Has this school trip broke any regulations/laws?

(544 Posts)
emma16 Sun 17-Nov-13 08:31:05

I would appreciate some help here please, my 5 year old daughter went on a trip with 2 other classes from her school on Friday to a wood which I was initially concerned about as we go there ourselves on a Sunday etc for walks & have never seen any facilities there.
I raised my concerns with her teacher the week before they were due to go, to which she hardly knew anything of the trip & when i arrived at home time another teacher i know told me that she'd been there & there were facilities, and 'as if' they'd take 3 classes of kids somewhere where there wasnt!
I wasn't pretty hot about this trip seeing as they've waited until the middle of November to do it, and as any genuinely concerned parent, I was worried about how cold my daughter would be seeing as they were leaving just after 9am & not returning to school until 3.15pm.

Off she went anyway, but when my husband picked her up from the woods car park the first thing she said to him was 'im so thirst daddy & my head really hurts'. He brought her home & we found out that they had not taken their water bottle's with them & she'd had nothing to drink whatsoever all day, despite being active for 5 hours walking & doing activities.
We also found out that there were no toilets provided & her & 3 of her friends were taken by some assistant she doesn't know to wee behind a tree out in a public wood!!!
She also told us, when questioned by us, they never went in any buildings & were outside all day. They'd sat on little stools under a sheet to eat their pack lunchs.

Now some of you on here will think i'm over reacting no doubt & appreciate it if all you want to say is a snide comment about my over bearing parenting, but, in my opinion i feel they have done wrong.
I have made several enquiries with other people & as far as they know, there are no facilities whatsoever up at this wood, which my husband & I are going to visit this morning to find the country ranger & ask him himself.

If there aren't this means that no risk assessment could have been carried out, those teachers lied to my face after voicing my concerns, they let my daughter go without any fluids for over 5 hours despite being active & came home ill & with a headache, they let some stranger to her pull her pants down in a public wood to wee, and they gave them no form of shelter/heating for even a short period of time just to warm them up before going back out again.
Is any of this ok, does anyone with some knowledge actually know? From a parents point of view there's all sorts wrong with it. If there were facilities why did they choose not to use them?

ChippingInLovesAutumn Sun 17-Nov-13 08:41:20

It's November - not January in the snow, if she had a coat she would have been fine.

Kids don't need to be inside - outside is fine.

I don't believe they didn't have a drink all day.

Your DD is 5 - I'm sure she can pull her own pants down. What's more, I'm sure if she had an accident at school you would expect the same person to help her & be the first to complain if they didn't. Have you never had a wee in the woods? What would you do when you take her there?

You are massively over-reacting.

Twirlychair Sun 17-Nov-13 08:43:44

Oh dear it sounds like your dd didn't enjoy it very much.

Didn't she have a packed lunch with her? To be honest the out all day wouldn't bother me as long as they were wrapped up, and my dd at that age would have loved to pee on her feet in the woods. As long as the assistant is checked etc I don't see that as an issue.

But I'm a fairly lax parent who doesn't get het up about things and I can feel from your post that you are bothered about it, so maybe you should go and talk to the teacher in the morning to get things straight? Sometimes kids aren't reliable in what takes they bring home (not suggesting your dd is lying but sometimes kids version of what happened isn't the full picture)

Good luck whatever you decide to do.

Rooners Sun 17-Nov-13 08:45:00

I would feel the same as you. I would monitor it and see how the school behaves in other respects and if you feel they are not deserving of your trust, then perhaps consider another school.

I did this in similar circumstances and found the new school far better at looking after small children's needs.

Rooners Sun 17-Nov-13 08:46:07

Some schools do let children go all day without a drink. It may be more common than you would think sadly. 'Not enough staff' is no excuse.

Lonecatwithkitten Sun 17-Nov-13 08:47:14

I would divide it into pieces.
I am afraid having a child who gets terrible migraines with vomiting I am never surprised about how little importance some teachers attach to drinking - some are brilliant. This I would approach with a I was a bit concerned X came home with thumping headache maybe she needs to be reminded to drink more.
Outside in November with a coat - fine with me as is having a wee in the woods.

I wouldnt be happy about the lack of toilet facilities. DS would happily wee against a tree but dd has never done the toilet outdoors so would have been unhappy at no toilet.

vestandknickers Sun 17-Nov-13 08:49:05

I definitely don't think its a problem to be out all day. It's great in fact and something schools should do more of. I also wouldn't have a problem with any of my children going to the toilet behind a tree. If they sat down for a packed lunch surely they had a drink then? I'm afraid I agree with others who say you are over reacting.

WallyBantersJunkBox Sun 17-Nov-13 08:49:50

Are you sure your child didn't forget her water bottle and was perhaps too afraid to tell you?

It just seems strange that they would remember lunch, stools and sheeting, but forget water or water bottles.

If you knew she was going on this trip, and you had experienced this place before, and knew what to expect did you ensure she was dressed appropriately for the weather?

I don't understand the issue about the toilet either, sorry.

Pooka Sun 17-Nov-13 08:49:51

Sounds like forest school to me. The kids at our school do a half term stint of forest school once a week, with the year groups rotating. Dd loves it.

The should have been a risk assessment.

Have the school confirmed that there was a risk assessment?

The assistant wasn't a stranger grabbed off the site I assume, but a school employee? So would be CRB checked?

I'm surprised that they didn't have access to drinks. Did they not have a drink in or with their packed lunch?

The cold would not be an issue for me. If the kids were dressed appropriately then going inside to warm up wouldn't be necessary in my opinion.

Did your sister write a post about this on Thursday night? I thnk she did. I haven't looked for that thread, but she I think said in her post that there were buildings on site that had loos. She said that you often go to the woods as a family.

Would you feel better or worse if the school 'broke regulations'? confused

It just sounds like you don't like the whole idea of this particular trip and are looking for way to hold the school responsible.

Kids should be playing outside more. In all weathers.
Facilities - well, I'd rather wee in a the wood than in some poorly kept park toilets tbh.
Eating outside - great IMO.

I think you need to speak to your DD's teacher or head of year to find out what their general take on outings etc is. Maybe this school is not the school for you/your DD?

MadeOfStarDust Sun 17-Nov-13 08:51:22

Go complain to the school - if you don't NOTHING will change.....

my youngest went on a watersports activity day a couple of years ago with school.. they did not let them change into the (provided by the centre) wetsuits for the first activity - as it was "just sailing" -

they got soaked through and ended up in wet clothes - in a hailstorm in May.... which they stayed in for the other 4 hours!!! my DD and a boy in the same group ended up being treated in hospital for hypothermia...

We heard that something similar had happened the previous year - though luckily the weather had been better

I complained - to the school, the centre, the LEA and the local press - things changed.....

Chocotrekkie Sun 17-Nov-13 08:51:30

Why didn't they have a drink in their lunchbox ? Doesn't she have a warm coat and hat/scarf/gloves.

Mine age 5 would have loved a trip like this - but they would have gone with loads of layers and probably overheated

bakingaddict Sun 17-Nov-13 08:51:43

Whenever my DS goes on a school trip a letter is sent to say a packed lunch must be brought. The water bottle is part of the packed lunch as they are not allowed fruit drinks. How did she have no water bottle? Was it forgotten by you or the school?

Chopchopbusybusy Sun 17-Nov-13 08:53:01

Did she have a drink in her packed lunch?

FunkyBoldRibena Sun 17-Nov-13 08:53:31

Wasn't there a drink in her packed lunch?

The rest of it...She spent a day in the woods. Nothing bad happened and you were angling for something to complain about from the get go.

She needs to know that it is ok to pee in the words...it's only a major thing if you make it one.

FunkyBoldRibena Sun 17-Nov-13 08:54:00

Pee in the woods...not words...grrrrr

Rooners Sun 17-Nov-13 08:54:39

It sounds like they have water bottles at school but the school didn't bring them on the trip - can you clarify please OP?

Is this the school trip that you didn't want your dd to go on anyway? You were told ywbu for all the issues you've named above.

Isthatwhatdemonsdo Sun 17-Nov-13 08:55:02

A school would carry out a risk assessment first before any trip. Going to talk to the park ranger is a bit over the top. Take your concerns to the teacher.

MadeOfStarDust Sun 17-Nov-13 08:55:55

Some schools do not allow "drinks" in their packed lunch - they have their water bottle to last them the day - topped up if necessary... not a separate drink in their lunchbox.

Rooners Sun 17-Nov-13 08:56:31

Also I agree sometimes children give a different version of events that can sound very alarming but may not be completely accurate!

Shente Sun 17-Nov-13 08:56:51

Ask to see the risk assessment for the trip and check that things were done in accordance with it. What does ITT say about toileting etc. If the plan was always for whaat did happen to happen ask why it was represented to you differently. I would not be happy if I had been given answers regarding concerns which turned out to be wrong although I probably wouldn't have objected to what happened in general terms.

SmileAndPeopleSmileWithYou Sun 17-Nov-13 08:56:56

We wouldn't plan an all day trip outside for reception/y1 at this time of year. However I think they would be fine.
If you wrapped her up she would be warm enough.

You said they ate lunch, so did she not have a drink with that? Assuming she did she would have only gone without fluids for a couple of hours. Again fine.

TA's don't have to know each child completely before supervising a toilet trip. If they work at the school I'd assume they were fine.

The school would have broken the law if they didn't do a risk assessment, but I'm not sure why you think they didn't? They can still complete one if there are no facilities.

emma16 Sun 17-Nov-13 08:57:38

ChippingInLovesAutumn-Your reply is exactly what i was talking about & why i very rarely post on this website, a website which i thought was parents helping each other & being kind :-/
I know its not January but unfortunately for you, you don't know my daughter unlike myself. She gets cold very quickly, yes she was wrapped up warm believe me but even after 30 minutes when we go swimming her lips are blue & she's shivering. When we go for walks we're her parents & we know how to keep her active & warm, 3 classes are slightly different & I was worried about a lot of standing or ambling around.
No she didn't have a drink, she came in our kitchen & literally glugged a full pint glass of water down she was that desperate & yes i wee'd in the woods when i was little but it was with my parents that were there who i trusted & didn't expose my bare naked foo to someone i didn't know.

Thank you Twirlychair for your advice, i think i am going to speak to the teachers tomorrow. I didn't have a problem with her being there all day at all, when i believed they had proper facilities to use like a toilet & somewhere to go to sit & eat their pack lunch & get a bit of warmth in their bones for a while.
What i'm annoyed about is I feel i've been lied to. I don't like the thought of some stranger seeing my daughters bare naked bum in a public place, if this was what was going to happen then i should have been asked before hand. My daughter is very precious to us, nothing wrong with that & better than being a parent that isn't really bothered about what happens to their child when out of their care! Thanks for the honest but well worded response smile

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