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Do you have to help run a school trip?

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by ictLad, Sep 11, 2018.

  1. ictLad

    ictLad New commenter

    Quick, theoretical query which is based off of conversation a friend and I had about school trips.

    If the school is running a trip, which has an early start and late finish (before and after normal school hours), and has asked you to be on the trip, do you have to go? This is based off a trip his school ran which meant a 1am start, 9pm finish and normal school the following day (he didn't have to go, we were just mulling his options if he was asked to attend).

    I would imagine they can't force you to go, though of course it may be 'noted' by the powers that be.
  2. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter


    It's not part of your directed hours. Unless you signed up for it and have a directed-time budget that includes it as part of your Geography field-trip or PE teacher's hockey match commitments or so forth.
    bonxie, JohnJCazorla and agathamorse like this.
  3. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    Even if it were within directed hours, I think the 1am start would be illegal (unless it were on a Monday or you finished by 2pm the previous day) as you are entitled to an 11 hour break between working days.
  4. dunnocks

    dunnocks Star commenter

    is this really the law? I know so many people who don't have 11 hours between working days, not just teachers, many others too

    wouldn't that make every single parents evening illegal, to start with?
  5. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    https://www.gov.uk/rest-breaks-work - see the section headed 'Daily Rest'.. If (for example) you had to be at work by 8.30am (as I did), then a parents' evening the previous day would have to finish by 9.30pm. Ours were done well before then, so there was not a problem.
  6. dunnocks

    dunnocks Star commenter

    interesting ( and useful!), thank you
    agathamorse and Marisha like this.
  7. elder_cat

    elder_cat Lead commenter

    I can't imagine what sort of school trip would require the pupils to be there at 1 o'clock in the morning :eek:
  8. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    There are occupations that are exempt, including those that don't have set hours. Attendance at occasional parents evening wouldn't be "set hours" (IMO) so the 11 hour rest break wouldn't apply.

    My thought about all the rules about working hours is that if what all teachers are required to do regularly actually breached working time law then by now the unions would have picked up on it. The working time laws are very well known amongst HR people and unions and have been around for many years. That unions have never challenged it is a strong pointer that the law is not being breached by schools.

    Or possibly that all the unions are so incompetent that they haven't noticed, but on balance it's more likely the law isn't being breached.
  9. install

    install Star commenter

    Don't do it :rolleyes:
    grumpydogwoman likes this.
  10. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    One with an early ferry to catch?
    ilovesooty and koopatroopa like this.
  11. dunnocks

    dunnocks Star commenter

    I think 1am starts are quite common actually day trips to the continent in particular
    agathamorse and koopatroopa like this.
  12. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    My assumption, which may be wrong, is that it is OK if people do it voluntarily. I might have considered that, but would have objected if I had been told to go. (Awkward type, I know!)
  13. koopatroopa

    koopatroopa Senior commenter

    I can. You load pupils on a bus, they "sleep" through the 7 hour drive and have a day at the destination, travelling back late afternoon. Most such trips tend to be planned for a Friday so that nobody is getting up for school the next day.

    No, OP, you can't be made to do a trip like that.
  14. meggyd

    meggyd Star commenter

    Yes the Mfl trips to the Christmas markets.
  15. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    It's not "The Powers That Be" that can get you into trouble formally for refusing, as much as the Trip Organiser who can begrudge you for not playing ball. I've been on trips where I've felt compelled by "doing it for the team" and equally I've declined the opportunity where it has been made explicit that "you don't have to".
    If it's a 1am start, late return and then normal day, I'd not feel inclined to go. It's something you'd like to do if eg you organised the trip yourself (obviously) or if you liked the kids especially, or if you liked the destination or if you had an unusually light timetable the next day then go for it.
    Just to keep things sweet, if this were me and I decided not to go, I'd add an invented reason-"I'd really love to go but x/y/z in my family may be calling me that evening to go and help with them being unwell. I promised I'd be on call". You could always say "nah, get stuffed, want my sleep". But you know the sort of ongoing jealousy that breeds...
  16. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    True. I recall being pressurised to do something I would have been happy to do voluntarily - it really annoyed me. As for an excuse, I would be inclined to just say that it doesn't suit me - be polite and honest. I don't need an excuse.

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