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to feel that DH's work should not expect him to get a passport?

176 replies

Thebewilderbeest · 25/09/2018 11:02

DH is a TA in a special needs secondary school. The assistant head has asked him to go on a ski trip to France in January. Going on residential trips is not expected as part of the job role and is done by staff on a purely voluntary basis. He has already been away on residential trips in this country - something that many of the staff, particularly at his level, refuse to do on the grounds that they don't get paid enough. He tends to put himself forward for these trips as the students get so much out of them and without staff willing to go they wouldn't happen.

He doesn't have a passport, he has no need to go abroad and we aren't planning on taking any foreign holidays any time soon. When our passports expired we made the decision not to renew them as it seemed like a waste of money as we have no intentions of leaving the country.

DH has told the assistant head that he would be willing to go on the ski trip but can't because he doesn't have a passport. The assistant head is now pressuring him into getting a passport so he can go, as they have a lack of willing volunteers. DH is feeling like he is being guilted into doing it for the students and that he is letting the team down if he says no.

Am I being unreasonable to be a bit annoyed at the prospect of us forking out £75 for something that DH is not going to have a use for after the trip? Not to mention having to pay for appropriate clothing/gear which again, he will have no use for afterwards. He won't be doing any skiing as they have instructors for that but he's still going to be out on the slopes all day.

I've been saying that I think he should say no. We aren't very high earners and it will put a dent in our budget. He is on the fence about it. AIBU?

OP posts:

JessicaJonesJacket · 25/09/2018 11:21

tbh he wouldn't be in this situation if he had said 'I'm not going on the trip.' I don't think the school has caused this situation and I don't think they would have expected him to get a passport if he had simply said he wasn't going.
His response focused on the lack of passport so the school think that he wants to go. Maybe you need to have an honest chat about whether he wants to have a passport after all.


happypoobum · 25/09/2018 11:21

I can't see the problem here.

They asked if he could go. He said no because he doesn't have a passport.

End of story. If they are nagging him he just has to play the broken record "I can't go as I don't have a passport."


AnchorDownDeepBreath · 25/09/2018 11:22

Why say you're willing to go if you don't have the passport or clothes required and aren't prepared to pay for them? Just don't show willing in the first place.....

Yeah I have to agree with this a bit. Even if he was only responding to a question; if he'd said he was unable to, he'd be in a better situation now. As it js, he's suggested that he can't for a flimsy reason but would if he could, which the school were always going to pursue.

It's like when you say no to anything else - providing a reason weakens your case and gives people something to argue against to change your mind. They try to problem solve for you.


gottastopeatingchocolate · 25/09/2018 11:22

It reads that DH said he was willing to go if school would pay for his passport, but he wasn't explicit.

I think he should probably be explicit - if that is what he is suggesting. The school can choose to say yes or no (and I understand they may or may not be able to fund the passport).


ArfArfBarf · 25/09/2018 11:23

Ridiculous scenario for (at least) two reasons...

  1. The school can’t restrict how someone uses their passport whether they’ve paid for it or not.

2. Once they’ve paid for the passport why do they care how often it gets used for personal trips, it doesn’t cost them anything extra or prevent him from using it for school related trips.

Thebewilderbeest · 25/09/2018 11:23

Certainly haven't decided to never leave the country again. But it's not going to happen any time soon, so no need for a passport right now.

OP posts:

AmIRightOrAMeringue · 25/09/2018 11:24

If travel is part of the role then it's implicit that you should have a passport and I would expect the employee to pay. It should be part of the contract.

But for a TA role where travel isn't a requirement? No way. They are asking him to give up a week of his leave for a favour!


Tiredtomybones · 25/09/2018 11:26



LittleMissPonsible · 25/09/2018 11:27

No, the school should not be making him feel like he should get a passport. It’s not his responsibility to ensure this trip has enough adults, that is a problem for senior management to resolve. It is really unprofessional of them if he is feeling guilt or pressure to do so.


Thebewilderbeest · 25/09/2018 11:27

Agree that he should have just said no from the off.

However I don't think he was giving a flimsy excuse by saying that he doesn't have a passport, just providing a reason for saying no.

OP posts:

ArfArfBarf · 25/09/2018 11:27

I expect on a TAs salary that the cost of a passport equates to quite a few hours work.

Maybe your dh should tell the head how many hours he would have to work “for free” to cover the cost of a passport to allow him to work further hours for free in his holidays.


MissusGeneHunt · 25/09/2018 11:28


He didn't volunteer. They asked him and he said I would if he could but he can't. He doesn't need a passport, why would he want a free one?

I know you said he 'doesn't need' a passport, but your comment above makes it sounds as though he would even reject a free one (I'd love a free passport!). So in turn, that implies he is not interested in the trip.... He 'can't' physically go without one, fine, but if he has one (i.e., they paid for it) would he go?


StealthPolarBear · 25/09/2018 11:29

Yes we're in the same positions. Passports expired and no current plans to travel abroad. As soon as we do we'll get passports.


Brumchum · 25/09/2018 11:30

As a TA I have been on residential visits with students to Belgium France and Spain. I think I must be a right mug as all trips are in school hols (so no pay at all for me) and we are on duty 24/7 . If people like me didn't do this the trips would not go. So school should pay for passport, I have one anyway.


JessicaJonesJacket · 25/09/2018 11:32

But according to your OP he didn't say no. He said he was willing to go but didn't have a passport. That's completely different from saying 'no'.


Thebewilderbeest · 25/09/2018 11:33


I don't think he would refuse a free passport, but my comment was in response to:

YABU- why did you husband volunteer in the first place when he knew he didn’t have a passport???? He obviously was hoping the school would pay for his free passport.

He wouldn't volunteer just to get a free passport as he doesn't need one.

OP posts:

Thebewilderbeest · 25/09/2018 11:34

Doesn't need one other for the trip that is.

OP posts:

happypoobum · 25/09/2018 11:35

So, to clarify OP, if the school say yes, we will pay for your passport, will he then be backtracking and saying he doesn't have the right clothes? Or will he happily go?

I can totally see his point of view but I agree with PP that he has messed it up by not just saying No. The HT will just keep trying to overcome his objections now...


Notacluewhatthisis · 25/09/2018 11:35

I'm not suggesting that the school should pay for his passport.

So what are you suggesting?


explodingkitten · 25/09/2018 11:36

I think that your husband shouldbe more clear on where he stands, either:

I'll go if you pay all my expenses, including passport and clothes
I'm not going, I do not want to go, I have volunteered plenty on other trips so please stop pestering me about it.


Thebewilderbeest · 25/09/2018 11:36


I see the confusion now. My bad wording!

A free passport would be of no further use to him in the near future after the trip. So volunteering just for the sake of a free passport is a bit of a silly accusation.

OP posts:

Notacluewhatthisis · 25/09/2018 11:38

Of course he should say not to a free passport. Because he doesn't want to go. Them paying for his passport is likely to end with him having to go on this and other trips.

They won't pay out for staff to have new passports for one trip.

I drive as a small part of my job. Can't imagine asking my boss to renew my license because I don't drive outside my job and don't plan to. But could drive at any point and make use of it.


Thebewilderbeest · 25/09/2018 11:38

so what are you suggesting?

I'm suggesting that the assistant head should stop pressuring my DH into paying for something that we can't really afford for the sake of the school.

OP posts:

BakedBeans47 · 25/09/2018 11:39

I can't see the problem here.

They asked if he could go. He said no because he doesn't have a passport.

End of story.

This. Jeez either don’t go or pay £75 for a passport and go.


Bluesmartiesarebest · 25/09/2018 11:40


Your DH has said he can’t go on the trip because he doesn’t have a passport. I suggest that DH makes himself a bit clearer to the head teacher by saying that he can’t afford to renew his passport. It might not have occurred to the head that £75 is a lot of money on a TA salary.

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