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Unattended child

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by ahaywar2, Mar 21, 2012.

  1. Hello,

    Just wondering if anybody can help. A child in my class was left in the playground this morning unattended about 5-10 mins before school starts; her Mum left her to go to work. I spoke to the headteacher and she asked me to tell the parent she cannot do this. Is there all that can be done about this? I feel it should go further and would like to contact social services. What would you do?? Advice appreciated.
     
  2. Hello,

    Just wondering if anybody can help. A child in my class was left in the playground this morning unattended about 5-10 mins before school starts; her Mum left her to go to work. I spoke to the headteacher and she asked me to tell the parent she cannot do this. Is there all that can be done about this? I feel it should go further and would like to contact social services. What would you do?? Advice appreciated.
     
  3. chocolateworshipper

    chocolateworshipper Occasional commenter

    Appropriate response would depend on the age of the child, and also whether you can be 100 per cent sure that Mum had not asked another adult to supervise the child. Unless there have been any other incidents, I wouldn't go straight to social services. And I certainly wouldn't do it after the HT has said that the appropriate thing to do is to speak to Mum.
     
  4. Is there no staff member on duty at this time? If check your school's documentation before anything else - does itbsay chn must be supervised before school? I know ours says an adult will be on duty from 8.50, hence my asking.
     
  5. She is 5 years old. Other parents had also told me Mum had left her and not left her in the care of anyone else. HT is also in charge of safeguarding so I guess she knows the correct protocol. I'm just very concerned about the child in this situation.
     
  6. I wouldn't go to social services. Not yet at least. I would certainly have a chat with mum and to just see if it is a once off thing, I know that sometimes parents (especially with younger years) don't always know school protocol. I have had a couple of chats with parents about this and most of the time it turned out it was an honest mistake and it never occured again!
     
  7. Children are allowed into class from 8.40, school officially starts at 8.50. She was left in the playground from about 8.30 - gates were wide open, no staff supervising them so she could of wandered out of the gate and gone anywhere :-( Will check safeguarding policy.
     
  8. Hopefully it was a one off. There have been other incidents that have also concerned me but will speak to parent first and see if she realises. Personally I think it's common sense not to leave a 5 year old alone, but will see what she says in the morning.
     
  9. Some parents do not have common sense and need everything spelled out for them!!!!
     
  10. Haha, I think she knows its not right as she has an older child in the school. She's just trying to see what she can get away with, it's just scary what could of happened.
     
  11. becky70

    becky70 Occasional commenter

    Anyone has the right to contact social services if concerned about a child but I would always leave this decision in the hands of the person/people in charge of safeguarding in your school - I'm assuming it's the HT as you told them about it.
    If there have been other incidents that have caused concern you do need to make the HT aware of these.
    I trust the people in charge of safeguarding at my school to do the right thing so I would always tell them anything that happened and pass the information on to them.
     
  12. Just before we all hang, draw and quarter the mother, I would suggest that she probably had to get to work and has a *** boss and no support network of family or friends to help with the childcare. Perhaps one of the other parents could have offered to look after the child instead of snitching on the poor woman. No she shouldn't have left the child but sometimes desperation leads to poor decisions. Follow your head teacher's advice. Be kind. If there is a problem, perhaps you could introduce her to a kind parent who could help her out. Perhaps your school could start a breakfast club.
     
  13. Sound advice here - this parent needs help and support - talk to her and explain your concerns and help her explore her options. Social Care have much bigger fish to fry than this - they are only likely to ask you what you have done already to address the situation. Follow your head's advice, treat the mother with respect, and make a note of this and any future concerns (facts, times, dates etc). If you cannot find a solution by talking to her supportively, then it is your head who needs to take it up with her after that.
     
  14. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    Hopefully it would be enough to ask the mother if she could ask another parent to keep an eye on the child until they go in. Maybe she doesn't know the other mums very well? Maybe you could suggest someone who is usually there in good time.
    I know with my daughter's class, it would never be a problem for other mums to keep an eye out if one had to get away - and in fact as the school is huge, childminders and those with several children can't supervise them all if they are waiting in the right areas.
     
  15. I spoke to Mum this morning, she works and is a single parent so I know she finds it hard going. I did suggest she leaves children with another parent if she has to go to work early. She said she'd left the older sibling in charge (aged 8). I explained that he wasn't a responsible adult. Hopefully the situation won't arise again. Thanks for all of your suggestions.
     

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