecfan Fri 18-Aug-17 12:13:00

I'm hoping you might all be able to help me.

If your dc go on residential trips (school or other groups), do you receive a list of staff who are going on the trip beforehand? If you do, what assumptions would you make about those staff?

Apologies for being cryptic. This has nothing at all to do with my school where we always give parents a list of the staff going, details of the accommodation, an itinerary and a contact number (school reception or designated senior teacher for the duration of the trip). Just interested in others' experiences. Thank you in advance

ragged Fri 18-Aug-17 12:35:06

I can't recall. There's always at least one name, maybe a few names, and a single contact number, but kids all take phones, anyway. I never perceived it was supposed to be a comprehensive & complete list of accompanying staff. I don't remember anything about specific accommodation for each & every trip, while the itinerary is obviously provisional.

I would assume that at least some of the named staff have relevant expertise (like history teacher would probably go on the Ypres trip, etc). It's a state school, so I would assume all staff & the bus driver(s) have a DBS somewhere in employment records.

I was a parent volunteer on one secondary trip (not residential, though); we weren't DBS'd or ever alone with kids.

Allthebestnamesareused Fri 18-Aug-17 12:48:16

We just get the lead teacher's name and mobile for emergencies.

They generally tweet about what is happening daily and put pictures up.

We aren't told about any other members of staff that are going, the exception being that we were invited to a talk by a gentleman who was going on the Battlefields trip as he was a historian and very interesting. He comes into school to run the history club but is not a member of staff. I would have assumed because of this he was DBS checked already.

Fresh8008 Fri 18-Aug-17 12:49:17

Not sure what your getting at? My DC have done residential trips with school and other groups. Either you trust who is organizing the trip, or you dont go, you don't particularly get to know all the staff involved. But with school they would all be CRB/DBS checked. Whats the issue?

BertrandRussell Fri 18-Aug-17 12:52:34

"If your dc go on residential trips (school or other groups), do you receive a list of staff who are going on the trip beforehand? If you do, what assumptions would you make about those staff?"

I assume that they will need the wine/cake I always hand out when they get home. That's about it.

Malbecfan Fri 18-Aug-17 14:15:02

@BertrandRussell you sound like the sort of parent whose kids I'd be happy to take on a visit!

As I said, it's not a school visit where I know everyone would be DBS checked. I'm wondering what parents expect in terms of youngsters travelling by public transport, spending several nights in a boarding school with rehearsals and concerts off-site. Should all adults in the party hold a current DBS certificate? What about first aid training?

I am trying to ascertain how other parents feel but trying not to give away too much if that makes sense. Because I teach and have been on several such trips, I wonder if I have unrealistic expectations of a non-school group. The age-range of the youngsters is 11 - 18, with the average age being 15. TIA

inchyrablue Fri 18-Aug-17 14:19:08

All adults in the party should definitely have current DBS certificates. Beyond that though, the parents shouldn't need to know the names of every one, just a couple of leads, and full emergency contact details.

DD has been on several trips exactly like you mention. The only one that bothered me was when they didn't say the children would be allowed out at night in groups in to the small town where the boarding school was located. I had assumed that they would be accompanied (DD was 11 the first time).

LIZS Fri 18-Aug-17 14:20:43

There is normally an information evening to meet relevant staff members.

LIZS Fri 18-Aug-17 14:23:24

Saw your update. Yes all DBS checked. Dd has just been on a city based trip where they could go out in pairs with a specified rendezvous, or accompanied.

Malbecfan Fri 18-Aug-17 15:20:50

Thank you Inchy and LIZS. Your experiences mirror that of my school. The last residential I did (4 weeks ago in Italy) had a parents' meeting 2 months before we went. We have a rule that we allow the students to go around in groups of at least 3 unless parents object with meeting times and places. All kids have a contact number for staff and we all take school mobile phones with us. If for example they are stuck in a queue and likely to be a bit late, they text us, which I think is fine.

The reason for my original question is that DD2 is away at the moment on a trip I have previously helped to run. She texted this morning in a foul mood to say that she had been woken up at 11.30pm by an adult I neither know nor was aware was on the trip. This adult came right into DD's room to make sure DD and her mate were both present (they were both asleep but she kept knocking until one of them got up). This adult has not been DBS-checked by the organisation. At best, the adult and organisation have been naive in many ways. At worst, well I don't want to go there. DD is fine btw.

ragged Fri 18-Aug-17 15:35:02

You know a lot to be so certain the adult hasn't been DBS'd.
Then again, all a DBS proves is that a person hasn't been caught yet.
It wouldn't bother me in slightest that an adult I didn't know about was part of the trip.
If all they did was stand in hallway & knock until there was a response at the door -- I'm not seeing a big deal in that.

Bobbybobbins Fri 18-Aug-17 15:41:19

I suppose in theory they wouldn't need to be DBS checked if they were never going to be alone with a child/children but in this case they evidently were, so should have been.

LockedOutOfMN Fri 18-Aug-17 15:50:11

I'm a secondary school teacher. We tell parents which member of staff is leading the trip and give them the contact phone numbers (typically 2 phones for a residential) as well as the hotel contact details and a rough itinerary. Sometimes we will tell them all of the staff going on the trip but it's not required. Sometimes we will be going somewhere such as skiing where the children are supervised or taught by monitors and in those cases we state that in writing to the parents (but obviously can't give the names of the monitors).

My children attend the primary / infant school attached to mine and if they go on a residential we are invited to a meeting where we can meet all of the staff going on the trip. However, the primary residentials tend to be in activity centres where there are monitors leading the activities and even supervising things like meals or free time back at the accommodation.

LockedOutOfMN Fri 18-Aug-17 15:54:54

Hi Malbecfan I don't know your DD's age (sorry if you have mentioned it and I missed it) but what happened to her would be standard practice in our school boarding house - knock on the door twice and call name, if they don't respond then open the door. Your DD was not alone in the room and presumably the member of staff had been instructed / was on the rota to do the room check.

I don't know if your daughter had been told what time the room checks would be (or that there would be checks), but staff on residentials may decide it's wise to check the rooms for all sorts of reasons e.g. other students missing / found in the wrong rooms / suspected to have banned substances in rooms, etc. Most teachers take the "better to be safe than sorry" option.

However, all of this doesn't mean I'm sorry that your daughter was upset. I recommend she speak to the trip leader.

LockedOutOfMN Fri 18-Aug-17 15:56:46

Also, forgot to say, weird - and unreasonable of the school / trip organisers - that the adult is on the trip but not DBS checked. Have they come from another country and have the equivalent there?

BackforGood Fri 18-Aug-17 16:25:42

That sounds very weird.
To your original question, no, I wouldn't expect to know the names of everyone going, necessarily, but I would expect them to be DBS checked (FWIW). I wouldn't expect them all to be first aid trained either (unless they were breaking out into the wilderness in small groups).

My dc have all been away LOADS with Scouts over many years. I don't always know all the adults, but I know the Scout Association has very strict rules about the checks they make on adults, and then also on safeguarding training. All Leaders so have to have first aid training too. Because I know all those checks are in place, then I don't need to personally get to know all staff. If they were going away with another group, then I'd want to know that checks, training, qualification, experience, ratios, etc (depending on what they were doing) were all good.

BubblesBuddy Fri 18-Aug-17 23:35:36

Generally speaking, the children know the staff going even if you, as a parent, don't. They are in the company of children away from home so must be DBS checked. Even Governors are who spend little time in classrooms are checked. Schools should tell parents who the responsible adults are. All of them on the trip. In fact all details of the trip should be given to parents including behaviour expectations and sanctions.

First aid training isn't necessary for everyone and would very much depend on the trip. Personally I think ensuring that children are safe is critical. It would depend very much on what the group was doing though regarding risk and where the trip is taking place when planning first aid requirements.

I think there is always a risk with any activity but you minimise it. It seems odd that children are on a trip but don't know the staff or adults accompanying them. I would expect them to know the adults but how anyone knows someone has not been DVS checked is odd. As a parent helper I was dbs checked.

Lonecatwithkitten Sat 19-Aug-17 07:22:46

If it is a theatre group the adults should not just be DBS checked, but also licensed chaperones.

Glumglowworm Sat 19-Aug-17 09:28:46

I'm a Guide leader, I would expect all adults present overnight and/or who will be alone with groups of children to be DBS checked.

How do you know this person isn't?

Malbecfan Sat 19-Aug-17 12:09:54

Thank you to everyone who has responded.

Although I am a teacher, it is not a school trip. It is an organisation that is part of a charity. I'm sorry for being vague but I do not want to give away too many details for obvious reasons. However, unlikely as it appears, I am nominally in charge of safeguarding for this charity and part of my remit is to deliver level 2 safeguarding training to every tutor, helper and volunteer. I am not a trustee (I do paid work for them so cannot be a trustee) but was asked to do this around 16 months ago after an incident involving one of our youngsters but nothing to do with our setting.

DD is 16. As stated previously she texted me yesterday morning and was complaining about someone whose name I did not recognise. I asked DD who this person was and it turns out she is a parent of someone who used to be in the group. I spoke to the Chair of Trustees who is on the residential and he was very dismissive. He admitted that the lady did not hold a DBS that he was aware of then hung up. Obviously, I'm pretty peeved for 2 reasons: 1 - DD is on a trip with an adult we do not know and whose DBS status is unverified. 2 - if I'm meant to be in charge of safeguarding, how has she been invited etc without me being aware of it? She has had no training and will almost certainly not have received our policy. I know that I have to have refresher training every couple of years in school and in fact last year, only a week after completing level 3, I had to sit through level 2 again. However, it was useful and I would argue it is better to hear the message 5 times than not at all. As well as safeguarding the youngsters, this adult was potentially putting herself in a difficult situation. The youngsters were meant to be in their rooms by 10.30, lights out by 11. Therefore, I think it is unreasonable to go into a quiet room at 11.30 unless I had reason to be concerned.

I'm also livid about my concerns being dismissed by the CoT but I'll deal with that later. Once again, thank you for your comments and help.

Lonecatwithkitten Sat 19-Aug-17 13:41:53

As a committee member of a charitable organization that requires volunteers to be chaperones I would suggest that you verbally and in writing email put your concerns the CoT. Individual no safeguarding training or DBS on course. Ultimately if it is not taken seriously you will have to make a decision if you resign over it. We have been through a not dissimilar situation whilst the parent may have done nothing wrong rules are present to protect everyone.

birdsdestiny Sat 19-Aug-17 13:53:15

Yes concerns in writing. I resigned from an organisation that did not take dbs checks seriously. It's not as unusual as you would think.

Fresh8008 Sat 19-Aug-17 14:09:57

I am nominally in charge of safeguarding
That sounds a bit dodgy, surly your either in charge of it or you are not? Do you know exactly what your role is here and are you in charge of checking if everyone on trips have been DBS checked etc?

this adult was potentially putting herself in a difficult situation
I would say its more the charity/organisers that are putting the adult in a difficult situation.

I think it is unreasonable to go into a quiet room at 11.30 unless I had reason to be concerned
Room checks are normally done after lights out IME. So depending on how many rooms there are etc it might take them until 11:30 to get around them all. Or maybe they had reason to be concerned? There could have been another adult along the corridor who was (DBS checked) with them.

Don't jump to conclusions but do take it further as their probably needs to be some tightening up of procedures, its not necessarily a serious issue as far as I can see so far.

Malbecfan Sat 19-Aug-17 14:28:32

They paid for me to take the course and write the policy which they adopted. However, ultimately, safeguarding is the responsibility of the Trustees, but I am the designated Lead person.

I am trying not to jump to any conclusions, but it is immensely frustrating.

@Birds and @Lonecat thanks for this. I am considering what to do. I actually took some advice from a former Head who is now retired and a good friend. He suggested a report to all Trustees which is how I intend to proceed. I am not sure yet about resigning, but I am definitely considering it.

Thanks again to everyone

birdsdestiny Sat 19-Aug-17 15:24:43

I didn't resign immediately, obviously I would say try and sort it out first. I work with children and after continually failing to resolve this, decided I couldn't be associated with the organisation (my position was in a voluntary capacity) anymore.

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