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Driving a kid in your car??
31

BigAnts · 22/09/2017 20:57

I work for a PRU, often supporting students in their own homes at first until they are ready to come to our base. A colleague has been driving one of our students into the base and teaching her there to "help get the student used to the site". But she's been driving her, unaccompanied, in her own car. Isn't that madness? Against safeguarding guidelines, etc?

I've now been contacted by my line manager this afternoon and asked if I'll do the same. Drive to student's house, collect them in my car and drive them to the base. It's my car, my petrol (no travel expenses given), my insurance, my reputation, etc and er... it seems wrong to me.

Can anyone tell me either (a) it's fine and I'm worrying about nothing (b) reasons I can give to my manager for politely refusing this request. She has actually cc'd my rule-breaking colleague into the email so it makes me feel awkward saying I think it's a bad idea!

Have name-changed because this is obviously v outing!
Thanks for any advice you can give...

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billybagpuss · 22/09/2017 20:58

I have a feeling it could not be covered on your insurance 'business use' etc. but you'd have to check. x

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Ollycat · 22/09/2017 21:01

I have done it - you need to have Business Insurance and there were various risk assessments which needed to be done. I also had written permission from the child's parents. This was in a mainstream secondary school.

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ReinettePompadour · 22/09/2017 21:03

I don't know much about this but I have come across it several times in my capacity of college governor. Some students are very unwilling to get into school and if a member of staff can get someone in they will even if its using their own car, in their own time.

Also it was recently shown on Educating Greater Manchester where a member of staff drove to several homes to collect unwilling students and bring them into school. I'm sure if this was frowned upon it would never have been shown.

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BigAnts · 22/09/2017 21:05

Hmm, mixed responses! Thanks for feedback. Sounds like I would need different insurance then. I don't feel very comfortable doing it. But I am on a short-term contract which I would like to be renewed, so i don't want to be a total pain either! Tricky

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Ollycat · 22/09/2017 21:07

Forgot to add my school needed copies of my driving licence, MOT and Insurance documents.

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poshme · 22/09/2017 21:07

In my voluntary stuff that I've done with kids, the safeguarding guidance was that if 1:1 alone in car, then kid should be in the back.
And yes, you need to inform your insurance company. 100%

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BizzyFizzy · 22/09/2017 21:08

I used to drive a neighbour's child to school, as well as my own child. It wasn't an insurance or safeguarding problem.

A risk assessment would need to be carried out for the individuals involved.

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Ollycat · 22/09/2017 21:09

The increase in my insurance was £17 - my school paid it. Your insurance is invalid if it's not business insurance.

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ohhelpohnoitsa · 22/09/2017 21:09

Was thinking about this earlier today. I used to teach on a split site and remember 6th formers asking for a lift back. I generally made up an excuse but did so it once but noticed a colleague used to do it weekly. Wouldn't dare do it now. Even more outrageous in today's world, my HofY used to give lifts to the naughtiest kids who she had kept on detention. Her husband and her, used to drive them back to quite a deprived area in their very very pimped up sports car. I remember being outraged at the time but not even from a safeguarding point of view, just because the kids saw it as a treat after detention. This was only 15yrs ago. Now I would be in serious fear of allegations from the kids. In your job, it could be seen as more necessary but you are also WIDE open to allegations. I would not be happy to do it at all. My school is the most boring steadfast school but our staff motto for the last year or two in regard to safeguarding has been "never think it can't happen here". I would say no.

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samlovesdilys · 22/09/2017 21:15

We are not allowed to...in school paperwork very clearly, surely a safeguarding issue?? What is your union advice??

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MaisyPops · 22/09/2017 21:19

It depends on your insurance and policies in school.

Everu school I've been at we had to have business insurance, it should be a last resort, there should be 2 adults in the car where possible and you have to fill in paperwork and get approval from SLT.

1-1 transport of children in my schools has always been business insurance only if the situation is so bad that the child would be at more risk if you left them somewhere.

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MrsMargeSimpson · 22/09/2017 21:21

I was a child who had a lift with a teacher! Granted it was 10+ years ago. I remember written permission needing to be granted but it was fairly straightforward. I wasn’t a school refuser though, I was doing extra stuff after and couldn’t make the last bus if I did it so my lovely teacher offered me the lift as she lived near us. Can’t see that safeguarding has changed that much in that time, and you’ve been asked so it’s obviously not banned.

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BizzyFizzy · 22/09/2017 21:25

I have Direct Line Insurance and business cover is included automatically in my policy.

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TheFallenMadonna · 22/09/2017 21:28

I also work in AP and we are not allowed to do this!

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BigAnts · 22/09/2017 21:43

Thanks for more responses. there's no space in the back because of my own kids' car seats! Shall I say I just don't feel comfortable? I don't want to imply my colleague is doing something wrong.

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Cynderella · 22/09/2017 22:43

I've done it - both mainstream and PRU. Happy doing it.

But I would advise against it in your case. If you have any reservations, and if you're not paid travel costs, then just say no.

Your centre should have a policy and protocols that fit with their safeguarding policy. You should have adequate insurance.

But you're not happy Don't do it, and be honest when asked. Say you don't have the insurance, and don't feel comfortable doing this with so little experience.

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HolidayHelpPlease · 23/09/2017 12:19

I work in a standard state school not a PRU - but it's in our staff handbook that a child entering our vehicles without express written permission of the governors is a breach of our contract. This inculides on the weekends, and if we saw a child from school in distress!
Can you check there first? Or with your LEA? Very strange to allow as so risky!

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TableMirror · 23/09/2017 12:23

Could you book a taxi and ask the school to foot the bill? Say you cannot do it for insurance reasons and offer that as a compromise?

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CauliflowerSqueeze · 23/09/2017 12:24

Do not do this.
You leave yourself open to safeguarding problems. What if the student made up something about you? You can't put yourself in this position.
Just say no, I don't feel comfortable doing this. Suggest that additional funding could perhaps pay for a taxi. Keep well out.

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Doomhutch · 23/09/2017 16:37

We just had safeguarding training where we talked about this (in the past teachers have offered lifts to parents and children in the rain, only to have the kids shoved into the car and the parent leave!).

It's a problem because of insurance, as others have said - yours and the school's. You can change it if you want to.

It's also a problem if it's unofficial. You would need to have a policy in school about it. What would happen if the kid opened the door and caused an accident? What if they hurt you? What if they made an allegation against you?

Sometimes it's necessary for teachers to drive children (our DepH has a licence so she can collect children who's parents don't have the wherewithal to get them to school), but it should be VERY clear what your responsibilities are, who's paying for the insurance, and what happens if something goes wrong.

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Ttbb · 23/09/2017 16:54

I've been in teacher's cars but outside of school hours only.

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BigAnts · 23/09/2017 19:41

Thanks everyone. I've emailed the teacher who gave us the recent safeguarding training and asked for clarity. Will update in a few days (if anyone cares!)

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Rosieposy4 · 23/09/2017 20:47

We are allowed to do this for trips etc, so long as we fill in the appropriate online form and have the correct insurance. School are happy for it to happen, especially when there is a minibus shortage as it saves money on taxis.

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WyfOfBathe · 23/09/2017 23:47

I've given a student a lift, but in my role as a Guide leader. She was 16 or 17 and I had another leader and another Guide in the car as well.

I wouldn't be happy to be 1 on 1 with a student in my car, especially if it's a student who I didn't know well or who had behavioural problems. I generally volunteer myself for anything (organising trips, running extra sessions) but I wouldn't do something I felt uncomfortable with.

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castasp · 24/09/2017 08:58

At my most recent safeguarding training i.e. about 2 weeks ago, it was stressed that this is absolutely not allowed. They said that if a pupil does need a lift home eg. stranded after a school concert or something, then 2 teachers must be in the car with the pupil.

I think things are tightening up all the time. I'm a bog standard teacher in a bog standard state school - I can imagine that the deputies might have something in place for extenuating circumstances like PPs have mentioned above, but otherwise I think it's a no-no these days.

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