Would you expect a schools teachers to have a lost child protocol?

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  • Would you expect a schools teachers to have a lost child protocol?
  • qwerty
    Member

    My sons year 7 & off to France for 3 nights with the school, we had a meeting last night to run through the trip. Two parents asked about what happens if a child goes missing, and the reply was 1) its never happened & 2) they can’t get lost as they’ll always be in groups of 3 or in sight.

    These answers didn’t satisfy me, so after the meeting i had a conversation with the teacher, i pointed out that in this day & age, surely they had a protocol to follow in the event of loosing a child, she repeated the above and couldn’t see it as an issue. I suggested, maybe, a protocol along the lines of: recalling all pupils, staff to perform area search, within a given time frame to alert the police etc – i think she thought i was over reacting. She said she’d get the “museum” staff to look & phone the head teacher (in the UK).

    Now, i may be a bit worst case scenario / paranoid / only child parent about this, but was looking for any feedback, knowledge of any schools out there who may actually have a policy regarding this, or any parents / teachers who have been through the same.

    Bottom line is, it won’t stop my son going on the trip, but a little bit of pre planning for if the poop hits the fan can never be a bad thing, no?

    Ta

    drnosh
    Member

    What is their ‘risk assessment’ for the trip?

    Does that include ‘missing’ children?

    IHN
    Member

    It does sound like a pretty basic thing to have. If we did anything similar with the Scout group I’m involved in, I’d have something like that planned in advance.

    Reminds me of the time on a camping trip soon after joining secondary school. Out for some late-night walk, pitch black and about a dozen of us with a few teachers.

    There was the sound of some bloody wolves or something nearby and a few kids were a bit freaked out by this. Then one of the teachers asked where Robert was. Robert had indeed disappeared. Teachers started freaking out, kids were properly freaking out and we all were ushered back to camp – many crying, asking if Robert had been found yet and screaming at any small sounds as crappy torches guided our way.

    When the heavily-soiled children eventually made it back, there was Robert. With one of the teachers. Who was laughing, as then did all the other teachers that were with us.

    **** arseholes.

    iamanobody
    Member

    “in the event of loosing a child”

    how exactly does one do that?

    Premier Icon rOcKeTdOg
    Subscriber

    My OH regularly organises overseas trips for special needs kids the risk assesment covers this scenario at great length even though most trips are organised with 2 kids per adult at all times in theme parks/museums etc

    Not sure what official protocol should be as monkey jnr not yet old enough to be going away with his class.

    What I can comment on is that one of my classmates when missing in Amsterdam’s Red Light District when we were about 13yrs.  Panic among the teachers as one can imagine.  He rocked up a few hours later having been taken in by a middle-aged couple and telling them the hotel name.  He was a v bright lad too, not the sort to go AWOL in that part of town.

    Premier Icon martinhutch
    Subscriber

    I would expect a school to have some kind of written school trips policy as part of their broader safeguarding/H&S stuff.

    Have you spoken to the headteacher about it?

    Premier Icon wwaswas
    Subscriber

    All out of school trips now have to also be passed by the LADO (Local Authority Designated Officer) in our area – this includes sendign them all risk assessments etc.

    If you’re not happy with the school’s response maybe contact the local authority and ask for advice?

    Premier Icon MSP
    Subscriber

    You can hardly expect them to come clean with their cover up plans in a meeting with parents.

    qwerty
    Member

    I guess / hope the risk assessment should cover it, but I guess what this may boil down to is that out of the 4 adults going on the trip, the 2 I spoke to couldn’t refer to it & couldn’t envisage it even occurring or being a potential.

    Premier Icon convert
    Subscriber

    Our trip RAs have a lost child protocol check list built in.

    In reality though each scenario will be very different and context is everything. Would anyone bother looking at that bit of paper – not so sure. Main thing I would want to know as a parent is if the trip is sufficiently staffed, if you trust the common sense and capability of the members of staff going and do they have sufficient backup with on call SMT back at school 24hrs a day in case the worst happens. This last is the crucial bit. I have been involved in a trip in Belgium when a coach rolled (not mine) and another when it all got very agro getting a group across the boarder between South Africa and Swaziland – the support from back in the UK was crucial to getting us sorted in both events. Even when a trip happens in the holiday time we have an on call member of SMT in the vicinity of the school with a phone on them at all times who can’t drink just in case.

    To a certain extent they are right though – first thing to get right is putting in place a SOP where getting lost is a near impossibility.

    Premier Icon jimdubleyou
    Subscriber

    “in the event of loosing a child”

    how exactly does one do that?

    You need one of those big trebuchet things.

    Premier Icon Harry_the_Spider
    Subscriber

    Speaking as a Cub Leader, we have one. Our adult to kid ratios are such that we should never need it. But we still have one.

    whitestone
    Member

    Our primary school did:

    “Hello, mrs W. Your son has run away. Yes, I know it’s his first day and you have only just dropped him off. We’d appreciate it if you came back and talked him down from the tree”

    Mum came back and had a word with me 🙂

    Premier Icon P-Jay
    Member

    I’d be amazed if My Lad’s school has one.

    **** Muppets the lot of them.

    Monday this week, Jnr Whatsapps me all excited from school

    “Dad, there’s a Welsh field trip, can I go?!!!?!?!??!”

    “yeah, sure, where are you going?”

    “Euro Disney”

    “A Welsh Language Field trip to Euro Disney?”

    “Yeah”

    “okay… what do you need”

    “Erm, 3 sets of clothes, lunch money…”

    “When are you going!?”

    “March”

    “Okay, no silly, what do we need to give the school for you to go”

    “It’s £380, but you only need to pay a £100 deposit”

    “When”

    “Tomorrow”

    At this point, I’m assuming he’s all excited at the idea of going to France to learn, no doubt invaluable, skills in speaking Welsh and is getting a bit muddled about the details, so he brings a letter home.

    “Dear Parent / Guardian,

    The Welsh Department has arranged an educational school trip to Euro Disney in March 2019. (I know it’s hard to write irony, but there wasn’t a hint of it). 

    The full cost is £380 and includes Bed and Breakfast at a 3* hotel TBC (so they’re not sure where they’re staying yet), 2 Days Park Tickets, Coach, Ferry or Tunnel crossing (so they haven’t actually worked out how they’re getting there yet). 

    If your child is interested in taking part, please complete the attached form and return a deposit of £100 at your convenience, balances must be paid by 1st Feb 2019.

    Merci beaucoup,

    Madame Laurent, Head of ‘Welsh’ Department.

    Now, we’ve got a fairly strict financial regime at home. Spending plans are set out at the start of the pay-month (which is the 20<sup>th</sup> for us) not the end, savings are in ISAs, not cash under the mattress and whilst we’re lucky enough to have plenty of ‘spare cash’ for stuff like this, this month we don’t – we’ve just paid the balance on our summer holiday, a massive child minder bill for the other one and a pile of other holiday related stuff that all seemed to come at once.

    But it’s okay, we’ll send back the form now, and pay the deposit at ‘our convince’ next week.

    Another excited Whatsapp from Jnr yesterday.

    “Dad, Madame Laurent, the supposed Welsh Teacher says if I don’t pay the deposit today I can’t go”

    “Are you sure, you said that on Monday when you were all excited, but that’s not what the letter says”

    “yes, she’s mental – by the way is ‘fromage’ Welsh for Bread Roll?”

    “I don’t know, maybe – I thought it was Poptyping?”.

    So, Mrs Jay decides to cut through the merde and call them…

    No, it seems they are really going on a Welsh Language trip to France, and they’ve been surprised, when they opened up 60 spaces on a school trip to Euro Disney to 940 mostly ‘middle class’ kids that demand outstripped supply, so, probably to avoid the messy business of dealing with poor people, they want the deposit now, and by now, they mean NOW. So Mrs Jay has to drive to school and pay them the “non refundable” deposit. Sorted.

    Only now, it seems it’s not – they accepted 100+ deposits for 60 spaces so the head of year is now going to sort through them all and on the basis of behaviour and attendance decide who’s going and who’s not.

    Jnr’s pretty much screwed I think, the school has an average of 99.x% attendance, and he missed a week with Flu back in Jan, plus he ‘clapped back’ at the wrong time during, ironically Welsh and got 15 behaviour points or something, but he’s already planning on who he’s going to share a room with etc – still, if I have to knock the kid, it’s he doesn’t really understand the concept of “no” and this might be good for him.

    He did say yesterday, “I’d be really annoyed if I can’t go – they’ll keep the deposit” and Mrs Jay and I laughed, “no silly, if you don’t get a space, they’ll give it back” but given the above and general stark raving mad other things they did, who knows… they’re supposedly on the verge of bankruptcy.

    Lost Kid protocol? I’ll be relying on Jnr to sort himself out, he’s pretty capable and a fancy his chances more than theirs.

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    The full cost is £380 and includes Bed and Breakfast at a 3* hotel TBC (so they’re not sure where they’re staying yet), 2 Days Park Tickets, Coach, Ferry or Tunnel crossing (so they haven’t actually worked out how they’re getting there yet). 

    As much as that reads as bad planning it just means that local coach tours has a EuroDisney trip that is £380 and will confirm which fleapit you will be staying at from a selection of 7 when you get on the bus and it will be ferry or tunnel depending on which is cheaper/who gets there first just your standard cheap package deal

    Premier Icon DezB
    Subscriber

    P-Jay’s post reads like something from “Outnumbered”. Funny stuff 😀

    hols2
    Member

    Would you expect a schools teachers to have a lost child protocol?

    How about a lost apostrophe protocol?

    “in the event of loosing a child”

    how exactly does one do that?

    Premier Icon eddiebaby
    Subscriber

    I know two people who have been involved with fatalities on school trips. One was a teacher, the other was the person supplying the “experience” to the kids. Both have been really scarred by the events that happened and since the episodes i know of no school that doesn’t take this stuff seriously.

    I cant understand how they have no plans written down.

    philjunior
    Member

    I think it illustrates a lack of willingness to consider the worst case or anything near it, something that is common across many industries (except in the year or two following a major accident in that particular industry where everyone realises it could happen to them.).

    People then concentrate on the small stuff, feeling proud to be doing it cos elf and safety mate, but miss the big picture as it’s harder to address the really massively bad stuff.

    5plusn8
    Member

    in the event of loosing a child”

    how exactly does one do that?

    You need one of those big trebuchet things.

    This was much the best reply compared to the others I was concerned might arrive. Well done.

    Premier Icon convert
    Subscriber

    I cant understand how they have no plans written down.

    I’m not sure you can assume that. It’s July, the teacher’s head will be mush from all the reports they have been writing every evening. If it’s like most of these meetings I’ve been involved in they will have been winging it and probably only prepped the answers to the salient questions about the logistics of the trip. They won’t have been swatting up on the disaster management protocols. The teacher gave the wrong answer – mainly we a pretty shite at admitting we don’t know stuff. The correct answer would be ‘yes, the school has a whole bunch of risk assessments and protocols to cover all manner of ‘disasters’. To be honest I don’t know them off the top of my head but rest assured we’ll be taking copies to refer to should the need arise and also we are not blithering idiots, we manage to hold on to your kids day in day out when they are at school and won’t have forgotten everything we have learn the moment we leave the UK’. As I said in an above reply I know we have one but I could only guess at the contents.

    Premier Icon Onzadog
    Subscriber

    I’m not a parent and I don’t look after kids so if anyone wants to shoot down what I’m about to say, I’ve chambered the first round for you.

    Too many procedures is its own risk. People can then be constrained by what’s written down and afraid to think for themselves because there will be trouble if they go “off script”.

    Are the people in charge, trustworthy, well informed and likely to be level headed in an emergency? That’s what I’d rather have to hand.

    What have people told their own children to do should they become lost?

    How about a lost apostrophe protocol?

    PMSL

    Loosing children…how exactly does one do that?

    Cry havoc..

    jekkyl
    Member

    great story pJay, you must tell us that again some time 😀

    Ah no. Apparently dogs are let slip, not loose. Oh well.

    In the event of being separated from the group instruct the children to befriend wolves. Historically that’s always worked out well.

    Premier Icon IdleJon
    Subscriber

    My 14 year old’s class went to Amsterdam last year, with two teachers. One of the teachers became unwell on the first evening and was rushed to hospital. One teacher with 20 14 year olds in Holland – what could possibly go wrong! Nothing as it turned out. (I did comment to the school that two teachers seems one too few.)

    Premier Icon epicyclo
    Subscriber

    I would also be concerned about the vehicle they were due to travel on. School trips tend to be cheese paring lowest price affairs.

    My second son was in a bus that went over a cliff when its brakes failed because of inadequate servicing. Eight of his friends died around him.

    I would not let his younger siblings go on school trips unless the school asked for proof of servicing of the buses. In some cases I chased it up myself – the bus companies were happy enough to cooperate when I explained why.

    Ro5ey
    Member

    Reminds me of when I got lost on the first day of the school cycle tour of Holland.

    Age 13/14?, I was in the 2nd year and I was cycling a little out front of my group, I got to a couple of 4th years standing on the cycle path, at a junction, and ask them which way…. they pointed left …. it should have been right, not that i knew that at the time….

    I got to a decent sized town for lunch thinking it was the right one but there was no sign of anyone from the school…. i knew from the previous year that we always met in the town squares for lunch…. Hung about for a bit and knew I wasn’t the last on the road but no one turned up after me, so i want to the local police station. Told them my story and luckily found  a scrap of paper, hand to me on the ferry that morning, of where we were headed for the hostel on the first night. I thought sweet they’ll take me to the hostel and I’ll get a ride in a police car…. No chance !!…. They gave me a list of smaller town names to get me to my final destination, in a dot to dot fashion and set me on my way  !!

    Off I went on my Falcon racer with panniers, bought by my uncle for Xmas the previous year. Had to ask people on the street or in little local shops for directions, not sure what they thought of the little English boy all alone on his bike. But still <span style=”font-size: 0.8rem;”>took loads of wrong turns and had to double back once or twice. There were probably tears and I remember being properely tired by the time I got to the hostel. It was a little after diner (thankfully not in the dark) but I had made it and I </span><span style=”font-size: 12.8px;”>wasn’t</span><span style=”font-size: 0.8rem;”> the last !! …… Those 4th years had done it to half a dozen of us !!</span>

    Really rather proud of myself thinking back on that day …. I did well.

    IHN
    Member

    My second son was in a bus that went over a cliff when its brakes failed because of inadequate servicing. Eight of his friends died around him.

    Seriously? Holy crap.

    Premier Icon wwaswas
    Subscriber

    I used to do Woodcraft Folk.

    On a camp the adults decided that taking us out in small groups, blindfolded, and dropping us in various places in a 4 or 5 mile radius from where we were staying with nothing but one torch and one map per group and instructions to ‘find your way back to camp’ was a good idea.

    My group ended up in a local town and there was a Police station so we went to ask for directions.

    We were given a lift back to camp and the Police officers spent some time ‘advising’ the adults of the error of their ways whilst small groups of frightened 10 and 12 year olds appeared out of the dark over the course of the next 4 hours.

    We were mostly ‘well we use dout initiative’ the adults were less charitable towards us.

    I can’t imagine what woudl happen now if the adults deliberately scattered kids across a large amount of countryside at 9 at night but in the 70’s there didn’t seem to be any particular issues as far as the group leaders were concerned.

    Mind you transport when we went on group outings was the leaders VW Type 2 panel van with the tools taken out and some cushions thrown on the floor. 15 kids in the back and one of us was always ill as exhaust fumes used to leak into the heater channels and out into the back of the van. Happy days!

    chewkw
    Member

    My sons year 7 & off to France for 3 nights with the school, we had a meeting last night to run through the trip. Two parents asked about what happens if a child goes missing, and the reply was 1) its never happened & 2) they can’t get lost as they’ll always be in groups of 3 or in sight.

    Not good answers from the teachers as the kids are 7 year old.

    I am surprised they don’t have any backup plan for emergency especially for 3 nights away.

    It is a huge responsibility especially looking after others’ children.

    Premier Icon convert
    Subscriber

    Not good answers from the teachers as the kids are 7 year old.

    Nope, they are not. Year 7. Different.

    chewkw
    Member

    Nope, they are not. Year 7. Different.

    Ahh … my bad … read it wrongly.  Year 7 & Not 7 Year old.

    Even so I think there should be protocol of some sort in place as they are visiting another country and may not be fluent in their language etc.

    Still a huge responsibility for the teachers.

    Premier Icon jag61
    Member

    No idea now but when i was taking school trips out to N yorks bunkhouse and o.bound   we had lots of staff along for up to 50 + y 7s never noticed a lost child policy in that time 2000-2012. cant imagine not having one now, but if Ras state a head count at regular intervals serves much the same purpose? I would expect one for my (grand) kids now.

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