To put this complaint in writing and cc headmistress in as well?

(66 Posts)
Sparklysilversequins Mon 30-Sep-13 15:58:30

Dd is in year 2. She also has ASD. There's been a few niggles and last week she told me a particular boy in the year below had punched her in the neck. Today she has come out barely holding it together and tells me that the same boys group of friends (all boys) dragged her over to this boy, where he was waiting and spat a mouthful of water into her face, then smacked her in the side of the head and ear.

She didn't manage to hold it together after she told me and melted down in the playground in front of all the other parents and teachers.

So I am not letting this go its not just play ground high spirits. She had this water out of his mouth all over her face and clothes and was devastated. She has sensory issues so the clothes thing is a big deal to her.

Quite frankly I am foaming right now so I will wait till later before firing off intemperate emails. Can't really get her teacher on one side for a chat as handover is always so busy.

How would you handle this?

RedHelenB Mon 30-Sep-13 16:00:57

I would have gone right into school after the meltdown in the playground to get to the bottom of what had happened and when it happened. First thing tomorrow morning I would ask to see the head.

BoundandRebound Mon 30-Sep-13 16:01:49

I would be on the phone now to head

And I would follow up meeting in writing

That is bullying and a lack in standard of care

Tee2072 Mon 30-Sep-13 16:02:27

Email? Heck no, straight into school tomorrow to speak to the head.

Sparklysilversequins Mon 30-Sep-13 16:02:28

I couldn't go straight in, she was in pieces and I also had my older child with me who also has ASD. You're probably right that I should have though sad.

manicinsomniac Mon 30-Sep-13 16:03:44

How I would handle would depend on what was done at the time to be honest.

1) Did your daughter tell anyone? If so, what was the response and was your daughter adequetely calmed and the boys dealt with. If the response was good then I would not be angry and would take no further action. If not then yes, I would email the headmistress asking to meet and discuss the matter.

2) If your daughter didn't tell anyone did anyone notice? If they did then as above - how was it dealt with? My reactions would be as number 1, depending on how satisfied I was.

3) If nobody noticed then why not? Was your daughter in obvious distress and ignored? If so then I would be fuming mad and email school straightaway demanding to see the head.

4) If nobody noticed because your daughter didn't show her distress then I wouldn't be angry at all, I would simply inform the school what had happened and expect them to deal with it.

wheretoyougonow Mon 30-Sep-13 16:04:00

This is not acceptable. Call and make an appointment with the head tomorrow. Sorry to hear she is having a rotten time and thanks for you as it is hard to see them so upset.

Sparklysilversequins Mon 30-Sep-13 16:05:58

She told a dinner lady who told the boy that he must never do it again. I don't feel that's enough though. It's part of a bigger picture really where I feel that her ASD is ignored because she functions well at school then melts down when she comes out and attacks her brother and I.

Nanny0gg Mon 30-Sep-13 16:06:17

No, you were right not to go in I think - your children needed calming.

Be in school as early as you can with a list of points so that you forget nothing.

Then put in writing after the meeting to confirm the steps the school are going to take to put things right.

If you are not satisfied, do the above, copying in CoG and Governor responsible for SEN and Safeguarding.

Good luck - I hope it works out for your DD.

Sparklysilversequins Mon 30-Sep-13 16:06:53

She told a dinner lady last week when he punched her and he was told he must never do it again then as well hmm.

Tee2072 Mon 30-Sep-13 16:07:17

No, I think not going in then was the right thing to do.

But I would be straight in in the morning.

RedHelenB Mon 30-Sep-13 16:09:38

Bear in mind this is a 5 year old boy we are talking about so such behaviour should be nipped in the bud by a talking to by the Head.

JohnnyFontaneCannaeSing Mon 30-Sep-13 16:11:45

I would have not left the premises before talking to the head. As u have I would phone school first thing and ask for morning meeting with the head express this meeting has to take place before your child enters her classroom. Do not be fobbed off.

mumofthemonsters808 Mon 30-Sep-13 16:12:40

Awh don't blame yourself for not acting immediately, it's so busy at home time sometimes it simply is not possible to go in, especially if you have another child with you. I was always in a state of shock and before I knew it the teacher had disappeared and doors were locked by the time I'd got my act together. I would give the classroom teacher the opportunity to sort this out, if I was still unhappy then I'd go to the Head. I'd ring up and make an appointment for tomorrow. Your poor daughter, unacceptable behaviour from the boys that needs dealing with immediately.

kawliga Mon 30-Sep-13 16:16:58

I agree with the other posters about the steps you can take to fix this. Keep at it and don't give up. It's not about complaining at all, more that you need to be the advocate for your child. Approach it as 'what can be done to make sure this doesn't happen again' not as a complaint. I wouldn't worry about emails and letters I would be there on their case all the time (hopefully you have time to do this in person). The thing about putting things in writing, it makes it look like a 'complaint' and I don't think that approach would be the best in this situation. It might make the school staff defensive which is not what you're trying to achieve here. You just want to put your dd on their radar so they look out for her, make sure she's happy, make sure they keep an eye on her all the time. They can't watch all the kids, so do what you can to make a special case for your dd. I've seen some mums do this and it really works. By the way, don't bother with the head. Start with whomever is most likely to be able to have an eye on your child for the greatest part of the day.

So sorry for your dd, hope she is ok. They spend so much time at school it's horrendous if school is not a happy and safe place for them.

manicinsomniac Mon 30-Sep-13 16:24:48

The response was definitely not enough, if it is as your daughter describes. I would definitely be in to ask for clarification.

Sparklysilversequins Mon 30-Sep-13 16:28:25

So would you try to speak to just her teacher first? Or straight to headmistress?

WilsonFrickett Mon 30-Sep-13 16:32:30

I'm sure the correct process is to raise it with the CT but how are you going to do that - it's hardly the sort of thing you can discuss in two minutes at handover. So I would be in to see the head first thing, on the lines of: this is a continuing incident, while I appreciate it may be helpful to wait and see the CT I understand she has teaching time this morning and I don't feel it can wait as it is a bullying and safeguarding issue.

As a mum with experience of SN I would both do this in person and follow everything up with a 'here is what we agreed' email afterwards. You hopefully won't need a paper trail, but in case you do...

Sparklysilversequins Mon 30-Sep-13 16:35:04

Thanks wilson that's what I was thinking. Handover is always so busy that somehow things just get minimised by being blurted out in thirty seconds.

PortHills Mon 30-Sep-13 16:35:57

I just imagine if my DS had done this to a fellow pupil. I would be completely off the chart livid. When i was at school, a boy once did something mean to a friend, and he had to write a letter of apology for his actions overseen by the head, which his parents had to sign to show they were aware, and then was given to the girl in question. It was scandal, everyone knowing that all the parents knew etc.

Spitting in someone's face is revolting behaviour. I'd be tempted to ask for a letter of apology from the boy via the school, and ask that his parents made aware. I would want to know if it had been mine.

But maybe I'm just out of touch with how things are done nowadays.... Ad maybe I'm a bit strict? Don't know. Interesting to see what others think.

Appreciate it's about putting your DD first.

Tuppenceinred Mon 30-Sep-13 16:38:49

Make an appointment to see the Head. Ask them to have a copy of the school behaviour policy, and any anti-bullying policy they have ready for you to collect on the way in.
As it sounds as if the Headteacher has no idea about this at the moment, don't go in "foaming" - just go in calmly and rationally, explain what's been happening and find out what they will do to stop it.

Tuppenceinred Mon 30-Sep-13 16:39:57

(the policies might even be available on the school website).

clam Mon 30-Sep-13 16:41:13

Might be worth trying to phone the Head now. She'll still be there, although you might have to negotiate the school answerphone.

WilsonFrickett Mon 30-Sep-13 16:41:34

You have to kind of take the attitude that you are both on the same side; that they'd want to know about this asap (to be fair, a good school would want to know about it asap).

So it's not going in with all guns blazing, it's 'I'm sure you'll be as shocked to hear about this as I was, what's your impression of what's going on, how do we support DD, how do we make sure it doesn't happen again.'

HT will have to go and speak to the CT or playground supervisors of course, you'd expect that. And don't expect to hear what they're doing to address the boy's behaviour.

So calm, clear, spirit of co-operation.

Come back to me if you need to complain later though

I hope DD is OK ((hugs))

bearleftmonkeyright Mon 30-Sep-13 16:42:29

The midday shouldve informed the teacher that this had happened IMO. Thi

bearleftmonkeyright Mon 30-Sep-13 16:44:03

Sorry, this is something I do as a midday. The teacher is aware and can then deal with it. I hope you sort it out. Horrible behavior and not acceptable.

CaptainSweatPants Mon 30-Sep-13 16:45:19

At lunchtime is it only dinner ladies supervising?
Does she have a teaching assistant assigned to her?

BetsyBidwell Mon 30-Sep-13 16:45:55


no one says headmistress any more

Sparklysilversequins Mon 30-Sep-13 17:19:30

Thanks Betsy caught up as was in both my children with ASD's meltdowns and the aftermath, I am afraid I made a small error. Many thanks for pointing that out and I apologise to you and anyone else I may have offended with my error in terminology.

Sparklysilversequins Mon 30-Sep-13 17:23:49

I tried to call after calming dc down about half an hour ago but they've obviously already finished for the day, so left a message.

bearleftmonkeyright Mon 30-Sep-13 17:24:32

Betsy, do people still say dinner ladies? You missed a job title that is not gender neutral.

Sparklysilversequins Mon 30-Sep-13 17:26:28

No TA assigned as she generally functions very well, academically anyway. That's one of the things I have issues with tbh. Her diagnosis has pretty much been ignored. I haven't even met with the SENCO yet despite a couple of requests.

hippo123 Mon 30-Sep-13 17:28:28

Go in a bit early tomorrow and tell the teacher you need a quick chat with her after school that day. Go though the teacher first and if there's still a problem involve the head.

BetsyBidwell Mon 30-Sep-13 17:30:05

i dont bother myself with dinner folk

Almostfifty Mon 30-Sep-13 17:43:44

Go straight to the Head. Not the class teacher, as it involves a child in a different class.

It was pre-meditated, it needs sorting now.

Renniehorta Mon 30-Sep-13 17:50:21

Firstly I would write everything down relating to this incident and the previous one. Include as far as possible the date, the time, the place and those involved. Does the school have cctv? The last one that I worked in had most areas covered and incidents could be replayed.

Then I would see if I could access bullying and sen policies from the school website. Print them off and highlight relevant sections.

If it was at all possible I would phone school in the morning and tell them that you want an appointment asap because you don't consider that she is being safeguarded during break times. This should get them moving quickly. They will decide who should be dealing with it.

From what you have said it is the playground supervisors. fault. The incidents were not seen, are they patrolling obscured areas? Back to cctv. They are not passing information about serious incidents to the CT. She can hardly be blamed if she does not know.

Go to the head in the morning, with Wilson's scripts.

IMHO if the class teacher had been told and had any understanding at all of how serious this was and the impact on your DD, he/she would have asked to see you right then to tell you what happened before DD did. They didn't, so either they were not told or they didn't take it seriously.

Renniehorta Mon 30-Sep-13 17:56:54

Is it possible to keep your dd off school until the meeting. That is also a good lever to get them moving and to take the matter seriously. Not of course that it should be necessary.

This involved a class in a different class, so both class teachers will need to know. So yes, the head might be a good place to start.

And as for the other issue of meeting your DD's needs, keep on at them for a meeting with the SENCO, if they keep fobbing you off, raise it to the chair of governors.

WilsonFrickett Mon 30-Sep-13 18:03:51

Oh god yeah - I think this incident shows how vulnerable DD really is - I've not been able to secure a meeting with the SENCO yet, but I'm sure you'll agree that has to be the next thing on my priority list.

God I'm so PA blush

Sparklysilversequins Mon 30-Sep-13 18:51:02

Would you keep her off wilson?

Nanny0gg Mon 30-Sep-13 19:06:37

I disagree hippo123

It needs to go to the HT.

Sparklysilversequins Mon 30-Sep-13 19:26:23

I am going through the Head. I've been thinking about this and it has become clear to me that dd cannot advocate for herself at school. There have been a number of incidents now eg a child was taking the nice parts of dd's lunch, cake and half a sandwich etc. this went on for weeks before dd thought to tell me and even then she didn't realise. She thought the other girl had started having the same cake as her and I had stopped giving that cake to dd sad. Other stuff as well that I won't go into here but one involved her becoming very anxious about a casually expressed rule to the point where she literally couldn't eat a bite of her lunch.

Can I ask for support with this for dd? Academically and behaviourally she has no issues and this is why she is being left to flounder elsewhere. She simply doesn't draw attention to herself no matter how awful she's feeling.

Nanny0gg Mon 30-Sep-13 20:07:55

You absolutely can! Get the SenCo involved and get started on Ed Psych assessment (won't happen overnight).

Just because she's okay academically and doesn't cause any problems in the class it doesn't mean that she doesn't need some support/plans put in place.

Trigglesx Mon 30-Sep-13 20:13:37

Definitely tell the SENCO that it seems she needs support during these times. I would also point out very clearly that this group of boys dragged her over to the boy - so it's not just one child but a group of children - they ALL should be spoken to.

WilsonFrickett Mon 30-Sep-13 20:28:21

It's completely up to you whether you keep her off or not. My DS has definite potential to be a school refuser so I don't tend to keep him off - I don't want him to even think that's an option iyswim. However his issues don't include bullying to this level.

And yes, you can absolutely have her support tailored in to the playground/lunch/social issues part of the day rather than the classroom if she's doing OK in class. But I guess you'll have to make more fuss if that's what DD needs, because the CT won't be 'seeing' those issues.

FortyDoorsToNowhere Mon 30-Sep-13 20:42:45

Go and see the head teacher.

I never speak to the class teacher with regards to DS ASD on the change over because the other parents are very nosy and I don't want want them knowing my sons medical history. The head teacher or his teacher will book an appointment.

Sparklysilversequins Mon 30-Sep-13 20:45:49

Ok, this is what I am going to do. I am very good at writing letters, reports etc so I am going to write a letter tonight putting all my concerns in writing and hand it in at the office tomorrow, asking for an appointment at the same time. I will also tell her CT what happened in the approx five seconds I get to speak with her.

What do you think?

Mumsyblouse Mon 30-Sep-13 20:54:26

What I did when my dd was bullied one day was go in 20 minutes early and explained I needed to see the class teacher before school about an urgent matter. We then had a very productive meeting and lots of action was taken (boy was on report anyway even in Y1!) This relied on a really proactive class teacher, but it's a starting point and I always think a personal dialogue is more effective as a starting point than a formal letter.

mummytime Mon 30-Sep-13 20:54:52

I would also contact both your local parent partnership and the NAS for advice and support.

I'm afraid you are going to have to fight for your children. School is there to support children emotionally and socially as well as educationally (this is set down by law).

Finola1step Mon 30-Sep-13 21:05:38

Hi Sequins. I'm really sorry to hear that your daughter is having such a horrid time. I'm an Assistant Head in a primary school and we have a number of children on the ASD spectrum in our mainstream classes. I must say that it sounds like the school communication is simply not up to scratch.

Firstly, the mid day meals supervisors should be reporting such incidents to the class teachers. It should have been a staff member who spoke to you today, not your daughter telling you what happened. The SENCo should have been in touch with you in response to your requests let alone the fact that your daughter has a diagnosis. So the whole communication chain sounds pretty poor to me.

Therefore, you are right to raise this issue in writing. Keep a copy of all letters you send in. Email works well because there is a clear communication trail (or no trail as could be the case!). Go straight to the Head on this one because there are a range of connected issues here that are beyond the control of the class teacher.

You are absolutely right to complain. You are absolutely right to be your daughter's advocate. What the boys did to her was very wrong and should not be tolerated.

northlight Mon 30-Sep-13 21:12:30

Try to see the head in the morning but please don't worry if s/he wants to make an appointment for later. This kind of thing should really be dealt with thoroughly rather than having a rushed interaction. Your daughter's needs must be addressed properly.

Sparklysilversequins Mon 30-Sep-13 22:34:52

Thanks everyone so much. finola your post is very useful and helps me to articulate some of my concerns. I have written a two page A4 letter. I didn't realise I was so hacked off! Poor dd. I will not let this lie.

Sparklysilversequins Tue 01-Oct-13 12:23:32

Well left two phone messages and left a letter this morning. I have yet to be responded to angry.

I am sorry you DD is going through this. It is so hard to hand your child over into someone else's care, when you don't believe they will be looked after. sad

edam Tue 01-Oct-13 13:34:52

If the head doesn't come back to you today, I would go into school tomorrow, taking a copy of your letter, and insist on seeing the head. Use your letter as a basis for the conversation and a reminder to you of all the points you want to make.

The school has a duty to keep your dd safe. The head now knows what is happening and has no excuse for not dealing with it PDQ.

Sparklysilversequins Tue 01-Oct-13 13:39:42

Maybe she's on MN?! Because I've had a call back now and it's being dealt with plus all concerned parties including SENco, CT, HT etc are meeting to discuss how to move forward. So that's about as good as I can hope for to get started with I think.

Thanks for all your advice, I can't tell you how much it helped to make me feel strong for dd and give a way to go forward with it. I love MN grin!

edam Tue 01-Oct-13 13:42:25

Great. So glad the head is taking this seriously and is taking the right action. Hope it all works properly and dd starts to feel much safer and more confident.

gingermop Tue 01-Oct-13 13:47:17

if there having a meeting about ur dd u should b there and u have a right to b

Pagwatch Tue 01-Oct-13 13:47:52

Thàt looks really promising Sparkly
Good luck.

LemonLies Tue 01-Oct-13 13:50:02

So glad the school are taking things seriously now you have put things in writing. So sad to think of your dd thinking you'd stopped putting the bits of lunch in that the other girl was taking. sad I really hope this is the start of your dd being taken better care of from now on. My dd went through an unhappy patch at the beginning of year one and once i had sent an email with the concerns (which were to do with the playground only, she was happy in class and with the teachers) her CT and the school went above and beyond the call of duty to help her. I was so grateful.

Sparklysilversequins Tue 01-Oct-13 13:50:56

We are going to be Ginger smile.

mumofthemonsters808 Tue 01-Oct-13 13:55:15

Sparkly so glad you are being taken seriously, I hope they come back to you quickly with the outcome from the meeting.

Sparklysilversequins Tue 01-Oct-13 13:56:44

I hope that happens for us lemonlies.

Dd's Dad (my ex) who is very articulate called them as well, which is good because he always manages to keep a cool head and has a great head for detail and recognising bullshit grin. I can write fab letters but can't express myself very well verbally, he is the opposite. It was nice to be a team for once.

nennypops Tue 01-Oct-13 14:07:51

Sparkly, if possible take someone with you to the meeting who can take notes, and afterwards write or email them with your understanding of what has been agreed in terms of support for dd and the steps they are going to take to make sure there is no repetition. It is important to have everything in writing and I wouldn't necessarily rely on the school to keep an accurate record.

JohnnyFontaneCannaeSing Tue 01-Oct-13 21:21:15

Well done. X

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