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AIBU to be mad at my DTs school?

51 replies

cariad31 · 21/04/2007 20:39

Am I being unreasonable to be mad at my DTs school? My DTs are in primary 1, and school finishes at 2.30pm. My DH, who is a SAHD, managed to fall asleep after lunch on Friday (he wasn't feeling well), and woke up to find that it had just gone 2.30pm. As the school is only a 5 minute walk around the corner, he didn't call to say he was late, but instead just ran round (I think we can all imagine the flustered state he was in by now!).

He arrived at 2.35pm to find our very good little boys waiting inside the school gates. They were a little upset, thinking they'd been forgotten.

What's made us both mad though, is being the good little chaps they are, they tried to go back into school to tell a teacher their daddy wasn't there, only to find that all the doors had been locked, and the teachers were nowhere to be seen.

Now, I'm not being funny, but the teachers could at least see that all their charges had been collected safely couldn't they? It seems a bit excessive to chuck the kids out and immediately lock the doors behind them (DH was after all only 5 minutes late).

I want to complain to the teacher, but thought I'd see what you all thought. So, am I being unreasonable?

OP posts:

easywriter · 21/04/2007 20:42

It's only now I've stopped laughing that I've realised you might be serious about the locking of doors!
Please tell me you're not serious!


cariad31 · 21/04/2007 20:45

I wish I was joking, but unfortunately I'm not. My DH was very unhappy when I got home from work. We both want to complain on Monday, but weren't sure if we were overreacting.

In a similar vein they very rarely unlock the doors in the morning until 5 past 9 - even in the winter (and being in the NE of Scotland winter is very cold)

OP posts:

ash6605 · 21/04/2007 20:47

that is absolutely don't say how old your kids are but at any age,they should be cared for until you arrive to collect are not unreasonable to complain at all.imagine if god forbid you or d.h were in a car accident what would happen then,how long would your kids have been left standing??


cariad31 · 21/04/2007 20:51

Thanks ash6605, my DTs are 5.

They're reasonably sensible, and could probably find their way home, but that's not the point.

As you say, if anything had happened to both of us, I dread to think how long they could have been there for.

OP posts:

Idreamofdaleks · 21/04/2007 20:51

My dd is in Y2 - they are only released from the classroom once a parent has been sighted.


luckylady74 · 21/04/2007 20:52

my ds1 is in reception and every child is made to wait - ie held on to - until they say they can see their parent - the teacher is literally holding back a horde at 3.30. and ltes them go one at a time.


sunnysideup · 21/04/2007 20:52

is primary 1 age 5 or 6?

if so this is really outrageous and YANBU.


sunnysideup · 21/04/2007 20:53

yes, same with us, our reception kids are let out one by one and only if the teacher can see the parent.


plibble · 21/04/2007 20:55

I would be furious. What if something had happened which meant your husband could not get there until even later? Presumably your little boys would have been left standing outside alone which is just not good enough.


cariad31 · 21/04/2007 20:55

Thanks everyone - I'm glad it's not us! To be honest I think it's because they're twins, they assume that as long as they're together they'll be fine.

I have to admit we've got a couple of other issues with the school, but we don't want to come across as interfering parents.

OP posts:

easywriter · 21/04/2007 20:56

Forget "what if something had happened to either of you". What if someone other than you or your husband got there before you. If you husband could get your kids out then so can any other adult and if the children couldn't get back in...

You are not only not being unreasonable, but are clearly doing every child and parent in your school a favour by pointing out that when a parent drops a child off at school they expect them to be safely looked after and returned to their parents care.

I have a question... this isn't normal is it, or I might just decide to home educate my babes.


NKF · 21/04/2007 20:58

I'd say that was extraordinary and really irresponsible. And why the lockdown? In my experience schools are usually buzzing at the end of the day. After school activities etc.


easywriter · 21/04/2007 20:59

I have twin girls and though they are both 3 and a quarter, they probably don't behave like they are as one has a silly suggestion and the other says "yeah, grea idea" not "i'd just like to think like our combined age of 6 and a half so, maybe not".

Get up that school and kick butt (Sorry am going to calm down immediately!)


edam · 21/04/2007 21:04

That's utterly bizarre and clearly very dangerous. Good God. Schools are 'in loco parentis' - they have the same legal responsibily to children as parents, while children are at school. And with 5yos that MUST include making sure children leave the premises safety. I'd raise merry hell if I were you - never mind the school, I'd be informing the LEA (don't know what they are called in Scotland but the local authority).


FeelingOld · 21/04/2007 21:10

My ds is in year 2 and at our school like others have said kids can only leave teacher if they can see their parents and its not until year 4 that this changes and even then if children cant find their parents (most of whom stand in the same place in the playground every day) they are told to go and wait at the door where the younger children come out where there is a teacher.

I think you are quite right to go and see the head teacher on monday and voice your concerns, I would have been in the office making a complaint on the day it happened if it had been my kids.


saffy202 · 21/04/2007 21:40

At our school the children are told to go back to the teacher if parents not there. When ds1 first started school, I fell asleep (I was heavily pg and couldn't sleep at night) and woke up at coming home time. I tried to run as best I could and the teacher had taken him back into the school to wait for me. Apparently he told her I often went to sleep in the afternoon


chocolattegirl · 21/04/2007 21:50

I think at my dd's school it's about 10-15 minutes wait then any children not collected are taken down to the school office where their parents have to sign them out - similar to signing them in late. There's certainly no way they'd let two children aged five wander off by themselves or lock them out of the school . I'd certainly raise this with the school for your own peace of mind if nothing else.

Poor little boys - I bet they were frightened .


shouldbedoingsomethingelse · 21/04/2007 21:57

That is dreadful. The school has a duty of care to your children. What if they had an accident or been snatched. It doesnt bear thinking about.

I would take this issue up with the school's head teachers and possibly even the governers.


easywriter · 21/04/2007 21:58

Thanks for that, I was thinking I was paranoid for a second there


cat64 · 21/04/2007 22:12

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn

cariad31 · 21/04/2007 22:22

Thanks everyone - I'm glad I'm not being unreasonable. At home time the teachers at our school just let the children out. Very rarely you'll see a teacher actually in the playground, unless they want to speak to a parent.

It never really occurred to raise it before with them, as we're always there on time (and you never really think anything bad will happen to you)

Luckily, our two were more annoyed then scared, and gave daddy a good telling off for keeping them waiting

We'll definitely be complaining first thing Monday, I'll update you as to their response. DH would have complained on Friday, but for the doors all being locked and no-one visible inside.

Poor DT1 told DH that he'd tried to go back inside to tell the teacher that DH wasn't there, but after trying the doors gave up and went to stand by the gate. I have to say I'm proud of them for staying calm and waiting in a safe place. The school gates were wide open (as they always are)and they could easily have made it out onto the main (and very busy) road if they'd wanted to.

Oops, I think I may start ranting if I'm not careful, so I'll save it for Monday

OP posts:

GeeGee2 · 21/04/2007 23:15

I am so appalled by this. I cannot believe that they can abandon 5 year olds on their own. If this does not stop, I think it has to be taken further but I don't know where to - the LEA or Ofsted?


edam · 21/04/2007 23:19

yes, your two deserve gold stars or something for being so sensible.

Btw, cariad's a great posting name.


Elasticwoman · 22/04/2007 20:21

You're not being unreasonable and I have every sympathy as something similar happened to me a few years ago - my dd aged 5 was not prevented from leaving the school premises on her own when I was slightly late collecting her (less than 5 mins and I was heavily pg, delayed by a screaming toddler). The police were involved, scanning the area with helicopter and area cars and she was eventually found safe and well half an hour after she went walkabout. No thanks to the school.

I wrote to the school and in the subsequent discussion with teacher and deputy head I was somehow browbeaten into not pursuing my complaint, which I now regret. Their attitude was grossly hypocritical in view of their constantly reminding parents that school should be informed of who was picking up children.

I suggest you both go, and be aware they may well try to wriggle out of the responsibility
and blame your dh. If you are by any chance not happy with the outcome of your complaint, your next stop would be to complain to the governing body.

If you put your complaint in writing, you can expect a written reply which you can thenstudy at leisure.

Good luck.


Kbear · 22/04/2007 20:36

I would definitely speak to the teacher and the head about changing the policy of letting them out and shutting the door - that is shocking.

My DD was let out of school once in Yr 1 when she should have been at an after school club. She had forgotten, teacher didn't mention clubs before everyone left. At the gate she saw the woman I usually stand next to, not me, assumed I was with her and came out of school into the parent's area.

My friend took her into the office and they called me - I went ballistic. Had an appointment with the Head the next day, she was mortified and promised me policies would be reviewed and it would never happen again.

You do have to say something for the sake of other children too.

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