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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:

C8H10N4O2 · 26/09/2018 15:50

My (Fortune 500) company certainly wouldn’t

If your role requires overseas travel and they don't pay your costs including visas and where necessary expedited passport processing then you are being taken for a ride.


MrsStrowman · 26/09/2018 16:02

@C8H10N4O2 I know several people who work in a similar situation either in schools or for other agencies and they would jump at the chance to go on a trip like this with the children they care for.


C8H10N4O2 · 26/09/2018 16:05

they would jump at the chance to go on a trip

That's nice for them. They are not the OP's partner who stated clearly he couldn't do this trip and who cannot afford to buy a passport for which he otherwise has no need.

He regularly has given free time to enable pupils to go on trips, something for which we as tax payers should be grateful, not implying he is lucky to get a "cheap jolly".


MrsStrowman · 26/09/2018 16:20

It's not a jolly, it's an opportunity to have an incredible experience with the young people he has CHOSEN to work with, it also sounds like OP had a bigger problem with this than her DP, who said he would be interested but didn't have a passport. He didn't say 'no I won't be able to do that' or 'no that's too much of a commitment to me'


OurMiracle1106 · 26/09/2018 16:21

For a lot of people £75 in one go in a substantial chunk of money especially on a low income. It’s not something I would be able to afford or prepared to pay for unnecessarily.

I’d be saying unfortunately on this occasion the trip isn’t viable for me. No further discussion to be had.


sprinklesandsauce · 26/09/2018 16:26

YANBU, but your DH shouldn't have said that he was "willing to go but didn't have a passport". He should have said "sorry I can't, I don't have a passport".

He just needs to stick to his guns now and say sorry, can't afford a passport and all the clothing, I have done many many other trips, you will need to find somebody else for this one.


C8H10N4O2 · 26/09/2018 16:26

He didn't say 'no I won't be able to do that'

Yes he did. Read the OP - he said he would but couldn't. The "couldn't" should have been the end of the matter, not the beginning of pressing him to find more money from his own pocket which with to subsidise the costs of the trip.

Its utterly irrelevant that he has chosen to work with teens with special needs, just as the choices your friends make are irrelevant.

People who work in education and the caring professions are constantly pressured into free work and buying kit which the employer should provide. These are often people on low incomes being made to feel bad when they can't do it rather than valued when they do.

The fact that they care about the kids enough to want them to have these experiences and may sometimes enjoy the job is not justification for the constant demands made on their pockets.

The school should pay for a passport if they want him to go. He will still incur expenses as they have apparently not only booked without securing staff but also without including gear in the rental.


AssignedNorthernAtBirth · 26/09/2018 16:43

Regardless of whether anyone else might enjoy this trip, it's an opportunity to do unpaid work at personal expense. It might well be fun too, but call it what it is.


MissEliza · 26/09/2018 18:31

My dh had to go on a ski trip for work- I guess some would describe as a 'jolly'. He totally resented the money he spent on ski gear but he does have a very well paid job. It's totally different for someone on a TA's salary.


Amanduh · 26/09/2018 19:29

Lol at anyone thinking a school residential, especially ones with special needs students, is a ‘jolly.’
Yeah, it’s a jolly getting up at 3am, getting to work to get the kids sorted, constantly counting heads, supervising and leading around loads of children, ensuring they are safe/accounted for/have everything they need/haven’t lost anything/remind them to use he toilet/clear up after accidents/make sure they’re safe/stay up all night telling them to go to bed/being up all night with homesick/scared/ill kids/clearing up sick or wee/changing beds/waking kids up/sorting itimeraries and getting them to all actovities on time and with the right equipment... etc etc. Oh and giving up a weeks leave for it.
It is utterly exhausting


MissEliza · 26/09/2018 19:34

Amanduh I sincerely hope you don't think I was describing a school trip as a 'jolly'. The ski trip attended by my dh was corporate reward nonsense. I've done several school residential trips myself and I know how exhausting they are. Mind you my dh would rather be at home with his family than attend most of the stuff he has to go to but at least he's properly financially compensated unlike TAs.


youarenotkiddingme · 26/09/2018 20:11

Actually I think " I would be willing but don't have the correct paperwork" is a very sensible approach. Far better to show willing as an employee than just simply say 'no'.

I also think if schools want low paid employees to take on unpaid overtime they should look at facilitating it through payments. Either through the charges to parents (enough to cover passports for those supervising their children) and having an amount of clothing staff could borrow or something.

Also remember for the period of time the child is away the parents will continue to get dla and carers allowance whilst someone else takes on that role for free.

And I say that as someone who works in education and has a disabled child.


Lunde · 26/09/2018 22:21

Drummingisfun: I'm surprised they are struggling for staff though, in all the schools I've worked in staff are keen as mustard to on the ski trip. The kids are in ski school all day so you get a good 4 hours a day of child free skiing for free. Granted you are on duty 24/7 but for most that's worth it for the skiing.

I think it is fair to assume that supervising a skiing trip for an SEN secondary school is a whole lot more work and a good deal more stressful than an ordinary non-disability school ski trip. Some of the pupils will require staff with them at all times for personal care and toileting, catheter changing, medication, mobility aids etc.

MrsStrowman. If he's not having to pay for the trip, £75 is a bargain to go skiing!
I doubt that staff are going to have much time for skiing given that this is a disability/SEN trip where pupils are going to require a lot of individual supervision and personal care - provided day and night by the TAs - unpaid.


pyramidbutterflyfish · 26/09/2018 22:36

Your OH should grow up and get a passport. It lasts 10 years and costs 62.5p a month.


MissEliza · 26/09/2018 22:45

Unfortunately Pyramid the government don't let us pay in instalments.


pyramidbutterflyfish · 26/09/2018 23:14

That’s why something called saving was invented.


C8H10N4O2 · 26/09/2018 23:21

That’s why something called saving was invented.

So that people can buy things they neither need no want purely in order to provide an employer with free work?

You're having a laugh.


OurMiracle1106 · 26/09/2018 23:24

pyramid for some of us on low Incomes saving is pretty much impossible! I don’t have disposable income to save. I cover my bills each month and feed and clothe myself and that’s it.


C0untDucku1a · 26/09/2018 23:30

pyramid has the solution. Save up 62p a month and go in ten years...


MumW · 26/09/2018 23:35

I'd be telling my DH that he has got to put the school right by saying. "I've looked into it and the cost of the passport and the specialist clothing means that I simply cannot afford to volunteer."


pyramidbutterflyfish · 27/09/2018 00:03

“So that people can buy things they neither need no want purely in order to provide an employer with free work?”

If he doesn’t want to go on the trip then fair enough, say no.

But renewing your passport is just one of those things grown ups do. You can’t expect the school to pay and the assistant head would be criticised he agreed to.

In fact, better to ask for a general contribution to trip expense / overtime work (which would seem totally fair... it sounds like hard work!)


C8H10N4O2 · 27/09/2018 00:08

But renewing your passport is just one of those things grown ups do

No it isn't unless they actually need one or enjoy flushing money down the toilet. Why on earth would you pay for a passport when you are on a low income have no need or use for it?

Its nothing to do with being a grown up.

If an employer wants a member of staff with a non traveling job to taken on overseas travel they should incur the costs. That includes a passport in this case.


prettypossums · 27/09/2018 09:45


Out of interest, did you actually read op's update? That is, the bit where she says that she thinks her DH actually wants to go on the trip?


CoughLaughFart · 27/09/2018 09:52

That’s why something called saving was invented.

The whole point of savings is that, you know, SAVE them in case you need them for something urgent. If you go around splurging £75 on something that’s going to sit in a drawer, you won’t have any savings for long.


AGHHHH · 27/09/2018 10:15

@pyramidbutterflyfish are you taking the piss? "Grow up" because he doesn't have, want or need a passport?

Why should anyone save for something they don't want?

You are truly bizarre. Hmm

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