Should Teachers Drink On A Residential?

If your own child was away on a residential trip would you be okay with the teaching staff having a drinky-poo in the evening?

Here’s a question edu-pollsters TeacherTapp asked with brackets thrown in for good measure.


Incredibly 60% said they were fine with the idea of consuming alcohol whilst looking after other people’s children.

Some teachers like a good drink and some can really knock it back but teachers who drink on residential trips are irresponsible. You’ve got to be 100% on it and ready for anything when you are around children, especially other people’s children. Alcohol impairs your decision making and puts children at risk.

What and I’ve never done it?

Absolutely not. If parents are expecting me to take care of their children then that’s what I do. If children are asleep, so what? They wake up for all sorts of reasons and teachers have to respond. No child wants comforting by a teacher with alcohol on their breath.

There are those that say that just one drink won’t make any difference – if that’s the case then don’t have one then.┬áIf a teacher cannot go for a few days without a drink then they have a drink problem.

One drink can lead to another and everyone has different levels of tolerance. I’ve seen teachers on trips before who are unable to stop at one and they are embarrassing. They also expect ‘you’ (the one who isn’t drinking) to go and sort out any problems.

Fair enough, you could have designated teacher response teams that go out to the cries down the corridor but what happens when the smoke alarm goes off and it’s the real thing? What happens if a teacher has had one too many and needs to drive a child off to hospital in an emergency?

The best school I worked at made it crystal clear – staff on residential trips were not permitted to consume alcohol because their first priority was the health and safety of the children.

The policy said that a residential was to be regarded as being on a school site and just as staff were not allowed to consume alcohol on the school premises then the same applied to wherever the trip was taking place.

Residential school trips should be alcohol-free zones no matter how stressed you are or how long the day is. If you need a drink then have a cup of tea and enjoy a clear conscience.

2 thoughts on “Should Teachers Drink On A Residential?

  • October 5, 2019 at 8:06 pm

    It depends on the situation. In this world where we seem to enjoy ignoring the name on the restroom door you desire to use. We love to say we believe in a religion, but we don’t dare actually follow teachings as written, as that’s fundamentalism, and you must be in a cult if you must follow rules.

    However, these same people that wish there to be no black and white lines about important things, would jump to demand that teachers never drink alcohol at all, never mind on a school function when it may be appropriate.

    I am reminded of a field trip I went on supported by the American Cancer Society. Half a day of lectures and exhibits instructing us all why we should not smoke. Afterwards we ate lunch on the grassy areas near the bus. I learned a lot!
    The real lesson, was when I went to the back of the bus, and saw my teachers huffing and puffing cigarettes as if they needed them to stay alive! And then I even saw some classmate smoking with them! of all things!

    So I love it when society makes rules, and just ignores the rules for some, depending on who is watching.

    I went through the sham of AA as my parents were struggling. They put my sister and I into ALATEEN. What is that? It’s a place where everything said or done stays in the room! Then the kids light cigarettes and swear, as they brag about how bad their parents are to them! What a scam! I didn’t fit in because I didn’t swear or smoke, and my parents just got upset at us kids when we broke the rules! Fair enough, I left the group after a couple months! I didn’t choose to play the game!

    Why bother you with this? Background!

    So, if you are a teacher on a field trip, and it would be customary to drink a bit, I see no reason why not!
    Alcohol is not handled the same by all. if you don’t know your respectable limit, perhaps you should “Just Say No”.
    This means, that if you are not an avid drinker, perhaps no booze for you. If you are a vet, and are not known to be a “drunk”, one will not hurt you or your ability to manage your children safely. Live in the REAL world please!

    I am not sure what event a teacher and students would be included in, that serves alcohol at all. So, I can’t say that I have been there to see good or bad.

    The most important thing you can do for your children, is to set a good example. I can’t seem myself or my wife do shots or beers while with students on school time and expense. I am interested where this question comes from. In High School I was at a lot of cast parties and such. These parties were in private homes. Today I can imagine a few teachers having a drink, but then, I don’t recall it ever being an issue.

    Perhaps it would be a better question, if it was asked should teachers and students date, or ever be allowed unsupervised together. Years after High School, I was informed of quite a few cases where this was an issue. As it is now, even today there are issues in area schools around the nation.

    So The word for the day is appropriate. Laws and rules just mimic what someone already said should be the norm. We as adults, should take the high road, or use that moral compass a bit conservatively. But, If Johnny tattle-tale took a snap chat of you with a cup of wine with other adults, you would have no issue with me.

    Still, I just have to know where this came from. I can’t see a time when it would come up, unless you are talking about a teacher grabbing a flask from his brief case during a trip to the ZOO or something!

    Be responsible for your actions. Remember, if nothing happens, all is fine. if you take a sip of something, or even have certain things in your possession when something bad does happen, You get to visit the Job Service lady, as she says you get no unemployment because you were fired!

    • October 7, 2019 at 8:21 am

      Thanks Daniel, it’s always great to get a range of opinions and thoughts on this issue which for some is a binary debate. Many thanks for sharing.


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