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PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2008 12:32 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 27, 2008 8:20 pm
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Location: essex
My son attends a large and respectable Independant school. As part of his Classics studies the school has organised a trip to Europe. When he goes on the trip he will be 15 and in the equivalent of Y10.
He brought home a letter and in one section it says:- "Alcohol- Sixth Form -wine and beer only maybe consumed,....but always in moderation."

I was a bit surprised to read this, but what has surprised me even more is that the paragraph went on to say "Should parents not allow their sons/daughters to consume alcohol they must make this known in writing..." In other words it is assumed you will be happy for your children to drink :shock:

Am I being old fashioned and out of touch, I know a lot of teenagers drink socially, but on a school trip? Nowadays, is this the norm amongst schools? Perhaps I should be grateful that my son's school trusts its sixth formers. :?


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PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2008 1:01 pm 
It sounds as if your school is being pragmatic. They know they would have great difficulty policing a no alcohol ban with sixth formers who will be allowed freedom to roam so they are hoping that a show of trust on the school's part will be reciprocated by reasonable behaviour on the pupils'.
At the same time they are covering their backs by allowing parents to specify an anti-alcohol request and presumambly they will then concentrate on monitoring the children who have this in force.
If it is was an exclusive sixth form trip, I would find this more acceptable, but your child will only be year 10 so I can well appreciate your concern.
That said, the temptations are out there (drink, drugs, sex) and all our children will have to learn to resist at some stage.


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PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2008 1:16 pm 
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If it's any consolation in the 1970s at an independent school I (and most contemporaries) got absolutely paralytic on a school trip at the age of 12!

And whilst I would NOT recommend this I do absolutely believe that as parents the stance should be "alcohol in moderation". If you make a big thing about it then it can backfire. Is it not the case that alcoholics tend to come from either alcoholic or teetotal families?


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PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2008 4:05 pm 
I don't know what the drinking laws are but I am sure in the continent 15 year olds are not alowed to drink. I can see what the school is attempting to do but personally I think they should stick to the law and get the parents to sign a disclaimer saying that although they will not allow pupils to drink the pupils do have periods of free time where they may break the rules, and the school will not be held responsible. I would be concerned if my child was out with friends in a foreign country getting drunk, however if the teachers are with them in the pubs then I would be ok with this. However, I still think it shouldn't be permitted as it makes it very awkward for parents to feel that they have to say yes or no, and also stigmatises the child who is not allowed to drink.


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PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2008 4:21 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 12, 2008 11:32 am
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A little trawl on internet suggests in the countries likely to be covered on a Classics tour (i.e. NOT the likes of Norway!) the age limit is typically 16 (which of course it is in the UK with a meal).


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PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2008 5:18 pm 
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Location: Barnet, Herts
Surely in countries like France and Italy, children drink wine with meals?


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PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2008 7:14 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 2:32 pm
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Location: East Kent
but, your son is in year 10. sixth form is year 12 and 13. The notice did say SIXTH form. Year 13 may be 18, my son's friend is the oldest in the year with a birthday on Sept 1st.


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PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2008 11:27 pm 
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I know of one school trip abroad involving a large contingent of Y10s, with a strict alcohol ban being a condition of participation. The trip went well, though I suspect it was a lively affair as the hotel very quickly ran out of Red Bull :shock: :shock: :shock:


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