to be really cross with my eldest daughter's school?

(113 Posts)
freddiefrog Mon 23-Sep-13 10:19:26

and to have expected them to call me if they were sending her home?

Came home from dropping DD2 at school to find DD1 (who is 11 and started secondary school, 2 and a half weeks ago) sitting on the doorstep as she'd been sent home from school for not wearing correct uniform

DD1 stayed over at a friend's house on Friday night - friend's birthday and they were going out for a pizza and a sleepover. She went straight there from school on Friday and friend's dad dropped her home Saturday afternoon. When she got home she realised that she'd left her school shoes behind. We tried several times over the weekend to contact friend to get the shoes back, but we didn't manage to get hold of her until quite late last night so it was arranged that DD would meet her friend in the school reception area this morning and get her shoes.

DD went off to school this morning in a pair of plain black, lace up plimsoll type shoes with a note from me explaining what had happened. They're not uniform regulation shoes, however, she was only ever going to wear them to school and change into her proper shoes as soon as she got there so I thought it would be fine

She got as far as the gate when a teacher picked up on her shoes and wouldn't let her enter the school grounds and sent her home. DD says she tried to explain to the teacher that her friend was waiting for her in reception with her proper shoes, but he wouldn't listen to a word she said and refused to read the note I'd written.

What if I'd gone off to work or out for the day assuming my DD was safely in school? No one called me, they're not allowed mobile phones in school (they're confiscated every morning and returned every evening) so she doesn't take hers in with her so had no way of contacting me herself

I've taken her back and she's now in school, in the correct shoes, and I've asked for someone to call me as I'm really cross about it.

GreenLeafTea Wed 25-Sep-13 11:38:25

Trying called these people for free legal advice and find out whether the school acted legally or not.

www.childrenslegalcentre.com/

friday16 Wed 25-Sep-13 09:40:48

Schools don't like it when their name morphs in the eyes of sub-editors from "Wotsit Street School" to "Trouble-hit Wotsit Street School".

See, for example, here.

BurberryQ Wed 25-Sep-13 09:17:22

contact that journalist freddie, this is disgusting, has bog all to do with education, and should be stopped.

freddiefrog Wed 25-Sep-13 09:15:13

I haven't heard any more from the head.

I sent an email on Monday night summarising our meeting and that I felt procedures for sending home children were dangerous - they should contact parents first but had no reply. DD did say that she didn't see the head in school yesterday so I'm going to wait until this afternoon to see if she responds

I was reading our local paper last night and there was a huge article about another local school doing the same thing - kids had been turned away at the gate for incorrect uniform so it seems it's not just our school with these policies

BurberryQ Wed 25-Sep-13 09:07:11

oh right sorry i see you already had a meeting.
that is simply not good enough 'taken your comments on board' indeed

BurberryQ Wed 25-Sep-13 09:04:07

throw a few phrases like
'failing in your duty of care' into the letter won't you?
that will make them poo their pants.

Dreading my lot starting secondary! ! I would also write to the school expressly telling them that you do not consent to your dd to be sent home under any circumstances during school hours without FIRST contacting an appropriate adult and that if it happens again you will be contacting relevant authorities.

ElvisJesusAndCocaCola Wed 25-Sep-13 05:51:09

The blazer thing is unbelievable! We have similar rules where I teach, but I take the view that I couldn't care less if they wear it while I teach, it is their body and their business and they can do as they see fit without asking. I say as much.

Surely any reasonable teacher would think along similar lines?

BlueShirtBlueTie Tue 24-Sep-13 22:48:54

I've been reading this thread with interest OP and I hope you manage to get everything sorted.

That teacher sounds like a complete wanker. Did he know she was only in Year 7? Actually it doesn't matter he still shouldn't have done what he did.

Euphemia Mon 23-Sep-13 20:57:24

Bloody disgraceful. My DD is the same age and I'd be RAGING if this happened. Her dad and I work 40 minutes' drive away - DD has a key to get in but then what? Sit at home all day by herself?

angry on your behalf.

LynetteScavo Mon 23-Sep-13 20:45:39

Our closest school hasd a massive of collection of pumps, for those who turn up in non regulation shoes...then black pumps became fashionable so I'm guessing that back fired a little.

My friends 14yo was made to walk two miles home to get her blazer because she hadn't taken her blazer to school on a very hot summer day (my friend had told her if she was going to stuff her blazer in her bag there was no point taking it.) Luckily friend was home; what if she wasn't and dozey DC didn't have their key?

Doinmummy Mon 23-Sep-13 20:20:05

Op does your school begin with a 'B' ?

The numpty teacher sounds exactly like one at my DD's school

Orangeanddemons Mon 23-Sep-13 20:02:48

As a teacher, can just say, it is against the law to send children home if they are wearing the wrong uniform. My school never ever does it, they have a nice pile of second hand uniform for offenders to wear, including a nice line in black slip on pumps.

I cannot, just cannot believe what happened here, it breaks every safe guarding rule there is

redcaryellowcar Mon 23-Sep-13 18:44:42

I am in total agreement that you should write to them, it doesn't sound like this teacher even tried to listen to your daughter, which I find particularly amazing as I am sure if your daughter wasn't listening in and around school to a teacher she would be in all sorts of trouble!

freddiefrog Mon 23-Sep-13 18:44:15

I'm not too happy about the coat situation, I don't see that a teacher (who no doubt travels in a nice warm car and wears a coat when it's cold) can dictate when my child wear a coat to school, but having said that, DD would rather freeze than be seen dead in a coat, so I'm not sure it's a battle worth waging at the moment.

The children have to keep their blazers on at all times, unless a teacher gives permission to remove them in class - all during that heatwave in July the kids had to wear blazers to and from school, in 30 degree heat, ridiculous. When we got home DD mentioned that one of her friends asked to remove her blazer in class today as she was hot - the teacher wouldn't let her as her friend said "can I take my blazer off" instead of "may I?" It seemed a bit power crazy. Poor girl was hot and uncomfortable, not bright eyed and bushy tailed and ready to learn

If she repeatedly went to school in non uniform shoes, I'd expect them to bollock her. Not one day in a pair of plain black inoffensive pumps when her proper shoes were waiting for her in school

They just need to be realistic and apply a bit of common sense. With the best will in the world stuff like this happens.

I'm going to email the head and summarise our meeting, reiterating my concerns.

freddiefrog Mon 23-Sep-13 18:34:25

Sorry, was posting from phone earlier as kids were on the computer so I was trying to make it brief fat fingers!

They know she's within walking distance due to the entrance she uses at school. Basically, the school is in the middle of a housing estate, the walkers have use an entrance at the end of the footpath, which is where she was stopped. Buses and those who drive enter via a bus/car rank at the rear of the school (the residents complained about the traffic congestion so they created a separate drive way iyswim)

But yes, I agree that they should take them into reception and have them wait there until they've contacted parents if they really must insist on sending them home and said I thought it was dangerous and irresponsible to send kids home, especially the younger ones, without letting someone know. As it was DD1 was sat on the doorstep for 5 minutes, but school weren't to know whether I was home, whether I'd gone for a day out with friends, at work, whatever. If something happened, I wouldn't know for at least 7 hours. She "took my comments on board" hmm

The head knows exactly which teacher it is and promised me she was having a meeting with him directly after our meeting as she wanted to address the issue with him

Anyway, it wasn't the complete waste of time I thought it would be and she didn't deny it happened, it was good to hear about the parents forum and actually, she's a nice woman who seemed happy to listen to what I had to say.

We'll see!

Both Ds1 and Ds2 went to really academic, selective schools, with a really strict uniform policies, when we lived in England - and even they were sensible and realistic, and were prepared to be flexible where there were genuine reasons for not wearing all the correct uniform. Like when ds1 injured his foot, and couldn't get his school shoes on. Or if a child lost their tie - the ties were only available at the school uniform shop, or the office, both of which are on school grounds - otherwise a boy who'd lost their tie would have been in a catch22 situation.

Re. coats - I would not stand for the school telling me whether my child could wear a coat - and I would be kicking up merry hell if they confiscated their coat and the child was soaked by the rain on the way home.

LynetteScavo Mon 23-Sep-13 18:28:38

Glad you got a meeting with the head, and it was sort of OK.

I would have been beyond fuming!

So angry for you...my DC at that age would have been home alone all day.

The fact that this happened has 1) turned my stomach and 2) glad that my DS goes to a reasonable high school, who while are strict on uniform, would never have had this happen.

BettyBotter Mon 23-Sep-13 18:26:39

Hi Freddie
So the head has mollified reassured you with a friendly chat.
So what will the outcome be? Will your or you dd get an apology from the teacher concerned? Will the policy on sending home be changed? How will you actually know that the teacher concerened has even been 'spoken to'? Will the teacher listen next time a year 7 needsa to tell them something?

I wouldn't let the head soft soap you with platitudes on this one. I'd want actual evidence of real action and some 'retraining' for this teacher regarding safeguarding and listening to children..

Don't let this lie without getting a real response for the sake of the next dc with the wrong buttons.

GoldenGytha Mon 23-Sep-13 18:25:22

Glad I'm in Scotland too auntmargaret

My DC have all left school now, but we never had any of this kind of nonsense here (Aberdeen) either.

I'd be beyond furious if my DC got wet just because the school saw fit to confiscate their coats too. What bloody right have the school got to do that?!

JenaiMorris Mon 23-Sep-13 18:23:03

But sashh, often people don't have any choice about the school they send their children to. We were fortunate in that there was an alternative to schools obsessed with enforcing rules at all costs near us, others aren't so lucky.

sashh Mon 23-Sep-13 18:13:33

Check the rules policy.

I went to school riding a dinosaur and we had to wear correct uniform on the way to and from school, not just there.

auntmargaret Mon 23-Sep-13 17:51:14

If a school confiscated my daughter's coat, I'd be reporting them to police for theft. What statutory right do these schools have to act this way? I'd be livid if my daughter got wet because the coat I sent her in was misappropriated. Thank Goodness I'm in Scotland, none of that stuff here.

GoldenGytha Mon 23-Sep-13 17:34:41

Your DD's friend had her coat confisticated for a week Justforlaughs!!

That is bloody shocking and disgraceful, how can a school have authority over who wears coats or not,

And as for kids not even being allowed to roll their sleeves up! Words fail me.

How can any of this be good for our kids education.

I'm so glad that my DC school had none of these crazy rules.

I hope that she does take it up with the teacher in question and that your DD is ok over the incident.
Our local comp. is similar - in fact, if yours had had a male head teacher I might have thought you lived round here! Lots of children sent home for having the wrong uniform, down to having plain black "school shoes" which had a grey sole!!! My DD's friend had her coat confiscated for a week (not cold enough to wear coats yet!) - and got absolutely soaked on her way home! Children not allowed to remove school jumpers or even roll the sleeves up. I'm all for strict uniform rules but sometimes they can go to far.

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