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Withdrawn from off site visits

Discussion in 'Headteachers' started by Ladykaza, Oct 11, 2015.

  1. Ladykaza

    Ladykaza Senior commenter

    I'm not sure there is an answer to this one but I'd be interested to know if anyone else has had this issue.

    I have a parent who has been in and out of school with a range of complaints, concerns and worries for the last 3 years. We, along with range of other professionals, have supported and addressed where appropriate and confronted where necessary.

    At the end of the latest email , out of the blue, she has said she doesn't want the children to go on any off site trips.

    I have started with discussing the value and enjoyment etc but she seems convinced they will be killed or kidnapped. Ironic really when one of the children was involved in a life threatening accident at home when a toddler. I will add that all of her children have been happily and regularly going on trips all their school lives so far.

    Not only is this a real tragedy for the children but we quite often go on whole school trips which is a real headache.

    I know it's her right, and our duty to provide alternative provision, but I think it's a real shame.

    So... Anyone had this before? Any suggestions?
  2. Ladykaza

    Ladykaza Senior commenter

    Oh... And I would add that the family spend every waking moment horse riding, including jumping fences, which , in my experience, is a very accident prone activity.
  3. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    It may be the case that this parent would rather her child receive the mandatory education she feels is needed and for which she is taxed rather than have her child exposed to whatever additional measures and experiences it is that 'professionals' regard as essential.

    Without further information regarding the frequency and nature of these professional interventions it is not beyond the realms of possibility that this woman is in the right.
  4. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    Off-site visits in a Primary School, which LadyKaza leads, can be immensely enriching for pupils, especially those from an economically deprived background who may not otherwise get this opportunity.

    A child who regularly goes horse riding is unlikely to be in this category, however!

    But I would feel that there are also other advantages for a child or children to be involved in whole-class or whole-school activities, and am sorry that these children will be deprived of this experience. Especially as their relationship with their mother might be affected if they see her to blame for this.

    Why the italics? LadyKaza is a professional.

  5. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    Yes, they can, although a wider range of people ride and own horses than your comment might lead people to expect.

    Alternatively, it may be that the child does not wish to attend to these activities. There are any number of reasons for this parent's position.

    It's my habit to italicise quotation outside of markup. I know some people believe that italicisation automatically generates antonym but it's not so. If we are to be interrogate one another's orthography then I might wonder at those periods with which you open and close your post here but I doubt it has any particular significance.

    We are all professionals but too many people believe that the security of a title confers expertise or even omniscience and authorises them to judge students' parents, the premier and rightful guardians and guides of their students, as though they were annoying country cousins and obstacles to the success of their personal programme. You know as well as I that not everyone in the teaching profession thinks or behaves as the adjective professional implies Some professionals are just someone who schmoozed smartly and interviewed well, swanning through their career illegitimately confident in their oracular gifts & infallibility of decision, leaving a wake of broken teachers and punitively scrutinised children, parents & colleagues.
  6. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    Fair enough. It seemed discourteous to me, but I accept your explanation that it is not.


  7. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    We are professionals. The soul of grace, we are never discourteous.
  8. HelenREMfan

    HelenREMfan Star commenter

    Alas... there are all too many folk who keep horses when they don't have the necessary funds to ensure that the pony/horses(s) are well looked after - have seen that all too often. It certainly isn't all Prunellas and Pony Club Games. It could even be indicative of quite some deprivation at home if that mother was anything like some of the families I have known with horses. One child from such a family had the "extra curricular" activity of taking and driving away a milk float - that was probably its only away from home experience.
    I did wonder if the family were having any custody type issues that it might have meant the mother was twitchy at the child being away from the school premises - though I accept that is unlikely. Could we not just accept that it is just yet another example of really weird parental behaviour?
  9. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    Or the converse.
  10. Ladykaza

    Ladykaza Senior commenter

    Well, that's an interesting perspective Vince!

    In my 'professional' opinion the opportunities we provide our children with these visits are immensely valuable and enrich their learning greatly. Pictures, videos, class teaching , not even visitors can replace getting out there and experiencing things for real. This includes working with children from other schools and backgrounds.

    Many of our parents could not, or would not, be able to provide these for their children.

    Vince, I've not come across your contributions before so am unaware of your links with education. Are you a teacher, parent, politician? I ask because, as the tone of my OP suggests, I have never, in over 20 years, come across anyone connected with children who did not support these activities, in fact in the 3 years I have been a HT our parents have put these as the thing they most value, in our annual parent questionnaire.
  11. harsh-but-fair

    harsh-but-fair Star commenter

    I think the OP should be very grateful that there is one less thing that this rather strange person will be wasting her time over.
  12. Ladykaza

    Ladykaza Senior commenter

    Ah yes indeed h-b-f... Grateful for small mercies.
  13. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    I have the superior vantage.

    Then you agree with me per post #5. Well done.

    I have not seen yours either. It's wonderful how this new format is bringing us all together.

    You may safely unflabber your gast, kaza, because you haven't met one yet: Again, see post #5. I assure you, however, that such people exist and they are entitled to disagree with us. Often these people are us, as is sometimes recorded on these fora. Sometimes they are even in the right.

    You are entitled to express your dissatisfaction at the prospect of providing alternative provision for a single child for a single day in a single term but it all begins to look like petulance when, contrary to the dignity the position head should imply, you describe a parent's rightful discretion over matters regarding her own child as 'this issue' and make out that she is some kind of misanthrope. We are the servants of the public, kaza, equal to them in rights and regard and not their betters by dint of our profession.
  14. DaisysLot

    DaisysLot Senior commenter

    I have come across such parental objection for specific reasons or trip content - but never for all. And, at the time, I did used to think it was quite often a pain in the posterior, not least when some follow up curriculum class work relied on the trip.

    However, the parent in me feels that the rights of the parental decision should be respected rather than battled with on this. Whatever their reasons, and it's not always our place to know, it is their decision.
    Vince_Ulam and CWadd like this.
  15. CWadd

    CWadd Star commenter

    Some professionals are just someone who schmoozed smartly and interviewed well, swanning through their career illegitimately confident in their oracular gifts & infallibility of decision, leaving a wake of broken teachers and punitively scrutinised children, parents & colleagues.

    Some. Not all.

    And this is relevant to the OP because...?
  16. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    Yes, CWadd, that's what I said. Well done.
  17. CWadd

    CWadd Star commenter

    Why, thank you.
  18. Ladykaza

    Ladykaza Senior commenter

    Well, I presume at this point that I too am entitled to my opinion: I also take Vince's posts to be discourteous. I will therefore cease to follow this thread and allow it to slip down the page.
    solvacrime and HelenREMfan like this.
  19. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    You are welcome.
  20. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    I've been the very tincture of courtesy, kaza, and you know it. You are just disappointed that somebody has stood up for the rights of this parent in the face of superciliousness masquerading as professionalism. For my part I am satisfied with the evidence that others here agree with me regarding the authority and autonomy of parents to make decisions about what is right for their children contrary to what you and your league of invasive professionals might feel is best.

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