To be upset by this teacher's comment about children receiving free school dinners?

(155 Posts)
cafebistro Wed 06-Feb-13 13:03:36

I have recently split up with my DP. We have 3 DC's 2 of which are at school. As I have been a SAHM since having children I have had to claim benefits until I can get sorted. I found out this week that my school age children will be receiving free school meals as of Monday.
I went for coffee at a good friend's this morning after the school run and another of her friends popped round whilst I was there. She's a part time teacher at a primary school ( not DC's school) and my friend was asking how work was etc. During the course of the conversation while discussing her work load she mentioned that as there was only 9 free school meal children at ther school now (v. small school) then her workload wasn't as great as these types of kids needed more imput hmm. My friend asked her to clarify and she said well they're more time consuming and needed more attention. To me she was implying that children in receipt of free school meals obviously have social problems within the family and maybe behavioural issues??
I'm upset to say the least.

seeker Thu 07-Feb-13 19:56:20

"The summer school seemed to imply that the poorest kids were least likely to maintain knowledge over the summer, presumably as their parents wouldn't bother to read with them, take them places etc. All a bit offensive, but since they backed it up with data, I guess they had a point"

It's often nothing to do with not bothering. It's to do with no time, no space, no quiet, no ability, no confidence, no books................

ThingummyBob Fri 08-Feb-13 11:20:44

Do you think the school I'm helping in are breaking the data ptotection act then Worra and Clay? blush

I hope they are not, but tbh I don't rate the teacher much in the class I'm helping in, they seem a bit slack on a lot of things.

Should I mention to someone else at the school, maybe the head, that I am aware of who is on FSM in the class from the reading record and see what they say re data protection?

Btw, its not the individual reading records, its the class list, which is ticked and signed each time a child has a one-to-one reading session with someone.

The FSM childrens names are in a different coloured font with a little asterisk at the bottom of the list saying something like 'blue font = fsm' so it is really obvious to anyone who may see that list.

The reason it is like that is because the teacher told me that fsm children need to have one-to-one reading time everyday. I assumed this was school policy.

I know the same names are marked with an asterisk in the actual register too, but only because I happen to have glanced and seen it a few times, not because I've specifically been made aware of it iyswim.

As I said, I'm discrete. The teacher would know this I suppose (I am studying in social work, the helping at school is to help broaden my uni application when the time comes) I am known quite well to the school so maybe they have trused me where someone else may not be trusted with the same info.

I feel bad now, but generally believe the overall aim is to help the children as best they can, to learn, and become well rounded individuals, despite some of them being fairly economically disadvanatged.

ChunkyChicken Fri 08-Feb-13 11:42:59

Haven't read the whole thread, sorry, but at my secondary school we have to know which kids are FSM, EAL, LAC and various other acronyms for various other indicators of need & personal situation. I certainly don't judge each individual based on these but when you are using these groups to analyse progress 6 times a year, the fewer FSM etc students you have in a class, the easier it is!! Also, we have to have a fully annotated seating plan, indicating all the groups, target grades & so on, to prove to OfSted that we 'know' our students iyswim. So anyone looking at that would know Joe Bloggs is in receipt of FSM, has English as an additional language & has a target of level 4, so we just have to treat that as confidential.

So OP, I can see the comments would have been hurtful to you & perhaps tactless, but generally FSM status can mean more work for a teacher one way or another. It doesn't mean they're necessarily judging each individual child.

ibizagirl Fri 08-Feb-13 11:59:45

JoanByers. It wasn't just the once actually. It happened a lot of times. The children could choose and tick what they wanted the week before and that wasn't too bad. Once they stopped doing that and just turned up it all went to pot. I was told that the so-called vegetarian children were having jacket potates (which they were perfectly entitled to) and not eating the vegetarian meals that were provided. So all that was left were vegetarian meals and leftovers if you see what i mean. The best of it was when dd wanted Spanish omelette and was told it was all gone. She did have something else though. Next day in conversation with lady in school office we were talking about school meals and lady said "that Spanish omelette was delicious". Oh, i said, did you try it? She said that she had it for lunch on that day. Funny that as it had ran out!!

CashmereHoodlum Fri 08-Feb-13 13:52:31

ThingummyBob I would flag this up with the school and see what they have to say about it. Bear in mind that not all parent helpers are as discreet as you are, as I have found to my cost!

Don't feel bad because you are doing a great thing by helping out. It is the school's responsibility to know these things, not yours.

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