Headteacher and five staff suspended!

(352 Posts)
Educationalshame Tue 26-Feb-13 20:55:08

Have name changed so not to out myself. My children go here sad
I received a letter and that is it. Teachers will not really speak about it to me. What do I do?? Reading the attitudes of the other members of staff "What are teachers supposed to do?" Does not reassure me. Advice? Thoughts? Anyone..

MariusEarlobe Sat 02-Mar-13 16:28:30

I just posted about this on another thread as my mum told me about it, my dc used to go there before we moved when the old head who has now gone to the new free school was there. I must admit when I heard I was not suprised although I was at the scale of the staff suspended.

Educationalshame Fri 01-Mar-13 19:11:06

I had a letter today sad
It says that we will be hearing in the next few days (in the press) about children getting out of the school grounds unsupervised during school hours and that as parents we have to understand this is nothing to do with the teachers being suspended.
WHAT!!! So they send me this letter so I do not jump to conclusion from the press. Why was I not told about this when it happened? It says it happened over a MONTH ago!
angry Got the feeling loads more "Issues" are going to be bought to my attention over the next few weeks... FFS!!

ReallyTired Thu 28-Feb-13 21:03:31

"Lack of transparency concerns me with Academies. This has got attention because the LA got involved, that wouldn't happen with an Academy. "

I can't blame you. Teachers often have their heads up their own back sides at the best of times.

Virtually every special school in the land wants to opt out of LEA control because it increases their chances of surivial. It is about teachers' jobs rather than what is best for individual pupils. LEAs are desperate for money and want to selll the land that special schools are on. If a special school has foundaton status then they become the owners of their land. This is awful in more ways than one.

1) If the special school gets sued then the school may well be forced to sell the buildings and close to pay off the court case. Difficult to place chidlren could find themselves without a school at very short notice

2) Children in foundation status special schools do not access to LEA services automatically. Schools have to buy in outside visual Impairment support or autism support or physio or even occupational health for staff. If a school is run like a business they will do anything to avoid bringing in an expert.

3) Academies/ foundation schools do not have to make any attempt to follow the national curriculum. Low expectations has been a huge issue in special schools. If a school does not have to follow the national curriculum then they will not even attempt to meet national expectations.

4) Foundation schools will have limited relationships with other schools in the area.

5) Lack of support for children whose placement at a school fails or appealing against wrongful exclusion.

The whole idea of academies is an ill thought out mess.

HotheadPaisan Thu 28-Feb-13 19:07:49

Lack of transparency concerns me with Academies. This has got attention because the LA got involved, that wouldn't happen with an Academy.

ReallyTired Thu 28-Feb-13 18:46:22

HotheadPaisan

Why are you worried?

In a good school physical restraint is only used when there is no other option. Surely you would not want your child to injure themselves or be injured by others.

It is completely legal for teachers to use reasonable physical intervention to maintain the safety of the child, other people or even to maintain good discipline. Physical intervention properly carried out does not hurt the child.

Generally physical intervention is only used when the consequences of not intervening are far worse. (Ie. picking up a child who has sat down in the middle of a road, breaking up a fight, stopping a child from commiting suicide.)

Schools have to formally record any incidences in a book when physical intervention has been used. Schools should have a policy on physical intervention. Any member of staff who uses physical intervention needs to be trained so that they know how to intervene without hurting the child and do so in the right circumstances.

HotheadPaisan Thu 28-Feb-13 16:04:53

That really concerns me to RT, the only realistic course of action for a parent or child unhappy with the treatment of a child will be to go to the police.

Agree that good strategies benefit all and there are often warning signs, not always though, and that is where emergency strategies are needed.

ReallyTired Thu 28-Feb-13 14:49:16

"'sensible behavior management strategies' are sensible strategies for managing behavior...obviously. "

Typical strageries.

* TA watching the child from out of sight and ignoring the tantrum. keeping the chidlren away so there is no audience.

* Two members of staff physically restraining the child using approach techniques if the child is danger to other children or themselves. The child is held until they have calmed down. This is physically and emotionally very hard to do which is probably why the crap school went for the lock in the cupboard method.

However long term strageries prevent tantrums.

Ie.
Watching for body language that a child is finding the situation too much before they blow. A good TA or teacher can prempt a difficult situation by managing transitions or sending the child on a pointless errand to get the ants out of their pants.

Giving the child a time out card if they need to go voluntarily to the calm room.

Teaching the child relaxation methods and anger management techniques.

Most important, high quality teaching so the child is neither lost nor bored.

Often good behaviour management strageries are good for ALL children.

Hopefully this school will get back on track with good county intervention. I dread to think what it would be like if an academy or a foundation stage got into this sort of mess.

HotheadPaisan Thu 28-Feb-13 11:10:37

All behaviour is telling you something though. Happy, secure kids are not angry and violent. Different strategies work for different issues and causes and all children are different too.

Traditional approaches just do not work for some, DS1 simply can't make himself do what's needed sometimes (neurological/sensory issues just block him). It's awful to watch because it's him who suffers the most. So for months he went without going to the baker's to get a cake because he simple couldn't face the sensory issues involved in getting out of the house on a Sat am after the stress of school, so he didn't go and he didn't get a cake.

Eventually we encouraged him out but it wasn't easy and it's sometimes at a cost to him of getting overloaded and melting down. You have to want to understand all this, it's not easy to explain or live with.

Nearly all evidence suggests that positive behaviour strategies work best - most people want to be involved and included and to get it right and are motivated best by working towards something rather than taking things away. It's a balance.

ZombiesAreClammyDodgers Thu 28-Feb-13 08:22:36

I don't know anything about the child in question. But how can you differentiate between SEN and a badly behaved child?
I am NOT disablist. I am wondering whether it is possible that a badly behaved child who is just plain violent or tantrummy can be dealt with in a manner different from a child who has genuine needs.

nooka Thu 28-Feb-13 07:23:27

Behaviour management is essentially about understanding the child's difficulties and figuring out the best way to avoid the triggers that result in the meltdown or violent behviour. With an older child you can work in partnership with the child, with a younger child that partnership will generally be with the parents.

My ds when small threw huge tantrums during which he was completely out of control. Stuffing him in a cupboard would have hugely escalated the event as well as leaving him very scared (the meltdowns scared him enough as it was). The best way to manage him in such circumstances was to leave him alone until he was worn out. Any intervention made things much much worse. Transitions were a common trigger, and the best way to manage them was to give him a lot of warning.

Luckily he went to a lovely caring nursery and a great school, and as he has got older he has learned to manage his emotions and control his impulses. A little understanding goes a long way in my opinion.

Callthemidlife Thu 28-Feb-13 07:04:10

I know that there are so many disablists out there in RL. And I know that reasoning with such bigoted ignorance is impossible, but my god it does make me want to cry when I see all this violently offensive stuff witten down on a screen in front of me. So many people should be so deeply ashamed of themselves, and the crazy thing is they don't even know it.

I cling to the knowledge that when I was growing up in the 80s stuff like gay-bashing and calling people 'niggers' was tolerated by certain sections of society and eventually cultural change stopped these attitudes. I only hope that growing cultural awareness will similarly help some of the people on here who think it totally appropriate (still) to send kids away, look them up, and sneer at their parents. I wouldn't wish a SEN child on anyone but do sometimes wish that those who are so ignorant could just for a moment experience what is like on the other side of the fence. Because if the likes of l&s spent just a single day immersed in the reality of life, well, there would one less ignorant person, at least.

ZombiesAreClammyDodgers Thu 28-Feb-13 06:44:17

Of THEIR ways, sorry

ZombiesAreClammyDodgers Thu 28-Feb-13 06:43:32

Ah but ljikk sadly parents like you appear to be in the minority. Now it's all about talk to them trying to tell them the error of your ways whilst getting kicked on the shins.

ZombiesAreClammyDodgers Thu 28-Feb-13 06:41:31

...such as??

AmberLeaf Thu 28-Feb-13 01:32:16

There was no knife.

Do keep up.

'sensible behavior management strategies' are sensible strategies for managing behavior...obviously.

ZombiesAreClammyDodgers Thu 28-Feb-13 01:21:21

amberleaf what are these so called "sensible behaviour management strategies"?? Lovely to wrap concepts in pretty words.
Child brandishes knife and kicks people and gets locked up for the safety of the others including the children.
Simples.

zzzzz Thu 28-Feb-13 00:35:15

Neither "meltdown" nor "temper tantrum" are technical terms.

cornycruzcampo Thu 28-Feb-13 00:23:51

There's a difference between a meltdown and a temper tantrum. We don't know which applies in this case. Not that being locked in a cupboard is an effective method of dealing with either situation.

vjg13 Wed 27-Feb-13 19:57:38

We were visiting a special school to see if it was suitable for our child (secondary). A older child was being restrained in a walk in cleaner's type cupboard, with a staff member holding the door. The head teacher was showing us round. No idea if there were any staff in there as well. I managed to get to the car park before crying. I would never have been able to send my child there.

lljkk Wed 27-Feb-13 19:03:35

Small DS had a violent meltdown at a sports club and he ended up being locked alone (forced) inside a cupboard briefly.

DH & I apologised to the club organisers & bollocked DS. Made him apologise formally, too.

Still seems all correct to me, apart from DS's meltdown.

ClayDavis Wed 27-Feb-13 18:38:24

I've seen this happen a couple of times with stories on the DM website. They print something with an unsubstantiated claim or with extra info added to appeal to their readers then later rewrite the story. As its on the website an not the print version they don't have to print a retraction or acknowledge changes.

Unfortunately, some papers, like the Telegraph, seem to pick stories straight off the DM website. I suspect in this case they picked it up between the knife welding 9 yearold version Feenie read and the version the OP linked to.

zzzzz Wed 27-Feb-13 18:29:22

So not a rampaging knife wielding maniac then.

learnandsay Wed 27-Feb-13 18:20:19

Did it come from a newspaper?

AmberLeaf Wed 27-Feb-13 18:14:32

Probably someone who has an agenda of criminalising children with SNs.

Certainly got everyone frothing though didn't it.

Educationalshame Wed 27-Feb-13 17:51:54

No idea. None of the parents i spoke to or teachers mentioned a knife so it is anyone's guess really.

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