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HiViz Jackets! Burn them!

Discussion in 'Education news' started by verdgris, Aug 6, 2017.

  1. verdgris

    verdgris New commenter

    I always hated them. They were just another thing to remember and lose. Did they ever keep any children safe? I doubt it. If your adults couldn't keep tabs on less than six children without them being looking like Belisha beacons, then perhaps they were going to lose the children anyway. We live in a risk averse culture. I once worked with a Year 1 class that weren't allowed to visit the park as part of a school trip because it was deemed too dangerous by the head, although many of them walked through it to get to school in the first place.

    Safety Culture was rarely about the safety of children, but rather about the cowardice of SLTs and the willingness of some local authorities to reach out-of-court settlements with vexatious claims by some parents.
    Pomz likes this.
  2. pickles124

    pickles124 Established commenter

    Surely the whole point of children wearing hi-vis jackets is so they are highly visible especially in very large scale environments (ie: a beach).

    On the very last day of term, 5 year groups went for a day to the seaside. You are talking over 60 odd children in one area, not all accompanied by their parents.

    Now imagine 60 odd kids not wearing the high visibility jackets. God forbid if a child got lost they would end up merging in a sea of other children. It would probably take hours and a massive search operation to locate any child who drifted from us. And a right load of uproar.

    So yes I think hi visibility jackets do serve their purpose in that kind of context.

    The only thing i did find odd is that staff members didn't have their own hi vis jackets. I'm a place such as the seaside I did find this slightly odd as it was a very crowded environment with lots of families all over tge beach and promenade areas.
    galerider123 and Moony like this.
  3. Moony

    Moony Lead commenter

    Sixth formers on field work may at times wear hiviz jackets. Not because of risk aversion but because they may be in an area with additional risk and as well as making them more visible should something go wrong it helps them to get their head round the fact it's not just a jolly.
  4. pickles124

    pickles124 Established commenter

    And if you do go on a trip where there may be other children, it makes even more sense to identify your children as much as possible.
  5. pickles124

    pickles124 Established commenter

    And that seaside day out had to run like clockwork. The risk assessment was quite lengthy but we all had a duty of care to know of the risks and what to do if a problem occurred.

    If i was a parent i would be very very concerned if the children were not wearing their high visibility jackets. I have to commend everyone for making the day run smoothly as it was a very early start and by the time i crawled into bed I was absolutely shattered.
  6. Pomza

    Pomza Star commenter

    I've done a few trips to London museums (there's always several schools there at any given time) and the last time ALL the kids from ALL the schools were wearing yellow high viz jackets! Was a complete nightmare, lost count of the times staff were calling after each others' kids to stop wandering off...
  7. modgepodge

    modgepodge Established commenter

    If only schools had something else the children could wear, something unique to their school, perhaps with a sweatshirt in a bright colour. That would be so much easier than everyone putting on a bright yellow jacket that all the other schools have too!
    nomad, Benbamboo and brighton56 like this.
  8. Sundaytrekker

    Sundaytrekker Star commenter

    Agreed. We always wore school sweatshirts for the very purpose of being able to identify our own school children quickly. Hi vis jackets were best used when walking near roads so vehicles can see you easily. Yes, adults had them too. You don't need hi vis inside a museum.
  9. BillyBobJoe

    BillyBobJoe Lead commenter

    We have them for going out cycling on the road but that's about it.
  10. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    Blazer major (now 35) when he was in year 5 or 6 once went on a visit to a big event on the South coast. many schools were present. Each school was assigned a colour and each child was given a woolly hat in that colour so that in the crowd of kids the teachers could spot their own kids.
    galerider123 and Moony like this.
  11. pickles124

    pickles124 Established commenter

    Don't really get this as the name of the school should be printed clearly at the back for all to see?
  12. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    There's a time and a place.
    The high viz jackets are not really to enable drivers to see the kids.
    I would say that they are there so staff can easily see their charges, but also to give a message to the children along the lines of "I am going out with the school, so I have to follow school rules and can't dawdle or run off".

    I was mildly entertained by a pre-school group crossing at a pelican crossing recently. They lined up, pressed the button, then there was so much faff getting staff into the middle of the road that the kids didn't start crossing until the green man had gone away again.
  13. PeterQuint

    PeterQuint Lead commenter

    I think discussing hiviz jackets is missing the bigger, more important point.

    Ofsted have been MASSIVE on safeguarding for a couple of years now, and some of the changes I've seen and heard of are far bigger than this. Registrations, school gates closed, fences, new procedures. And often an (expensive) member of SLT put in charge of safeguarding as a major part of their role. Hours of SLT and staff time, time which could have been used educating.

    And now? Ofsted have said it's not important. Here we go, another myth busting exercise. And yet in 12 months we'll still hear of Ofsted failing schools on poor safeguarding by the back door (whilst not mentioning it in the report). Still have SLTs imposing policies which should be needless. Still have Ofsted shrugging their shoulders and saying it's not their fault - they've mythbusted.

    Still have league tables and less and less credible targets, and teachers more overworked with not enough time.

    And what next? Schools failed for not differentiating, followed by a myth busting exercise from Ofsted saying they don't require differentiation.

    And on and on and on.
  14. galerider123

    galerider123 Lead commenter

    HI viz jackets are extremely effective....depending on the excursion. They mainly enable the staff to see the children, particularly in throngs of the public in environments where the children can wander about. But they are only effective if all the other things that you need eg higher staff ratios than in the safe school environment, are in place/actioned. Crossing the road is a prime example. With a whole class or more it is rare that everyone gets across in the green man time. You either need sufficient staff to wait either side of the road or staff to hold back the traffic briefly (this does depend on how wide/dangerous the road is in the first place.) In museums it is more effective to have children allocated to a member of staff, but where you want children to explore sometimes it is possible to have one member of staff at the entrance to a room, one at the other end, with the rest of the staff supporting the children's learning. If high viz jackets are not effective, eg the museum trip described above, then something else needs to be in place. It is all about common sense at the end of the day, and sometimes things happen that are beyond anyone's control. It is about minimizing stupid risks, not about never taking any. Enabling, not restricting.
  15. verdgris

    verdgris New commenter

    Perhaps some visits may warrant them, but to visit a church or a museum? If the children are wearing uniform anyway you should be able to see them. As most schools have yellow or orange vests, they can suddenly disappear amongst children from other schools. I still think they are a waste of money.

    Really, how many children go missing on school trips??
  16. verdgris

    verdgris New commenter

    Ofsted did encourage this, but like many aspects of Ofsted requirements, SLTs and consultants to SLTs exaggerate risks and requirements to make it appear that they are being effective. Rather, they need to be effective in the right areas.
  17. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    I'm happy to discuss the pros and cons of pupils in hi-viz clothing and the current ridiculous safety culture in schools, but do not see a necessary link with a broad-brush slagging off those in school management.
    Sundaytrekker and brighton56 like this.
  18. Mrsmumbles

    Mrsmumbles Star commenter

    If we didn't have these delightful little luminous numbers, there would be no hilarious stories for scam shows like 'The Real Hustle'...seems a hi vis jacket is essential burglary kit. It also gives corporate brown nosing nerds in the school SLT a sense of importance. Probably saves a few people from suicide each year as a result! I remember one particularly unctuous little nerd whose sole job was to data crunch and....: tick off the numbers of kids per form when we assembled in the school field for fire drill. He and his neektastic sidekick would appear, suddenly from a dark corner, resplendent in orange and yellow, like Superneekmen! Oh, and they carried megaphones too. How we all laughed. Cheered up the irritation of 'yet another pointless lesson destroying time waster in the same month' no end. Happy days....
  19. Mrsmumbles

    Mrsmumbles Star commenter

    They are all exaggerations. Full stop. I have no respect for their pointless and nitpickety nonesense. All you need is a bit of organisation. It's a bit vulgar, really, parading around in luminous vests and thinking that people look up to you.
  20. Pomza

    Pomza Star commenter

    wanet and brighton56 like this.

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