Bullied by a teacher.

(60 Posts)
Maria1201 Wed 22-May-13 17:02:13

My 9 year old daughter was bullied by her class teacher. It started in September and we have been back and forth to the school. My daughter had always loved school and had an excellent relationship with all her teachers until this year. The problem was the more I complained and the more the school put in place to protect my daughter, the more the teacher bullied my daughter. Eventually a full time teaching assistant was put into place and the school was very supportive. The obvious bullying stopped.
Then it started again in March. I didn't go to parents evening and I believe that is what angered the teacher. I made a formal complaint and a meeting was held with the governors. The Head then denied everything that had happened. However her lies soon fell apart and she admitted it had happened. The teacher had been advised by her union not to attend.
However when they sent the findings of the panel they just said the teacher had lacked judgement.
I had to remove my daughter from the school as she was having the most horrendous nightmares and was being sick at the thought of returning. I have a son in the school and can't juggle two schools. There is no school that will take them both. I have tried to move her up a year for the last 6 weeks of school. She is very advanced for her years and was supposed to be spending some lessons in that year anyway. However they have said no and will only allow her to move down two years which my daughter would find humiliating.
They have offered her to move into the parallel class but as this is next door she would have to walk past the teacher morning and afternoon to get into class. The teacher has a history of going out of her way to be vindictive to my child so I have no doubt that she would come into the parallel class often to intimidate my daughter. I thought if she was in the year above for the next 6 weeks it would be an acceptable solution. The teacher wouldn't be able to make excuses to go to her classroom as alarm bells would surely ring with other teachers and my daughter would still be able to go to school. She was put on the G&T register over a year ago but the school did nothing despite promising various things to challenge her. She definitely wouldn't struggle in that year for the last 6 weeks. The class she would be in is round the other side of the building so contact with the teacher who bullied her would be minimal. She would be able to spend lunch times with her original class and in September she could join the class again. The school are now reporting me to the welfare officer but I can't send my daughter back to that year. She used to be such a happy confident child and now she is a wreck. She wouldn't cope knowing every time the door went it could be that teacher.
She has been through so much already. The teacher has totally destroyed her and the worst part is the school know that she did it, the governor's know that she did it but nobody is prepared to stand up and be counted. It's all about protecting the school's image.
I have contacted the Department of Education and Ofsted but they all take time to process. My daughter has been out of school for 4 weeks now. I've spoken to the council but they will only intervene if she is below the national average or has special needs. Does anyone have any experience of this?

EvilTwins Wed 22-May-13 17:43:19

What did the bullying involve? What records did you keep at the time? Do you have notes from the meetings with the school, or a note of the date and time of incidents and/or meetings?

Maria1201 Wed 22-May-13 18:26:18

The bullying involved humiliating her in front of the class. When she would get upset she would make her sit in class and cry and refused to let her go to the bathroom. She even sent her one day to the medical room when there was nothing wrong. Even when my daughter told her she was fine she insisted. She knocked her confidence so much and then would make her stand at the front of the class and explain to the class why she hadn't done more despite the fact my daughter would have had her hand up for the whole lesson as she was stuck.
Despite the teacher being told not to approach my daughter after another meeting about the bullying the teacher ignored the head and went straight back to class and told my daughter she wanted to speak to her. She made her wait 3 times throughout the whole day using excuses like, "I'm busy eating my pudding come back in your last break". She then questioned how she felt being in her class. The other children would say to their parents that the teacher would say mean things to my daughter but say it with a smile on her face in a kind voice so it didn't look like she was being mean.
My daughter regularly came home in tears and could hardly breathe. She started having nightmares about the teacher smashing her teeth in with a cricket bat so she couldn't tell anymore. She would barely sleep at night.
She then encouraged my daughter to write a concern for the worry box and then told the class how selfish a girl had been and referring to my daughters worry about a class play. All the children knew it was her by the way she did it staring at my daughter. She said she felt like she had a tennis ball stuck n her throat she was trying so hard not to cry. She broke down in the playground as soon as she saw me.
My daughters levels dropped significantly and by November were lower than when she was in yr2. The TA noticed my daughter's change in behaviour as the head was very aware. The teacher changed the grades that she reached the previous year to look like she was progressing. Unfortunately for her the head had done her levels so when it was pointed out she said she would like into it.
When she had upset my daughter so much she was just crying over her homework I said to stop and I would write a letter explaining. Instead of feeling bad about what she had done, she accused me of being defiant and contemptuous of the homework policy.
I kept all dates and detailed minutes of each meeting. I provided statements and witnesses during the panel meeting. I did everything by the book.
When I got the minutes from the meeting that they provided it was as if it was a different meeting altogether. It had been heavily edited and the only thing factual about it was the date.
The only thing I didn't provide was video evidence. The school are determined to now change their stance and support this teacher despite other complaints.

pusspusslet Wed 22-May-13 18:26:40

Hi Maria,

I'm happy to say I have no experience of anything like this, but in your position I'd go to see a solicitor tomorrow and get him/her to write to the school (copying in the Local Education Authority) threatening to sue for negligence if appropriate steps are not taken immediately. You say that the HM has had to admit to the bullying, and if that's the case then it seems to me that you'd have a strong case. Hopefully the threat of proceedings would concentrate the minds of those responsible for the budget, since those responsible for the welfare of your child don't seem to be interested.

I'm so sorry to hear about this nightmare. I hope your daughter survives it unscathed.

clam Wed 22-May-13 18:43:08

I'm struggling to comprehend why on earth a teacher would behave in such a way. What's in it for her? Why would she go out of her way to seek your dd out in another class?
What is your HT's take on this?

Maria1201 Wed 22-May-13 18:57:47

Thanks for the advice.

We are struggling to comprehend it also. The teacher is quite young and inexperienced and she reacts badly to criticism. She has absolutely no self control. However the HT whilst accepting all that had taken place is now referring in writing to the incidents as a lack of judgement and inappropriate behaviour as are the governor's. Despite all that was said verbally.
Given the vindictiveness of the teacher's past behaviour and 'knee jerk' reactions (HT words not mine) then I firmly believe she would seek out my daughter to intimidate her. My daughter's confidence has been replaced with fear of this teacher and I just don't think she could cope. Another teacher at a recent meeting with the HT said maybe it was time my daughter was forced to face her fears. She is 9. She is too polite and nowhere near brave enough to stand up for herself against an adult let alone a teacher. When the teacher was told in no uncertain terms to not speak to my daughter, she walked straight out of the HT office and went to speak to my daughter. When we spoke to the HT again she again referred to it as a lack of judgement but that she meant no harm. When I pointed out it was metal abuse she said nothing and just agreed that the end of the year would welcomed so my daughter didn't have to be in her class anymore.

chartreuse Wed 22-May-13 18:58:42

So sorry to hear that this has happened to your daughter. We had a very similar situation with ds and we lost all trust in the school and are now home educating him. His self esteem was destroyed by a teacher, and even though we did everything by the book the school tried to deny all knowledge of the events. It has been horrific. Our dd is still in the school, she has a fantastic teacher and is very happy, but we will be moving her in September.

The stress this has caused has been enormous, I feel I have aged 10 years in he last few months. Home educating was not in my plan, but it has worked out so well for ds and he has returned to his old self having suffered so badly from stress and anxiety caused by the school situation. I feel so disillusioned with the school, I trusted them and they really let my child down. Worse still, there is very little we can do about it.

Maria1201 Wed 22-May-13 19:02:33

In response to what's in it for her. I don't think there is anything, at least not that I can think of other than I spoke to the HT about her which angered her. The HT dealt with it and it stepped up a gear from then. Even the HT agreed with us that it was a control issue for her. That is what I am most disappointed with. The HT knew what was going on. She said on many occasions how frustrated she was but it just seemed the more we complained the more it happened. I don't know whether the school can't do anything about it or whether its just all about brushing it under the carpet.

The teacher has been there 3 years now and has had 3 formal complaints against her that I know of.

Maria1201 Wed 22-May-13 19:09:15

charteuse I totally identify with how you feel. The stress this has caused my family has been awful. I too feel like I've aged. Anyone I have spoken to that have had similar things happen have all taken their children out of school and now home school. It's just so unfair that there is nowhere to turn. This wouldn't be allowed to happen in any other walk of life but schools seem untouchable. My son is in the same school and has a fantastic teacher. I just feel for my daughter so much.
She is very academic and just loved school and learning so much. She calls herself The Nerd and she loves the label. She's proud of it. It's such a shame that this teacher has been allowed to destroy her like this.

cory Thu 23-May-13 07:44:02

If I were you I would think very hard to see if there wasn't some way in which you could let her move schools, even if it involved paying somebody else to take her there or to take her son to school.

We stuck it out in a school where dd was badly treated, didn't realise the effect it was having on her then, but she went completely to pieces once she felt safe in her (lovely) secondary school and has lost a lot of her education to that breakdown. I now wish we had done things differently.

musicalfamily Thu 23-May-13 08:54:28

I cringed when I heard this and I believe these things are rare but do happen. When I was in primary my teacher bullied a child badly and although I was there only for 2 years (Y2 and Y3) I remember it vividly, in fact it is the only memory I have of that class, the teacher and that child and the horrible things she said to her.

My mum removed me from that school as somehow she had a vibe that the teacher was a little unhinged (we had the same teacher all the way through) and didn't like me being taught by her, but I am sure the parent of that child didn't know how badly her daughter was treated and if I were you I would remove my child from that school at all costs.

It shouldn't be the child who is removed but you have to put her interests first and I can't imagine a way in which she could move on when she has to see that teacher every day, even just in the corridors.

NutellaNutter Thu 23-May-13 11:23:30

I certainly support reforms which enable rubbish teachers to be sacked more easily.

greenformica Thu 23-May-13 13:09:19

The school are failing in their duty of care. They are loco parentas in your absence. See a solicitor?

Maria1201 Thu 23-May-13 14:31:43

Thanks everyone. I can't believe the situation we are in. We have always been supportive of the school, supported the kids through it. Both my children are in the top groups for everything and really well behaved. I just don't know how we got here. I'm still gobsmacked and it's been going on for months.
Through spending a lot of time trying to resolve this you realise that unfortunately this situation isn't as rare as you would think. Whilst there are some outstanding teachers out there, there are also average ones and unfortunately very bad ones. As is the case with any profession. But clearly no other profession is as protected. Or so it seems from my experience anyway. Schools all seem to want to work with families...until you say something they don't want to hear.
I spoke to the council and they said they work in schools everyday and you will never find a more arrogant institution. Which is all very well but doesn't really help me. I'm not going to slag teachers and schools off as a whole as that is a massive generalisation. I just think it should be more widely accepted that all teachers are not caring and not all schools are good at dealing with difficult situations. When there are bad teachers and bad leadership in schools there should be organisations that will step in. Not just the department of education and ofsted that take over a month to tell you whether they can even investigate the matter because it may be classed as an individual issue and not a school issue. My child has been abandoned by the system because she is above the national average. I was told by the council if she was below I could take my pick of organisations that would be fighting to help. How is that right?

musicalfamily Thu 23-May-13 15:37:59

what's being above the national average got to do with being bullied? I don't really see a link, unless they are linking the being above average to the reason the teacher was bullying her?

musicalfamily Thu 23-May-13 15:39:10

ps I am not sure bullying is dealt well anywhere, to be honest. I work and have worked in very large organisations (private) and seen some terrible cases of bullying, with terrible consequences for grown up professional individuals and the culprits just being moved somewhere else to cause more damage.

Maria1201 Thu 23-May-13 16:41:15

Apparently there are organisations that would step in if the child was below the national average as they need support. They would go to the school with you for ANY issues and make sure that the school were supportive in every way. There used to be an organisation that would step in if a child was registered gifted and talented but the budget was cut and now no longer exists.
It seems that the powers that be feel that if a child is not in need academically than everything else related to that child is irrelevant.
The council did try and help by ringing round to find anybody that would help me but as soon as it was answered that she was on the gifted and talented register they said they couldn't help.
I don't understand it either. It's just so frustrating!

musicalfamily Thu 23-May-13 18:46:20

Bonkers...to be honest I would get a solicitor if I was you and in the meantime look for another school..

NotAnotherPackedLunch Thu 23-May-13 18:55:10

Or at least tell the HT that if there are any further incidents you will be contacting OFSTED.

Jibberoo Thu 23-May-13 19:02:18

To me this is beyond unacceptable. I feel for your whole family. If it was me I would be going to solicitor ASAP and moving my child. No child should suffer from someone so cruel and a school so uncaring (to be honest I would also name and shame both everywhere I could and would go to local papers too but then I'm quite hot headed). Wishing you luk and your dd happiness.

soapboxqueen Thu 23-May-13 20:20:57

I feel so sorry for your daughter. Bullying is bad enough but much worse when it comes from an adult. One that is supposed to be a trusted professional to boot. I honestly don't know why schools allow these situations to continue. It's not about sacking staff or the inability to. It's entirely possible to do and more often than not the person jumps before they are pushed. Yet nothing changes.

I am a teacher and I was bullied by another member of staff. He also bullied the rest of the staff off and on as well as the children. I complained, other staff complained, parents complained. Nothing happened. it was like complaining that water was wet. My head teacher was very sympathetic but ultimately did nothing but come up with excuses for him. Thousands of teachers every year leave a job because of bullying. Some of these bullies only target colleagues others anyone and everyone.

I really don't know what the answer is. I left that job because I didn't know what else to do.

rainbowsocks Thu 23-May-13 20:29:30

What an awful situation. I don't know if Ofsted can actually act on complaints relating to individual children,can they?

You're right about certain schools and staff being protected. I have a serious problem and am getting nowhere. The Governor's have denied everything and threatened legal action against me for slander hmm. They don't appear to have followed any complaints procedures but as they won't supply a copy of their policy I don't know what the procedures are!. The LA are ignoring my requests for explanations.
Most complaints end with the Governors decision - you cant challenge it or they simply call you vexatious and refuse to respond sad.

I suggest that you contact the LA Head of Education and Learning for 'advice'and see what they recommend. They won't want the hassle so are likely to speak to the school and make them take some positive action. Hope you get it sorted.

mercibucket Thu 23-May-13 20:33:59

can you home ed? this sounds really awful, she needs to get out of that environment. or at least go to the parallel class and get the new teacher to protect her sad

Maria1201 Fri 24-May-13 09:44:52

I'm self employed as is her father and he works away a lot. I have a two year old also and whilst I have had to turn down serious amounts of work already to be at home I can't continue to do so. Because of the nature of our work it means lots of travel so juggling two schools, one nursery and childminders is impossible. I have contacted over 80 schools now going further and further out to get one school to take both but I have had no joy. I have already complained to Ofsted some weeks ago but there is a backlog and no guarantee they will investigate as it's an individual rather than a school. Although I'm hoping the number of complaints will equate to it being a school issue. I have spoken to the Department of Education who said they would only look into it if I officially complained and even then it may be the same answer as Ofsted, (out of their remit). I did this but again it takes weeks.
The school sent me the newsletter yesterday and in red at the end it stated any parents who fail to send their children to school will be reported. Clearly my own personal message.
I have no desire to stay at that school at all and have put the children on waiting lists but there is such a shortage of places.
I have also gone to the newspaper who said they are interested in writing a story but as with anything it will take time to investigate it.
Due to an inset day it is now half term. Breathing space for a week at least.
A teacher I know at another school has been kind enough to give me some work to keep my daughter going and I've signed her up to English and Math's at Kumon. So far it's going ok but having a 2 year old at home, when she is not at nursery makes home schooling awkward. I can't afford to put her in nursery full time as I'm not working as much due to the home schooling.

Rainbowsocks..The school are not allowed to deny you the complaints procedure so straight away they are in the wrong. I too was told the Governor's decision is final and anything said after a decision was made would be classed as a vexatious complaint. However that is just to intimidate you. The Governor's and the school may not have to look at it again if it has been dealt with appropriately and gone through the whole procedure but that can't deny your complaint without following that procedure. They also can't stop you taking it higher.
I'd like to say by taking it higher you will get somewhere but as someone who is the process of this I am doubtful. Unfortunately you can go through all of this and there seems to be nothing you can do about it in the end. However if you have the stamina for the stress I would urge you to follow it through. Ofsted and the D of E will definitely not look into anything that hasn't been followed through correctly. (Not that I know they will definitely anyway).

I guess you just have to keep fighting for what is right. I'm not pretending to be any crusader. If I managed to get another school today I will be grabbing it with both hands and running as I don't care what happens to the school, my kids are my priority and that would be in their best interest. However whilst I am trapped I will fight her corner as best I can.

Catmint Fri 24-May-13 09:55:06

Lack of judgement and inappropriate behaviour may not adequately describe what you dd has been through but they should be enough to give you enough leverage to get a better outcome for your dd. they still show a failure on the schools part to uphold their duty of care to your dd.

Maria1201 Fri 24-May-13 10:17:56

I'm hoping so. I suspect this is why I haven't been reported to welfare so far. Although to be honest I think once it goes externally, (i.e. no longer under the schools control) then I may actually get somewhere. They will be under pressure to report me now as it's been 4 weeks.

bunjies Fri 24-May-13 10:22:48

I'm so sorry to read this. It's bad enough when your child is being bullied by other children but for them to be bullied by a teacher is horrendous. Your poor dd sad. You say you have tried moving schools but there are no places for both your children. Have you looked into submitting an in year appeal? You must surely have a very good case, especially if you can identify a school that definitely has a place for your younger dc.

FasterStronger Fri 24-May-13 10:36:44

I cannot see why a teacher would bully as child. I mean why any particular child?

are you sure the teacher is just not incredibly nervous of doing something wrong and being complained about? so acting strangely?

moosemama Fri 24-May-13 10:52:10

FasterStronger, both my sister and I were targetted and bullied by the same teacher in primary school and it's something neither of us have ever forgotten or got over.

She did things like ripping up our work, forcing me to sit next to the bully that had picked on me for years (and the school knew about) and allowing him continue to openly bully me in class, humiliating me by holding up my work for the rest of the class and saying it was rubbish, putting me on playground litter duty all the time, when other children in the class never had to do it (it was supposed to be a rota), hissing threats under her breath etc (she knew well enough not to shout, as if she had, the teacher in the next room would have heard her hmm).

She was vile and terrifying, but back then no-one listened to children. We were both terrified of her and I clearly remember sobbing for days when I found out I was she was going to be my teacher, after the way she'd treated my sister. I can still clearly see her face looming at me like it did when she would get right into my face and hiss at me. <<shudder>>

My sister and I were good students, worked hard and were popular with the other pupils - we never had a problem with any other teachers. The only thing we could think of that could have provoked her obvious hatred of us was that we were visibly poorer than the rest of the children in the school (second hand uniform etc) and were the only pupils whose parents were divorced.

She wasn't nervous or acting strangely, she was an out and out bully who should never have been allowed to teach and thinking about it now, clearly had serious psychological issues.

OP I am so sorry to hear what your dd is going through. If I were you I would definitely take some legal advice and also take her to the GP to get the anxiety documented as evidence for why she is unable to attend school. You should be able to get some advice through the free first consultation scheme that many solicitors offer and from there pay for them to write a formal letter to the school. I would advise you to use a firm that specialises in education though, as, as you have discovered it can be quite a closed shop in many cases and you need someone who knows the system inside out.

I really hope your dd can get past this and go on to love school again. I had a different teacher the following year and she was awesome, a bit like having your Grandma as your class teacher. smile I think she must have known how I had been treated and went out of her way to make me feel safe and validated - restoring my faith in teachers as she did so.

firsttimemum12 Fri 24-May-13 10:59:12

This is a horrible situation to be in. But there are teachers like that in most schools. My mum was bullied by a teacher when she was trying to train on her NQT year. She wouldn't want to go in, be in tears after work and even waking at 4 in the morning crying to my dad knowing what lies ahead. She actually had to leave the school she was at, and started again at another school as the board of directors didn't see the bully, even though the teacher had scribbled all over her work and there was various other complaints about this teacher! But that's a grown woman to another grown woman and i know what i felt about this teacher and how much i wanted to do something about it. so i can't begin to imagine the extent of hurt and emotional damage this could be doing to your dd and how hard it must be for you to see her like this! sad

I definitely think you should seek advice outside of school, solicitors wherever you see fit. Your dd is a critical stage of her childhood and education, and this teacher is tainting that for her!
I hope you manage to get everything sorted for your dc's sooner rather than later! Good luck!!!

Ilikethebreeze Fri 24-May-13 11:02:33

I wouldnt be concerned about your daughter falling behind education wise for now. She is very bright. She will be fine in that way, for now.

personally, as 2 other posters have said, I would see a solicitor for some advice on the matter. Up to you how far you take that.
He may well have some ideas and options of what your choices are at this point.

Maria1201 Fri 24-May-13 12:01:13

There have been a couple of posts on this thread asking why a teacher would do that? I would like to say this. When I was around 10 I was bullied because my cousin's dad was of Indian origin. Her skin was a different colour to mine. I was bullied (for only a short time) by a group of girls who were also of various origins and various skin tones. The point I am making is...that was an excuse to bully me but not the reason. The reason they bullied me was probably nothing more than they were bored. They liked watching other children being scared of them.
Why does a teacher bully? Who knows, maybe my daughter reminds her of someone, maybe she doesn't like the way she looks or the way she writes her T's. Maybe she just likes having power over her. I couldn't possibly answer that. All I know is, bullies cause great harm to others and usually because they have an issue themselves and take it out on other people. She has a noticeable issue with all the bright children as other parents have relayed, maybe she resents them because she didn't do well in something else. Either way it's purely speculative and the only person that can answer that is the bully.
I can only share my experience with you all.

As for everyone else that have shared their stories on this thread, I think it's just terribly sad that this happens. I wish I could say something that would give hope that things are changing. Something positive to offer...

All I can say is that my daughter has been off for 4 weeks now and hasn't had one of her nightmares in the last 7 days. In the last week I haven't found her in the bathroom in the early hours crying. And when I see she is not alseep when she should be, it's because she's trying to sneak reading a few extra pages of a good book, not because she is staring at the ceiling wondering what she could do to make her teacher like her. Or writing heartbreaking lists of reasons why she thinks her teacher doesn't like her. I know something needs to be done for her future but she's smiling again that's my positive for today.

Ilikethebreeze Fri 24-May-13 12:30:11

You are really just having a rant on this thread aren't you. Because of your trying circumstances.

moosemama Fri 24-May-13 12:34:04

Maria, I am so glad to hear your daughter's anxiety has subsided since she's been away from school. That's all the validation you need to know you are doing what's right for her.

I hope you can find a way, when she's ready, to help her back to school in some way that she doesn't ever have to face, let alone deal with her bully again and that she's lucky enough to have a lovely teacher like I did the year after I was bullied to restore her faith in teachers.

I honestly believe that teachers like hers and my bully are in the minority. There are so many wonderful, committed teachers out there that genuinely love the children they teach. Fingers crossed that, once she's past this, she will go from strength to strength.

Maria1201 Fri 24-May-13 13:31:12

Thank you moosemama for those kind words. Ilikethebreeze...no I'm not just having a rant. I was hoping that someone may be able to help having been in my situation as I've exhausted all my ideas and I want to help my daughter as any mum would. I feel I have open and honest about my situation but it seems anyone that has been in my situation or my daughter's have only been able to move on once they were out of the situation rather than a resolution found. I may find that frustrating for all of us but no I would not say I posted this thread as a sounding board.

moosemama Fri 24-May-13 13:53:00

Have you tried contacting some of the anti-bullying charities for advice?


Anti-bullying alliance


Department of Education advice


I'm sure they will have come across bullying teachers before and may be able to offer you some advice on how to move forward.

Maria1201 Fri 24-May-13 14:04:56

Thanks Moosemama I have but I've done all the things they advise already, timelines, complaints procedures etc. It seems you can go so far down the road and then there is a dead end. I guess I'm just going to have to hope Ofsted or the D of E investigate it. Failing that I don't know. I guess I just wanted someone to say, I was in this situation, I contacted....and they managed a workable resolution. Maybe there isn't anyone. I can't afford a solicitor even with a free consultation there will be expense after that. I can't work at the moment with my daughter out of school and being self employed I won't be able to save up. Thanks everyone for taking the time to post I really appreciate it x

ProphetOfDoom Fri 24-May-13 14:07:23

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ProphetOfDoom Fri 24-May-13 14:10:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Maria1201 Fri 24-May-13 14:17:33

The Governing Panel who heard the complaint upheld my complaint in part and said they felt the teacher had shown lack of judgement and had been inappropriate but didn't elaborate. When I asked what that meant for the future for my daughter they emailed me back to say that the matter was now closed and communication was over.
I don't know what if anything happened to the teacher. She is still in class but to be honest I'm past caring what happens to her. She has been complained about by other parents since I pulled my daughter and nothing has been done. My concern and only concern is getting my daughter into school and over this traumatic time.

moosemama Fri 24-May-13 14:32:05

I do understand Maria, we have been in similar positions with SEN provision - sometimes you can only take things so far and then there is just no way to legally enforce them providing the support and/or protection your dcs need. Unfortunately, if you come up against a HT and/or Governing body that are more interested in maintaining their reputation and brushing things under the carpet than ensuring the wellbeing of their pupils, there is often no-one to turn to. It stinks, it really does. sad

We took the same attitude as you in the end. Gave up fighting any further, as we just felt like tiny fishes struggling on the end of a line and we were wasting far too much energy trying to get them to step up and do the right thing - but ultimately knew we were fighting a losing battle. We needed that energy to support our ds, so we backed right off and focussed on supporting him at home and making sure he got the right secondary placement so we won't have a repeat of the same kind of crap he's been subjected to in primary.

He has been badly bullied at his primary school as well and in every instance they insisted they were following the school's policy, but refused to say what sanctions were imposed upon the bullies. (As far as we can see none.) We do have a copy of the policy - but the school hasn't released the appendices that the policy continual refers to, which list the escalation of sanctions against different levels of 'misdemeanour'. hmm

The boys that severely beat him in the playground on more than one occasion, were not only not suspended or excluded, one of them remained in his class. angry I think it's par for the course for schools not to tell you what happens to the bullies - it makes it easier for them to sweep it under the carpet and hope it all blows over. angry

Maria1201 Fri 24-May-13 14:58:56

That's dreadful Moosemama! Did you call the police when he was beaten? I know another parent who called the police and they went round to the boys house. The school soon dealt with the matter.
I'm not sure with regards to all areas but I know there are organisations that deal with children in these situations IF they have SEN provision such as Helping Handz which may help other people.
I keep hoping something will happen like the school do the right thing or a place will come up for the kids somewhere. Probably wishful thinking but...
I hope your son and your family can move on from this experience. It really affects the whole family and puts a huge strain on everyone. Hopefully your son will be stronger for it and go on to have a happy and successful life despite them. He shouldn't have to go through it I know.

moosemama Fri 24-May-13 15:37:47

It was informing the HT that we were going to the police that finally got him to act. Then the main/lead bully was finally moved into the other class in ds's year, although they do still share one lesson.

It's complicated by the fact that ds has Aspergers, so the school would constantly try to blame his poor social skills for any bullying incidents. The final time it happened though there was a multitude of witnesses, who were all asked to write up witness statements. The school initially refused to believe ds's description of events, but every single other statement backed up exactly what he'd said - basically that he was minding his own business and the other boys just ran up to him and attacked with no provocation. sad angry

We didn't get any outside help at all, as at it's worst, ds was only just going through his assessments. He had a breakdown as a result of the bullying and not being properly supported at school and in all honesty, has never really been the same since, but he's happy again now and likes going to school.

Unfortunately, he has been left supersensitive to being bullied, so got into trouble himself last week when another child jumped on and grabbed him - just messing around - and he panicked and hit them (not badly) to make them let go. He's never hit anyone in his life before. sad Interestingly, the teacher was quick enough to jump on ds for raising a hand, so unlike when he is the victim. angry Fortunately, the other child was a friend and they were able to talk it through agree to put it behind them.

I keep being told what a hard time the other boy/s have had over the past couple of years (family issues) as if that somehow excuses their treatment of my ds. In fact,when things threatened to start up again recently I wrote a strongly worded letter to the school, listing the incidents and warning signs and told them that I was aware that the family had had yet another upheaval and sure enough ds was becoming their emotional punchbag - yet again. Fortunately, ds now has a very strong advocate in the form of the Assistant HT who taught him last year and she dealt with things swiftly this time and nipped it in the bud.

I am so glad he only has half a term left at that school. Unfortunately, ds2 has a couple of years left there and dd is just about to start in reception, so it will be a long time before I am free of the place. hmm

You're absolutely right, it's a huge emotional strain on the whole family and just so awful when you feel totally powerless to help them. sad

Thank you for your kind thoughts. I wish the same for your dd.

I am very sorry to hear about the treatment your daughter has received at her school.

I was bullied extensively at child and my head of year actively worked with my bullies against me, so that she could be 'in' with the popular girls. Nothing was done by the school. It is soul destroying being in that situation and you have done the right thing to remove your daughter from that school.

I am a teacher who has contact with home educators in my area, one boy is brought to groups by his nanny. If you have a two year old as well, would a nanny be a possibility temporarily? The nanny could drop your daughter to local groups/sessions and look after your two year old as well.

With regard to school welfare, I would advise you to contact someone at Home Education UK. They will be able to advise you on deregistration, legal issues and how to correspond with various authorities. If you deregister it will stop the welfare proceedings, fines etc.... You could also raise the possibility of flexible-schooling with the Head (at Head's discretion),so that your dd attends part time within another class (even if it is the younger class, she could look at it as if she is helping, the last six weeks of summer term have a lot of fun activities like sports day), in order to keep her place at the school whilst her academic needs are catered to whilst she is at home. Schooling does not have to be Mon - Fri if home/flexi schooling, weekends and evenings all count if you wanted to get tutors for her.

As a secondary aged child that should read.

ItsallisnowaFeegle Fri 24-May-13 16:56:05

My daughter has had a couple of incidences at school with teachers behaving in an inappropriate manner, at the very least.

Her yr 7 art teacher really took exception to her. She criticised and belittled my daughter at every opportunity. My daughter is actually a very talented artist, extremely so and it got to a point where my DD really didn't enjoy art at school.

I attended my first high school parents evening and told the teacher that, unlike a lot of parents, I do not think that the teacher is always right. That it is human and natural to take a 'dislike' to some individuals, without ever really being able to put a finger on why. I suggested this was the case here, that there was a clash of personalities and despite how she may or may not feel, personally, this treatment of my daughter stops now. As a professional, she was tasked with assisting my daughter to gain an education and from this moment on, that is exactly what both myself and my daughter expected and all that we would accept.

To be fair, she agreed to some extent (the clash of personalities etc). And to her credit, I received no further reports of unacceptable treatment from DD. In fact, she told me the teacher was almost tripping over herself to be pleasant.

The other issue was with her French teacher, again in yr 7. He accused her of doing her homework that morning and had rushed it. He made her stand up in front of the whole class while belittling DD by reading her work out. He then ripped up her jotter, before banishing her to the back of the class and refusing to allow her to join in with the lesson.

I was angry as I'd actually helped/ discussed this particular piece of homework a week before, with DD. I don't think my daughter is by any means the perfect pupil at all times but I was livid at this!

I wrote a letter to the teacher and told him that I had personally been involved in this particular piece of homework, that if her work does not meet the standards he requires/ expects, then he should discuss his concerns, in private, and never should he dare make her a laughing stock in front of her peers.

I insisted that he apologise to DD, which he promptly did.

I am very much the type of parent who works with the school if there are issues (i.e. DD was an Oompa Loompa for a few months when she was trying to find 'her place' and I took all of her makeup off of her as a result --until she came to her senses--)

Anyway, a few months down the line from that, I met her French teacher and he said DD had the capabilities to be not one of but the best linguist in her year.

I just don't 'get' why people find it so difficult to believe that teachers, too, are flawed and bullying behaviour can and does occur.

I'm so sorry for your DD, OP. She's being failed by the education system and I hope you are able to find a solution.

LatteLady Fri 24-May-13 21:13:25

Maria, may I ask what you want to happen?

Please be aware that whatever sanctions have been taken against the teacher will not be made known to you. For exactly the same reason, that if your child were the transgressor other people would not know what actions had been taken.

Once we know what you would like to happen, then perhaps we can find a way to achieve it.

Ilikethebreeze Fri 24-May-13 21:31:44

You need to bring in the big guns of outside agencies - police, solicitors, media.
You say you dont have money for solicitors - no idea about legal aid, or a free 30 minute initial consultation.
police - no idea whether they would get involved or not.
media - sometimes just the thought of media getting involved is enough for organisations to suddenly sit up and take notice.

ProphetOfDoom Fri 24-May-13 22:43:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ProphetOfDoom Fri 24-May-13 22:49:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ProphetOfDoom Fri 24-May-13 22:50:46

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Maria1201 Mon 27-May-13 11:13:56

Thanks everyone. I think maybe I just have to see what the Welfare Officer says. I imagine they will be round next week when she doesn't go back. As I have still not heard from the D of E or Ofsted I guess they are still looking into it. They haven't said anything other than they will be in touch once a decision about whether they can investigate has been made. This should be in the next week.
Failing that I am going to have to hope the Welfare Officer looks through the whole complaint and either agree to her being off for the next half term, (probably not likely but maybe under some kind of flexi learning agreement which was suggested earlier) and going back in September. Or argue my case for her moving up now into year 5. However if they can help facilitate a move to another school, even better.
I will keep you all updated and hopefully have some good news soon. I think you are so right Schmaltzing Matilda, persistence and stamina is what will make the difference. I have all the paperwork and witnesses etc. It's just a case of fighting my daughter's corner until someone does something to help her. I hope!

rainbowsock Mon 27-May-13 12:15:31

The welfare of the child should be paramount so hopefully the EWO will be able to suggest a practical solution. A new school might be the best option if your dd is happy to move.
Will be interested to see if Ofsted can investigate this matter - it might fall under the category of 'Leadership & Management'. I also have raised some concerns to them and am awaiting a reply. In my case though some illegal actions have been taken so I am hopeful that they won't turn a blind eye to that. The actions were taken to uphold the schools reputation and maintain their Ofsted rating which is clearly deemed more important than the education of a child sad

CounselorTroi Mon 27-May-13 12:16:26

Does your LEA have a 'children not attending ' team?

Maria1201 Wed 29-May-13 01:48:43

Rainbowsock I hope they do investigate your case. It seems to be the case that too often turning a blind eye to these situations occur. I'm not sure about the LEA having a 'Children not attending team'. I didn't know that such a thing existed. I will ask them. Thanks

Maria1201 Sat 01-Jun-13 19:15:34

Received a letter from welfare today. I have a meeting in just over a week with an attendance panel. Fingers crossed they will look at the reasons thoroughly and my daughter can get back to school safely.

rainbowsock Sat 01-Jun-13 19:32:58

That's good - things should start moving now to get your dd back in education.
Have you heard from Ofsted yet? I am getting impatient to hear from them myself.

Maria1201 Sat 01-Jun-13 19:55:32

No not yet. They said 20 working days but it has been over that now. When I called they said they were dealing with a backlog and couldn't say when they would get back to me. It's so frustrating. I should have heard back from the Department of Education also by now. They said 15 working days but I have heard nothing.

It's a much slower process than I thought it would be. I wonder how quick it would have been dealt with if it had been my daughter bullying a teacher. Silly question.

All we can do is wait...and hope at the end of this Ofsted come good in the end for us both x

ProphetOfDoom Sat 01-Jun-13 22:40:04

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Maria1201 Sat 01-Jun-13 23:08:56

So do I. I'll let you know.

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