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Skiing Europe/Chris Reynard - Children's ski holiday left in ruins.

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
boredsurfin, I rest my case.

More I think about it, that prog should have been called Mug's Alley. Those hoteliers amazed me the most, Swiss as well FFS!
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
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Shimmy Alcott wrote:
the programme was about "Cowboy Traders" not "Teachers who might not have been as diligent as the should have been but we all work under stress sometimes and are not perfect"


But the elephant in the room are the freebie fam trips and other alleged 'incentives'. Another aspect left unexplored by the program.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Quote:

Teachers who might not have been as diligent as the should have been but we all work under stress sometimes and are not perfect"

Shimmy Alcott, Missing the g spot again doh! But yeah fair point. Too obvious a target I guess!

After all the Teachers were only looking after Sixty Thousand pounds of other peoples hard earned tax paid money. So yeah stressed and not perfect.....perfectly understandable then Shocked

Lets not forget the law says that Christopher Reynard was responsible for the deaths of FOUR teenagers on a school trip!
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/this-britain/dti-acts-over-organiser-linked-to-holiday-scandals-706922.html
.


Last edited by Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see? on Thu 27-06-13 22:20; edited 2 times in total
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well, sadly thats the sort of attitude that means many people dont run trips. when you run the risk of getting sued / lose your job / discipline record over something that you would do nothing about if it was your own family.... like a student pours hot water on THEMSELVES making tea, total accident could happen to anyone, all of a sudden someone is against the wall...not me i may add.

back to this, If the company is insured and bonded, you have had many successful trips before with them.....Surely you can see that it does not seem too unreasonable to continue to use them. But hey...
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boredsurfin wrote:
Lets not forget the law says that Christopher Reynard was responsible for the deaths of FOUR teenagers on a school trip!
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/this-britain/dti-acts-over-organiser-linked-to-holiday-scandals-706922.html


Indeed, and Dom and his researchers will have known about that and it begs questions... why didn't he mention it? Why didn't he ask those Head teachers what checks they'd made?
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Just on that point, when you book a holiday with Thompson or whatever do you google the director? the person you book it with? Manager of the travel agent? I thought not. Once again, missing the point, namely Reynard is a liar and a thief, and AITO wormed out of their responsibility.
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Bode Swiller, I'm guessing that if he served time then after a few years you ain't allowed to mention it..if you do the time you don't need to mention the crime.....but certainlt in this case Google knows!
Tellingly in the schools featured the schools reimbursed thus admitting their culpability?
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
boredsurfin, It was Peter Kite, the MD of OLL who did the time. That article just makes it sound like Reynard, but it wasn't.
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Bode Swiller, Oh, should I edit the posts above then?
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At the end of the day, there was only one person that intentionally screwed people over; the rest made mistakes.
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Shimmy Alcott wrote:
At the end of the day, there was only one person that intentionally screwed people over; the rest made mistakes.


On that i think we can all agree
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I thought for a while it was a spoof documentary, the presenter is laugh out loud funny. Laughing Laughing Laughing

As for the subject matter I got the feeling that he was not the most talented director and was trying to keep the plates spinning in a failing business. I'm not convinced from the program "he was intentionally ripping people off" and if he was someone should pursue a conviction for fraud.

I do think Bode Swiller is right regarding due diligence. Given his cash flow problems a £10 credit check on his business would have given a very strong clue to the company's health. If £15 was too much of a stretch, pulling the accounts from Companies House for £1 would have provided the raw info and that's before all the google stuff on the director(s).

However, as consumers (or are would schools be classed as businesses?) there is an expectation of both insurance \ consumer rights which probably made the schools less twitchy about handing over £40k to a relative unknown entity, months in advance. After all, travel companies running out of cash and going bust is not exactly unusual hence the industry insurance schemes (and taking us back to due diligence).


It's a shame about the comedy presenting of the subject as it detracted from the lessons for all concerned. I'm not sure what the program really achieved ?

Wrings hands, mutters to camera "those poor kids" wink
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Am I right in thinking that the kids who got the free holiday also got their money back?

Surely there were more deserving schools out there who didn't have the capability of refunding the kids money.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Shimmy Alcott wrote:
boredsurfin, you forgot the g

Bode Swiller, boredsurfin, the programme was about "Cowboy Traders" not "Teachers who might not have been as diligent as the should have been but we all work under stress sometimes and are not perfect"


poor teachers, they do work soooo hard, cant understand what the rest of us do!! make a cock up like that and were out of a job! Confused
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
AndAnotherThing.., it is all well and good to say that, but do you ask the school to pay out £10 for every single small specialist firm that specialises in offering school trips? I think people are using the beautifully sharp 20:20 hindsight here and blaming the individual teachers rather than the powers that be within the authorities. All trips have to be approved by Headteachers, all they had to do was contact the local authority and even private schools have access to them.

When I was running the local schools skiing association in my neck of the woods, we kept a database that our then PE Advisor made all concerned aware of, including the Advisory secretariat. All potential trip leaders had to do was to ring through and ask was company A, B or C known to them and did they know any schools who had used them. As we had regular training days for staff leading school trips, it was easy to keep this list up to date and pass on information. Firms associated with Chris Reynard were the first blacklisted by our advisor and schools were warned against using any facility associated with him. Sadly when that particular PE advisor retired this system fell out of favour with the new broom, but I carried on and put people in touch with each other - again people knew that I kept the database and also knew me through various PE and Outdoor Pursuit teacher meetings. Even the reps ho went around the schools flogging these trips knew about it and put people in contact with me. When I left, I passed my database on, but apparently it was "lost" by the person who said they would continue to maintain it.

What I see as the grossest failure was that Reynard was able to continue in this business for so long - he was known in the late 70s to be fraudulently claiming qualifications he did not have. How come this information seem to remain insider knowledge only? A teacher is struck off for this type of behaviour, but Reynard has been able to exploit loopholes in company law for decades. He should have been jailed for gross misrepresentation and fraud, but he got away quite literally with murder (he was the operations manger for the centre involved in the Lyme Bay tragedy). Peter Kyte (his spelling of his surname) did 18 months for corporate manslaughter along with Joe Stoddart (who had previously been awarded an MBE for his work with disadvantaged youngsters); Reynard got a slap on the wrist and was told he was a very naughty boy! He was then free to carry on with his cavalier practices, ripping off both suppliers and customers with equal disregard for either.
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 Poster: A snowHead
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When I left, I passed my database on, but apparently it was "lost" by the person who said they would continue to maintain it.


Maybe its because the person who took over probably realised to keep up to date information like that they needed a data protection licence which costs money and didn't want to be bothered/responsible for it.
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Samerberg Sue, It's not just hindsight. Clearly you and many others in the industry knew for many years of his poor reputation and IMO no school in the country should have been going anywhere near a man who was so closely involved with the Lyme Bay tragedy and who has been so heavily criticised in court for lies.

So it is a systematic failure and teachers are culpable imv plus LEAs who approved him and especially the tossers at AITO who welcomed him in to their meaningless sham club with open arms, lying to the public in the process.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Quote:

realised to keep up to date information like that they needed a data protection licence


I hope admin, has one then, given the amount of freely available information on companies here rolling eyes
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Togger, Before I hand over up to £100,000 of someone else's money I want to know a little bit about who it is going to. If it's TUI and just my personal cash I might take some comfort in ATOL bonding and maybe book through an ABTA agent on my credit card for extra security. If the excuse is that teachers work hard and are too stressed to spend 5 minutes on google I suspect I don't want them to in loco parentis of my kids overseas. They dropped the ball too along with heads and LEAs here on an ongoing basis for years and years and years and despite the fact it wasn't deliberate it's still negligent.

Or are you claiming that knowing Reynard's history, teachers should perfectly have been happy for him to be arranging stuff for their school?
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Samerberg Sue, I get twitchy about suppliers we have credit accounts with, let alone the ones we pay up front. Handing £40k of other peoples money to a supplier would get my attention. Channel 5 could easily have made a program called 'Cowboy School Trip Organisers' and made a pretty good argument of it except there would not have been a single bogey man to focus on.

I agree with you regarding him staying in business too long. However, I suspect that that by the time he realised his situation was unrecoverable a lot of people were owed a lot of money. The question was who was going to take the hit. Customers and\or Suppliers ?

I did wonder this morning if the events would have gained the same level of outrage if he'd simply put the business into administration a couple of weeks before it kicked off ?
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AndAnotherThing.., said

Quote:
I agree with you regarding him staying in business too long. However, I suspect that that by the time he realised his situation was unrecoverable a lot of people were owed a lot of money


he may well have been trying to keep the plates spinning but when they all came crashing down, instead of being ashamed and sorry that he failed so many, he denies any blame and wrong doing and arrogantly sets up a new business.
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jafa, You have no idea what was in the database, so why comment? A database is simply a posh name for a list FFS!

My list simply correlated the names of resorts, suppliers and schools/leaders who had used them. No infringement of any laws. The information was provided by the people concerned with their permission to pass it on. As for the blacklisting of Mr Reynard, that was carried out by the PE Advisor and he was acting within his remit to make this decision at the time it was taken. We shared that information when asked as did the secretaries at the Advisory service.
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Samerberg Sue, +1

fatbob, The individual teachers are not culpable. They have been conned. They may have been naive - not culpable.
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[Sorry that my 'pen name' on this occasion is not appropriate for the following, and I apologise to anyone affected by these matters. Hopefully the following words make that clear]:

I cannot comment on anything first-hand beyond 1976, which is when I last worked for Chris Reynard. I was first employed by him from December 1974-April 1975 and then on an ad-hoc basis the following winter. Keeping this factual and restrained:

I saw an ad in the personal columns of The Times. It read, roughly, (maybe I'll search it out at British Library Newspapers, Colindale):
Quote:
Ski instructors wanted. Qualified or unqualified. Contact Weekend Ski Club. Phone .............

Weekend Ski Club was Reynard's original business, which started by taking mainly adults on buses up to the Scottish Highlands. It was based in an office on Ebury Street, near Victoria Station. Then it became predominantly a school/student ski travel business, because this generated steadier and more long-term revenue. Weekend skiers tended to book late. The holidays actually took place either at weekends or mid-week.

A few days later I found myself at Alexandra Palace ski slope in north London (where I eventually taught as a BASI), being given an 'audition'. We did a couple of runs down the slope and I think almost everyone was hired. I recall one guy who said he'd been in the Romanian Ski Team, who couldn't ski parallel and was struggling to perform a stem christie (old school technique, still valid in 1974). Can't remember if he got the job.

Shortly after that I was on a bus at Hendon for the overnight journey to Newtonmore in the Spey Valley, where I was based for the winter, teaching on Cairngorm. Most of the instructors were unqualified and some then took the BASI course at the end of the season. At that time a number of Scottish ski schools used unqualified staff.

We gave kids as good an experience on the hill as we could. The trips were fairly good value. Consequently, everything - particularly the hire equipment (all kids got their equipment from Weekend Ski Club as part of the deal) - was financed on a basic level. Plastic ski boots were already well established at that time, but the bulk of our hire stock was leather. Some of our rental bindings were old cable bindings or very basic alternatives with extremely poor release mechanisms. There was a high incidence of broken legs, with many ambulances taking children from the mountain to Raigmore Hospital in Inverness - a substantial journey of about an hour, once the vehicle had arrived.

My first day in the job, aged 21, was on the gentle Ptarmigan slopes, at the top of the mountain, in the mist, with a class of kids and no training on how to teach them! We were young, confident, and got by.

Later in the season we ran out of rental skis and the hire staff were ordered to fetch a large quantity of old wooden skis out of a loft space. These were long skis - around 200cm or more - at a time when 'compact' skis (160-180) had become the norm. The rental staff were told to saw 30cm to 40cm off the back of each ski and remount the bindings. The skis were sprayed with red paint.

I won't go into further detail. I just recall one star event - Weekend Ski Club purchasing an old London double-decker bus (also bright red) which was despatched up the mountain. It got part-way up to the Cas carpark before erupting in steam.

Our principal concern as instructors was the equipment - the quality and safety of it and the incidence of leg fractures etc. Later in the season, the instructors requested a meeting with Chris Reynard and Peter Kite (the general manager) to have this addressed.

18 years later ... The Lyme Bay tragedy (1993) and trial (1994), when four teenagers drowned, partly centred on a letter which an instructor had sent to the company warning that if something wasn't done about safety equipment there might be a disaster. The company (OLL) was operated by Peter Kite, and Chris Reynard was a shareholder.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lyme_Bay_canoeing_tragedy
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/boss-is-jailed-over-canoe-deaths-1386979.html
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/this-britain/dti-acts-over-organiser-linked-to-holiday-scandals-706922.html

Clearly, the ski holidays scandal that this thread is about (I've not yet seen the TV programme) has caused untold misery for a huge number of kids, their parents and school staff - who in my experience work bloody hard and are generally undervalued.

However, the disaster that overshadows all this is Lyme Bay. It's shocking that these two former employers of mine didn't realise the errors of their ways in the 1970s and decide to run safe businesses. It's shocking that the formula just went on, and on ... and on ... until those children died.

David Goldsmith 28.6.2013


Last edited by You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net. on Fri 28-06-13 12:14; edited 3 times in total
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[quote="Samerberg Sue"]jafa, You have no idea what was in the database, so why comment? A database is simply a posh name for a list FFS!

Doesn't matter what was in the database, whether computerised or not. You legally should have a Data Protection Licence. You were storing information and readily admitting to making it available for others. People on the database would have been entitled to have access to that. What would you do if you added incorrect information given to you by another school based on their inefficiencies but tried to cover it up blaming others.

Im not suggesting you were doing it for immoral reasons, I`m clearly highlighting that the teaching profession should stick to teaching and leave arranging skiing holidays and handling childrens money to others. They clearly do not realise the consequences.

Its a criminal offence to not have one when you are storing data.
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jafa, I was under the impression that is is only true if you are handling PERSONAL information like people's home addresses, home telephone numbers etc. not companies and business details.
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jafa, you don't know what you are talking about.
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Bode Swiller,

Not a problem, enlighten us then
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
jafa, start here: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1998/29/contents
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
okay Sherlock we can all cut and paste, but where does it say that a school that's keeping and storing data is exempt from needing a licence.

Which section are you referring to?
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
jafa, Think you need to take a look at the ICO website:

- there is no requirement at all to register (it's a registration, not a licence) if data is held manually ie not on a computer
- there is no requirement to register, even if the records are computerised, if 'your organisation was established for not-for-profit making purposes and does not make a profit'

I think Samerberg Sue's local schools' skiing association meets that second criteria easily.

Additionally, registration is only required if you are handling personal information, not company information.

According to the ICO, ‘personal information’ means any detail about a living individual that can be used on its own, or with other data, to identify them.

There's a great self-assessment here:
http://www.ico.org.uk/for_organisations/data_protection/registration/self-assessment
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jafa wrote:
... we can all cut and paste ...


Often thanks to the untiring efforts of schoolteachers, who generally use Pritt* sticks these days.

* Other brands of glue sticks are available.

I'll continue to stick (sic) up for the teaching profession. It's sharks - predators - who should be shot out of the water, not their prey.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
jafa, the DPA is all about PERSONAL information held about INDIVIDUALS. Samerberg Sue's list of suppliers simply doesn't come near it.
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Yep just one problem. Shes admitted to sharing the information. If it was solely for her own yes, no problem, shed pass the test with flying colours.



•only share the information with people and organisations necessary to carry out the organisation’s activities. Important - if individuals give you







As soon as shes passing the information on, shed need a licence, whether she was a non profit organisation or not.

This is precisely what the law was for. To control what is being stored and passed on.
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jafa, but it is STILL not personal information hence it is not at all relevant whether she shares it or not!!!!
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Whatever??
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jafa, and you called me Sherlock Laughing
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
jafa, she wasn't holding personal information, it was company information, so she still passes the test.
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sj1608 wrote:
...so she still passes the test.


that'll go to her head.
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Bode Swiller wrote:
jafa, and you called me Sherlock Laughing


Are you a not for profit organisation that qualifies for an exemption?

Yes


No


Answer ‘Yes’ if your organisation was established for not-for-profit making purposes and does not make a profit. You can answer ‘yes’ if your organisation makes a profit for its own purposes, as long as the profit is not used to enrich others. You must:
•only process information necessary to establish or maintain membership or support; and
•only process information necessary provide or administer activities for people who are members of the organisation or have regular contact with it; and
•only share the information with people and organisations necessary to carry out the organisation’s activities. Important - if individuals give you permission to share their information, this is OK (you can still answer ‘yes’); and
•only keep the information while the individual is a member or supporter or as long as necessary for member/supporter administration.


So she has to answer NO as the organisations she was keeping the information on never even knew she was keeping it. If the chris Reynard of the day and all the other organisations gave her wriiten authority to both keep it and share it then she could have answered YES. But you bet your bottom dollar they didn't because they weren't even aware of the data.
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