dh banned from school playground after dd bullied for two years

(121 Posts)
flabulousdarling Tue 29-Jun-10 12:29:13

Hello everybody, I would be interested in hearing your opinion on this situation. Apologies for the extremely long post.

My 9 year old dd has been bullied for the last two years including kicking, name calling, teasing because of her disability, the excluding of dd and running away from her(she is often on her own in the playground)and having a ball thrown at her head deliberately. Lately there have been two girls who have targeted dd. DD has low self-esteem now and never wants to go to school.

We have complained on and off about this behaviour via letters and meetings but respite only lasts for a short while before it starts again.

After sending a letter to the teacher and receiving no response, and after yet another kicking incident, my dh went in to the school from the playground whilst I waited to pick up our dd's and took them home.

He was outside the classroom when someone called out the first bullies name. He confirmed with the child who they were and said 'Leave dd alone'. He went into the classroom only to find that her teacher (yet again) wasn't there.

As he left, another teacher followed him out of the playground telling him off for what he had done, dh responded saying he didn't care anymore and that the school had done nothing to protect dd. There is no doubt my dh was het up and upset, but he is a shy man and it took a lot for him to go to the school.

He went into the school office to tell the assistant head that he had spoken to the child (there are three asssistant heads as current head hasn't retired yet - we never see him at school though). There followed a discussion led by dh about their lack of action where dd was concerned, whilst dd had bruises on her legs from the kickings they were deemed 'old' and insufficient proof. For all the other incidences there was also no proof so they couldn't do anything they said. These children's parents work at the school and we feel that this may have something to do with the two bullies getting away with their behaviour.

My dh received a letter from the actual head to say that dh was banned from the playground (where parents pick up their dcs) that he had terrifed two children and had used offensive llanguage and threatened teachers. It said that if he was to set foot in the playground again they would call the police. DH is adament he only spoke to one child, the two bullies are best friends though, as are their mums. He is certain he didn't swear, he admits he was upset but didn't shout.

The very next day after the incident the two children bullied dd again at school (if dh had terrified them would they do this?)

I collected dd myself yesterday and there was a police officer in the playground presumably waiting for dh to attempt to pick up dd.

We feel that they are victimising our family as we have found dd another school and they were already aware we are very unhappy about the two years of bullying dd has endured.

We feel they are attempting to smear dh's character. I have requested a meeting with the Head and said that their account is incorrect. However with teachers singing off the same hymn sheet, one of which the Head is having an affair with - (I know this through a teachers friend who used to work there). We feel we don't have a leg to stand on - they are definitely closing ranks. I am stressed but dh is very calm he just says ' I have done nothing wrong'.

The Head who is married, is recommending the assistant head (his lover) for headship next year. It is very hard to take him seriously when he is so obviously immoral and corrupt.

I know that dh shouldn't have spoken to the bully but it was a spur of the moment thing. Our dd has been upset for so long you just feel enough is enough especially when the school has been so unsupportive.

My main concern to be honest is the slur on our family and this account following them on to their next school.

If you have got this far thanks for reading, I really would appreciate your thoughts on this.

FiveGoMadInDorset Tue 29-Jun-10 12:35:02

If they are being unhelpful then perhaps a letter to LEA and the Chir of Governors.

Sammyuni Tue 29-Jun-10 12:36:09

Go over the schools head and report to the police make sure to tell them everything that already occurred provide the bruises on your Daughter as evidence.

Inform the school as they have not taken this situation seriously you have now informed the police and have asked for an investigation.

flabulousdarling Tue 29-Jun-10 12:36:55

I spoke to the LEA and they say I have to go through the school. The Head is on the board of Governors so I don't know if that would be impartial?

flabulousdarling Tue 29-Jun-10 12:39:05

Her bruises are virtually gone now as the kicking (under the table) has stopped - they moved the tables around on Monday

Agree with Sammyuni.

Missus84 Tue 29-Jun-10 12:42:14

Is there another school you could move your children to?

Sammyuni Tue 29-Jun-10 12:42:45

Even with the bruises gone inform the police anyway that way if the situation occurs again you can provide evidence quickly with the police already aware of the situation.

flabulousdarling Tue 29-Jun-10 12:44:31

I have registered her for September for a fresh start, after months of her pleading with me.

Thanks to you all for the advice by the way x

MissAnneElk Tue 29-Jun-10 12:46:57

I think your DH was wrong to do what he did although I can understand why he did it and it sounds though the school are not handling it well at all.

I'd be very tempted to move my children if it were me but if that is impossible then I'd put it all down in writing to the head teacher (with a copy to the LEA). I'd ask them to address the bullying immediately and make it clear that if there is any further assault on your child that you will go straight to the police and ask them to investigate it.

Tabliope Tue 29-Jun-10 12:48:25

Horrible. I've been through something similar - lying heads, closing ranks, twisting things to their end. Shame you didn't go to the police first but then they're under the age of criminal responsibility. What about a strongly worded letter from a solicitor saying if measures aren't put into place to protect your child you'll be suing for lack of duty to care. I'd take her out now and start her somewhere else from September. Reports do follow you - I moved my DS but the frostiness of the new school made me think they all stick together and words had been said between the new schools. All I can suggest is maybe having a frank talk with the head of the new school. They know these things happen and at least you'll get your word so anything subsequently said to them from the old school can be taken with a pinch of salt. It will give the new school a chance to see you and your DH and make their own minds up about you. Good luck. It's horrible. Keep your chins up - you've done nothing wrong.

MissAnneElk Tue 29-Jun-10 12:49:07

Cross posts. If you have already got your DD a place elsewhere for September I'd remove her from school now. Again, I'd put it in writing to the head teacher with a copy to the LEA to explain why she is being removed.

ronshar Tue 29-Jun-10 12:51:12

I would write to the governors with everything you have written here. Including the rumours about the personal relationship between the HT and the other teacher.
Do you have a PTA? Go to them and find out what they think about the bullying and lack of action.

Threaten the Governors witht he local media. No school wants to be known as soft on Bullies. Affects their ratings.

Most importantly give your DD a big hug and repeatedly tell her she is worth a thousand of those horrible toads at school.
Well done to your DH for protecting his daughter. He needs a big hug too.

flabulousdarling Tue 29-Jun-10 12:53:29

I have since found out there's another child who has been called 'thick' by these two children (she has SEN). Their mother (head of PTA) knows the mother of one of these children who works at the school and heard her moan about having the 'dimwits' this afternoon.

I didn't know that you could get police involved with school matters particularly regarding young children, I'll talk to dh tonight.

To be honest I hate confrontation it literally makes my stomach churn - bit pathetic I know. I know I have to pursue this but it's really difficult.

seeker Tue 29-Jun-10 12:55:53

The Head will have no say in whether or not his lover gets a Headship, so that's not an issue.

Heads are always on the Board of Governors - that's standard practice. Have you talked to the Chair of Governors?

What happened when the bullying started? I presume you had a meeting with her teacher and the Head - what did they suggest? Have you a copy of the anti bullying policy? What happened when you asked the school to adhere to its own policy?

Bumblingbovine Tue 29-Jun-10 12:56:01

The head is always on the board of governors at every school but the board of governors should not take sides in this sort of case.

It is one of their reponsibilities to ensure effective school policies are written and kept to. The school should have a bullying policy? Have you seen it? if not ask for a copy.

I would read the bullying policy and then make notes of all the ways that this policy is not being adhered to with respect of your dd. I would then write to the chair of the board of governors (details should be on the school website) with your complaints and a copy of the notes you made with regard to the bullying policy.

If you have gone through all the complaints procedures listed in the bullying policy to complain (ie talked to teacher then Head teacher etc), the governors have to hear your complaint and make a decsion regarding this.

I would igniore the issue of your dh's behaviour, it is the school's attempt to put this back on you. Be very clear about what you want to achieve on behalf of your dd and pursure it ruthlessly

If contacting the governors doesn't end up helping then you need to consider changing schools or home schooling. Your dd should NOT have to put up with this.

jeee Tue 29-Jun-10 12:56:13

Honestly, if your DD is leaving the school, I think that I'd just let it go. There's nothing you can do to stop the school mentioning it to the new school - they can always do it verbally, if they don't want you to find out that they've done it. You'll end up upset, and you won't achieve anything.

I hope your DD is happier at her new school.

flabulousdarling Tue 29-Jun-10 12:57:51

smileat the hugging!

I really couldn't go there with the rumours as a very close friend would never talk to me again.

If I remove her wouldn't i get prosecuted from LEA?

edam Tue 29-Jun-10 13:00:11

flab, do go to the governors, in writing. They are responsible for policies and procedures (with the head) and should deal with any complaints that haven't been satisfactorily resolved/any situations where the policies are not being followed. (I am a governor and would be very concerned if something like this happened at ds's school.)

Ask for a copy of the anti-bullying policy and ask what the procedure is for 'banning' parents, on what grounds, and what right of appeal parents have if this is done unjustly. I'd suggest an apology to your dh is in order and another one to dd for failing to prevent or deal with bullying adequately. Point out discrimination on grounds of disability is now illegal under the DDA and that attacks on disabled people are treated as 'hate crimes' by the police just as racist or homophobic attacks are.

flabulousdarling Tue 29-Jun-10 13:02:02

I requested the anti-b policy but wasn't sent it and was too lax to follow it up, I'll go and get it today in preparation for the meeting. I think you're right jeee about the school mentioning it anyway, schools seem to be able to get away with murder and don't seem to be accountable.

edam Tue 29-Jun-10 13:02:07

If she's starting a new school in September, then no, you wouldn't be prosecuted. And if anyone from the LA bothers to ask, explain that your dd has been repeatedly bullied due to her disabilities and the school has not only failed to protect her but attacked your dh (verbally).

flabulousdarling Tue 29-Jun-10 13:04:26

Again thanks for all the great advice I am furiously scribbling away!

DinahRod Tue 29-Jun-10 13:06:42

That is really, really poor. In education you occasionally hear about schools like these that give others a bad name and it's really unfortunate that your dd has born the brunt. I imagine there is quite a grapevine about SMT, especially if the married head is having an affair with a member of staff, so please don't worry about what the new school have been told. Think you have made an excellent decision to move dd in September.

If you want to say, very roughly where are you? My father is involved in education (sorry about the vagueness), and if he thinks he can help, acts on behalf of parents, staff and even heads especially when procedures have not been followed.

Wordsonascreen Tue 29-Jun-10 13:07:06

Board of Governors.

If head is directly involved he should have to excuse himself.

Get EVERYTHING in writing.
Any witnesses (parents in playground? to your dh talking to the girl?)
Don't make it personal (ie affairs re head .. nothing to do with your dd)

HTH

flabulousdarling Tue 29-Jun-10 13:08:18

Is the south east too vague for you DinahRod?

Wordsonascreen Tue 29-Jun-10 13:09:53

Took ages writing that out and you've had a lot of good advice.

One thing..don't involve the PTA ..you'll look like a loon..its not their remit (am assuming your PTA is for fundraising)

flabulousdarling Tue 29-Jun-10 13:13:22

dh said most people had left the playground when he exited. Probably already look like a loon grin but I won't involve PTA!

scurryfunge Tue 29-Jun-10 13:15:30

How old are the offenders the Police will not investigate a crime if they are under 10.

flabulousdarling Tue 29-Jun-10 13:19:01

They are under 10 scurry

mumblechum Tue 29-Jun-10 13:19:51

The police obviously weren't there to keep an eye on the children. It was the OPs dh they were concerned about.

mumblechum Tue 29-Jun-10 13:20:25

I'd be inclined to let it go & I hope you get the fresh start you're hoping for.

scurryfunge Tue 29-Jun-10 13:21:55

You will find that the Police will not deal with this then....though you could ask that a PCSO has a word with the families, though this could inflame the situation. Best dealt with via the LEA,as suggested.

AgentZigzag Tue 29-Jun-10 13:21:59

jeee, if the OP does just leave it, that condones how the school is not dealing with the matter, what about all the other children who have to go there every day?

I had the going round and round in circles thing, trying to sort out what had happened to DD1 in her first school. I'd go to the LEA, who would tell me to go to the school again, I'd go there and the head would pass the buck to the LEA and the teachers.

It made me feel so powerless, that I got to the point where I was looking at where I could go, the press? My MP?

I did eventually leave it sad even though I felt like I said above, that I would be leaving other children to be dealt with like this, but the amount of time and the intensiveness of it just ground me down in the end.

The papers I kept filled a bulging folder, and I was left trying to feel better that at least I'd tried to do something even if I'd got nowhere.

It makes me so angry that it's always the victims who 'have' to move, school should be a safe place for every child.

DinahRod Tue 29-Jun-10 13:22:25

My father is London based. You are getting v good advice on here, but if you want I can put you in contact with him via d i n a h r o d at virginmedia.com

flabulousdarling Tue 29-Jun-10 13:24:46

I am defo going down the Governors route and will get my hands on the relevant policies.

DD has mentioned she wants to finish the year as there are lots of activities she doesn't want to miss - she's a tough old bird. I guess when you've had two years of it another two weeks is nothing.

She received the local areas child of courage award recently for just getting on with her disability and never complaining and it was certainly deserved.

jeee Tue 29-Jun-10 13:25:23

AgentZigzag, in theory I'd agree with you. But in practice, taking on a system can be enormously stressful, and upsetting, and the OP has said she hates confrontation. Sometimes people need to do what's right for them, and not worry about the wider implications.

jeee Tue 29-Jun-10 13:26:51

And flabulousdarling - your DD sounds a hero. Best wishes to her, and you.

Coca Tue 29-Jun-10 13:29:51

God what a horrible situation, we had a much more serious incident at our school and the mother (physically threatened a 10 yr old) is still walking round as if nothing happened. I think your DH did nothing wrong providing that he didn't threaten the bullies. Your poor family.

flabulousdarling Tue 29-Jun-10 13:30:57

I really feel for anyone that is going thru this sort of thing as agentzigzag says, you just feel powerless batted back and forth to people.

It's a pretty powerful machine - you can't complain to Ofsted, you can't complain to General Teaching Council, you can't complain to the LEA (unless you have been dealt with previously by Governors). There seems to be no 'body' that can intervene and ensure impartiality - so frustrating really.

I have received excellent advice and as a lurker generally I'm so glad I shared this with all of you, thank you all so much.

CantSupinate Tue 29-Jun-10 13:31:12

All your husband did was say to a child "Leave DD's name alone" -- and he got banned from the playground for that???
Seriously?

piratecat Tue 29-Jun-10 13:32:35

she sounds like a star, you must be so so porud of her.

flabulousdarling Tue 29-Jun-10 13:32:58

Dinahrod sorry I meant to say I will email you thanks for that.

AgentZigzag Tue 29-Jun-10 13:34:41

I can totally see what you're saying jeee, but are the schools/LEA aware of the minefield that complaining against a school can be?

I'm not saying they do it on purpose much but they go happily along thinking everything's great with their school, when clearly it most definately is not.

Nobody says anything because it's too much hard work, the inspectors come round and everything seems fine on paper with no formal complaints, and the school is never challenged.

I'm not a confrontational person either, but the thought of what happened to DD1 and must have been happening to others gave me the strength to at least question them.

Nobody wants to take on a giant, but they'll carry on not implimenting their (IMO) crappy bullying policies if nobody takes the buggers on.

flabulousdarling Tue 29-Jun-10 13:38:32

Yes cantsupinate, to one child not two as they allege and both children were 'crying and shaking with fear'.

This is the problem whenever their behaviour towards dd is challenged they cry and the teacher says ' they wouldn't do that' or 'it's just a misunderstanding'. They are so sneaky and manipulative.

It was a child's birthday yesterday and all the children got a cake except for dd (liver problem) they looked at dd and said why aren't you having one dd explained why and one said to the other 'bully1 isn't this cake yummy mmm'

Pathetic aren't they. Dd told teacher who said that she had walked past and heard them asking about her disorder and not being mean! GRRR

flabulousdarling Tue 29-Jun-10 13:43:00

I will try my best to challenge them and see what happens...I agree that is why so many schools have great records on bullying - parents just give up eventually.

AgentZigzag Tue 29-Jun-10 13:49:10

The school should have effectively dealt with your DDs bullies straight away.

They didn't, and they should be held responsible for that.

Who are they to treat you, your DH and your DD with so little regard??

flabulousdarling Tue 29-Jun-10 13:52:21

They just tell me that they have spoken to so and so (no sanction) and they are monitoring the situation. Monitor is their favourite word - it seems to be their get out clause.

flabulousdarling Tue 29-Jun-10 13:56:01

oh and I forgot to mention her class teacher said that she had been a teacher for many years and that dd is happy in class always ready to contribute. In past situations she could tell the troubled children as they are withdrawn and isolated from the others. Basically dd doesn't fit her profile of a bullied child I suppose.

DD has told me 'I love learning though' (thank god)

NoSleepTillWeaning Tue 29-Jun-10 14:04:54

I agree with others : approaching the governors is your best approach. They have a duty to safeguard children while at school after all, and to ensure HT and school is applying it's anti bullying policies effectively. Do you know any of the parent governors?

AgentZigzag Tue 29-Jun-10 14:05:17

Ahhh yes, the 'lets monitor things in the hope that they or you will go away' <<cynical emo>>

And for what it's worth, I felt there was a certain amount of collusion between the LEA/Head/teachers for the benefit of looking like they had a 'good' school.

NoSleepTillWeaning Tue 29-Jun-10 14:06:47

Oops: its (blooming auto correct thingy).

flabulousdarling Tue 29-Jun-10 14:11:57

I don't know the parent governors, I lost interest in the school a long time ago, eldest dd was bullied (sorted now) although was beaten up a few months ago angry
and basically I gave up on the school

AgentZigzag Tue 29-Jun-10 14:16:09

Are there any other parents who have children this has happened to?

Would you feel comfortable talking to them about helping change your school? This would share the load and double the 'power' you have.

flabulousdarling Tue 29-Jun-10 14:20:10

I have found one other parent who these children are bullying as well and she has complained twice with no satisfactory conclusion. I will be talking to her further and she is happy to support me i agree there is power in numbers for sure.

There is another parent who has a dd in yr 6 that is being bullied and the school are doing nothing about that either, she says she will be going to the Governors when her dd leaves as she doesn't want any recriminations.

edam Tue 29-Jun-10 14:21:48

Flab, the names and contact details of the governors will be held by the school and may well be on its website, if it has one.

Do feel for you, dh and dd. You have been treated very badly indeed. The teachers involved have failed in their professional and legal responsibilities.

flabulousdarling Tue 29-Jun-10 14:23:46

Thanks edam, there is nothing on their website, so I'll go to the school today and see if I can find out the details, might get them worried, you never know!

bleedingheart Tue 29-Jun-10 14:36:44

I don't think you should let things go, it's disgusting the way you have been treated.

I would write a letter to the Chair of Govs, copied to the LEA and I would contact my local MP if I did not receive a satisfactory response.

I really hope your DD enjoys her new school, she sounds like a little star despite all the malicious behaviour she's suffering.

neolara Tue 29-Jun-10 14:42:13

I would second someone else's suggestion to get a solicitor to write the school a strongly worded letter sayign that if they continue not to prevent your dd being bullied and discriminated against because of her disability, you will sue.

flabulousdarling Tue 29-Jun-10 14:43:43

Thanks bleeding heart, we're very proud of her, she has friends outside of school luckily so it's not all bad.

I wonder if it's worth contacting her Gt Ormond Street who treat her so they can put their twopenneth in?

flabulousdarling Tue 29-Jun-10 14:47:01

Neolara, we don't have the money to do that unfortunately, as we have taken the decision to have her privately educated for her last two years of primary and are saving every penny. It's a smaller school with a very kind and understanding Head.

It will be a stretch (we're not really in that league) but she has visited the school and found it extremely friendly so I think it's worth it.

SanctiMoanyArse Tue 29-Jun-10 14:54:45

Sometimes solicitors offer free 30 minute appts so you'd only pay letter fee, though these are getting ahrder to find but see if there is a disability advocacy charity in your area (via CAB)- they may be able to write letter anyway.

i just wanted to offer <<hugs>>, sadly these close ranks and lie things are really common on the SN threads; if you have a disabled dd wyou might find others with similar experiences there. And we've experienced the crap eprson gets job bit too- although in our case the Chair of Governors had final say according to some rule (VA School) and he was related to new staff memebr so appointed her against will of all school staff and LEA (and she was truly, truly horrid)

<<hugs>>

flabulousdarling Tue 29-Jun-10 14:57:08

Thank you for the hugsx I'll look into the CAB thing.

Re the job thing it's so sleazy it stinks.

flabulousdarling Tue 29-Jun-10 14:59:02

Right I'm off to do the school run wonder if our resident copper will be there! wink

flabulousdarling Tue 29-Jun-10 16:26:26

No policeman this time just the caretaker and school nurse manning the gate!

Another girl was questioned about the bullying of dd and they backed up what dd said so we shall see what happens.

Bully1 mother was in class today and said to bully2 in front of dd 'she's in to get dd into trouble' and then they lauged' They make me sick.

I got the Governors list, two of them being Head and his crumpet one of them the Head's admin side kick - I don't stand a chance.

flabulousdarling Tue 29-Jun-10 16:28:46

Oops I meant tosay Bully1 said 'she's in to get dd into trouble' not the mother

sarah293 Tue 29-Jun-10 16:35:16

Message withdrawn

CantSupinate Tue 29-Jun-10 19:14:16

omg, they cannot "ban" your DH on the back of that single comment; there's been no due process to the whole thing. They must not be allowed to get away with it. It takes things like restraining orders (in a court of law) to ban parents at our school.

You should name and shame the school here, OP. The situation is ridiculous.

On your DD's last day when you pick her up if you see these nasty bullies in the playground I'd be tempted to tear a verbal strip off them. Let them know exactly what a pair of horrible cows they are and how they've upset your DD so much that she's leaving. Don't think I'd hold back much. School can't exactly do anything if its the last day.

expatinscotland Tue 29-Jun-10 19:31:29

I agree with Riven. I'd also have logged every single incident, then sent the entire thing with covering letter to my MP AND the local paper.

I'd look into Legal Aid, too, to sue the council.

Two girls who were bullied to the point of being physically assaulted with injuries at school in both Fife and Aberdeenshire Council were awarded Legal Aid to sue over their schools' and police force's inaction, one even wound up on Panorama, she'd gone into the head's office wired and with a hidden camera.

You can better believe the council and school took it seriously after they got bad press and sued!

jonicomelately Tue 29-Jun-10 19:32:29

Why would they instantly beleive the word of a nine year old over a grown man? They are nuts. I would pull out every stop. You have to protect not only your dd but your dh's reputation. I would consult a solicitor or evn approach your MP.

activate Tue 29-Jun-10 19:33:27

Well I'm sorry but no adult should enter a school and make contact with a 9 year old, no matter what the provocation

not surprised he's banned from the school - that was totally inappropriate

that siad I agree with all the other advice - i writing to Governors - outlining whole history

I would avoid rumour and speculation though - it will make you look mad quite frankly, stick to what you know, how the school has failed you

expatinscotland Tue 29-Jun-10 19:33:46

And it is totally worth contacting Great Ormond Street!

And any and ALL, disabled rights charities to get them on board.

We need to work together here. My daughter is SN/ASD. I was put on this Earth to make sure she always has someone on her side, me.

Start logging. EVERY single incident. Record where you can. And just put it out there, MP, the press, whatever.

kittens Tue 29-Jun-10 19:37:26

The complaints committee has to be impartial and will not contain the head- only governors and one of them has to be from another school. I know this as we have just written our complaints policy.

I would contact the chair of governors and get them involved. As the governing body also hires the new head if you think there is something fishy going on there let the chair know.

DinahRod Tue 29-Jun-10 20:25:18

have mailed you flabulousdarling

flabulousdarling Tue 29-Jun-10 20:29:23

Thanks once again for all your opinions. It has been a real boost to have so much support. I am going to see if I can bring a local Councillor with an interest in disability rights and Education into the meeting - I have been told that the Head is a bit of a bully and will run rings around us, hopefully someone will be willing to accompany us. Outing the affair is a no no, words can't describe how I feel towards that Head now but I am not going down that road.

flabulousdarling Tue 29-Jun-10 20:32:24

Thanks Dinah email sent smile

mattahatta Tue 29-Jun-10 20:57:29

All good advice above, but also if no joy with LEA then you can go to Ofsted, may even be worth a call before hand.... From their complaints procedure :'Pupils well being and devlopment are being neglected' as a suitable reason for a complaint... they generally do not look into individual cases, but you may be able to get support from the other parents whose children are being bullied... If not they can still help by letting you know of other agencies that may be able to help.....

Please do not 'just let it go' as you are moving your child, as it will only happen time and time again.

flabulousdarling Tue 29-Jun-10 21:03:29

I'll give it a go and keep you all posted!

edam Tue 29-Jun-10 21:04:57

activate - the father was there to pick up his dd, in what way is that inappropriate? I speak to various children in the playground every day - friends of ds, children who are about to run over my toes with their scooters etc. etc. etc.

The issue here is that the school seems to have failed in its duties and is deflecting blame by attacking the OP's dh.

edam Tue 29-Jun-10 21:06:31

oh, and flab, not had time to read whole thread since I've been out, but has anyone mentioned kidscape? Charity that can support parents and children re. bullying and knows what should happen. Might help these other families you mention.

activate Tue 29-Jun-10 21:07:57

edam - the father walked into the school (not the playground) and spoke directly to a child in a warning manner (I do not say threatening

and you do not see that as inappropriate

activate Tue 29-Jun-10 21:09:15

I did not say OP was wrong - and I think there should be follow up

but any adult who walks into a school unaccompanied to tell off a child / warn a child / speak to a child who is not theirs should be banned from the school

flabulousdarling Tue 29-Jun-10 21:09:18

I have just used your deflecting comment edam in my latest letter to the teacher so thanks for that wink

flabulousdarling Tue 29-Jun-10 21:14:06

Activate - you are entitled to your opinion and I totally respect that. In fact, I did tell my husband off for speaking directly to a child as I am very twitchy about things like that too. However, my only defence would be he only intended on seeing dd's classteacher, when another child called out the bullies name he asked her if she was 'bullies name' the child said yes and it just came out. This is after dd coming home with bruises up her legs caused by said child.

The classroom is also in the playground as it's a hut not that that makes much difference.

Ultimately though you're right it was not correct behaviour.

flabulousdarling Tue 29-Jun-10 21:14:58

I'm going to be busy on the phone tomorrow - thanks to you all!

Goblinchild Tue 29-Jun-10 21:16:02

I agree with activate, write to the governors and list all the history, details and exchanges.
I'm surprised you didn't follow up on getting a copy of the anti-bullying policy, attacking within the rules is the most efficient method.
I also agree that however annoyed your DH was, it was inappropriate to have warned off the child on school premises, and he weakened your case by doing so.
A parent approached my son with accusations, on the street when he was on his way home, and I got very specific as to what the consequences would be if it happened again.
Fight within the rules.

edam Tue 29-Jun-10 21:20:10

Activate - actually no, I don't think there is anything wrong with a parent telling a bully to leave the victim alone.

I think the school has failed to deal with this and the bully has learned that any adult who challenges their behaviour will be reprimanded. Great. Imagine how that child will act in future...

And I think the idea that there is something wrong with adults telling children off when they are misbehaving is a. barking and b. dangerous and c. very bad for children and society as a whole.

AgentZigzag Tue 29-Jun-10 21:21:07

Personally I wouldn't have said something either, but your DH was just trying to defend his DD, and who can blame him after all the shit the poor chick has had to put up with? He sounds like he's at his wits end.

Goblinchild Tue 29-Jun-10 21:26:52

School has to be a place where all children feel safe from adult aggression, even the bullies.
That's why it's important that schools have a policy, are made to keep to it and are challenged at the first opportunity if it is seen to be failing.
That's why if you are challenging their account, you need details, diaries and records of what has occurred, so you can be specific about how exactly they are failing your child and what they need to do about it.
Otherwise you get younger children getting their older siblings to pile in, parents squabbling and the victims needs are still not met. The children are 9, presumably this mess began when they were 7. Two years to fix the problem, 22 months and more too long.

edam Tue 29-Jun-10 21:30:52

'adult aggression'?

Sounds like in this school it's more that the bully is safe from any adult intervention at all.

flabulousdarling Tue 29-Jun-10 21:46:04

I can assure you my husband was not agressive. I presume that as you are so knowledgeable about school procedure (not all of us are) that you probably work within a school setting?

Goblinchild Tue 29-Jun-10 22:06:29

To a child, having a larger adult looming over them and saying 'Leave dd alone,' presumably in a fairly forceful manner, can be seen as intimidating.

flabulousdarling Tue 29-Jun-10 22:11:23

He stood at a distance and was not aggressive but I agree it may well have been intimidating.

you have my sympathy.. we have experience of a crap primary school and a very unhappy ds (then age 8) we complained to our very unsupportive head teacher, governors, LEA and got nowhere angry

however, we moved schools (which entailed moving house) and ds never looked back. ds is now at secondary, but dd is still at primary and we have never had a moments regret.. to be honest, we only realised the full extent of how crap the old primary was when we were at the new one and had something for comparison!

my advice is to cut your losses and move on.. don't waste your time worrying about these idiots! i was worried that having previously complained to the LEA our new school would view us as 'troublemakers' but in fact they were very supportive and understanding and have provided both our children with a fabulous and happy education experience smile

atah Tue 29-Jun-10 22:33:45

The school sounds like an absolute nightmare to me and your DD is best off out of there, the sooner the better. If you can it would help if you can get your DD some counselling over the summer to help build her self esteem and help her understand she is not at fault before she enters her new school in september.
i hope she will be very happy in her new school.

NickOfTime Tue 29-Jun-10 22:36:39

flabulous - you need to know who the CHAIR of Governors is, or the Governor that deals with SEN. The HT and some of the staff are always on the governing body and this is totally irrelevant. The Chair Of Governors will ensure that anyone directly involved is NOT present when the matters are being discussed by the Governors who are chosen to investigate the matter. (Some of them will not be involved initially as they need to be 'clean' in case there is an official investigation)

Please, please, please go to your CoG, or SEN Gov, and report this through the proper channels.

The whole 'corruption' thing is a red herring - it is the Board of Governors (NOT the staff governors) that are responsible for the HT - from selection onwards! Don't let this put you off. Please!

Contact the CoG.

I do understand that you are moving dd anyway - that's fine. But please make sure that this is dealt with properly for the sake of the children that are left in the school. Don't get bogged down by who else is on the board - the CoG will be completely au fait with procedure and will be professional enough to understand the ramifications.

NickOfTime Tue 29-Jun-10 22:39:19

(just wanted to make sure you understand that the HT reports to the board, ie is there to answer questions about the running of the school - the governors are there to make sure the HT is running the school properly - if you don't report this to the Governors, they can't do their job... not trying to teach you to suck eggs, just pointing out the reason the HT and some staff appear on the Govs list...?)

SanctiMoanyArse Wed 30-Jun-10 09:17:44

Nick that can occasionally vary slightly depnding on the set up of VA schools- most adhere but some have been set up very differently (some Church schools for example hand recruitment and executive decision making power to a representative of the religious body)

On the other points OP, my Dh does a similar nervy voice wobble that makes him seem aggressive if you don't know him. In fact, I would feel sufficiently safe to stand in his face and swear randomly knowing he would not retaiate (wouldn't do it but ykwim). i've explained tos chool as they took it wrong way I think (we have 2 disabled kids and one SEN so always in and out!), but I know how it can come across. I;ve found that learning assertiveness skills can help immensely- and just being aware of how his voice sounds even if it dosn't match his emotions, as a way of managing it. HTH

islandofsodor Wed 30-Jun-10 09:46:18

My Mum did far worse when I was being bulled (the child who was 9 walked home on ther own - she waited for her down an alley and collared her!)

Seriously get your dd out of there now, there is not much of the term left anyway then write to the governors and the LEA.

woodlandfaerie Wed 30-Jun-10 09:59:57

Once upon a time, we could turn to our parents to protect us from being bullied at school. Now, we cannot do that, we have to hope the school knows what to do.

There is nothing wrong in an adult calmly and politely, but firmly telling a child who is bullying their child to stop. In fact, when I grew up, it was expected that an adult would be able to do this. It is not abuse, it is not intimidation, it is simply an adult saying 'no' to a child. The world has gone mad.

OP, I am so sorry to hear that your DD has been so awfully treated, by both those horrible children and their parents, and by the school who have let her, and you down. You sent her to school to learn and grow, not to be crushed. She should be protected there.

If there is any way at all you can remove her now until she starts her new school in September, I really hope you will consider that.

flabulousdarling Wed 30-Jun-10 11:18:31

I have removed dd from school as of today. She woke this morning feeling sick and said ' please don't make make me go I can't take anymore mummy'. I think I have made the right decision. I have spoken to Gt Ormond Street who are getting their child psychologist to write a letter. Next, the Chair of Governors.

pilates Wed 30-Jun-10 11:36:14

Flabulous darling - my heart goes out to you as also have a child with special needs at a mainstream school. It's very easy for people on here to say your husband shouldn't of done what he did, but after two years of torment I can honestly say my husband would probably have done the same. Please continue with your complaints as it could be somebody else's child next time. I would literally write down everything from the beginning, try and put dates in if possible. Also the comments from the bullies mothers as they are dealing in a very unprofessional way. They cannot get away with this! Big hugs to your daughter and good luck in her new school.

AgentZigzag Wed 30-Jun-10 11:44:56

It must be such a relief to you all that your DD doesn't have to cope with this anymore.

I hope she has all the fun and security she deserves in her new school smile

flamingtoaster Wed 30-Jun-10 11:55:51

fabulousdarling I have nothing to add other than you have done the best thing removing your DD today - what has happened is unforgivable. If she can't start straightaway in her new school then write to the "old" school and the LEA saying she is being home educated from today's date. Not every area require this, and you should be able to check online on your LEA's website, but you don't want any more hassle from any other department!

Good luck with the Board of Governors.

flabulousdarling Wed 30-Jun-10 12:56:55

Thanks everyone for your support and kind words smile

NickOfTime Wed 30-Jun-10 15:11:51

didn't realise it was VA... blush missed that bit, sorry! <puts away soapbox>

very glad you have come to decision and hope she will settle in her new school well. hopefully the governing body will ensure that rigorous anti-bullying policy is in place and that the school staff are adhering to it in all instances.

flabulousdarling Wed 30-Jun-10 17:24:15

The teachers are now lying to me about the incident. One teacher, who is accusing my husband of threatening behaviour approached me about something else.

We talked and mentioned the incident and she is claiming she was accompanied through the playground by another teacher. My dh is appalled at this as he said it was just the two of them. If she was accompanied then why didn't the other teacher put a stop to my dh's 'threatening' behaviour then. I am horrified. She also claims she could hear him shouting at the 'children' from her classroom. She is one and a half huts down from where dh was and as he spoke to bully1 a teacher walked past without stopping - surely she would have heard him shouting.

Lastly, dd's supply teacher spoke to me about the 'cake' incident. She said that she was behind dd and the bullies and heard entire conversation and that they were only interested in dd's condition and weren't being malicious. When I said about them saying to dd 'mme these cakes are so delicious' She said that the whole class said how delicious the cakes were including herself. I said 'That's a bit insesitive' She replied 'dd was out of the room then'. Dd replied 'no I wasn't. The teacher gulped during the conversation as well.

Can anyone see what is happening here? I told the teachers they have obviously been told to sing off the same hymn sheet - ie collude to discredit us. I am so disgusted, I really respected the first teacher and I am finding it all really upsetting.

Tabliope Wed 30-Jun-10 19:22:20

I'm not surprised - I've had head, teachers and chair of governor lie in my situation too. Closing ranks in case you take it further and they're held accountable for not fulfilling their duty. I thought your daughter wasn't going back? Not sure what it's worth but I'd write a stinking email and copy it to head, Ofsted and LEA saying what an appalling school, how your daughter has been failed and that they're a bunch of liars. You won't hear anything back but platitudes - e.g. we're got a very robust bullying policy, we take bullying very seriously, our pastoral care is excellent etc but possibly behind the scenes someone will take note. I always believe to put these things in writing further up - it might not help you but you might just help people along the line that complain after you. Good luck. Take her out of school and turn your back on the place. Sorry but I'm not surprised. Most schools are great until you feel they're not doing enough at which point they get defensive and start turning the tables.

flabulousdarling Wed 30-Jun-10 19:52:45

You are so right Tabliope, I have taken dd2 out of school but still have to pick up dd1 so we're not free of them yet. As you say they're covering their backs but maybe one of my letters may put the seed of doubt with someone who is bothered, who knows?

Tabliope Wed 30-Jun-10 21:31:36

I hope your dd1 is leaving soon too so you won't have to deal with this school. I know what the procedure is for complaining - go to the governors and then a meeting is arranged. The thing is it takes so long that you give up because they mess you around with the formalities and then when you do get a chance to say your piece they don't get the finer points of it - deliberately being obtuse and not responding directly to what you're saying. It is utterly frustrating - and I think they know that; wear you down so you give up. You're moving anyway write that letter to them all and just say you want it noted and you're disgusted at the lack of professionalism. In my case I 'lost' the battle, they closed ranks and basically lied through their teeth. Even the LEA refused to accept anything was wrong despite a statement from a parent governor saying he was having numerous parents and members of staff complain to him about the head, giving examples of her unreasonable behaviour. They closed ranks but I heard on the grapevine she was sent on a special course on how to deal with parents. So, what I'm saying is, you might get to know what goes on and they'll deny everything to the death but it'll mark a few cards and possibly help others complaining in the future. Good luck to you and your dd1 and dd2. Hope the new school is a fantastic fresh start.

Jux Thu 01-Jul-10 15:07:18

flabulousdarling, no expertise or anything to offer but huge sympathies and encouragement. I was bullied mercilessly from the age of 6 for 5 years and tried to kill myself twice, but this being back in the 60s nothing was done. My dd was bullied too, though not as badly, and in the end I did move her. Best thing I ever did (so far, anyway!). So glad your little dd is out of it now.

DD's old school is renowned in the area for not dealing with bullying but was receiving perfectly acceptable Ofsted reports, saying what a happy school it was etc. I know I wasn't the only parent telling Ofsted how bad the management of bullying was, because I was with about 6 other mothers and we all wrote it on the form together, but it is only a year ago that the school has been put into special measures! We'd already moved dd by then.

The head is an old bitch who blanks troublesome parents and their children - her pupils! - and ignores bullying. It doesn't happen because they have a bloody policy and some F*cking rule that says pupils shouldn't do it. I am getting angry again, so I'll sign off now. But what you are doing is great, and well done to you.

flabulousdarling Thu 01-Jul-10 16:13:21

Thanks Jux. I'm so sorry to hear of your awful experiences. When you've been bullied yourself (I was) seeing your child go through the same thing brings back horrible memories as well, although at least you can understand fully the pain your child is going through.

I'm glad moving your dd was a positive decision I'm hoping my dd will be happy to go to school once again.

I haven't thought about Ofsted as I looked on their website and it doesn't look like you can take that sort of complaint to them.

Our Head is a pompous bullying a*hole who has let his power go to his head. He today had to postpone our meeting as he decided he needed a senior member of the LEA to be there (does this mean that he's scared or is he just covering his back - I mean if he thought our complaint was so pathetic would he be taking such measures?) Anyway I told the Receptionist that actually we decided that we were wasting our time and wouldn't bother with the meeting anyway as it's pointless trying to fight a school.

I was driving the dd's home and as I passed the school I spotted the School Nurse (DD's confidante at school - she gives dd her medication) hopping it to a car and the kids had a look at was only one of the bullies mothers shock

I have been confiding in her about what's happened and what the bullies have been doing to my dd, she listened to my conversation with another mother who said that her daughter she had seen dd being elbowed in the ribs - the school nurse must have got to the bullies mother first. No wonder when the school investigated that witnessed incident they grilled the child and she needed to be questioned by the class teacher, Assistant Headteacher and also the Headteacher.

I feel slightly sick.

It's official, there is no staff member at that school that I can trust.

flabulousdarling Thu 01-Jul-10 16:16:01

I meant to say:

'hopping into a car and the kids had a look to see who it was - it was only one of the bullies mothers.'

DinahRod Thu 01-Jul-10 16:38:06

Hi flabulousdarling, my father has emailed and also included his contact details if you want to talk to him. He's a good sounding board/got a fearsome rep (I won't reveal his nickname) but is also pragmatic.

You've also had really good advice on here.

Hope dd has had a better day.

Tabliope Thu 01-Jul-10 16:54:21

Chuck a firework into the fire by writing to everyone you can think of - whether they say this is following the correct policy or not (head of LEA, governors, Ofsted) and include the unprofessionalism of all members of the staff (including the nurse) then walk away. Tell them you have no faith in the proper procedure for various reasons. That's all you can do. Honestly, you'll go mad with frustration otherwise. They'll waffle on and not admit anything directly till you end up losing your temper and then it'll be aha! see what this family is like. Maintain your cool but just dob them all in it, naming names.

Ratemyteacher.com will give you a small, vicarious feeling of getting your own back wink.

Sorry I keep posting. It's something so close to my heart after what me and my DS went through. Walk away to better things.

Jux Thu 01-Jul-10 20:13:28

Re Ofsted - we just wanted their crap bullying shit to show or influence the report. You're right, they can't actually do anything and won't get involved, but we felt that if enough of us voiced/wrote our complaints to them, it would be reflected in the report for anyone else to see, otherwise it's "this school has an adequate bullying policy and follows it well" or some such crap.

MeMudmagnet Fri 09-Jul-10 14:29:59

I'm so sorry to hear what has happened to your family at this school and hope your dd can be happy now.

I was in a similar situation not so long ago and I can't believe this sort of thing happens so often. Something needs to change..

The best thing for you to do now is work on building your dd's self esteem up. Encourage her to try new things, meet new friends and tell her how great she is.... all things I'm sure you're already doing.
Does she know any girls from her new school she could get to know better over the summer hols?

Vallhala Sun 25-Jul-10 22:55:16

Have only flicked through the first and last couple of posts as DDs are still awake. angry.

I've seen that you have removed your DD from school but still wonder if my own, reverse experience may offer a little advice.

V. briefly:

When Dds were 6 and 7 they started to be verbally abused and threatened by a parent, both in and out of school, as was I. First incident (7 yo DD cornered and not allowed to move, woman shouting, swearing in her face) was witnessed by HT and Deputy HT, plua parents, others confirmed by parents' written and verbal witness statements. HT promised me all this was recorded and sent to LA with request that they allowed her to bar parent from school, but LA refused. I couldn't understand why. Nothing done, despite loads of evidence, so I withdrew DDs, who were in a terrivle state.

2 years later I discovered that I could obtain DDs records from school AND the LA, including in-house memos, letters/emails from HT to LA etc, so I did. then found that HT had ommitted to send LA witness statements and my own, omitted to give them records of our conversations where I had reported the woman etc (and lied about what I'd said too, making me look like a PFB fuss-maker!).

Then I found out what she SHOULD have done... ie issue formal warning to abusive parent in writing, ask her to meet to discuss and warn her of further action etc. All of this is on Teachernet, HERE

My advice is to get your DDs FULL records, from school AND the LA. Ask under the Data Protection Act 1998 (school and LA) and the The Education (Pupil Information) (England) Regulations 2005 (to the school).

Ensure you make it clear that you want ALL records and communications relating to DD, you and DH, by name, with your address and DDs DOB, stating that you and DH are parents and as such have parental responsibility. Term it so you mention that you want items such as, BUT NOT EXCLUSIVE TO emails, in-house notes and memos, communications between school and LA or other parties. Tell them also that if they withhold anything you wish to know why and what they are withholding. If they do withhold and it's, say, something which has another persons info or name on it and can thus identify them, ask them to delete the personal info and forward the document. (By law they have to get permission to give other people's info and/or reveal names etc, but you can overcome it by deletion).

Then, when you have this, ask the LA and school why the heck the HT didn't follow guidance wrt your DH. You may well find other detail in DDs records which you wish to raise too.

Personally, I'd cc to my MP too, with a covering letter/email. Even email the requests (you can ask for info under the Acts by email, it just has to be in writing), and add a made up lawyer's email address in the cc bar, such as cc peter.harrison@parkercollinslawgroup.co.uk

They aren't to know Peter Harrison doesn't exist, but it may shake them up!

Also, speak with the education lawyers at the Children's Legal Centre (details online) who will be able to advise further.

HTH and good luck. I'm fuming for you both and for your poor DD.

Vallhala Sun 25-Jul-10 23:00:13

PS meant to say that in law, school has the right to bar anyone as they can withdraw (can't think of the bloody proper term!) what is effectively tacit consent of entry to the premises for genuine reason, just as you allow the postman onto your private drive.

However, according to guidelines they should have acted as the guideline link I posted above and normally AFAIK need to refer to the LA before barring a parent.

spurs12345 Sat 05-Feb-11 20:08:55

We all do things in the heat of the moment and I think banning your husband from the playground and having police there is way over the top. Since these 2 girls parents work at the school there is not alot you can do about the bullying as the teachers there all support each other though they shouldnt support the bullying. What I would do is go further up than the school and report them. I would also tell the police about what happened. Also look at other schools and get your daughter out of that school. She deserves better than that school.

hymie Thu 17-Feb-11 11:43:03

Great advice on here and a wealth of options for your run in with an obviously uncaring system at your daughters school.

Report the school and make complaints weekly if you have to, be a stick in their sides.

I hope you get it sorted and your Daughter finds happiness in her new school.

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