School are using DD2 first name rather than her given/preferred name.

(148 Posts)

We have recently started weekly stay and plays at school ready for her starting in September.

When we applied we used her full name online ( because that what they ask for) but have since filled out every form with her given name. Only using her first name when there is also a 'preferred' name box to put her given name in.

The teacher (new) greeted her on the first day using her first name, DD2 just stared at her. All info had her first name on.

I took the teacher aside and explained she doesn't identify with her first name and only knows it in context with her middle name and surname. She doesn't recognise it written down and really its a official forms name only and her given name is what she's known by and recognises.

She refused to use her name and said only when she knew and could write her first name would she even consider using a 'nickname'.

DD2 is a very young 4 and is needing alot of work to get her ready for school. She really struggles with numbers and letters and I feel any unnecessary changes at this point will impact her learning up to now and also how prepared we can get her for September. Plus its her name, why would we want to change it for a more complicated and different one now? It just seems very strict for a reception teacher.

It is a common nickname and also now a stand-alone name. I'm not asking for her to be called Miss fluffy bottom sweety pie.grin

Where do I stand can we force her to use it? go to the HT? or do I just quit the moaning and start getting DD2 used to it now. Its our third stay and play Friday and we're at stalemate. Do most schools accept given names?

??? Looks like you'll have to change your daughter's name to fit in with school policy. I'd complain about that to head, explain that if you had known you would have to change her name then you would have filled the forms in differently and ask them to make the forms clearer next year.

Bonsoir Tue 02-Jul-13 09:20:04

Why do you not call your daughter by her first name?

Pyrrah Tue 02-Jul-13 09:21:04

DD's school specifically ask for both an official name and a 'known as' name.

The former goes on official documents, and the latter is what the child is known as every day.

The teacher is being v v unreasonable in my opinion. I would take it up with the HT.

MortifiedAdams Tue 02-Jul-13 09:21:21

I really dont understand why you didnt just put the name you wanted to use on the birth cert in the first place.

Is it like being Beth from Elizabeth, or more obscure than that?

If the school asks for given name they should use it. If they cock up the paperwork they should correct it.

On the other hand, if she is Eleanor Rose Smith known as Kitty I'm not sure that's helpful for the school to have to pander to iyswim.

EMUZ Tue 02-Jul-13 09:21:27

That seems ridiculous. School did it to me and used my first name, nobody realised until they asked my mum if I had hearing problems as I wasn't responding to my name. She clicked on and realised they were using my full name which was only used at home when I was in trouble. So I spent a term or so thinking I was being told off all the time

Sirzy Tue 02-Jul-13 09:24:02

It will be the name used on registers and anything like that so its well worth making sure she actually does know her name.

The teacher is being a bit unfair in refusing to use the nickname at all, and given time I am sure she will anyway if that is what everyone else is calling her.

Pyrrah Tue 02-Jul-13 09:25:18

Bonsoir - lots of parents have things like a daughter named Katherine, but know by everyone as Kate, or a Millicent known as Milly etc.

I know people who feel that their DD should have a conventional grown-up sounding name that they can choose when they're later a newsreader, or PM or a high court judge or whatever - and a less formal version for everyday rather than actually naming them the diminutive.

Of course they need to use her actual name in forms. Especially in emergency contact details etc. there needs to be no question about which child they are referring to. If she has a nick name them yes it would be nice for the teacher to learn it and use it. Also depends what the name is. If its something like Victoria but nn Vicky then course people will start using that. If her names masie but your expecting everyone to call her tallulah then she's going to have up get used to people using her name.

Startail Tue 02-Jul-13 09:26:39

Stick to your guns and teach your DD to write her NN, the teacher will get bored if she, you and all her friends only is her NN.

I'm never full name, I don't recognise it as me if someone uses it.

scaevola Tue 02-Jul-13 09:28:44

The teacher is being ridiculous. Although using a middle name as main name can be a PITA it's not that uncommon a naming/usage pattern.

Can you write to the school (teacher and office) explaining nicely but very clearly that your DD's name by usage is XX normally abbreviated to YY and that is the name you wish her to be known as. Perhaps adding that there are few things as personal as a name and you do not wish her early school days to be marred by DD's evident confusion arising from the use of the wrong name on her induction day.

StyleManual Tue 02-Jul-13 09:28:49

This sounds ridiculous to me. What's the point of them asking for her preferred name?
This is the reason I won't be giving my baby a "Sunday best" name, despite it apparently being the MN law. I spent my childhood correcting people who used my full name and now as an adult I only use my shortened name. It saves a lot of hassle.
I would definitely take this higher. I can remember being in reception class and it's scary enough without the teacher using the name you know. It's not going to help her settle in.

Yes, its similar to Beth from Elizabeth, a name that if you see the nickname you know the first name and visa versa. Its a very common name.

We put the first name on the birth certificate as that's the name I wanted to call her but though me being ill after birth and unable to enforce the name, the common nickname for it was used and stuck. Its lovely and fits her perfectly, she has always known her first name but will always use it with her middle name and last name.

TwllBach Tue 02-Jul-13 09:30:59

The school I work in have an unofficial policy to never shorten pupils' names, so Katherine never becomes Kate/kathy, Thomas doesn't become Tom etc. so you would be on a losing streak before you even brought your DC in.

FWIW, although I think it is useful for a child to know to respond to its full name, I'm sure her friends in school will use her given name, so it will just be the teachers.

Bonsoir Tue 02-Jul-13 09:42:00

Pyrrah - at my DD's school, nicknames are not used by the teachers. If your parents call you Flo for Florence or Milly for Melissa or whatever, school calls you Florence or Melissa.

neolara Tue 02-Jul-13 09:42:31

I gave my ds has a very unusual first name because it's a family name. However, he has been known as another completely different name for his whole life. His "known as" name is his real name - he knows the other name is his "official" name, but to all intents it's completely irrelevant to his life. When he started school, all his pegs and books and name in the register were his "known as" name. It was a complete none issue. If we had faced the same problems as OP, I would have been very concerned, because I can't see any logical reason why the school would need to be so intransigent about something that is so important to the child and yet impacts the school so little.

sybilwibble Tue 02-Jul-13 09:48:48

I think your dd is old enough to know and understand the difference between her real name and nick name. Rather than have a battle with the school, I would just teach her her name. Really - you will have lots of other "issues" with the school between now and the age of 18.

My dd is called her nick name by all her friends and family but the teachers use her real name. Ditto at the dentist/Dr waiting room, they call out her real name. She knows they mean her and isn't confused by it.

PeterParkerSays Tue 02-Jul-13 10:01:17

I've heard of this sort of name arrangement, particularly in the male famil line - all first sons have x as a name then a middle name which they use to differentiate between them.

Also you get some children from other cultures, particularly Chinese, who have both British and Chinese names. The school can't decide which of these the child should be called in school, that's for the child and the parents to decide.

MerylStrop Tue 02-Jul-13 10:06:52

The name a child "goes by" is their name
It is not the school's decision what the child is named - insisting on calling a child some formal version as per their birth certificate is ridiculous, as is the OP's teacher's position.
If her name is "Beth" change her name on the admin stuff to "Beth".

HabbaDabbaDoo Tue 02-Jul-13 10:07:04

If an English person was to pronounce DS's written name it would sound different to how we pronounce it in our mother tongue. To complicate it further, DP and myself use DCs' first name but in our culture it's common to use the middle name.

To summarise, my family and relations use one name while we use another and the rest of the world uses a third.

Frankly, I don't see what the big deal is.

I think it is pretty rude not to use a "known as" name. You wouldn't dream of calling an adult who introduced herself as "Liz" Elizabeth, so why should you do this to a child? I'd have the battle.

MerylStrop Tue 02-Jul-13 10:10:30

It's a big deal if the little girl is struggling with it.

Go to the HT and change the details on the admin/register.

Mycatistoosexy Tue 02-Jul-13 10:16:33

This seems ridiculous tbh. If it is just a very common version of her first name then it is not much to expect the school to use that.

I bet kids like Charlie or Alfie wouldn't get called Charles and Alfred by the school.

Viviennemary Tue 02-Jul-13 10:17:17

I think the teacher will use the name on the register until told otherwise in a formal way by a parent. Otherwise it could be chaos.

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