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Case 353 - Parent not allowed to accompany son on a school trip

Issue

A primary school had arranged a trip to a local zoo and asked for parents to volunteer to go with them. A parent volunteered and she told her son she was going and booked the day off work. However, the day before they were due to go she was told she was not required as they already had three parents going, so she asked if she could drive herself there to meet her son and the school class, and pay for herself to get in as she had told son she was going and he was excited. The school said she was not allowed to go for "health and safety" reasons. They said that the risk assessment doesn't allow for her to go.

Panel opinion

There is nothing in health and safety law that would stop an additional parent accompanying a school trip to the zoo. It is ridiculous to suggest that having additional support creates a health and safety risk. Whatever the school’s real reason they should say so and stop being cagey about it – they are just monkeying around with health and safety excuses.

2015-03-17