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After school club didn't tell us DS(8) hadn't turned up and he was in fact home alone

(59 Posts)
chicaguapa Fri 11-Jan-13 23:28:44

DD(11) comes home after school every day, while DS goes to the after school club in the school 3 days a week. Today DH went to pick him up at 4.30 pm and DS wasn't there. shock They said they weren't expecting him, although he goes on that day every week.

Meanwhile DS had forgotten it was an after school club day because they'd had an inset day on Monday so he'd got his days mixed up. On the 2 days he comes home, he walks back and DH arrives home about 5 minutes later, so it wouldn't have been obvious that DS should have been at after school club. By the time he'd put the computer on, both DD and DS lost track of time and didn't realise DH hadn't come home.

DH rushed home and DS was there with DD and had been there since school had finished at 3 pm. DH went back up to school to find out what had happened and they said that they'd been told by DS that he was going to a friend's and wasn't coming. hmm The person in charge was very defensive and DH said that only he or I were able to tell them DS wouldn't be coming. Anyway, long story short is that they'd mixed DS up with another boy and had got their wires crossed.

WWYD? DH is still livid that for the time between arriving at school to pick up DS no-one knew where DS was, when we in fact pay them to look after him after school. I'm just glad he was at home because they'd have been up shit creek if he hadn't been. I'm just wondering if we should take it further as I think it's a serious breach of the DC's safety if they don't have the right controls in place. It's run by an outside company so nothing to do with the school. Thanks.

DeafLeopard Fri 11-Jan-13 23:31:16

God that is awful. Yes for sure take it further, that is a major breach, and they need to learn from it to make sure it never happens again instead of being defensive.

IvanaNap Fri 11-Jan-13 23:35:07

^ What Deaf Said

chicaguapa Fri 11-Jan-13 23:41:42

How would you take it further? I think written complaints have to be reported to Ofsted, so not sure whether to put it in writing. They clearly take the DC's word for it if they're not coming, which hardly seems reliable. Although DH has made it clear that they mustn't take DS's word in our case, they are doing it for other DC.

PickledApples Fri 11-Jan-13 23:47:48

How old is DS? (scanning thread... I don't think I've missed it?!)

And how is the afterschool club subscribed to / paid for? Ad hoc or paid termly etc?

In the morning, go and speak to the Head Teacher. Possibly see the person who runs after school club if they are there (breakfast club?) so you can quote them directly to the head.

(Make a note of every stage btw - what happened, the conversation you have with the Head etc.) State that you want it investigated and will return at lunch / at pick up / tomorrow.

See what is said, and take it from there? It is a child protection issue, and very concerning.

happynewmind Fri 11-Jan-13 23:49:14

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

UmDieEcke Fri 11-Jan-13 23:49:49

That's awful shock but lucky that your DS was ok at home. I would report what happened to the school and to Ofsted

happynewmind Fri 11-Jan-13 23:50:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

CelineMcBean Fri 11-Jan-13 23:52:14

I would notify the head and out a written complaint in to the club manager and cc OFSTED myself. I would not hesitate to report it to OFSTED and I'm not sure why you are reluctant for them to be informed?

This is really basic stuff they should be doing and I would want to know exactly what they are going to do to avoid the same situation occurring again to ANY child.

PickledApples Sat 12-Jan-13 00:07:24

Oh yeah - oops - it was in the title! Couldn't see for looking blush thanks happy

In which case, it's even more concerning, he's only just in KS2 is he?

I would suggest saying to the head what I'd put above ("xyz happened, I want to know why this has taken place etc") but also state that you will be putting this in writing to both the governors and OFSTED as a matter of course, and don't let her dissuade you from that.

Try to stay fiercely calm and collected, if possible.

PickledApples Sat 12-Jan-13 00:08:37

Also, OFSTED will have inspected the out of school clubs separately to the school, or should have anyway - (they are considered separate from the school in that sense); if that eases your concerns over reporting at all?

Startail Sat 12-Jan-13 00:22:08

Hang on he wasn't alone, he was with his sister.
She had a key and he was warm and safe.

Yes school fucked up, but children's lives are incredibly complicated.
Mate says he's gone on a play date would you honestly ring the Mother an check.

I'm absolutely certain DDs school wouldn't have.

Pupils did and didn't take the bus, go to football, cookery etc in a pretty random manner. My DDs were always forgetting where they should be when.

I'm absolutely certain my dippy dyslexic DD1 would have wandered home when she wasn't meant to accept it's to far.

BackforGood Sat 12-Jan-13 00:24:48

I too would certainly go and see the HT, or someone in senior management in the school to report your concern, and ask them what to do next.
I realise they aren't 'directly' responsible, but all schools I know would want to know if the OoSC collecting from their school didn't have proper procedures in place.
Fortunately your dc was fine, but I think you have a responsibility to make sure this doesn't happen to another child who may not have been able to get home safely / get into the house.
I understand the feeling I think we all get of 'not wanting to dob them in', but really, this is about keeping children safe, and, as they haven't been prepared to be open and say "We can't apologise enough for this happening, and we are going to completely review our policies, and ask for advice from the LA", then you need to ensure that someone does that for them.

SoggySummer Sat 12-Jan-13 00:25:32

Complain formally in writing.

If only to prevent something similar happening to a more vulnerable child in future. This time it ended well but it may not another time.

BackforGood Sat 12-Jan-13 00:26:56

Startail - Yes ! shock that you even question it. The OoSC are responsible for collecting the children registered from school - if parents don't inform them the child will not be coming, then it is absolutely their responibility and duty to check with the school if the child was there that day, and then start to do everything they can to find the child !!!

chicaguapa Sat 12-Jan-13 08:07:18

Thanks everyone. He's just gone into year 3.

I just know that a written complaint goes on the Ofsted record so need to be absolutely sure that we are aware of the consequences for the club and want to go down that route.

They didn't apologise and said it was DS's fault because he'd gone home by mistake. shock Apparently getting messages from the DC that they're not coming happens all the time and the implication was that they can't be expected to check every one out. shock shock In this case, one of the staff had bumped into 'DS' in the corridor a couple of days before who had apparently told her he was going to a friend's. This boy was not DS.

We'll put it in writing as we have issue with the lax controls, the fact that they'd mixed DS up with another boy, and their unsatisfactory response to it having been raised. I'll send a copy to the school too.

LifeofPo Sat 12-Jan-13 08:12:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TheNebulousBoojum Sat 12-Jan-13 08:17:00

They need to tighten up their procedures so that they know what is going on and who should be where, but I also have sympathy with:

'Apparently getting messages from the DC that they're not coming happens all the time and the implication was that they can't be expected to check every one out.'

Because as a teacher in a school with very clear protocols, parents do this ALL THE BLOODY TIME. They send messages with their children, send random friends to collect children, take their children home without notifying any school clubs, tell their kids to walk home alone this one time but not other days, and all without using the correct channels.
Then when you insist on it being confirmed, usually by phonecall, or you don't let the child go on the child's say-so, the parents get arsey or sigh and roll eyes as they are asked politely to prove who they are and that they do have permission to remove a non-related child from the premises.
Fortunately my head backs staff.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Sat 12-Jan-13 08:19:14

Startail, yes it absolutely should be the procedure that the parents are called, whatever the child says.

DeafLeopard Sat 12-Jan-13 08:55:31

Their reaction / response is really not good enough.

I collect friends DD some nights but once a week she goes to in site after school club.

The DCs going there assemble in one place and a member of ASC checks register and takes them over.

One night friends DD appeared in playground when she should have been at ASC. I took her round to reception by which time the ASC, Deputy Head and her Teacher were all there going frantic trying to work out where she was and were on the verge of doing a full sweep of the school / reporting a missing child.

That's what I would have expected from your school.

VoldemortsNipple Sat 12-Jan-13 08:57:01

I think what you really need to question is how the school handover the children to the afterschool. Your Ds didn't turn up at afterschool, so therefore he was not in their care. He was in the care of the school. Do they have a register of children who attend afterschool each night and how do they ensure they have gone.

However, I would wonder who your Ds goes home with on the two other nights. Y3 seems very young to be going home alone and it seems a big responsibility to put on the sholders of an 11 year old.

chicaguapa Sat 12-Jan-13 09:48:18

Hi. Just to clarify. We live on a housing estate very close to the school. DC walk to school alone in the morning along a cycle/footpath, which they share with lots of other people also walking to the school. In fact outside our house is a nightmare in the morning as all the parents park there.

DD comes home every day and DS comes home twice a week. On those 2 days DH gets home just after DC. The other 3 days DS is at after school club and DD is home alone for 1.5 hours.

Often DS is walking back with friends, two of which are neighbours, but he is not their responsibility and it's not a formal arrangement. But it means that he's not walking alone along a deserted footpath or along a main road. And there is someone waiting for him at home.

chicaguapa Sat 12-Jan-13 12:47:36

I've written a letter detailing our concerns this incident has raised and that our expectations are a review of what went wrong and a revision of their policies and procedures to make sure it can't happen again to any child.

I've copied in the head and chair of governors as I've asked them to review the transfer of responsibility from school to club, thus bringing the school into it. I thought this could be construed as support for the club as the lack of a consistent transfer of responsibility might be a sticking point for her too and conveys that I recognise it's also partly a school issue.

DH will take it in person when he collects DS on Monday and discuss the contents of the letter with her. We've a few other issues with the school (previous threads) so I'll bet the head will despair that of all the DC this should happen to, it should be one of ours! grin

DeafLeopard Mon 14-Jan-13 10:15:49

Well done chica - hope they address it appropriately.

chicaguapa Mon 14-Jan-13 19:34:36

I don't hold out much hope.

DH went in today to speak to the lady in charge. She's adamant that DS told her he wasn't going on Friday, so that makes it ok. hmm They will change their policy for DS but not everyone else as they've been doing it that way for 14 years and this has never happened before. They will make sure he's collected from the classroom because he's a difficult boy, while all the other Y3 are allowed to make their own way to the hall. (She didn't say that but that was the implication).

DH told her it was appalling that all the blame was being put on an 8 year old and that DH, as a parent, had turned up to pick up his DS and no-one knew where he was or where he'd been for the last 1.5 hours and not ONE person had said they were sorry or acted in any way concerned for anything other than their own arse.

It was left that if DH wasn't happy with the level of care at the club, he was welcome to remove DS. DH gave her the letter and told her he was giving a copy to the head and Chair of governors. angry

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