Found out DD went to a netball match and was left unattended, wwyd?

(55 Posts)
npg1 Thu 07-Mar-13 18:30:37

We pay for private education as we thought it would be better, however I am having serious doubts.

2 DD's aged 10 and 6yrs old.

DD enjoyed school until yr3 and then it changed for some reason. She doesnt like PE and is in the D team (A-D teams, A being the best.) The school doesnt see to focus much on the D team, they are just shoved to the side. The a's get loads of help and support and always playig matches. Im not too fussed as DD isnt the sporty type.

Yesterday they went to a school about 25 miles away for a netball match. They were taken down there on a coach with 2 teachers and all the teams. When they got there the D team were left at the sports hall with the other team from the school which was a B team. The teacher then said she was going outside with the other teams and other teacher! They were then left to play a game on their own with no support and got thrashed 31-1 with no guidence and taunting from the other team.

I only knew about this because the head master phoned me this morning and apologised and said it should have never had happened and it was completely wrong and the situation is being dealt with. I didnt say much at the time because I was in shock but now im totally fuming and dont know what to do. I am awaiting an email from one of the mums which has gone to the headmaster.

Any help would be great please

scaevola Thu 07-Mar-13 18:36:18

Well, if the HT has apologised, there really isn't much else that'll happen. He can't control dreadful behaviour by pupils of another school, nor the poor quality of their staff (as the adults in charge of the game).

You may like to find out for future how they will manage fixtures better (OK, there isn't that much difference in team standards in year3, but generally B teams shouldn't be paying D teams), and how many staff they will send to accompany away matches in future.

npg1 Thu 07-Mar-13 18:43:14

thanks for that. I have said dd isnt going on any away matches again!

Uppermid Thu 07-Mar-13 18:43:22

I disagree. He should be apologising more as should the staff. Their lack of supervision, support and encouragement is appalling, you need to know that this wont happen in the future, that the d team get as much attention and support as the a team

npg1 Thu 07-Mar-13 18:46:29

thanks uppermid, aparently one of the mums tried to speak to the head pe teacher today and she just shrugged it off with attitude and then asked the mum to email her!

outtolunchagain Thu 07-Mar-13 19:27:17

Is this the daughter that is 10 , if so then unless I am missing something it doesn't sound ideal but its hardly a disaster . My ds is at an independent prep which plays lots of matches both home and away, I would not be best pleased that there was no teacher inside the hall ( who was refereeing?) but at 10 I would expect them to be able to organise themselves .

I would think hard about excluding her from matches as they are a big part of independent school life and could make her the odd one out.After all she wasn't in any danger was she?

MammaMedusa Thu 07-Mar-13 21:03:21

I was in the D team. We were always encouraged and supported. (state)

npg1 Thu 07-Mar-13 21:58:12

Yes this is my 10yr old and no she wasnt in danger but thats not the point. The point is they were left to their own devices while the teachers went and supported the better teams because they are not interested in the D's.

We are paying good money and I just feel very let down

outtolunchagain Thu 07-Mar-13 22:15:27

I agree that the lack of coaching iis appalling ,my ds plays in the C team at the moment and the teams go down to F but watching his matches yesterday all had teachers refereeing .Not always from their own school because all the teachers split the matches up between them.

I still wouldn't withdraw her from matches though, and I do think the Head was brave to take the initiative , not all would do that. Perhaps this will be the wake up call that the games staff need.

npg1 Thu 07-Mar-13 22:29:55

yes thank you, perhaps it is. I have sent an email to the school tonight raising my concerns. Im seriously considering sending them to the local primary school!

newgirl Thu 07-Mar-13 22:33:12

Could you go and watch the next game and find out what goes on?

LynetteScavo Thu 07-Mar-13 22:42:38

I'm finding all this talk of A-D teams scary! I've never heard of such a thing in a state primary school....the whole class just does PE together IME....but then there will only be one team in a state school, and if you're not on it (through choice) you'll never play any matches.

Does the school take the same attitude to children who struggle with literacy/numeracy?

jo164 Thu 07-Mar-13 22:45:46

I assume the teacher from the other school was umpiring their game? If so this in itself is not really a problem, it would be a very lucky school to have enough staff for 1 per team. My issue actually would lie with the kind of supervision the staff assigned to this match was giving. I teach PE in a prep and if a match is very one sided it is common practice to try through umpiring and player/position rotation to even the game up. I would also like to question why she was letting her pupils behave in a particularly unsporting and rude manner to visiting opposition. The member of staff should be looking after all the children, not just her own school. Personally I would also rotate my staff at half time so that each team had some time with their own staff umpiring - for guidance and encouragement. It doesn't sound ideal, but perhaps some blame actually lies with the staff at the other school?

It is wrong that the team was left unsupported, but I am not sure the fact that you pay for it has any relevance?

Agree with jo164 - I occasionally watch DS's home matches and whether it is the A or the D team (he can be in either, or even F, depending on the sport) there is one teacher - generally "belonging" to the home team, who umpires - but they are looking after all the DC, and it is a blend of umpiring and coaching, and if a match was that one-sided then they would act to even it up somehow. If the opposition teacher was umpiring then they are largely to blame.

I would hold fire, OP, and see what the head has to say about what they will change to make sure it never happens again. I would also hesitate to pull your DD out of away matches - competing in matches, at an appropriate level, is often a core part of prep school life, and it would be a shame for her to miss out.

Oh and DS's teachers would come down like a ton of bricks on unsporting behaviour or taunting from "their" DC. Being both good winners and good losers is drummed into them HARD.

The only time I have seen a hosting PE teacher consult the visiting staff was when he had to resort to sending a child off for repeated punching/kicking - he checked with the other teacher first.

housepiglet Sat 09-Mar-13 15:53:20

I agree that it shouldn't have happened, but really, it's not the end of the world. If you feel that the school's attitude/reluctance to acknowledge a fault is a serious problem then maybe your DDs are at the wrong school.

I noticed you said that your DD couldn't go to any more away matches, and I thought that was a real shame. As a child I loved matches (netball, hockey, tennis, whatever), and away matches are great fun: coach journey, new surroundings etc. Adventure!

If you want your DDs to remain in the school I'd hesitate long and hard before depriving them of the fun of playing in an away match. If the teachers mess up (as it seems they did here) then at least it gives the children something to chat about and bond over!

housepiglet Sat 09-Mar-13 15:56:47

Jo164 said:

"I teach PE in a prep and if a match is very one sided it is common practice to try through umpiring and player/position rotation to even the game up."

Wow! Don't you find that the children resent that? By definition, one team always has to lose in a competition. I'd have thought that unfairness/cheating on the part of the umpires in an attempt to bring about an artificial result would be likely to switch children off rather than inspire them to do their best.

rabbitstew Sat 09-Mar-13 16:24:21

I'm confused. Your school took 4 teams to a school which only fields 2 teams and both teachers from your school went outside with their A-C teams whilst nobody whatsoever supervised your D team versus their B team? Or did an adult from the other school supervise the D team? And what did the A-C team members get up to when they weren't playing, if they only had one team to play against their three?

Frankly it sounds like a shambles. Were they incapable of talking properly to the other school in advance and organising the event properly? If you have twice as many players as the other school, shouldn't you be mixing your teams up a bit, rather than letting the A-C teams exhaust the other school's A team and leaving the D team to be thrashed unsupported???? Surely your school's A & B team should have been outside with the other school's A team and your schools C & D team inside with the B team, with one teacher from your school outside and one inside????? Or perhaps on this occasion, all 4 teams shouldn't have gone to the event??? I would be very annoyed at the inability of the teachers to use the correct children to play the correct games - why play a D team against a B team and let them be thrashed? To prove to them they deserve to be a D team??? Mind you, if they never get any supervision, it's not surprising they aren't much good...

learnandsay Sat 09-Mar-13 16:31:15

Getting beaten is disappointing but getting thrashed 31-1 could put you off sport for life if you're an overly sensitive type.

learnandsay Sat 09-Mar-13 16:31:44

And being laughed at in the process.

jo164 Sat 09-Mar-13 17:46:36

Yes its fine to lose but getting thrashed does noone any favours. Children don't need to be put off sport at this age, we want them to all enjoy it and why when the result is clear cut shouldn't a teacher put on some weaker players and give them a chance at competing too - at their level? An umpire doesn't have to 'cheat' to help even up a match, and as long as the right team win at the end surely it's better that all have enjoyed the experience? Children also need to learn to both win and lose with grace which it seems the opposition didn't know how to do in this case.

Not that I am a PE teacher (far from it!) but I agree with Jo. I have seen DS's teachers, when refereeing an uneven match, sub on any weaker players, go to modified rules (e.g. uncontested scrums) and generally engineering the match so that while the weaker side will still lose, they retain some pride and ideally get a reasonable score.

Happymum22 Sat 09-Mar-13 21:53:48

What did your DD say to you after the match (before the head had phoned you)? Did she come home positive or did she raise any of these issues herself? Did she tell you she had lost 31-1?!

While it is not right it could be a parent is exaggerating or making problems worse, it could be the other school did thrash them but you'd hope the teacher would come and check how they were doing, see how badly it was going and stay and support/move the team about etc.

If your DD didn't appear bothered (or until you knew the situation) it may be that the girls were fine, the atmosphere wasn't at all as bad as made out and your DD enjoyed the game. At 10 I think they start to be more competitive but generally (especially if they are D team so probably don't get to go to many matches) they will be more proud to have represented the school, in their team kit, 'player of the match', exciting match tea afterwards etc.- often the actual result can go over their head and become irrelevant!

Still agree it was an appalling situation, very bad practice from sports teachers and will have affected some children badly.

morethanpotatoprints Sat 09-Mar-13 21:59:44

The HT is to blame. It is his/her job to make sure everything is lawful. The dc were left unattended, what if there had been an incident.
I don't think the school should have not had one of their own teachers there.

ravenAK Sat 09-Mar-13 22:07:20

If the HT is ringing around parents to apologise, it's probably safe to assume that the teacher concerned is getting THE most almighty bollocking.

I would wait & see how it's dealt with before banning your dd from going to away matches.

npg1 Sun 10-Mar-13 12:27:15

Thanks for your replies.

Yes dd was distressed and upset and she is a sensitive girl so this has knocked her confidence. I have decided I am pulling her out of the school at easter. I think it is unacceptable and I think the school isnt right for dd anymore. Im just wondering about how we will get around it because we have to give 1 terms notice. But surely its a breech of conduct.

teacherwith2kids Sun 10-Mar-13 12:38:24

Can I just clarify - were there teachers from the other school in charge of the match that your DD was involved in?

Or was the situation that there were no adults in attendance?

Tbh, I would say that if there were teachers from the other school present, then the fault is with them, and it is with the other school that you should be raising the majority of the complaint.

npg1 Sun 10-Mar-13 12:40:26

There was 1 teacher from the other school's side. Yes I understand that but there should have been a teacher from our school rather than them going to support the better teams

outtolunchagain Sun 10-Mar-13 13:00:34

Tbh I think it is normal practice for teachers to split the matches up between them. You must have greater concerns than this otherwise removal is a massive over reaction. I think it is very unlikely that they would waive a terms notice for this reason.

teacherwith2kids Sun 10-Mar-13 13:45:48

So there were probably 4 matches to referee (A, B, C and D). Your child's school sent two staff. The other school probably provided 2 staff, or maybe a couple more. Your child's match - the D one - was refereed by the other school's staff, while other matches were refereed by your school's staff. Where is the problem?

npg1 Sun 10-Mar-13 13:48:43

Because at every match we always have our teacher refere our matches and also for support and encouragement

teacherwith2kids Sun 10-Mar-13 13:52:05

So the fault of the school is not sending 4 teachers with 4 teams. What other matches were on that day? Are there enough teachers to manage that? Could 4 teachers be spared for these matches without jeopardising other teaching / other matches elsewhere? ust because you would LIKE there to be 1 teacher per team does not always make that possible.....

teacherwith2kids Sun 10-Mar-13 13:52:47

(And why should your teacher referee always - how is that fair to the other team? Surely they deserve to have their teacher referee sometimes??)

teacherwith2kids Sun 10-Mar-13 15:06:24

If only 2 teachers were available, for 4 teams, would you have preferred
a) The C and D teams not to have been sent - perpetuating what you complained about in your first post, that the A & B teams get more opportunities to play matches or
b) Teachers from the other school to referee two of the 4 matches?

Given that the matches were played on a Wednesday - a school day - and that presumably there was a full teaching load for the staff remaining in school for the afternoon, would it be better for the refereeing to be shared as described in b) OR for classes expecting teachers in school that afternoon to be taught by supply teachers or 'covered' in another way? You do seem a little unreasonable in the demaind that a teacher should be devoted to your child's team of ?7 or so even if it meant that classes back at school had no-one to teach them...

I presume you must have other, more serious issues with the school to be taking DD out at such short notice, but IMHO you have no chance of them waiving the term's notice if this is your stated grounds.

clam Sun 10-Mar-13 15:45:42

And you'll have a very hard time proving breach of contract too.

And to whoever it was saying that the Head should "apologise more." How, exactly? By saying " really sorry," instead of just "sorry?"

titchy Sun 10-Mar-13 15:54:44

Tbh I think you're being rather precious. I thought from the title of your post she was abandoned. In actual fact none of them were - you're just miffed that a teacher from the other school was in charge, rather than one from your school, and that your pfb child's team were slaughtered by a better, albeit nastier, team. Hardly your HTs fault!

What would your reaction have been if your dd's D team had beaten the other school's B team? Just as Furious?

Verugal Sun 10-Mar-13 17:07:23

Very precious reaction.I was in my school D team for Netball in year 6 and we were thrashed by a year 4 B team from another school. I don't recall any lasting trauma.

If a child is in the D team for Netball it suggests they're not very good at it. I doubt that the outcome of the match is really going to have much effect on her Netballing achievements. I'd just use the incident as an opportunity to talk through taking the rough with the smooth and acknowledging that failure happens and is ok.

My inability to throw or catch a ball didn't have a huge impact on my later life choices and general well-being.

clam Sun 10-Mar-13 17:09:05

I'm curious as to why anyone is surprised that a private school has spent its time concentrating on the fittest/most able/talented. Isn't that what you pay for? hmm

rabbitstew Sun 10-Mar-13 17:17:00

teacherwith2kids - do you really think it's reasonable to take 4 teams to a school only fielding 2 teams, an A and a B team? And then to leave an unsupervised D team to take on that school's B team while 2 of your teachers supervise the A-team match with the other school also supervising that match? And what was happening to the B and C teams during all this? Were they just playing against each other instead of the other school??? It all seems a bit bizarre to me.

Or maybe the other school did have more teams, but the teachers choosing who played against whom can't tell the difference between the letter B and the letter D???????..... biscuit

titchy Sun 10-Mar-13 17:26:22

Rabbit they WEREN'T unsupervised!!!!

teacherwith2kids Sun 10-Mar-13 17:36:40

Rabbit, the OP has confirmed that they were supervised and refereed by a teacher from the other school .

rabbitstew Sun 10-Mar-13 17:41:58

If I were a teacher expecting a D team to play against a B team, I would NOT leave them to the other school's teacher to deal with on their own, given that I would KNOW they were likely to be outclassed. What is the teacher at the other school supposed to do about that when she knows nothing about the abilities of my school's players????? She has no way of evening it up and making it more fair. Fine if you have two B teams together, but why on earth put the D team against the B team??????? That doesn't seem remotely like adequate supervision to me. Babysitting, yes, but not giving the person responsible the ability to make a fair match out of it.

Notquite Sun 10-Mar-13 17:56:11

If primary school netball where the OP is is anything like secondary netball here, I can see her point. DD was grasped firmly round the throat and told to 'fuck off' by an opponent last year, under the nose of the teacher/umpire from the other team. Her exerience generally seems to give the lie to the notion that a) netball is a non-contact sport and b) that umpires are there to ensure fairness.

I don't really know what to make of your specific complaint OP, but if you're pulling her daughter out if the school I'm assuming there are other things you're not happy with?

WishIdbeenatigermum Sun 10-Mar-13 18:05:15

You are coming across extremely badly. Unless there are underlying issues you have no chance of having the notice fees waived but they'll be delighted to get rid of you.

teacherwith2kids Sun 10-Mar-13 18:07:39


I had assumed that:
Teacher 1 is with A team
Teacher 2 is with B team
Teacher 3 (other school) is with C team and
Teacher 4 (other school) is with D team

because, otherwise, as you say, there are 2 teams left completely unsupervised.

The B team for the other school may be a mistake, may be a B team from a lower year, there may have bee a round robin in which the different lettered teams play one another...certainly nothing to get so het up about that the OP is withdrawing her child....

rabbitstew Sun 10-Mar-13 18:14:15

But the OP has made it clear that her DD has not been happy at the school since year 3. She is now 10. So this is very clearly the icing on the cake.

Coconutty Sun 10-Mar-13 18:19:15

Are you looking for ways to get out of paying a terms notice op, because I don't think this will be a good enough reason?

I would complain if one of my DCs attended a match without a teacher being present at their match.

jo164 Sun 10-Mar-13 20:03:27

Either a mistake was made and the wrong teams ended up playing eachother - or the opposition school put out 2 different year groups with an A and a B team in each (perhaps years 5 and 6). The D team could have been playing the younger year's B team. Whatever the situation, they were supervised in what is a very usual manner - it is a very lucky/rich school that can afford to send a member of staff with each team when 4 are playing at the same time. I don't think that this is something to complain about. It sounds like the teacher umpiring could have been more helpful to your school's team and made her pupils behave in a more polite manner. I can't see how this is going to get you out of giving the school a term's notice? It is a very minor thing to pull your daughter out of school for - but perhaps this for you is a final straw? You are however being unrealistic if you expect all teams to have their own menber of staff at matches. Perhaps you should check this out at any future school before sending your daughter there if it is this much of a deal breaker.

cumbrialass Sun 10-Mar-13 20:11:37

We send 15 teams to a tennis tournament each year.

We don't have 15 members of staff to send with them confused

rabbitstew Sun 10-Mar-13 21:27:35

If all teams had one adult umpiring, all teams had someone to play against, all teams were playing at the same time, and the B team playing against the D team were from a younger year group with there being a reasonable expectation that they were not too far apart in ability, then I agree that the fault really lies with the host school for allowing very unsporting behaviour. If the D team hardly ever get taken out to play matches against other schools, however, it would have been kinder and more supportive for one of their teachers to umpire that game, rather than have them both go out to support the stronger teams outside.

npg1 Sun 10-Mar-13 22:00:56

Thanks everyone for your opinions. Yes perhaps I have over reacted but as I said dd isn't happy there so perhaps it is the final straw.

The fact is that every single match they have ever played therebhas always been a teacher from our school to support the girls. The hm said because they were under staffed that day the pe teacher took the decision apon herself to take them all down there and leave the d's which was was unsatisfactory

follygirl Mon 11-Mar-13 22:24:27

I don't really see what the fuss is all about.

My dd played away at another school. She is in the A team and the B team were also playing. There was 1 teacher from her school and a few parents who were there to support their dds. The teacher from our school refereed the B team's match and our A team were refereed by the other school's teacher.

Our A team played against girls who were in the year above and yes they did get beaten. They didn't get any coaching of course although I suppose they did see/hear some parents encourage them.

The other girls were fairly well-behaved. Didn't appreciate their ref shouting at us and asking if we 'posh parents' had a coin for her to flip, but there you go.hmm

Losing didn't upset my daughter at all. To be honest the standard of netball at our school is so poor that they are used to being beaten. Luckily they take these things in their stride.

Fwiw yes she is at an independent school.

learnandsay Wed 13-Mar-13 10:34:14

Here's a team of grown up women who volunteered to get beaten at football 43-0

It's interesting, but I don't believe schools should be teaching children the right way to learn how to get a thumping. Is there merit (in either of these cases, for an argument which runs along the lines of: if this sport isn't working out for you then maybe you should try doing something else.)

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