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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:

SchnooSchnoo · 25/09/2018 12:27

Techinically you can @Omzlas but you can’t board a ferry or a plane without one these days, so leaving the UK without a passport is tricky!


lunar1 · 25/09/2018 12:28

Fucking hell, what we can all learn from this thread is that we should never answer a simple question.

The first response to an enquiry should always be to consult a lawyer to ensure the wording is correct.

The OP's husband said he would if he could but he can't, then gave the perfectly valid reason why not. The head should stop pestering now.


LittleMissPonsible · 25/09/2018 12:29

I think a lot of people are deliberately misreading the OP’s post and title. It says “AIBU to feel that DH’s work should not expect him to get a passport.”

What is the point of AIBU if people just turn the issue into whatever question they feel like answering?! Someone upthread has said the OP sounds bitter and jealous?! Of who? Her husband, because he is being pressured into paying for a passport he doesn’t personally need? Or because he is being given the opportunity to watch other people’s children ski during his holiday, unpaid?

Others are taking issue with the DH not just saying ‘No.’ I really doubt that most people, asked a favour by their senior at work, would just say no without some sort of explanation. I know, particularly in schools where a lot of what happens is dependent on the good will of staff, a simple no would be quite an odd response.

Really struggling to see why the OP is getting such a hard time when she is really not BU.


user1499173618 · 25/09/2018 12:32

Of course your DH must decline. The T&C of his job are wildly out of line with a request to accompany a SEN ski trip. The school is taking the piss!


prettypossums · 25/09/2018 12:35

OP herself says her DH is 'on the fence'. My suspicion is that op's DH is actually happy to go, but doesn't feel able to say as much to OP because she is so clearly opposed to the idea. So he is emphasizing the pressure from HT instead...

If OP's DH really didn't want to go, and had made this unequivocally clear, I'm sure the HT would have dropped the subject by now.


SoyDora · 25/09/2018 12:36

I agree he shouldn't pay for one, but equally I doubt the school will be able to pay for it. So ultimately he isn't an appropriate volunteer for this trip and the school shouldn't be pressuring him

I agree with this. He needs to firmly say ‘unfortunately I am not in a position to be able to come on this trip’.


WhatIsThisTomfoolery · 25/09/2018 12:36

Yes pretty I agree


C8H10N4O2 · 25/09/2018 12:39

TBH op, you're sounding pretty Eeyorish about this, who knows, the ski trip could even be fun? Presumably the rest of his expenses would be paid?

Do you have any idea what life on a TA income is? Or the "expenses" which don't really exist in public education?


BakedBeans47 · 25/09/2018 12:41

No OP isn’t BU but “I’ve not got a passport and won’t be getting one so I won’t be going on the trip”. End of. I’m not clear on how he’s being “pressured”? Just keep saying no.


C8H10N4O2 · 25/09/2018 12:42

The point in this case is they have no need of a passport, international travel is not part of the role and they are incurring a significant expense purely for work benefit. That is why the employer should pay. (fat chance I agree).

I travel for work, its part of my job and always was so I pay for my own passport. However additional costs such as visas, 24 hr passport renewal are claimed back as expenses as they were incurred solely for the benefit of the employer. I could stay on in said visa country for a holiday if I was so inclined but that doesn't alter the fact that I'm only there because work needed me there.


C8H10N4O2 · 25/09/2018 12:44

I’m not clear on how he’s being “pressured”?

I'm speculating here but I can absolutely see this happening. Its common in public sector/4th sector small orgs where you work in relatively small teams, strong sense of common purpose, money is thin on the ground.

A team lead/manager pushing you to "just this once" or "just help us out" is not unusual.


ScattyCharly · 25/09/2018 12:49

Dear assistant head,
Sorry I cannot go on the ski trip. I do not have a passport as the cost is too much out of my family’s basic living expenses budget.
I’d be willing to help with future trips within the uk.
Op’s Husband

Although personally I always have a passport even when not going abroad for 5+ years. I think it’s useful ID and also if anything happened to a family member abroad, I could get on a flight.


SteamTrainsRealAleandOpenFires · 25/09/2018 13:01

If this trip is so important, then the AH should go instead.


MissusGeneHunt · 25/09/2018 13:05

Of course you know what'll happen now - the ski trip will be called off due to 'lack of volunteers' and the OP's DH will be made to feel even worse....

What I don't get is why the school didn't ask for a full compliment of volunteers before sorting it out... my DS's school sent letters out to all parents inviting their interest for the trip back in April, because it costs so much to go - they then provide a payment plan for parents to the months running up to the trip. They will have already got ALL their staff (TAs included) on the list as definite attendees, with a smaller list of staff who can take their place if illness or family issue arises last minute. I'm finding it hard to see that a school wouldn't have thought about this months ago - ski trips are usually February half term.

Oh well. In the words of Zammo, OP, 'just say no', I think.


BarbarianMum · 25/09/2018 13:07

Is he being pressured or has he simply been asked?


Thesnobbymiddleclassone · 25/09/2018 13:10

We're the same. Ours ran out and we haven't replaced them as have no need to.

Unless they want to pay for it, he'll just have to say he can't go.


HidingFromMyKids · 25/09/2018 13:15

I don't think he is 'on the fence' because he is desperate to go and OP is some bitter controlling monster Hmm

More like he's worried if he doesn't jump through hoops for his TA role and do more than what is asked of him they might get rid or cut his hours or something.

The year I qualified as a TA 50 other people did too. That was just my local college. You feel as though you must go above and beyond your low wage or be risk being replaced with someone who is willing to.


prettypossums · 25/09/2018 13:22

The year I qualified as a TA 50 other people did too. That was just my local college. You feel as though you must go above and beyond your low wage or be risk being replaced with someone who is willing to.

Lots of jobs are competitive. I doubt the DH's job would be at risk if he declined to go on a ski trip.


Knittedfairies · 25/09/2018 13:23

I agree with MissusGeneHunt; the school should have got the full complement of volunteers organised before this trip was put out to parents, preferably with reserves. It may be that fewer children could go if sufficient volunteers could not be found, but nobody should be voluntold to go. Anyone thinking residential trips are a jolly for staff is misguided; they’re very hard work!


glitterfarts · 25/09/2018 13:24

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.

^^ this. Our school recently had a residential and the 2 TA's who went, not only had to leave their own kids at home for a week, but still were only paid 9-3 (and not paid for an hour lunch) despite being responsible for children from 8.30 Monday until 4.30 Friday 24/7.
On £7.80 ish an hour, it isn't reasonable to ask. You don't see the most highly paid (Principal or Deputy) volunteering to go, do you!


Mushroomsarehorrible · 25/09/2018 13:26

I travel with work and they sort and pay for the renewal of my passports. Usual practice.


Joe66 · 25/09/2018 13:33

You can travel in the EU with an ID card. However you cannot get out of the UK without a passport, and the UK don't issue ID cards.


C8H10N4O2 · 25/09/2018 13:35

I doubt the DH's job would be at risk if he declined to go on a ski trip

Or his hours cut in favour of a "more team spirited" TA?

What are you basing this assumption on?


Saker · 25/09/2018 13:36

I am on the PTA for my son's special school. I think we would fund a request to pay for a TAs passport so he could support a school trip. Does the school have a PTA and could you ask them?


HidingFromMyKids · 25/09/2018 13:38

Lots of jobs are competitive. I doubt the DH's job would be at risk if he declined to go on a ski trip.

No I fully understand that but it may be a small part in the bigger picture of why he may be feeling he should always be available and willing. Rather than he really wants to go but OP won't let him.

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