View Full Version : Did I or the school fail in our duty of care today?

07-09-2011, 07:00 PM
I've just started a school drop off for a 5 year old this week (he has just gone into year 1) Today, at pick up, a mum I know came and asked me what had happened that morning to the boy I drop off. I had no idea what she was talking about. It transpired she had been a bit late that morning and had found the boy crying outside the by now locked entrance to the classroom/ cloakroom. She had taken him (and her own child) in via another entrance and passed him to the teacher.

Now, I had arrived with him earlier just as the class were led away by the teacher around a corner to the classroom. I held him back briefly to put his glasses on and then sent him after them. As soon as the children are around the corner you can not see them, and parents/carers are asked to not go round. It is a bit of a distance from there to the classroom tho. I dont know how but it seems that he was slow enough to be left outside when the others went in, and the door shut and has a lock with a number pad on it (for the staff.) It is a long way to another door. And no one noticed him bawling outside the classroom window. Apart from one of his friends who says he put his hand up to tell the teacher the boy was stuck outside and was told (twice) to put his hand down.

I feel bad because I held him back to put his glasses on...parents are not happy of course, tho not sure if its cross with me or the school. I should have just gone round with him it seems, despite it not being the done thing. But I had no idea they locked 5 year olds out if they dithered...and from my calculations he was shut out and unattended for a good 5 minutes.

Opinions would be great!

07-09-2011, 07:27 PM
In our school children of this age have to be escorted into the actual cloakroom and classrooms, and only at this point are you handing them over to the teacher.

In our older school when i drop off I make sure that the child has actually gone in the door and are starting to sort themselves out before i leave.

I think if the teacher takes the group then it is her responsibility to check that the end of the line are actually in the school, if this is how they work, but i must admit until i knew the child and how they behaved I would have at least gone to where i could see the door to check the child had gone in. Only when i was fully sure of the child would I have let him be on the end of the line and trusted to go in with the teacher.

It is hard to say when I dont know the set up, I think it is slightly slack of the teacher to not pay proper attention to any children around if you saw him go around the corner and there was only children around there then the teacher should surely have taken over responsibility from what it appears you have written.

I would reassure the mum that you will in future just follow round and make sure that you do actually see him go into the school, and if at all possible just wait a moment to make sure that he doesnt actually come back out.

I say wait cos i have had a child come back out that young when they didnt see their friend in the school so decided they might not want to stay!

To be honest though I am actually a bit surprised that the school didnt tell you or mum that this happened, surely they feel a duty of care to report that the child was outside a locked door unaccompanied for some time?

07-09-2011, 07:32 PM
did the teacher know he had joined the back of the cue if she did then I would say they were in the wrong.

07-09-2011, 08:49 PM
In our school they all go through the same door and then have to make their own way to the classroom, even the reception children are encouraged to be let to go in on their own once settled into school. I said to my dd's teacher that I would just be sending her in on her own on her first day, not allowed to do that though! I need to be picking up at 9am so I am hoping she won't keep us too long! Slightly off the point though, sorry.

I would say that if the school have certain rules etc you need to be fully aware of them and happy about them, I think I would in future stand back but make sure he does go through the door he is supposed to.

I picked up a 9 yr old today and the teachers were slightly surprised when I said that they had to physically hand her over to me! I think they normally just let them go and find their parents in the playground!

07-09-2011, 09:03 PM
I drop off at a school where you leave the child in the playground in a queue to follow their teacher into their classroom.

I have checked with insurance and with the head teacher of the school and as soon as the whistle blows the teacher becomes responsible for the children and not me.

However I must be honest I do watch them in but I can easily see the entrance to the school... if it was round a corner and I had the double buggy I would struggle.

I would suggest mum speaks to the teacher and the head. It is not your responsibility once the teacher takes over.

I hope you are ok xx

08-09-2011, 04:57 AM
I would have thought that if it is school policy that parents are not allowed around the corner then as soon as the teacher leads the children away that it becomes her responsibility to make sure that all the children have entered the building before closing the door and that she should have checked that there were no lingering children.