Should school have contacted DS's sports coach about an incident that took place at school?(246 Posts)
DS aged 8 got into a fight at school. It was over with in a few mins, the boys made up and they missed a playtime and had to write about the incident at lunchtime. I thought it had all been dealt with and supported the school by talking to DS about making the right choices, etc, etc.
A week later the boys went to judo and were called over by the coach who talked to them about their behaviour as one of them had mentioned a judo throw had been used when they were fighting.
It turns out that without asking permission from parents the school had contacted the judo coach to ask him to 'tell them off'. The school have a relationship with the coach because he'd run an after school club there in the past so he'd been put in a difficult position.
1. Can the school contact an outside body without a parents permission? (Excluding child protection)
2. Can the school 'sub-contract' discipline?
3. Have the school over reacted?
4. AIBU to be really cross?!
Any comments gratefully received as I'm a bit open mouthed about it all.
This wouldn't make me cross to be honest. I would have thought one of the first things they were taught in judo would be when it was appropriate to use their judo skills and the importance of self-control. If they chose to ignore that basic tenet then who better to remind them than the judo coach.
I agree about the discipline in judo but is it the school's place to talk to the coach?
I don't think the school has "sub-contracted" discipline, they have asked a professional coach to reinforce the message that judo throws are for the judo class and not the school grounds. My children are currently learning taekwondo and the coach reiterates every week that they do not use their skills outside the training room.
Absolutely fair. Judo throws are for using in controlled, safe environments and it should be absolutely drilled into them not to use it outside of the club.
A perfect time for the saying "it takes a village to raise a child"
My problem isn't the coach talking to the boys, it's whether the school was allowed to contact him.
Agree with the above. Your son has used a judo move despite knowing he should not. The coach has taught those moves, so should be informed and dish out discipline.
I think that perhaps you should concentrate on what your son has done wrong. The school have acted reasonably in my opinion.
I think it might have been better for the school to contact the coach and say 'some boys you teach have been using moves at school, could you discuss how dangerous this is at your next class.' It does seem a bit odd to go telling tales as it were.
You seem more concerned with keeping your ds behaviour quiet than dealing with the problem. It seems reasonable for school to speak to coach about incident to ask him to reinforce rules with ref to using judo appropriately. Imagine that this was another child and not your ds would you think this reasonable then? If so then you are being over protective and perhaps a bit embarrassed that your ds has been in a scrap at school.
The school should not have spoken to a third party about your child.
I guess Judo is similar to Taekwondo in that they should NEVER practice/use their skills outside the lesson/comp.
Was the coach upset that the school had contacted him?
I agree with dilbertina and wombles.
everybody needs to be open about what is happening in a childs life and help and assist them to grow up, doing this by joining together and raising children into adults to be proud to be living around.
of course everyone needs to talk to each other when dealing with a child and why would incidents negative or positive be kept secret?
If the club is not specifically linked to the school I am surprised that the school contacted the coach.
I would have thought it more appropriate to ask you to raise the use of judo moves with your son or with the coach .
Leaving aside whether it was useful for the coach to know about the incident, I would be quite cross if the school told an external organisation about DS without explicit permission, unless for CP obviously.
Oh for goodness sake, why are people so hung up on the rights and wrongs of it?! It was useful. Feel the benefit!
Thank you mrz. This is what I'm trying to establish. Is a school allowed to contact 3rd parties as their Behaviour Policy suggests not? I also don't know if its a breach of confidentiality.
The boys were both wrong using judo moves and fighting. They'd been punished at school and at home. There is absolutely no way I'm excusing DS's behaviour but I just feel its wrong to involve a 3rd party.
Yes perhaps a general call to the coach not naming names could have been the best approach.
What a weird thread. Your child did something wrong, school thought they could help him not make the same mistake twice. You are grumpy because the school are trying to ensure your child stays out of further trouble.
You should be thanking the school for taking the time to try and improve your child's behaviour.
The school are not talking to a random stranger, they are talking to one of their bank of sporting supply staff.
In answer to your questions.
1. No, I don't think they can without informing you that they are but IMO this is daft.
2. I don't think they are sub-contracting discipline, clearly the boys were very wrong to use judo moves, and I think it is entirely appropriate for their coach to tell them so.
3. I don't think the school have overreacted
4. YABU to be really cross.
You are more concerned about the school contacting the coach than the fact that your DS was involved in a fight - talk about a sense of entitlement. Cannot believe your comments, no wonder so many kids (and adults) cannot take responsibility for their own actions, if you are seeking to ascertain the 'rights and wrongs' of 'subcontracting discipline'. Get a grip.
Finally, a school thinking outside the box. To be congratulated I think.
I think the school should have discussed/checked with you if you thought it was a good idea to ask the coach to speak to the boys (which is a good idea of course to help both boys). You should've been part of the whole picture...
Might be worth asking in a legal section. Wonder what the Information Commissioner would have to say about a school acting in a potentially illegal manner. If they feel they can make judgements which go against their own (or LEA policy) then what other person or body might they contact in future.
I believe the OP is not 'avoiding' the need to point out the wrongdoing, and clearly both boys have been told off, not once, not twice, but seemingly three times (school, parents, coach), but this last one probably wasn't necessary, and if the judo club had been in another town, wouldn't have happened.
In my view, the school overstepped the mark (though unlikely the OP would want to discuss it further, or make a complaint), but I think it's pretty harsh of MNetters to have a go at her, simply for asking whether school in the wrong!
What some people choose to get angry about is beyond me! Sorry OP but I think you're overreacting.
If he ran a club at the school he might be classed as staff.
I think they were very sensible and I would appreciate the fact they care!
Look at their motives, THEY have your son's best interests at heart- do you?
No - the school should not have contacted him and you have every right to be furious. The school could have quite easily given you a quick call and suggested that involving the judo coach was appropriate - to which it is then up to you to say yes or no.
littleturkish - I read his link with school as past not current, so not on a par with staff.
As it seems fairly obvious (reading between the lines of why the school contacted the judo coach) that the fight they got into at school was using judo techniques that they shouldn't have been doing outside the judo class, if I were in your shoes I'd be threatening him with losing his judo class rather than pearl clutching about his human rights.
And in answer to 3...the school hasn't over reacted, no......
It's not clear fom OP that when he called "the boys" over, he was talking to a) one or two boys or b) all boys from the affected year group, or c) all the boys in the Lub.
Unless a), there really isn't a problem here. All martial arts require self-discipline and an understanding that you don't do it away from class. And if it was a), the problem is that it should have been b) or c); not that the coach needs to be involved in combating problem fighting (before someone lands on their neck in a playground fight and breaks it).
1. It is entirely correct that the school contacts the coach to ask him to reinforce (entirely normal) safety messages.
2. This isn't a subcontracting of school discipline, it's an existing, well-known and totally separate set of standards (which these boys failed to meet).
It's no different than, say, if a school had told an outside music teacher that his pupils had played well in an assembly, and the teacher had chosen to congratulate them.
Our kungfu coach used to say something about appropriate use just about every class.
It helps if identical behavioural messages arrive from all directions. The aim here is that they never do it again, isn't it?
It is a breach of confidentiality if the school discussed specific children (by name) with a third party
agree with mrz.
I know it's not YABU, but YANBU.
Typing fail, should have read
I know it's not AIBU, but YANBU
Maybe OP will clarify whether it was specific (named) boys, all boys in year group, or all boys in the club who were spoken to?
Also confirm that is was indeed the school who told the coach, and not another parent. OP says "one of them" had mentioned a judo throw being used in the fight: can OP even confirm that anyone other than the boys themselves told the coach about this?
I'm in two minds over this. Were the school wrong to contact the Judo Coach? Well yes, they were.
But OTOH if they had a good working relationship with him, if they trusted him, if they were worried that judo throws were being used in the playground, and were trying to do the right thing by everyone, then I would say they did the right thing, although they should not have named names perhaps.
The school did the right thing and if your son uses judo moves in a fight again then the judo coach should refuse to train him any more. Have a grip, OP.
I think the school were wrong to contact the Judo Coach about specific named children. activities that the children do out of school hours is nothing to do with the school whatsoever.
They could have just asked the judo club to speak to all the members about not using moves away from the club. YADNBU.
Also from the angle of the coach, he surely isn't being put in an awkward position so much as being given the heads up that the self control elements of his teaching could be a bit more effective.
how did the school have the judo coaches details? or even know he existed?
He worked at the school.
Maybe the school's angle was that the coach needs to instil into his pupils once again about using moves. They may not have mentioned names because (unless I've read it wrong) OP says "[ one of the boys] mentioned a judo throw had been used when they were fighting". Only at that stage the identification may have come out.
All in all though, nothing to get upset about, I would have been pleased the coach was contacted.
thanks nottread. so he used to work at the school.
but how did they know the boys were being taught judo by him now and that it was a throw he taught them was used?
personally I think the safety of children should be above the safety if information but I cannot see how this situation occurred.
I think the school shouldn't have contacted the judo coach, but that the point being reinforced is a good thing.
or, heronsfly, they could have suggested parents get judo coach to reinforce the 'not outside judo club' rules, but from the OP's posts, I feel the school took it on themselves to contact the coach, and he only talked to the two boys (hence him being put in an awkward position - by having to single out the two).
If the judo club was run by some stranger, could/should the school have even made contact?
As for those saying to OP to get a grip, she is getting flak for simply asking if school has any right to do this, esp if their own Policy document says not (so a few posters need to "get a grip" on the facts).
Good luck with your son's behaviour.
I am a sports coach. I have a close relationship with staff at our feeder school. I'd expect to be made aware of 'an incident', although I wouldn't expect them to name names.
However, it would be important that I find out who it was so that I could let them know it wasn't on. I can assure you, they'll listen to their judo coach about the rights and wrongs of using judo a lot more than they'll listen to you/the school. Judo instructors tend to have an aura about them (putting it politely!)
Personally, I would be really
pissed off disappointed if the parents didn't tell me about it. Were you planning to? Sounds like the school have inadvertently done you a favour.
Can't believe the amount of posters assuming the op is more concerned about this then the actual fight. Of course she would have been more worried but that had been dealt with by the school and both families. It is now a non entity. There is the residual feeling of whether the school acted appropriately.
I am surprised the school did not inform you they would pass the info onto the judo instructor or ask you to make sure it is passed on. It might have been a coincidence that someone at the school told him in passing by chance and not went out of the way to tell him iykwim?
Maybe just pop a note to his teacher asking can you be informed if any information is being passed onto third parties in future?
There was a thread on here recently about teachers giving up, feeling swamped by parents complaining about things exactly like this. They try to do something helpful and all you can focus on is whether they have broken some inflexible rule and infringed on your DS's rights. There is no reason to even pursue this line of thinking. Yes there may be behaviour policies etc but can't a professional use their discretion once in a while? We all moan about the litigious/box-ticking/paperwork culture getting in the way, so why add another layer i.e. I must be informed whenever etc etc. It wears me out just thinking about it so no wonder teachers are getting fed up.
"It is a breach of confidentiality if the school discussed specific children (by name) with a third party"
Sure Mrz, that's the letter of the law, but I think it was put together for more serious instances than this. Whatever the wording, we've got to keep a sense of proportion.
Is it appropriate for a judo coach to be told that some of his pupils have been using their skills inappropriately? Yes! This is the 'it takes a village' approach to discipline - getting a trusted person to reinforce the message - and the parent is moaning about breach of confidentiality. Why should there be some kind of ban on even mentioning that he got into a fight? It's not as if he's being put in the stocks for it! Sorry but OP you are coming across as someone who thinks their pfb has been misunderstood and shouldn't be upset by nasty people telling them off when they have done wrong - justifying that by talking about 'rights' and confidentiality is just a smokescreen.
A) I think it is fine for the school to contact the judo club and say "we have issues with children using judo moves during fights, please can you reinforce the message to all children that there is a right time and place to use judo skills".
B) I don't think it is OK for school to contact the judo club and say "Little Johnny battered little Freddie, please punish little Johnny".
As the OP doesn't say that her child was singled out by the coach, I'm going to assume that the situation is closer to A than B and this is all a storm in a teacup.
Sounds more to me like B than A given OP says
"A week later the boys went to judo and were called over by the coach who talked to them about their behaviour as one of them ..." and asked "him to 'tell them off'".
If judo club was in a different town, would they ring up all the judo clubs in the area to ask if the boys went there? Surely none of you would approve of that!
"that's the letter of the law, but I think it was put together for more serious"... so breaking a law is now based on personal judgement?
Not knowing a law exists is no defence, but knowing a law exists and thinking you know better is even worse! (Not that the OP has hinted at taking this further, just asked whether the school was allowed to do so.)
the coach did not single out the boy who did the throw - it was the boys in the fight.
surely this is putting the safety of the children first, which overrides data protection?
I think the school have probably over-stepped the mark, but if it were my DC i would really not be furious in the circs that they had done this.
It would definitely send the wrong message to the child if the parent did show him that she was cross with the school and/or the coach over this.
School breached confidentiality. This gpes against CP guidance. No excuse, whatever the good intentions or bad behaviour. Judo teacher is not school staff, this is not a school club. Confidentiality rules are black and white - simple as that - they are not there so all can pick and choose whether they deem what's ok to discuss - otherwise where would we be?
I would not be happy.
I agree with piprabbit. Her example (A) would be fine but (B) would not. If OP is talking about situation (B) I think she should discuss confidentiality with the Head.
Oh my word, this is not a child protection issue. This is what I mean about a sense of proportion. "Breaking a law" etc?? I give up.
I think the school did the wrong thing for the right reasons. Their intentions were good but it doesn't alter the fact that they should not have been talking about identifiable children with a third party. The fact that the boys were called over, rather than the whole group being addressed, means that the school said enough for the coach to identify them.
Perhaps teachers react differently to this than non teachers. In my day parents had no say. It is right they have a say now at most schools,
Have any of you ever talked to Toby Young..........hmmm
Perhaps the school shouldn't have contacted a 3rd party in theory, but in this case it made perfect sense and demonstrated a very holistic approach to the incident. I wish the school my DC attend cared this much to be honest.
Why didn't you tell the instructor that your son had done something so dangerous?
Teachers just cannot win can they?? This is a completely appropriate thing to do and I would have been impressed that someone actually cared enough about my child/ren to take time out to do this simple and effective thing to reinforce what is right and wrong.
polkadotsrock I'm afraid as a teacher I disagree it is a totally inappropriate thing for them to discuss a child with anyone other than the parents and it should have been left up to the OP to inform or discuss the incident with the coach if they felt this was necessary.
I would be a bit annoyed if the school discussed my child's discipline issues with someone outside of the school without talking to me first. They should have told you and requested it was reiterated to the children that they were not allowed to use throws outside of judo.
My DCs do martial arts and this is something the instructor discusses with them regularly so they should know better.
I wouldn't be mega angry or anything but I am quite capable of discplining my children so would not need the school to go behind my back.
I think Pip has got it right - the school could have taken approach A without mentioning any names.
Sorry - didn't read your whole post - the OP said they were singled out but approach A would have been the best approach I think.
The school shouldn't have gone about things in this way - but the idea behind this was spot-on.
I did martial arts for several years. If something like this had come to light, the whole class would have been lectured by one of the instructors, not just the offenders, and would probably have been doing an hour's worth of fairly brutal press-up/shuttle-run combos.
Discipline and respect are at the very heart of most martial arts and any child practicing should be made completely aware of the expectations of the sport and the rules, both in and out of the dojo.
In our club, the adults were expected to take an active role in encouraging respect for self and others. If the kids were behaving badly in the changing rooms, we were expected to speak to them or find an instructor to do so. If we saw bad behaviour outside the club, we flagged it up. Martial arts are about a way of conducting yourself, not just about getting the moves right.
I would support the club in reinforcing this discipline, no matter what your issue with the school.
If asked my DP who is a HT and he said:
(1) the school should probably have talked to the parents first but its not really a big deal
(2) its not data so covered by the DPA
(3) he would see the OP as embarrassed by her son so choosing to blame some adults
and the main thing is, its not the school spreading gossip about a child, its the school looking out for the welfare of all children in the school.
parents are welcome to move their DCs to another school.
'he would see the OP as embarrassed by her son so choosing to blame some adults'
God, how true is that.
What bit of the fight at school was confidential data? The school probably should have informed you out of courtesy that they were going to speak to the judo teacher, but they don't need your permission to say this group of boys have been having a judo fight in the corridor/playground.
Anything that happens inside the school concerning individual children is confidential dogrosie and should not be reported to a third party
This is curious - does that just go for professionals, or mums and kids that might have seen the fight too?
It goes for all professionals in the school and if parents were there as volunteers.
If I was reporting the fight to the OP as a teacher I should not tell her the name of the other child or discuss their involvement even though her son will obviously fill in these details.
I am confused about the comments about 'data', its not about that, I would not expect my sons behaviour to be discussed outside if school, its still confidential IMO.
I have been involved in an early years setting and we would never have talked about any of our children's behaviour to anyone other than parents. That is normal as far as I'm aware.
I don't think the OP is questioning the fact that her son was in the wrong,and deserved the punishment from the school and the talking to from the judo club,so she has no need to be embarrassed by or for her son. Parents are constantly being advised on mn to leave the school to deal with different issues concerning dcs, and i totally agree, approaching other parents or bringing in a third party is the worst thing to do,but surely the schools should give students that same respect, 'What happens in School stays in School'.
When we signed my son up for a martial art we signed a form about contact with the school. For each award he has to get a "good report" form signed by his class teacher at school and the school are told that any use of the moves at school should be reported to the tutor and may result in expulsion from the club.
They insist martial arts is about discipline & self control, and using it in anger is not showing that. Not sure how that all fits in with data protection, but I'm happy that all his classmates are aware they can't use it out of the club or there will be consequences.
oh DP also said he would talk to the parents but if they said they did not want in mentioned to the coach, he would not go with their wishes.
there are two issues (1) the boy using the judo move (2) the safety of everyone in the school
(2) is way more important than the parents' embarrassment/their wishes.
he works in schools where teachers are trained in restraining children within the law. frequently teachers get minor injuries (scratches, bites, kicks, punches) during getting the child into the correct position.
The school are breaching confidentiality technically, but really you are SO precious!
this incident was witnessed by other pupils and teachers so it was in the public domain - therefore how could it be breaching confidentiality - it was not a confidential incident.
most incidents at school would be in front of other people so thats rubbish about its not confidential.
No where has the OP said it was ok what her son had done and she has said she has punished him as did the school.
I get its not a massive deal and there are worse breaches of confidentiality but I think the OP has had a really harsh time. She was only asking for opinions.
I do think there could have been a better way to deal with it but at least they were trying I suppose - I can see that it seems as if they can't win but the school should know they should have spoken to the parents first.
but it isn't confidential - if two boys have a fight then other pupils will see - they can go home and tell their parents other friends etc. So it is not a confidential matter in the first place.
If it was confidential then it would be secret - this incident wasn't secret and my dd could have come home and told me all about the fight and what happened, who was involved and which teachers stopped the fight etc. I am not bound to keep that information secret and can tell who I like as it is not a confidential matter
no confidentiality does not mean its a secret, the teachers are professionals so it applies to them, the random people who see and hear about it are not so it doesn't!
If two boys have a fight in school as a teacher I am only allowed to inform each set of parents about their child not about the other child (even though it is obvious they will get these details from their child). I certainly can't tell a third party about it!
If something is confidential then you don't have random people talking about it, they very fact it is in the public domain and random people can talk about it means it was not a confidential incident
and yes confidential is secret dictionary.reference.com/browse/confidential
oh ffs, I don't care about protocols & policies & principles. The Judo coach was probably horrified to find out the boys had used that maneuver and was brought on side to help discourage a repeat.
the teacher was not gossiping to the judo teacher, (s)he was looking out for all the children's welfare, which is their job.
its a very jobsworth approach to harp on about confidentiality when not telling the judo instructor could result in harm to a child.
what is the harm in telling them?
I suppose op you are correct that school cannot tell a 3rd party.
However, the 3rd party was not a random person, it was someone with ties to the school and who is presumably crb checked etc. furthermore, the 3rd party was someone who had taught your ds not to use judo moves outside of class and this is exactly what your ds did. They may be able to actually justify the fact they told this 3rd party due to the relationship with him.
They weren't outsourcing discipline, they were informing the coach that his rules had been broken so he could act accordingly.
The school have not overreacted and yabvu to be cross. Your attitude stinks, you should be grateful that people responsible for your son's safety and behaviour have communicated relevant information. I have a son a similar age who did something very silly at a coaching session (different sport) and he received an almighty shrieking bollocking from the coach. I was grateful for this. Ds will not do this again and will think about other actions more carefully in future. The coach likes ds and is kind to him. The bollocking was a kindness IMO. (I watch so I am not taking anyone else's account of this)
A teacher is not allowed to discuss incidents in school with a third party regardless of whether it is the child's sports coach or another parent.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
Schools / Teachers cannot discuss a child's behavior, abilities, levels etc, with anyone but the child's parent or carer.So how can it be ok to ring an outside group about a named child ?.
I think the op is concerned about the fact that the children were discussed as individuals,the whole issue could have been handled without naming children.
but its really not a big deal is it? I mean should anyone be disciplined because of it?
someone could lose their job because they disclosed inappropriately
I'm with mrz here
well I hope their union would fight it for them because that is the highest order of jobsworth.
schools have real problems. children being abused etc.. this is not one of them. HTH
well the good news is there are HT like my DP who really does not think it is a big deal and was not even convinced he needed the parents permission.
because its about children not being injured. but I am repeating myself...
your DP is deluded if he thinks that disclosing information to a third party is okay, HTH
(OMG at him being a HT too, bloody hell)
I tell you what, when all the children in his school are safe and fed and cared for, in homes with no DV, he will deal with such pissy issues as this.
until then, really it would be a terrible use of the schools limited resources on this ^ ^ ^ ^ ^.
he has turned around one failing school so far and is now making good progress on number 2.
but I sure your record of bringing meaningful improvement to the lives of children is greater than his...................................................
he did all that by contacting sports coaches and asking them to sort things out for him?
what a silly thing to say.
YANBU - school should not be discussing incident in school with a 3rd party.
Am also how many people are saying OP is avoiding disapplining her son. He' 8yo FFS, made a serious mistake, was punished and it would seem it worked as no more incidents. Why should he be punished again?
Perhaps it was a parent told the judo instructor and he just said 'the school' to protect their identity.
It does get me annoyed when people get so pissy about coprrect protocol rather than addressing the problem of their child's behaviour
I too would be concerned about FasterStronger's DP's response to this issue. 'parents are welcome to move their DCs to another school.' Christ is that his reponse when parents have a problem with his school?
OP's school did wrong, as I said earlier. Confidentiality rules are there for a reason - as for FS's DP's reply of it not being data so not requiring confidentiality I am and to say the least.
really FS ...no more silly than your statement
xylem8 the OP has stated that her son was punished both by the school and at home (isn't that addressing the problem?) and that the school had contacted the coach not a parent
I believe the op has addressed her child's behaviour, and supported the school in the punishment given at the time,as winning just said, the child is 8, he made a mistake, he was punished and he understood what he had done wrong, incident happened, was dealt with and finished with.
Maybe this is only a minor incident, but where would this school draw the line when it comes to confidentiality ?
Leonard, if the school and parents cannot agree over a period of time, that is an option worth considering.
it is not a regular school regulars and he and the governers have more autonomy.
and it's a really easy way to turn around a failing school ... get rid of the problems
mrz - if it was that easy there wouldn't be any failing schools
Think about it ivykaty ... a head encourages his/her "problems" to move ... where do they go ?
perhaps to the school your child attends
so it is the pupils that are failing then not the schools?
Imagine you have a high number of children who you know won't achieve national expectations ... encourage them to move ... achieve good SAT results ...everyone says well done you've turned the school around
Wow this still rages on even though the OP left days ago.
and no it is never the child's fault
mrz - he does not suggest the move because of the behaviour of the children - but because of behaviour of the parents.
strangely enough someone who turns around failing schools actually cares about the pupils.....otherwise what would be the point?
the problem with this thread, is not the boys fighting, but the op being embarrassed by the son so looking for a distraction.
and the parents behaviour improves for the next school or does the problem persist?
I don't think the OP is embarrassed just surprised that a school would contact a third party about something that occurred in school.
the school is not responsible for the parents behaviour. the parent is.
may be a fresh start will help them.
a small number of PITA parents take up a lot of the schools resources that could be better spent on the children.
FS does your dh know you're speaking for him ?
If he really holds the views you've posted, I hope my dc doesn't go to any school he's involved with
summer - I am not 'speaking for him' but I am repeating what he has said in the past generally and on this topic specifically.
I don't think most MNers have experience of the type of schools he works in as the issues they find important seem really trivial.
e tells me about a 3 yo who are so hungry they hide food, can only communicate by swearing etc. reception children acting out drug deals.
yes lets get someone sacked for talking to the judo coach to try to stop someone getting injured.... or may be we just get a grip. (that last paragraph is mine)
It does sound like your dp's school are a special case yes FasterStronger. However you are not furthering your or his cause by discussing it on here. Crikey. By him discussing these matters with you, and then you feeling free to blab these matters in such a gossipy way on such a public forum just goes to further prove your and his attitude to this issue. I find this shocking. Many posters on here have emphasised is the major issue they are concerned about - The breach of confidentiality
right breaching confidentiality when I don't even know which child he is talking about?
you are very jobsworth. what do you do for a living?
I feel rules for the protection of children are in place very good reasons.
My job? I'm a mother.
Out of interest where you going to tell the Judo coach?
leonard - I don't think you understand the law regarding CP.
Are you saying it was necessary to breach confidentiality in the interests of child protection here? I don't think so. I understand fully well there are cases where outside agencies are contacted regarding pupils but surely it was not the case here.
Reading the policy of DS's school, which is on their website for all to see, their rules are quite clear. IRO staff, volunteer, helpers and work-experience - whatever happens in school is confidential and should only be discussed with relevant people eg parents of child involved, other relevant staff etc. This was not the case here.
Of course due to its very nature the pupils themselves are not bound by this confidentiality and are free to discuss all they see/hear. Adults. Not so.
So like I said - I am surprised you think it's supporting your case by making it clear that not only does your dp come home and discuss school business with you, but that you then break this confidence further by coming on here and talking freely about these matters on here!
I think the children of the parents you and your husband describe as PITA deserve as much time and effort as any other child ...
I don't think you understand the law either FS
Leonard has got it spot on, in the setting I looked after it was reiterated time and time again that any information you learn or incidents witnessed due to you being part of the setting are bound by the confidentiality agreements signed, this is for both staff and volunteers.
If for instance a child is physically abused at home and their siblings or neighbours children know about it, doesn't mean that staff at school can discuss it if they learn of it at work just because other people know about it at the school.
I think the children of the parents you and your husband describe as PITA deserve as much time and effort as any other child ...
yes of course they do and more besides - however the school cannot make their lives ok or make their parents act like parents.
most people sign a confidentiality contract at work. & most people talk about what they do at work. its the consequences of what you are saying and any response being proportionate.
which I would have thought most professional people would understand.
no school can not make parents act like parents but they can ensure that the children are nurtured and supported in school and not chased away because their parents are a problem
IME there are many people who do not entirely understand! The smaller things most definitely do not need to be discussed outside of school, the bigger things may need to be depending on the situation but there are protocols and procedures to be followed.
In the scheme of things, the OPs situation was a minor incident and did not need to go any further than the parents if was a 1st and one off incident. Most professional people should understand that.
mrz - so how many children and staff are you responsible for?
'most people talk about what they do at work' - depends on the nature of the work surely.
I was a civil servant - did I go home and blab about our clents? No
I help in a school - do I go home and blab about what I've seen/heard? No
I sold refreshments at a tourist spot - I considered it ok to discuss ice creams and crisps when I got home.
which I would have thought most professional people would understand.
why FS are you going down the my husband's school is bigger than yours type argument?
Surely issues of confidentiality only matter if you name the person you are talking about.
So as a journalist I would write about 'confidential incidents' such as a sexual offence and if I make sure the victim is not identifiable, I can publish.
So on an internet forum, so long as the person concerned is not identifiable, there is no issue of confidentiality.
In terms of what the school did - it's good practice, I think, to keep the judo instructor informed.
I know of someone who went home and discussed a incident at a school setting she worked at with her DH, her teenage DD was also there.
The teenage DD went and teased the person involved's DD (who was in her class) about it the next day. The person who had discussed it at home was suspended.
It wasn't even that awful an incident but was a breach of confidentiality end of!
ubik - but they specifically mentioned the names of the children to the judo instructor!
Surely issues of confidentiality only matter if you name the person you are talking about. isn't that the issue here? The school have contacted a third party and identified two pupils ...
I think in law there's always room for manoeuvre - the school's intentions were honourable - it may be there has been a spate of problems with boys using these 'moves' in the playground and that the judo instructor has been informed to help stop it, it may be that the school decided to work with judo instructor to put a stop to it.
This wasn't idle gossip, the school had an honourable purpose in disclosing this information. I think hopping up and down about something so trivial, where the teacher obviously had the child's interests at heart, is an over reaction. It's not the same as abuse/neglect etc which are possible criminal matters and must be treated with strict adherence to policies and processes in place.
In terms of the 'sexual offence' example I gave - that was because someone on here was getting a hard time because she had used a real life example of an event. The chances of any persons concerned being identified are minimal.
under the law good intentions are no defence
Just curious, what is the actual law that covers this?
No, but I think lawyers/judges expect some common sense to used when applying the law.
And the law, I think, is the Data Protection Act - which nobody understands (including me!) and which can then be used to strike fear into the hearts of rational adults trying to do their jobs.
There are a number of laws regarding the sharing of information
No ubik it is not the Data Protection Act
I'm from an IT background and I thought the DPA only applied to information held digitally or on paper. So I presumed this situation must have been covered by some other legislation (Child Protection perhaps?).
This guidance supports the cross-Government guidance document Information sharing:
practitioners guide. It provides practitioners, managers and trainers with additional
 the law specifically concerned with information sharing;
 the pieces of legislation which may provide statutory agencies and those acting on
their behalf with statutory powers to share information.
It is for everyone who works with children and young people, whether they are employed or
volunteers, and working in the public, private or voluntary sectors. It is for staff working in
health; education; early years and childcare; social care; youth offending; police; advisory
and support services, and leisure. It is also for practitioners who work in services provided
for adults, for example mental health services and drug and alcohol services, as many of the
adults accessing those services may have parenting or caring responsibilities.
That depends ubik. Where I work, I've pretty much had it drummed into me that however good your intentions are, a breach of the data protection act is still a breach of the data protection act. That's how it should be.
I haven't read that whole doc mrz, but it seems to be a guidance document, covering many laws. I'm curious as to what actual law was broken in this case, and the penalties associated with what the school has done?
probably half the laws detailed in the guidance document Grolithe
I think a mixture of the common law and data protection act would come into play here. It's likely the school have made a written record of the incident so would be considered under DPA. The most likely penalty would be a fine, but I couldn't say how much.
The Common Law duty of confidentiality says
It is possible however to identify some circumstances in which sharing confidential information without consent will normally be justified in the public interest. These are:
● when there is evidence that the child is suffering or is at risk of suffering significant harm; or
● where there is reasonable cause to believe that a child may be suffering or at risk of significant harm; or
● to prevent significant harm arising to children and young people or serious harm to adults, including through the prevention, detection and prosecution of serious crime.
For the purposes of this guidance, serious crime means any crime which causes or is likely to cause significant harm to a child or young person or serious harm to an adult.
it doesn't seem as if any of these circumstances apply
Probably being the operative word mrz.
When working in IT within the Banking Industry, I had to undertake mandatory training on the DPA and other regulation that affected my job, repeatedly in timeframes prescribed by the regulators. This training clearly outlined what would constitute a breach of the legislation, and the penalties I could face for such a breach.
Is there similar training to cover this stuff? Or just 'guidance'?
It could be argued that a school talking to a judo coach with whom they have a working relationship about incidents in which the judo throws he has taught being used in their playground is covered by 'to prevent significant harm arising to children'.
I don't know about every school but certainly the settings I have been involved in have to sign a confidentiality agreement which is written by the management. It is written very clearly in their contracts and handbook that a breach of the agreement could result in disciplinary action including instant dismissal. Not sure where the law comes into it really - the staff are well informed of their role though.
I'm using the NHS guidance not the link msz linked to. It suggests seeking specialist legal advice before sharing confidential info in any of the situations she just suggested. The bar for justifying being in the public interest is set high. Essentially I think it boils down to life or death situations.
Grow - it could be, but there was no need to discuss specific children - they could have addressed the whole judo class and I would imagine those 2 children are not the only 2 that could have used or thought about using judo moves outside the class - they are only children after all.
My 5 YO DS started judo and when he got his yellow belt, he and has friend who also got it took the belts in for show and tell, the teacher asked them to show the class some moves (WTF?!), luckily they were sensible enough to say they weren't allowed but that may not have been the case especially as asked by the teacher.
Two eight year olds fighting is very unlikely to be considered a risk of significant harm and talking to the parents and children involved would remove the risk of any harm
mrz with all due respect I think two eight year olds throwing each other round on a concrete playground could actually cause significant harm, which would be why judo schools use crash mats.
do you know they were throwing each other around on a concrete playground?
Ok, unless they were actually fighting on crash mats (closely supervised), wherever they were they could have been injured.
They could be injured playing on the climbing frame or tripping on the steps or playing football ...but it wouldn't be considered a risk of significant harm
I would see risk in two eight year olds performing judo throws on each other round on grass or even a safety surface. Especially as it was unlikely that there was a trained instructor closely supervising them at the time.
Would you see it as a greater risk than falling 2m from a climbing frame?
Do you have a climbing frame at your school which has a significant risk of a child falling 2 metres? If so, I would say that children need to be closely supervised on it.
No but we have a climbing frame that is 4m high without a sign
and in a recent H&S inspection was not regarded as a significant risk
Thats ok then. What did the inspector say about the two 8 yos martial artists chucking each other round in the other round in the other corner?
How on earth can a teacher who knows nothing about judo say two 8 yo fighting using judo throws is ok?
How do you know what "a teacher" knows about Judo?
I can say with confidence the average teacher knows nothing about judo so is obliged to err on the side of caution.
Two eight year olds fighting is very unlikely to be considered a risk of significant harm and talking to the parents and children involved would remove the risk of any harm
This is what makes me think you don't know a lot about Judo, mrz.
I also think that the judo coach talking to the children involved would be more effective in removing the risk of harm, and that the school acted wisely in using it's relationship with the coach to enable this.
All in all, with the 'guidance' being so woolly, I'm no lawyer but I'd say the school had a good defence.
But hopefully, the OP has realised this and calmed down by now.
No Growlithe it tells you that I know more about what is considered a significant risk under CP guidance than you do ...
Tell us what you know then, mrz. No 'probably', no documents obtained from the internet. Tell us exactly what would happen to this school, under what law, and with what penalty.
We are all ears... I ll run it past DP and he see if you both agree.
I have not seen where Mrz or anyone else on here has said using a judo throw at school is ok, the question was around whether the school should have disclosed information about children, naming them, to a third party.
The answer is absolutely NOT and I could ask everyone else I know who is a teacher or childcare professional and would be really surprised if they said any different.
The OP was not over reacting but felt cross at the time, I think there are other people on this thread that are over reacting though. I did judo for 15 years and was a black belt, it is a big deal to practice judo outside of the class but that does not mean the school acted incorrectly.
I think this is getting a bit silly now.
If you teach your child to fight..they will fight
< runs off>
Well on the evidence of what you have posted about your DP FS I very much doubt that would be the case.
and no Growlithe my knowledge of Child Protection isn't from the internet ...
Come on then mrz, tell us. What is the law that has been broken, and what would be the penalty to the school? Or would it be an individual that was prosecuted?
MrsMelons, mrz posted earlier that she didn't think two eight year olds fighting (and we are talking about te use of judo throws in this fight on this thread) constituted a risk of significant harm.
Ah so you are avoiding commenting on what should happen. Well its good that other people actually deal with this type of thing as part of their job.... So are you commenting?
Perhaps you can ask your husband what actually constitutes "risk of significant harm" under child protection terms SF
I think it is the significant harm part that is confusing, punching someone in the face could cause significant harm, as could a leather football in the face (my friends DD had her nose broken in a playground accident of that kind) but does not necessarily mean it is something that staff should break their confidentiality agreement over thats all.
I would BTW be absolutely livid with DS if he used judo at school but I would expect the school to tell me and I would speak to the judo instructor myself!
Or perhaps we are asking the person who has been commenting on the law throughout the thread.
I think the school should consider apologising to the OP for breach of common law confidentiality and refrain in future from involving third parties ... and that you should be more cautious in what you say about your husband on a thread with at least one journalist hanging on every word.
What's the definition of 'common law confidentiality'? What is the penalty for a breach?
I think that the school is overstepping its responsibilities by taking it upon itself to decide that it could breach its own confidentiality rules in what was really quite a minor disciplinary issue.
Would it be okay if a school caught a pupil stealing and decided to warn the local shop?
That's a different scenario Worry. Here, they let the person who has had a professional relationship with the school, and is teaching them judo (the moves and the self control which goes hand-in-hand), know that part of the training is not working and is therefore causing risk within the school.
I'm sure you can find it on the DFE website if you want to look Growlithe
mrz you are allowed to say you don't actually know the answer. Just don't round on other teachers' actions and accuse them of breaking the law when not fully abreast of the facts yourself.
I don't personally need to know the answer because I don't work in a childcare setting, and as a parent, in this situation, I wouldn't dream of being in any way annoyed with a school for taking this particular course of action.
I have a long background in martial arts (some judo, but mainly jiu jitsu) and I would say it absolutely is appropriate that the sensei (coach) is contacted and asked to have a word.
Strictly speaking, if I was the school, I would not have named the boys but said 'some boys in the judo class have used their training outside the dojo in an inappropriate manner' and have the sensei talk to the whole class/club about this.
It is essential that a sensei/coach in any martial art knows if their students are using their training inapropriately. It's not about punishment but assessing whether those students are mature enough to handle the next level of training. When I taught adult students I'd have felt the same about anybody I heard had been in a bar or street fight.
The school did the right thing. I am surprised anyone can take issue with that.
Honestly, MN sometimes is like Jeremy Kyle for the middle classes.
Unlike you, I do work in education and in child protection and as a parent I would be asking the school why the felt they had the right to pass on information to a Judo coach Growlithe ...
I know you work in education and child protection mrz. You keep telling us. But that is all you are telling us.
Mrz - I think the question asked repeatedly is exactly what law was broken? The school felt it was right to pass on the info and did so.
I suggest you re read the thread Growlithe
No, you suggested breach of common law confidentiality, did not define it, and did not tell us what penalty it carried.
If you look further back I also said they would be in breach of other regulations (but that would be up to the legal dept to sort out)
I dont think that there is such a big difference between telling the coach about the fight and telling a local shopkeeper about a pupil caught stealing. They are certainly in the same order of situation.
And this is the problem, it is all shades of grey.
This is why there are guidelines/rules etc. While there might be some justification for going to the judo coach there would be less justification for going to the shopkeeper. However once you have set a precedent that sometimes it is okay to tell an unrelated person about minor discipline problems it get easier to make the next step. It also becomes harder to say 'no, this is confidential'.
Most come under the Children's Act 1989 & 2004
Mrz It's all very vague. You would have to get the legal dept to sort it. So what gives you the authority to comment with such certainty on other schools and the actions of their staff?
All schools will have policies regarding confidentiality. I would have thought what the school did would go against most schools' basic rules regarding this. Rules are there for a reason. Procedures and policies are there for a reason. For example CRB checks go some way to ensure the safety of children. Such as all agencies working with children will require staff have an enhanced CRB check to try to ensure suitability. Judo coach had run a club in the past but is not current member of staff - even if he had a CRB check in the past I believe if coach had a gap in employment and no or minimal contact with the school since, his CRB check would no longer have been valid. He could have been up to anything. Yes one might say he runs a Judo club that OP sends her child to. However club is completely different entitity with its own rules re CRB checks etc. OP would have been aware of this when she sent her child there. It was up to her to ensure suitability and safety of her child in her club. Whether she leaves her child there, what information to share with coach. Up to her. Her decision. Her call. NOT the school's.
No-one on here disputes the boys did wrong, but the school did.
excellent post Leonard
I thought CRB checks only covered your suitability to work with children within a setting. How does it apply in this case?
I think the relevance is that the school had no up to date knowledge about the judo coach, he was simply a third party. They had no knowledge of how the judo club was run and whether the judo coach was an appropriate person to contact in this situation.
The school was acting simply on assumption and out of date knowledge of an individual.
I used to be a governor (CRB checked) at a primary school and privy to a lot of pupil information. I am no longer a governor so if the school were to contact me about a pupil issue because I knew the pupil involved and had been a governor in the past this would be entirely wrong.
But what would that have to do with your CRB? I am CRB checked at my DCs schools but it wouldn't be appropriate for them to contact me with information about a child.
The CRB issue is completely irrelevant. The school did not place the children in the coach's care. The parent did.
'The school did not place the children in the coach's care' but they shared confidential school info with a him, a third party, not school staff, not vetted by school. Yes parent's choice to place him in coach's care. Parent's choice whether school shared info? No.
It seems that the school contacted the judo coach simply because they knew who he was (or thought they did). The fact that he might have been someone they had known and trusted in the past should not have given the school the green light to contact him.
I am guessing that if the school had not known the judo coach from a previous situation then they wouldnt have contacted him.
I am using the CRB checking as a kind of shorthand for the kind of knowledge and trust the school appeared to have placed in the judo coach.
But CRB only covers whether a person has a criminal past which would deem it inappropriate for a setting to have children in their care. What you are saying is it covers information too?
So anyone who handles data relating to children needs to have a CRB check?
CRB is a red herring in this case. If a law concerning confidentiality has been breached, it wouldn't matter if the coach's CRB check was in or out of date.
Was that to me Growlithe?
As I said I am using CRB checking as a sort of shorthand for the kind of knowledge of and trust in the judo coach the school appears to have had. It appears to me that the school has perceived the judo coach as a colleague.
In my opinion because of this perception the school felt happy to breach its own behaviour guidelines.
CRB (though I accept they're not infallible) is just one of the ways to ascertain whether appropriate for school to share info with him. If he were school staff, he would have one and would be subject to their usual procedures regarding info sharing. He was not, therefore he probably hadn't, therefore he wasn't.
Do we know the school's behaviour guidelines? I'm confused now.
YY WorrySighWorrySigh that's what I think I was saying too.
Expected behaviour from staff I beleive that means.
Surely this is the basics.
What happens in school should not be discussed by staff with people outside of the school.
ptangyangkipperbang Tue 14-May-13 21:01:53
Is a school allowed to contact 3rd parties as their Behaviour Policy suggests not?
I believe you are now writing the guidelines for a school you don't even know.
My point on here is there have been comments on the school breaking the law, but no one has told me what that law is, what bit they broke and what penalties can be expected.
Then the OP needs to weigh that information against the fact that it was her son's behaviour which caused this, and act accordingly.
Ah sorry to assume what you meant there, WorrySighWorrySigh.
But wow!! I missed this bit - so OP states school spelt it out so clearly in their policies
They were wrong wrong bloody wrong.
The OP uses the word 'suggests', you say 'spelt out so clearly'.
I have made no comments about the school breaking the law. As you can see the OP says that the school's behaviour policy suggests that 3rd parties should not be contacted.
The whole point of the opening post is not about the OP's son's behaviour (the boy was punished) but about the school's behaviour in sharing information with a third party.
Surely OP's use of the word 'suggests' means she has read this policy. Therefore as such ''spelt out so clearly.'
OP, when you took your DS to the first judo lesson after the fight, did you volunteer the information to the coach at the beginning of the lesson that your child had used a judo move inappropriately in a fight in the school environment?
When your child signed up for judo did he and / or his parents & carers not have to abide by some rules regarding practicing judo? If so, would you (as the responsible informed adult) not be in breach of some rules by not notifing his coach of your son's breach of the rules?
What would happen if in the future your son and friend had judo fight mark 2 - and your child or the other child was injured, perhaps seriously. Had neither you nor the school informed the judo coach that the children had already been using these moves inappropriately, would you still expect the judo coach to defend himself or would you hold yourself responsible for your lack of information sharing?
Well, as sense has left the thread, and it's bedtime, I'm off.
It is woolly as to what the school has done wrong. It is even woollier what would happen to the school.
It is clear what the boy did. It is clear someone needed to tell the judo coach where his tuition was failing wrt these boys.
All put together, and as the OP has obviously done, I'd get my head down and let it all blow over.
Sorry Lady - obviously not directed at you.
Good God, if I had EVER used my Judo throws outside the Dojo, I would have been banned from the Dojo.
And yes, if the HT knows the coach, I would expect him to talk to him.
The first discipline in Judo is that Judo is for the Dojo, not the street or school.
I'm beyond shocked that you DON'T think it right of the HT to speak to a coach about a child using Martial arts on school premises, so that the coach could reiterate that Judo is only for the Dojo.
If your DS was one of the DC's getting a dressing down from the coach, then IMO you should thank your lucky stars that he wasn't barred from the Dojo. Permanently.
(I will qualify that by saying that I was National under 11's champion and have represented our country at a Junior level internationally in the past.)
I was a 2nd Dan by the time I stopped whilst pregnant with my DD, and if any DC's I had taught had used throws etc that I had taught them in an inappropriate environment, I would want to know. And probably would have found out.)
Very interesting posts cowthy.
Mrz, its a pity that someone working in cp has such little understanding of proportionate response, with the cuts meaning workloads are increasing, I marvel how you find time to deal with a real cp issue.
Having staff and volunteers who know that it is unacceptable to pass on personal information about pupils without parents permission (all CP trained) means that I have plenty of time FS, but thank you for your unnecessary concern.
But surely your time is full dealing with things that make this look like very small fry? I mean you do actually deal with children experiencing neglect....?
As I said I wouldn't have deal with anything like this because staff don't gossip to third parties leaving me free to do my job.
How does that stop children being neglected?
How does phoning a Judo coach stop children being neglected?
My staff and volunteers are all trained to recognise signs of neglect (and other CP issues) they know the children, families and the wider community so are ideally placed to pick up concerns.
You are talking like you have been on a course but have no practical experience of anything significant. You have no sense of proportion.
I'm afraid I am not going to post about my experience on a public forum to please you FS ...
The ethics of the situation are irrelevant. Mrz is quite right about what can be told to a third party regardless of opinion on the rights and wrongs of it. Although in this case it seems the incident has been blown out of proportion.
only on MN the OP seems to have dealt with the situation well in real life
Schools have no right to contact a third party about any issues re a child without the permission of the parent/guardian except in the case of child protection issues. The headteacher here clearly overstepped the mark by not telling the parents first that he wanted to do this. I agree that having the judo coach talk to the boy was probably a good thing but the school needed to discuss this with the parents before going ahead with the phone call. Also, nowhere did the OP say that she was more concerned about this than she was about her son being involved in a fight as you have suggested Ragwort (she supported the school punishing him). Wombles - the judo teacher is not "one of their bank of supporting supply staff". He had run a club at the school in the past but no longer does so.
Only on MN could the 1 person on a thread who knows what they're talking about and is correct in all they say be the one who gets the stick.
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