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In thinking people should have a certain amount of trust in the school

30 replies

Dancergirl · 24/05/2011 22:01

Scenario 1: school organises a 2-night camping trip for Year 4 children at a well-established and long-running site. Cue to some parents to ask a million questions about safety, security, going to the toilet in the night, why the tents have 2 zips, one at the front one at the back (she told her dd to sleep in the middle of the tent away from possible predators), why don't the teachers sleep in the tents with them etc.

Scenario 2: school trip planned for Years 3/4 that involves a motoway journey on a coach. Cue for parents to question safety on the journey mainly about seat-belt use. School sends letter home to parents reassuring them about seat-belts.

Now am I missing something here? I assume that when my child goes on a school trip, all the necessary risk assessment have been done. I trust the school with my child therefore I trust the school to look after my child on a trip. It just wouldn't cross my mind to ask these questions.

Am I being naive or under-protective?

OP posts:

slartybartfast · 24/05/2011 22:08

is it their first or only child.
you can understand why in some ways.

good for you to be trusting though. and quite right, but you do hear so many scare stories about trips.


sleepingsowell · 24/05/2011 22:09

I think year 3/ 4 children are still very young at 7 and 8 years old and many won't have slept away from home (or if they have slept away it may only be with immediate family like GPs) so it's not surprising that parents will have questions - lots of kids at this age are scared of the dark and wet the bed, etc etc so parents will want to know how these things are dealt with

It is no hardship to the school to have their procedures questioned, if they have done all the risk assessments etc they will have all the right answers!

I don't think you're under-protective however I also don't think that parents who ask questions are over-protective, they are just of a different mindset to you and that's allowed!


MumblingRagDoll · 24/05/2011 22:11

I don't assume anything when it comes to the safety of my children. They're too precious.

Things are not as they once were....not so long ago, people placed a LOT of trust in organisation such as schools and hospitals. People were not encouraged to question authority. Today we are more informed...we have more education and we ask pertinent questions if we choose.


worraliberty · 24/05/2011 22:13

I think some questions are asked more out of curiousity really and to put the parents minds at rest. That's why our schools always have a parent meeting to brief them before these sort of trips.


slartybartfast · 24/05/2011 22:15

i think these parents meetings often cause the parents to th ink they simply have to ask a question, like to show an interest and awareness of safety


EndoplasmicReticulum · 24/05/2011 22:16

I don't question. This is probably because I am a teacher and I know what risk assessment will have been done!

Mine are year 1 and reception, so haven't been away overnight yet. They went on a day trip this week, the list of stuff they had to pack in their rucksacks would have covered many eventualities (raincoat and suncream - guess which one they needed?)


Dancergirl · 24/05/2011 22:18

Love your username endo - I am doing AS Biology at the moment!

OP posts:

EndoplasmicReticulum · 24/05/2011 22:21

Dancergirl - do you have an exam this week? Good luck with it if so - my students have theirs on Thursday. I am a biology teacher, as you may be able to guess.


Bohica · 24/05/2011 22:22

I agree with you Dancer The school will have done the long week trips & day trips many times over years & years & will have so many procedures in place they have probably thought of a few scenarios that us parents haven't!


piprabbit · 24/05/2011 22:25

It does seem that the default setting for a significant minority of parents is to assume that the school are out to deliberately undermine, mistreat and damage the children.


worraliberty · 24/05/2011 22:27

My year 7 son went on a residential trip a couple of months ago. At the meeting, one of the parents asked if they would be doing water based which the teacher replied no. Then another parent asked the same question and got the same answer.

By the time someone else asked it, you could see he was pissed off so he said "Listen, none of the children will be touching water on this trip...well not unless they annoy the staff on the ferry!" Grin


Hassled · 24/05/2011 22:28

Scenario1 - yes, I'd have a few questions. Bear in mind I'm a Governor, have helped in school for years and bloody years, have done numerous school trips and have 4 kids - so no PFB issues. I'd still have some questions. I would still want to know what would happen if my 8 year old woke in the night needing a wee and missing Mum. Completely reasonable.

Scenario2 - no issues whatsoever.


exoticfruits · 24/05/2011 22:32

I don't question. This is probably because I am a teacher and I know what risk assessment will have been done!

Have people actually seen these forms?!
It will start with getting on the coach, what might the risk be? Tripping on the steps. How will they deal with it? Have an adult helping them on?
It will go on from there-there will not be a risk that hasn't been thought of!
I wonder why schools, cubs etc bother. I just thought it was a wonderful opportunity for mine-it is very stifling to not want them out of your sight with trained, responsible staff-they can cope!


worraliberty · 24/05/2011 22:33

Actually most of the questions asked were about leaving the light on at night (kids scared of the dark) and fussy eaters. One Mum asked if she could pack some pot noodles incase her daughter wouldn't eat the food.


Onceamai · 24/05/2011 22:51

Well I'm going against the grain here, MIL, was a deputy head at a primary school for 20 years. She has no common sense whatsoever to the extent she once took my children to the park and left the front door open; got out a box of sandwiches when I went to feed dd and ds, aged three and a half, was in a hospital bed on nil by mouth awaiting an anaesthetic, and after the fil had an accident and was told to keep his blood pressure monitored because it was sky high said they didn't need to make a doctor's appointment because the nurse would ring - he dropped dead four months later! Do I trust teachers to look after my nearest and dearest without a long tick list and lots and lots of questions - certainly Not - and apologies to all sensible teachers but I've seen how daft some of them are - to the extent that one of her daughters developed peritonitis because she thought she had eaten too many peaches.


whatever17 · 25/05/2011 03:36


With DS1 I knew he would speak up for himself and get whatever he needed whilst on a trip.

With DS2 it is a different kettle of fish - I know he will suffer in silence.

DS2 is now in Year 6 and there is a "3 line whip" PGL trip that he HAS to go on. I am having kittens about him getting lost, drowned, being upset, getting bullied - everything. I don't trust the childless, young teachers a bit to comfort my kid in the wee hours.


EndoplasmicReticulum · 25/05/2011 07:05

whatever - he doesn't HAVE to go on the trip. They cannot kidnap your child and force him to do outdoor activities. They might make a big fuss if you say he's not going, but it is ultimately your choice.

Does he want to go?


Goblinchild · 25/05/2011 07:10

Do you think publishing the risk assessment would make a difference, or would it panic parents when they realise we have thought of problems and solutions that hadn't occurred to them?
If you don't want to risk it, say no at the outset. No signed permission, no removal of child from school permitted.


Sirzy · 25/05/2011 07:14

Publishing risk assessments would panic some parents more. I do risk assessments and you do end up looking at even the tiny little things, things the parents probably hadn't even considered!


EndoplasmicReticulum · 25/05/2011 07:21

I panic when I read risk assessments. All the things that could go wrong!

Leads to me feeling irresponsible when I take my own children out for the day and don't check our route in advance and fill out forms in triplicate....


valiumredhead · 25/05/2011 08:41

I question safety. At ds's old school I used to help out with the school trips. If I couldn't have gone ds wouldn't have been allowed to go, the risks the school took were shocking and quite frankly it was a miracle that no one was hurt (ds has since moved schools! )


Dancergirl · 25/05/2011 09:06

What sort of risks did they take valium?

OP posts:

gingeroots · 25/05/2011 09:18

Afraid I agree that some young ,childless teachers are not really sympathetic .
Personally I don't think the staff have enough time to keep an eye on the kids .
DS came home from trip in year 6 with bare feet - another child had taken a fancy to his shoes .

In year 8 he came back from a sking trip ,sans coat ( fair enough ) and what I thought from seeing him on the coach ,was a face covered in chocolate .
But actually it was sores around his mouth and up half face .
Teachers shrugged and said " Oh he kept wiping the sun block off with his hand ."
( DS a chewer ,seems placid ,but face wiping ,nervous gestures ,his way of coping )
I wouldn't send them if you have concerns ,wish I hadn't .


IWantAnotherBaby · 25/05/2011 09:56

My DS has just this morning left on his first residential trip (year 3, aged 7). I feel sick and know I will stay feeling like that until he returns tomorrow evening. He is as sensible as any 7 year old boy (so not very). His teachers are great, but I still worry. As a governor of the school I know the risk assessment has been thorough, and they take the year 3s to the same place every year without incident, but as a parent I am imagining coach crashes, him being left behind at the rest stop en route, waking afraid overnight and having no Mummy to climb into bed with...

I was not one of those with 300 questions for the teachers; I trusted them with the things I can't control, and just used common sense to do the best I could to prepare him; so everything he has taken is labelled (spent some time last night sewing labels into everything) and/or old/ getting a bit too small/ otherwise no great problem if it doesn't return. He knows to stay with his group etc...

But still I fret.


exoticfruits · 25/05/2011 10:57

What to do in a coach crash features in a risk assessment. I would challenge anyone to find anything missing in one.

Many primary teachers are married with DCs of their own. I found that when I went to meetings they generally started 'we are all mums-we know how you feel'. Young teachers without experience will not be leading-they will go with the experienced and get lots of experience before they lead.You generally find that schools go to the same place year after year.

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