School complaints Yr8(59 Posts)
DS1 and 2 of his friends have been very upset by a teacher threatening them at school - they are aware that his threats are empty and meant to be jokes, but are still terrified of going to his lessons (2 of them were in tears one day asking to be kept at home that day as they were so scared)
When I complained, they said that they'd pull all 3 in, hear their side of it, and reassure them that everything is fine.
DS1 came home very upset - he'd been pulled out of his maths lesson to be told off for telling tales. The school thinks they shouldn't tell us what has happened, and that they will be punished if they continue to 'tell tales on teachers'
The school said to me they wouldn't do anything unless I put in a formal complaint, but that if I did that I'd have to make a public apology if the complaint procedure decided that the kids weren't being bullied!
AIBU to be really upset about this?
"or telling him that he can make their lives difficult in such a way that they'd have no evidence to tell the parents."
Ok, this is a serious safeguarding concern and If it's not resolved, I would consider complaining to the LEA and Ofsted.
Well that's just downright unimaginative of him Chaos. Maybe he's never been near the army and he just likes bigging himself up to a group of kids. Tethers and Holly made great points about telling children not to tell on teachers. I'd be confronting him in front of the class and asking if he's something to hide then (but I'm quite thick and that would probably make it worse). What a wally.
I bet the Head asked the teacher, he said the children were lying and the children got told off for telling tales.
Because of course the teacher would say that's what he did and said.
Is it his first job ex Army? Has he been there long?
Telling tales doesn't mean telling lies though, that's one reason this is so worrying.
I am currently trying to work out what to do for the best. DS1 is v worried that I'm just going to make matters worse for him at school.
It's really annoying that I wanted the school to have a quiet word with the teacher, to let him know he was being a bit out of order and to tone things down.
They've gone into defensive mode, and not dealt with the issue well at all.
I'm torn between kicking up a mighty stink and letting things rumble on and seeing if the PE teacher stops being such an arse now he knows that people are complaining about him.
TBH it feels like the school are behaving so badly that all I can do is massively escalate, or back down.
Grr - why couldn't they just listen to parental concerns and react as if we were sensible people!
"DS1 is v worried that I'm just going to make matters worse for him at school. "
That's the reaction of a child who is being bullied by a pupil and does not want their parent to say anything in case it makes it worse.
No child should have that fear of a teacher. Ever.
They should take bullying seriously. By pupils and by teachers.
We are not in the old days.
Nope - he is a new teacher, and is still T(erritorial) A(rmy) apparently.
Yes Loggle - it seems that no-one is disputing that the threats happened, just the interpretation of it as bullying behavior
You don't threaten children unless you are prepared to carry it through. That's a simple rule for parents and teachers.
Otherwise you lose respect and control.
You don't rule by fear and intimidation. Basic teaching rule. If he was observed by OFSTED doing that, there would be concerns.
Thanks for your thoughts on this - I was starting to worry that the school were right and I was being unhinged...
That's what I thought Holly - I'm fairly certain I was told when DS1 was 2 never to make a threat that you can't carry out!
I've been teaching for many years. I have discussed not letting children attend Xmas party unless their behaviour improves. That's a threat that can be carried out (but it would be really really mean).
But I would be appalled if a child felt unsafe or scared in my class.
I'm having a think about this one Op, will reply to your pm later.
There is some information you can ask the school office for while you decide what to do Op. Ask for the complaints procedure (which they have to have by law). This does not have to be published on their website, although it's good practice. The link to the school policies doesn't work on their site anyway... But they must produce it on request, and if you make a formal complaint they must follow it.
Like some others, I'm wondering about the safeguarding aspect, as it appears that students have been threatened. Statutory guidance requires that schools have a "Statement of procedures for dealing with allegations of abuse against staff". You could ask for a copy of that as well and have a read.
If you decide to take this further make sure you know what outcome you want and state it when you put it in writing. It's really frustrating when a parent raises a complaint, gets to maybe a panel hearing of governors, but hasn't thought about what outcome they want. If an individual member of staff is involved then they can't give details of any disciplinary action, but would just assure you that action of some description had been taken.
The school cannot require that someone raising a complaint will have to make any sort of public apology if it's decided to be unfounded. That threat is grounds for a complaint in itself. I might be inclined to email whoever said that "With reference to out conversation, can I just ask you to confirm that if I make a complaint and it isn't upheld I will be required to make a public apology?". Answer could be interesting and worth keeping. If a complaint isn't upheld then that's the end of it, and normally the complainant will have been given enough information to agree that their concerns had been investigated and considered properly.
Ignore anyone telling you to "complain to the governors". If you decide to take this up then follow the procedure step by step. There is a stage after the governing body panel enquiry that gives you the chance to take a complaint to the DfE if you aren't satisfied with the outcome. That is in the complaints procedure. The school in question is "in category" as of the last Ofsted inspection - judged to be "Requires Improvement". Although their subsequent Section 8 inspection was favourable they aren't out of the woods and don't need a serious complaint getting to the DfE stage I'd have thought. Is it a Safeguarding issue? I'm not an expert on that, but staff threatening pupils qualifies I think.
This link www.education.gov.uk/schools/toolsandinitiatives/cuttingburdens/a00201669/statutory-policies-for-schools gives details of which policies schools are legally required to hold if anyone's interested.
Did you cut and paste that from the last thread on complaints
I always wondered what happened to that complaint. Was it ignored?
Thanks all for your support and advice. I've emailed asking for the policies and for confirmation/further information about the 'full public apology'
I think that I'll put a complaint in, in the hope that the initial flashpoint (the boys and parents not supporting a rule which was unsafe) is removed, and maybe try to get them to agree that they shouldn't ignore complaints until key words are used, and then have a go at parents and kids for using keywords!
There was a thread about a parent who had been accuses of lying by the school. It seemed the school just decided to ignore the complaint.
And if you don't get anywhere, complain to OFSTED about bullying and behaviour. They take this seriously - and bullying is bullying be it by pupils or teachers.
They will also be very concerned about safeguarding as well. A standard question in teaching interviews is "How would you keep your pupils safe?"
Holly - interesting you ask that. As far as I can see the Op of that particular thread didn't come back to update us. And yes, if I could have found that thread I would have copied and pasted.
I'll just say that most schools do their best to deal with complaints properly. And that in my experience they wouldn't accuse anyone of lying unless they were really sure of their facts. Also, there might be the odd rogue member of staff or HT coming out with daft stuff about public apologies etc, but the DfE would take a very different view.
Oh, does everyone know about Parentview?
You know Ofsted look at that when they do an inspection don't you?
ooh yes, I know that I've 'done' parentview before for the primary school - but now I'll consider putting something on that - depending on what happened.
Funnily enough, the response to my email asking for more info on the public apology said they'd post me the procedures and neither confirmed nor denied the public apology thing!
Have you provided further details?
Further details on what? They are posting me the policies....
Sorry, I misread your post, I wrongly thought they'd asked you for more information on what you meant about the public apology. In that case I'd reply, thanking them for sending that out and asking them to clarify your other point, about a parent having to make a public apology if the outcome didn't go in their favour. You could say you were also curious about what, historically, had counted as "public" and how many times this had happened in the last two academic years.
My comment about a public apology was purely personal and anecdotal and used to emphasise the seriousness of an allegation of bullying against a member of teaching staff. This is not school policy and I'm sorry if I led you to believe that this was so.
Is that the lovely sound of frantic back-pedaling, do you think?
"Purely personal and anecdotal"?? Who said that bit in bold?
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