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?

kernowal Tue 02-Jul-13 10:19:01

I've just spoken to my DD's new secondary school, where we were likely to have the same battle in September. They told me that they had already updated all of their records using info from her junior school and they would use her preferred name when she joins. That should save her from having to ask every subject teacher to call her X or being ignored if they use her other name. Common sense prevails!

If it's equivalent to Beth from Elizabeth then I think the school should accommodate it. For example DS1 has three Isabellas in his class who are known as Bella, Isla and Izzy respectively (not to mention an Alex from Alexander, Ben from Benjamin and so on). It isn't confusing for teachers to remember who's who, any more than it's hard to remember thirty names in the first place.

TheBookofRuth Tue 02-Jul-13 10:25:09

I read these threads about the ludicrous rules some schools seem to insist upon and despair. DD is only one, is this what I have to look forward to?!

Since when do teachers get to decide, against the wishes of the parents, what a child should be called???

ShadeofViolet Tue 02-Jul-13 10:26:36

DD is about to start school and we have also been asked for given name and preferred names.

So far in DD's class there is a Libby (Elizabeth) a Lolly (Lauren) and an Izzy. DD has a shortened version of her name. I think if the name is a shortened version of her name then the school are being a but of a pain to have an issue with it. The teachers will be able to remember.

Viviennemary Tue 02-Jul-13 10:27:36

Who'd be a teacher. Poor teachers having to remember which is izzy, bella, isla or whatever. It would drive me mad. Why call a child a name and then say oh but she is called bababooboo at home. Please call her that. Crazy.

jennycoast Tue 02-Jul-13 10:28:36

DD3 had a teacher once who insisted on calling her by an extension of her actual name. Similar to calling her Theresa when her name was Tessa. DD3 didn't recognise this as her (obviously since it wasn't her name) but repeatedly got in to trouble with this teacher for ignoring her - or looking around when the teacher used the name.

The teacher was quite insistent it was a better name hmm so she should just get used to it. A firm, but quiet word with the HT soon put a stop to it!

Sirzy Tue 02-Jul-13 10:29:08

To be fair school are just using the name which the parents gave the child. The parents are the ones who decide to give on name and use another which is going to be an "issue" throughout life that they have to get used to.

MidniteScribbler Tue 02-Jul-13 10:31:39

I can see both sides. Our school has "preferred name" on all of the enrollment forms, and that is generally what is used within the classroom, but I would still expect a child to know their full name. There will be many instances where it will be necessary to be used - standardised testing, permission slips, etc, so she needs to get used to it.

It really is a bit of a pain for teachers when parents get completely tied up between a name and a nickname. Alexander being Alex or Samuel being Sam or Benjamin being Ben. We're only human, and a child with a standard name which is shortened may sometimes get referred to as either in a busy classroom. I do exactly the same with my own son who has a similar name. I certainly won't be banging on at the school if they dare call him his full name. If I didn't like the full name, I wouldn't have used it.

TwllBach Tue 02-Jul-13 10:35:47

The teacher was quite insistent it was a better name

This reminded me of a my years in university. For example, lets day my name is Elizabeth Mary Smith, I filled out all official forms as such. The head of college decided, and said so to my face, that Mary is a much nicer name, and didn't I think my parents should have called me that instead? She will think of me as Mary from now on.

I have never been called by my middle name grin it caused no end of confusion between my lecturers and her gringrin

MissAnnersley Tue 02-Jul-13 10:36:34

I teach older children. When I call the register on the first day I ask the children to tell me what they are known as and make a note of it.
Last year in a class of 33 only two children used a diminutive. Easy and simple.
I really don't understand the school and would put something in writing and follow up with a phone call. The teacher's response is not satisfactory.

Floggingmolly Tue 02-Jul-13 10:38:00

We've all read those baby name threads, haven't we? What can I call my dd so we can use the nickname xxx?
Then completely ignore all posters who ask "why not just christen your child xxx in the first place, as nicknames just emerge organically and can't be forced?".
This is the inevitable result. Why is your daughter "known" by a different name to the one on her birth cert?

TwllBach Tue 02-Jul-13 10:39:39

Standardised testing - good point. I worked in a class a while ago where children (8 - 9 year olds) had to put their full name on the front of their papers. It was very difficult for some of them.

Imagine your full name is Matthew William smith-Hughes but all your life you've been called billy Hughes. Then you are required to write your full name... And the teacher is a bit miffed when you write 'Billy Hughes' grin

BrianTheMole Tue 02-Jul-13 10:44:50

Sounds a bit petty to me. She wouldn't do that to an adult. I'd take it further.

When I taught at secondary level, I asked the pupils when I first taught them what they would prefer to be called and stuck with it. I taught about 150 pupils and this never caused me any problems. A reception teacher with 30 pupils should be capable of this.

MissAnnersley Tue 02-Jul-13 10:46:04

I don't think it's an unreasonable request and in the interests of fostering good relationships the school should accept this.

Honsandrevels Tue 02-Jul-13 10:54:45

If a teacher can't amend a register and call children by their preferred name then I dread to think what their teaching is like.

I have a long name, say Elizabeth, known as Beth and it really isn't a big deal. All through school I was known as Beth and now I'm an adult I have my full name to use on academic papers AND I can be a high court judge grin.

Scruffey Tue 02-Jul-13 10:55:15

If it is something like Beth from Elizabeth, I think you will have to get your dd used to both names. She is old enough to understand this. I know a Beth about to start school and she is well aware that her full name is Elizabeth, despite not really using it - eg name on her lunch bag reads "Beth Smith".

Whilst the school should make an effort to call her Beth, it must be difficult because these kids are small and there are loads of them. You need to teach your dd to adapt IMO.

MissAnnersley Tue 02-Jul-13 10:56:20

It shouldn't be a big deal I agree.

ClayDavis Tue 02-Jul-13 11:01:55

I don't think it is a completely unreasonable request by the OP. But neither is the school being unreasonable in insisting that the child learns to write their full name before a nickname. She will need to know both and if the longer one is going to be on the birth certificate and official documentation for the rest of her life, she is going to need to get used to it being used.

My DNeice has only ever been known by a shortening of her first name at home. She's called by her full first name at school. It doesn't cause any issues at all and she learnt to read and write both in Reception.

steppemum Tue 02-Jul-13 11:11:21

Most school ask for name and 'known as' name. Many children are called by second name or by shorter version (Kate from Katherine)

It is quite normal to use another name, and schools are usually quite accommodating. My daughter has a long name but is know as short version (as in the Kate example)

BUT I do know that in dd2s reception class, they do not/will not use nicknames. So if her name is Katherine and she is occasionally called Kate as an affectionate/nickname, they will not use it.

Put it in writing. Her name is X but she is known everyday as y and we would like y to be her name in school, on the register, to be on her school books, certificates etc. In other words, y is her name.

The school should listen

insanityscratching Tue 02-Jul-13 11:13:11

Our school forms have full names but also the names that a child uses on the forms. The children are called by the name they use rather than the name on their birth certificate.
Dd is called Pearl at home but at school she uses the name on her birth certificate which is nothing like Pearl. It has always been this way and she has never gotten muddled unlike myself who often refers to her as Pearl when speaking to her teachers hmm but they humour me.

HabbaDabbaDoo Tue 02-Jul-13 11:14:23

OP - I've only just noticed the bit where you said that the teacher said that she will use the 'known as' name once your DD can read and write her 'real' name. Sound very reasonable to me.

If your DD couldn't read or write 'banana' would you be telling the teacher that your DD knows it as 'nana' and to leave it that way because it is what she is comfortable with?

hatsybatsy Tue 02-Jul-13 11:15:06

I went to a very strict c of e primary school where the (slightly odd) headmaster, refused to use anything but a child's full Christian name.

So my friend who had been known as Kate since birth (named Katherine after her grandmother) suddenly had to adapt when she joined the school age 8. Nuts.

If the kids is known by a shortened version of their name or their middle name,then IMO the school has to recognise this. Age 4 or 5 it's just too much to expect anything else.

Pyrrah Tue 02-Jul-13 11:15:19

If the school didn't as for a 'known as'/'preferred' name then I'd see the point, but why ask for both if you're not going to use them?

Can see big problem for some families - I know one where all boys are known as Charles X Smith, with X being the name that they are each known as (and going back 6 generations). They get exam certificates saying that Charles Arthur Smith got a GCSE in Pottery, but otherwise the child's name is Arthur.

It also makes sense if there are multiple children with the same name - my sister was once in a class with SIX Anastasias, they ended up just being known as a number...

anklebitersmum Tue 02-Jul-13 11:20:53

It's not unreasonable for the school/teacher to insist that she can spell her legal name.

On the basis that the school have a 'preferred name' section on the admittance forms it is most unreasonable for the teacher to unilaterally decide that the name she uses daily and is known by is no longer suitable and will not be used.

I'd be having words further up the chain and address the teacher as 'Veronica' unless her name is Veronica and then I'd call her Shirley until such time as she winds her neck in.

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