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

(148 Posts)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

If it's a diminutive of her "real" name, why is it unreasonable to ask that she knows how to write it?

She is going to have to know what it is and how to spell it at some point isn't she?
I mean, it is her actual name. You named her it. Just because everyone now calls her by a nickname, that doesn't mean she can't understand that it is just a nickname and her real name is what it is?

scaevola Tue 02-Jul-13 11:29:47

I don't think OP was having a problem with full name v nickname.

The problem was with using the name that is actually in use.

So, for example, she always wanted a Vicky and called her Victoria. But wanted to use her beloved gran's name too, Alice. But married surname begins with "G". So to avoid VAG, the DD is AVG, but always known as Victoria/Vicky. Then the school wants her to be Alice everyday.


hufflebottom Tue 02-Jul-13 11:34:26

dd's name is shortened, and her full name is only used by her grandparents, and when she's in trouble

she's learnt to spell her name in the shortened version, and when asked her name she tells people it's 'x'.

She recognises her full name though, and pre school call her 'x' and have done since they asked me what she answered too, there was no 'known as' just 'we notice you call her 'x' would you like us to', and i told them it was totally up to them

sweetkitty Tue 02-Jul-13 11:35:18

I have an Abigail but called Abbie, the hassle we got from family firstly as to why we weren't just calling her Abbie (her middle name had an -ie at the didn't want two -ie names sounded odd) then nursery called her Abigail had to speak to them a few times to change it.

School have been better, she's Abbie on everything there. Of course now she's older she wants to be Abigail.

SoupDragon Tue 02-Jul-13 11:43:52

Poor teachers having to remember which is izzy, bella, isla or whatever.

How is it any harder than remembering which is Jane, Sarah or Mary?

maja00 Tue 02-Jul-13 11:46:33

I think the point some posters are missing is that the school asked for her preferred name, but this teacher is insisting on using the full name anyway hmm

Ridiculous, and you wouldn't do it to an adult.

I work with children too and we have lots of children who are Rosemary but called Rosie, Henry but called Harry/Hal, Theodore but called Ted.

If Rosie, Harry and Ted are the names these children are called and the names their parents use then I would find it very weird and rude for the teacher to insist on calling them Rosemary, Henry and Theodore.

ClayDavis Tue 02-Jul-13 11:48:52

Scaevola, that was what I thought initially but the OP's second post seems to suggest it is a problem with full name vs nickname.

MerylStrop Tue 02-Jul-13 11:51:01

There is nothing wrong with expecting the child to learn how to recognise and write her full legal name. In Due Course.

There is everything wrong with asking a four year old, in the delicate transition (for the OP's daughter) into school to start answering to a name she doesn't recognise.

If you were (technically) called Doris Emmanuelle Presley, known day to day, since birth as Emma, would you not find it a little unreasonable to be expected to answer to Doris?

By the time she is doing exams I am sure that she will be able.

steppemum Tue 02-Jul-13 11:52:49

There really is a difference between Victoria often/usually known as Vicky


Her preferred name is Alice, which is her middle name, she is never known as Victoria, please use Alice on all books/certificates please.

FWIW my daughter falls into the first category, I interchange the Vicky/Victoria, she hates Victoria and only calls herself/uses Vicky. All her teachers use Vicky, when she learned to write she learned Vicky first and only Victoria much later. Vicky has always appeared on all her books.

Really can't see why school would insist on Victoria, but that is understandable. But in the case of 'Alice' it is really not acceptable - that is not her name.

2madboys Tue 02-Jul-13 11:58:33

Just wondering if any of the adults have encountered this? I had a job once where there were three people with my Christian name, one of which was the supervisor. She obviously had a complex about the name as she went by a different version of it (although it was spelled exactly the same as the other two of us hmm). As soon as she realised I was using my middle name she decided to use my first name, even though I've never used it, and not even my parents have ever used it. She encouraged everyone else to do the same, but thankfully it didn't catch on (they all knew she was bonkers grin). But it's so disrespectful! My parents chose those names for me and I use my middle name for a good reason. The OP's daughter should be given priority to learn to read and spell the name she actually uses - she will be able to learn the longer/different version in time anyway. I'd have a word with the head if the class teacher isn't listening.

scaevola Tue 02-Jul-13 11:59:57

ClayDavis given info in the two posts, I thought it was both issues. And I'm now not sure which it is.

gintastic Tue 02-Jul-13 12:00:38

DD is in reception, our school the teachers will use nicknames when talking to the kids, but when they are learning writing they teach them their full legal name. DD doesn't use a nickname as her first name is only 4 letters anyway, but I wouldn't have had an issue with this approach.

PastSellByDate Tue 02-Jul-13 12:01:52

Hi ClutchingPearls:

First off - I totally get that at 4 years of age - being called by a different name is confusing, weird & possibly upsetting. Certainly upsetting for you.


Just being devil's advocate - the teacher has to learn these proper names because scores/ marks & all recording of pupil progress will be put against them.

We have 3 boys with same name (which is so short it can't be shortened further) so they are called NAME X - based on their first initial in surname (they all hated it at first but now in Y5 it's totally part of their identity - every parent knows the 3 boys with the same first name, but might not know everyone else).


I wouldn't advice sending in a complaint - you're just starting life at this school. Also this is the end of the school year - bear in mind the teacher is most likely completely exhausted and counting the minutes until summer holiday.

My two DDs who are half-American and have middle names that work with their first name spent the first months until our first parent-teacher meeting in Autumn of YR being called first-middle name until the teacher's talked to us and twigged we just call them by their first name.

It's 30 names to absorb & quickly (you have to know them really or feelings are hurt, children are left out & worse (chaos may ensue - serious case of the giggles in DD2's class when teacher's get name wrong). So my gut instinct is wait until next year - I suspect this will resolve it selves in a few short weeks.

So although it is disappointing - they've only just met and the teacher will need time to settle in to his/her new group of students. Keep using the name you like, let friends know the name you prefer and view it as a war and not a battle. You've lost this first skirmish, but odds are you'll win the war on this one.

We have a shortened nickname for DD2 - which we just use in the family but gradually over the years the teachers & her friends have adopted it as well. It suits her, she likes it and knowing her it does make sense. You'll probably find the same works for your DD.

Hang in there & PS pace yourself - there's going to be all sorts that upsets you in coming years. This truly is small beer. Save your anger for when it really matters and hope you never have to go into school all guns blazing.

SanityClause Tue 02-Jul-13 12:07:39

My sister has always been known by her middle name. We changed school when she was in year 5, and she decided to use her first name. The trouble was, she didn't respond to her first name, and her teacher approached my mother because he thought perhaps she was deaf.

So, if the school do insist on using her whole name, they need to be aware that she has never been known by this name, and may have difficulty responding to her "new" name.

anklebitersmum Tue 02-Jul-13 12:12:46

I have changed my name in an office environment so I was known by my middle name as there was another anklebitersmum already. I still wouldn't expect my 4yr old to to accommodate some teacher's whim though.

Have to say that we've had similar issues as regards the pronunciation of my daughter's name (yes, both first and last names). Apparently the fact that my daughter had the downright cheek to say
a) 'that's not how either of them are said' and then
b) 'and you don't spell my surname like that either' made her 'disruptive'.

Suffice to say that Mummy went and 'disrupted' the Head's day wink

Floggingmolly Tue 02-Jul-13 12:34:00

sweetkitty. That's the weirdest logic I've ever heard confused
You wouldn't actually give your dd the name Abbie because it sounded odd with her middle name, but you now insist that that's the the name she's known by????

steppemum Tue 02-Jul-13 12:46:43

I don't get people who say 'you should have just called them Kate not Katherine if you like Kate'

My dd uses the 'Kate' version now, but it is really a little girls name. i know full well that when she is a high court judge, she will prefer the more grown up 'Katherine'

I did this as a child, was only known by the nickname until I was an adult

hels71 Tue 02-Jul-13 12:52:16

Well in our school if you were Victoria Alice always called Alice we would all you Alice. (once we knew).
If you were Victoria known as Vicky you would be called Vicky (But things like reports may well have Victoria on).
If you were Victoria known as Chickpea you may well be called Victoria!

Thurlow Tue 02-Jul-13 12:57:34

It sounds off of the school to not use a preferred name when they've asked for one - but I do think your daughter should know her full first name and learn to respond to it too. And I'm speaking as someone who's DC has a long first name but is almost always called a short version. We still use her longer name sometimes and I'm going to make sure that she knows it.

Greythorne Tue 02-Jul-13 13:04:04

If her proper name is (someting like) Katherine but you call her Kate, then YABU and she will have to learn her name sooner or later.

If her proper name is Katherine and she is known as Rebecca, then the teacher is being unreasonable.

MerylStrop Tue 02-Jul-13 13:05:35

But does she need to learn it Right Now, at the point of starting school, when she has so much else on her plate and so many other new things to learn?

Not a very child-centred approach is it?

bigbadbarry Tue 02-Jul-13 13:12:09

I've not read the whole thread so sorry if I am repeating. My daughter Maggie had Margaret on her school peg for her first day of reception (and of course she knows that is her "real" name) but as soon as we pointed it out has been Maggie ever since. I cannot comprehend why the school would have an issue with that.

ItStartedInRome Tue 02-Jul-13 13:13:58

OP, hope you are not being offended by all the angry, nasty comments from people who seem determined to turn every reasonable question into an opportunity to launch an attack on someone seeking guidance.

FWIW our DS has a name that leads to lots of different NN for eg William, Billy, Bill, B man, Wills, W, Willy Woo, Mr I Am. He is 3. He knows all his little NN and I think you have enough time to help your daughter to learn her formal name before September. IMO the teacher is being nutty.

bigTillyMint Tue 02-Jul-13 13:16:05

DS's name at home/with friends is a shortened version of the one on his birth certificate and on the school register. The teachers in his primary school didn't have any problem using the shortened version, but supply teachers caused quite a bit of hilarity. He usually put them straight pretty quick!

Just talk to the teacher and ask her/him to please call your DD the shortened version.

Sprink Tue 02-Jul-13 13:25:30

I do with all those posting with "if you wanted to call her Beth why didn't you just name her Beth instead of Elizabeth"-style responses would just stop. It's irrelevant to the OP's question and it's not helpful in any way.

Nicknames, and a child's identification with a particular name, tend to develop organically within families. I have an Aunt Mary Joan who's been called Jody practically since birth. Against her parents' wishes. It just happens sometimes.

Sprink Tue 02-Jul-13 13:27:49

For the OP, have a word with head teacher. The class teacher can insist your child writes her name, but that's no excuse for not using the name with which she identifies.

Or change it by deed poll, present it to the teacher, then change it back. The whole thing will call you £20, but trying to conceal your victorious smirk will be priceless.

kelda Tue 02-Jul-13 13:46:13

I am surprised that you have an issue with this. If you didn't want anyone to call her by this name, then why put it on the birth certificate? Especially as you say you liked the name in the first place, so I would have thought you would be pleased that someone is using her full name?

It's likely that in future situations she will be called by her official name.

My dd has a nickname and as soon as she started school, they started calling her by her full name. It would never have occured to me that this could be a problem.

soapboxqueen Tue 02-Jul-13 13:56:32

I think most schools use whatever name a child is used to as long as it is an appropriate name. However her Iegal name will remain on the register. therefore she should know it and respond to it. I appreciate that it would not be an everyday occurrence but suppose there is a fire on a day when your dds class has a supply teacher? To check that all of the children were present she would read it the register which would have your dds legal name.

It is possible to change the register without legally changing the name but it didn't happen very often do I am unsure about the procedure.

Plenty of children are known by more than one name, my ds included, so it really isn't that difficult.

Zingy123 Tue 02-Jul-13 13:59:26

My DD has a nickname that all friends and family use. However she has always known her real name and this is used at school/anywhere official. I find it hard to understand how your daughter doesn't recognise her 'real' name.

Our school insists they learn to write their real name. They will call them though whatever you specify.

5madthings Tue 02-Jul-13 14:07:23

The teacher is being unreasonable, we had the same forms so you put their given name and then the name they use, so ds1 is Theodore but is known as Theo so on his name peg etc and even his school reports they put Theo. He is now in high school and it has never been a problem, if I call to speak to the school about him I say Theo .....(surname) and they know who he is. The official records say Theodore but he is known as Theo.

I don't have a problem with them using both names my issue is that she is starting school and doesnt need to be confused anymore. If they wanted to gradually move over to calling her Charlotte after shes settled then fine. But she has attended the connected nursery and they all know her as Lottie, the children know her as it and she is learning to write it. I chose Charlotte as her name, I like it and am obviously happy people know my daughter is called it. But she knows her name is Charlotte middlename surname, she doesnt twig when they just use Charlotte quickly. She doesn't recognise Charlotte written no matter how many times she sees it. Shes very happy with Lottie, is learning to write Lottie and would be confused if, while having not properly learnt Lottie yet, is asked to write Charlotte.

Like I say my intention was to call her Charlotte but it didnt work out that easy, she is a Lottie now. Shes happy with it and I'm happy to have both used. If I was able to change her name on her birth certificate now (absent father so I can't) I would consider it.

Our class is 12 this year (15max) with no other Lotties/Charlottes. I suppose it was the impression they gave on the forms with prefered name that we had some choice in it. It seems to be this new teachers decision to ignore the name that is the problem. She said she wouldnt even consider calling her Lottie until she could write it, but it was said very dismissively and I felt she has no intention of using it at all. Even if she does its the opposite to what I want, to continue with Lottie and gradually use Charlotte more.

I think a letter sounds a good idea, I shall try to make it sound as light as possible and not make too much of an issue with it. Hopefully she will understand its more that a nickname to her, its her main name. But I'll drop it if she insists, afterall we do have a whole year with her.

5madthings Tue 02-Jul-13 14:12:56

I can understand them teaching her to write Charlotte but they can still call her Lottie ffs!

maja00 Tue 02-Jul-13 14:18:13

Why would she need to learn to write Charlotte at 4 though if her name is Lottie?

She can learn to write her full name later, in a couple of years it will be no bother. For now, the name Charlotte isn't meaningful to her - Lottie is.

Schools don't start off in Reception teaching children to write their full name with surname - they start using their first name as that's what they know, that's what's on their pegs/books/lunchbags, and that's what's relevant to them.

5madthings Tue 02-Jul-13 14:21:54

I am pretty sure ds1 just leant to write Theo.. I don't remember them making him write Theodore... But I guess they might want to make her, it seems pointless tho as she will do it naturally on her own.

For me the main issue would be them refusing to call her Lottie!! As maj says on bookbahgs, pegs etc they always just used Theo, never Theodore.

kernowal Tue 02-Jul-13 14:43:15

My DD's first name was given for family reasons, but we all quickly settled into a common abbreviation. She was put in a class with 3 others sharing the same name when she started junior school (but no others in any of the other 4 classes!). The teacher asked which name they would all prefer and it's been used correctly ever since, except if the register is being done by a supply teacher. Then she just snarls at any kids who tease her about her other name.

AbbyR1973 Tue 02-Jul-13 14:44:02

I'm having the reverse problem trying to get people to encourage DS to write his whole first name rather than his for short first name which he is mostly called at nursery/ school. We use the names interchangeably at home although inevitably when we are being serious we use the longer name. Nevertheless I think it's important he can spell his proper name and encourages his writing more than just the 4 letter version which he can already write/ spell easily.
If they are entirely different names that is tricky. In ex-DH culture they have a proper first name and a middle name by which they are known at home and is not used at all by friends/ school/ etc. Presumably they get used to being called two completely different names in different situations.

Suzieismyname Tue 02-Jul-13 15:02:49

Maja00 is spot on!

ljny Tue 02-Jul-13 16:20:54

Lovely post, Maja. Tis a pity the receiption teacher doesn't share your common sense.

roadkillbunny Tue 02-Jul-13 17:15:29

I would be pissed off about this, there is no reason the teacher can't call your dd by the name she is known by rather then her official name on her birch certificate!

My dd has a name on her birth certificate, when she was a small baby I started calling her a name that came from running her two name official name together. It is not even a real name, completely made up and it stuck.
Dd is now 8 and it is what she calls herself, she never ever thinks about herself as her official name. She only hears her real name when she is in trouble!

When dd started school we applied obviously using her bith certificate name but both told school and filled in the bit on forms where it says 'known as' with the name she identifies herself as.

We had no problems what so ever.
From the first school visits dd was called by her nick name, it is on her peg, on the register, on all her work. It is the name she learnt to write.

When filling out official things at school like permission slips I always use her official name and there has never been any confusion.

Dd can now write both names although she was older when she learnt to write her official name and it is something we worked on at home rather then school.

Dd would have really hated it and struggled had school acted as yours has.
I have always to dd that she can go by which ever of her names she chooses and although she is still firmly sure she wants to go by her nick name I expect as she gets older she will want to use her official name more. It is a choice she needs to make when she is ready to.

If I where you I would really push this with school and not accept then making this decision for you and your dd. to be honest this would make me worry if the school was right for our family.

For those who say 'why didn't you just put the 'nick name' on the birth certificate' well there are lots if reasons, for us it was a name that developed over her first months of life so couldn't have registered her with it, even if this wasn't the case I wouldn't have wanted to put her childish nickname as her official name as much as I enjoy her being a child she will grow up! My dh goes by hisidle name, has done since he made the choice at 9 that he disliked his first name with a passion. He has managed to go nearly 30 years since then with no real bother!

missmapp Tue 02-Jul-13 17:30:03

But she needs to be able to recognise Charlotte, as she will come across it. I can see the teacher only wanting to introduce Lottie later.

She has probably already made all her peg cards, tray labels without realising the name change, and doesn't want to do them again!!

A quiet, light hearted word should do the trick I think. ( be kind, she will be tired!!)

Ps agree, she should be called the preferred name no matter what.

Sprink Tue 02-Jul-13 17:38:29

The thing about registers, is that good teachers know they can cross out the legal name and pencil in the child's preferred and self-identified name.

Good teachers understand how to make a child's transition from nursery to Reception a fun and relaxed experience.

Good teachers can also teach the child to write Lottie and Charlotte.

Good teachers are flexible that way.

ClutchingPearls, to be frank, I wouldn't be 'nicey-nicey write a letter' about this. Just speak to the teacher again and insist, politely. If she continues to resist, speak to the Headteacher. This is an annoyance, something you shouldn't have to worry about in this day and age.

Ds is starting school this year and uses Oliver and Oli interchangeably and can write both. School have said they are happy to use either although he seems to be becoming Oli there already.

In my class I'm able to remember all the children's nicknames if they want to use them in class, it's not hard.

I can understand the need for her to be a le to write Charlotte though.

clam Tue 02-Jul-13 18:03:39

Oh ffs, what is this school ON? A child tells you on the first meet-up what they prefer to be called (Sam/Samuel, Tom/Thomas/Tommy), and you follow their lead. On official forms you write the "proper" name. What's so hard about that?

We were told decades ago at training college that a child's name was very much part of his/her identity and it was paramount that you call them what they're used to. I was therefore shock in my NQT year to hear a colleague say to a child that she didn't care for the name "Nicky" as it was too babyish and she would therefore call him Nick.

clam Tue 02-Jul-13 18:09:14

Oh, and re: registers, most schools use electronic registers these days, meaning they can't be changed. But hey, you know, I somehow manage to read Evelyn and say Evie, see Madeleine and say Maddie, but use Madeleine for the other one.

MerylStrop Tue 02-Jul-13 18:15:47

FWIW she could perfectly well go through adult life as Lottie. My DH uses the diminutive of his "real" name in professional circs and it is on his bank card etc with zero issues.

She's not going to have to fill in her name in official documentation for some years, by which time she will presumably have grasped how to spell it. The teacher sounds like something out of Dickens. Added to which it is Not Her Decision what to call your daughter.

UniS Tue 02-Jul-13 19:41:01

DS was asked by his teacher what he was called, DS gave his "long name". However HE doesnt use his long name, so nowadays no one at school calls him long name, everyone uses his "short" name. He does know his long name and will answer to it, he's just lazy and prefers to write/ say the short name.

Blissx Tue 02-Jul-13 20:24:09

I would love MNetters on here to realise what a minefield the class register is. Just once, i'd love you all to read out a registr for the first time and realise this can often take 10 minutes plus, what with all the sniggers for mis-pronouciations and "but Miss, I'm known as this..."

Ok, so I am a Secondary School teacher and have 7 different registers to call out everyday, but it is damn hard to remember every different variation of a child's name. It can range from a name such as Oluwabukosi to Bukky, or Matiseuz to Matthew to the more common Samuel to
Sam etc. Our registers are electronic using something called SIMS and teachers cannot change data on SIMS for DPA reasons, so we pretty much have the legal forename in front of us and have to remember ourselves any variations and it can take time. Although your DCs' names are all personal and familiar to you, just imagine if all 30+ pupils had different names to their legal forename and try and be a little understanding!

MissAnnersley Tue 02-Jul-13 20:36:09

I have never had a class where the majority of the class didn't use their given name. In my experience it is usually around 2 or 3 pupils who don't.
I can't see how that would be an issue in a primary class.

Sprink Tue 02-Jul-13 20:53:18

Blissx, thanks for that reminder. You're right, of course, and learning preferred names can be difficult at first.

I think in this case we're talking about a much smaller scale. And regardless of what systems are in place, teachers can always make crib sheets.

clam Tue 02-Jul-13 20:58:46

Blissx Of course it's different in the secondary scenario you describe. But in primary, with one class you're in charge of all day, every day, it's much more manageable.

mrz Tue 02-Jul-13 21:02:19

Many of our children have very long hyphenated names and I've had complaints that I've not ensured children (just 4 years old) wrote the full name on paintings etc and I even had one mum insist that "hyphen" be spoken eg:- Scarlette hyphen Isabella hmm
but refusing to change when asked by a parent seems strange

I remember dc1's reception teacher saying at a parents evening that he didn't know how to spell his name yet, but then we had given him rather a long one! I thought, do you mean we should have called him Tom because it is easier to spell then??

mrz Tue 02-Jul-13 21:29:02

One of the reasons I chose short names for my children was less writing for them and because they couldn't be shortened

auntpetunia Tue 02-Jul-13 21:34:49

From a school admin point of view the teacher is talking rubbish! The SIMS school computer system that most UK schools use has legal forename & preferred forename,legal surname and preferred surname! Quick letter to office /head teacher will get it sorted, so on register she'll appear as Lottie but on any exam sheet etc she'll be Charlotte, its bit difficult. Problem is lists from Lea will have proper full name on which is what office will have used for all paperwork. Just speak to office staff when you hand letter in its no big deal.

FatherSpodoKomodo Tue 02-Jul-13 21:40:20

When DS started school his teacher asked me how I wanted his stuff labelled and I chose the shortened version of his name as that is what he is known as. No problem at all. His pegs, drawers and writing board had his nn on. He learned to spell his nn first, I write his nn on all forms for trips etc.

In year 1 his stuff was labelled with his proper name. No problem, he knows his proper name and over the course of the year got used to spelling it and his teacher always calls him by his nn anyway. Supply teachers look in the register and call him by his proper name, but he does answer to it now!

In fact, as he is known by everyone by his nn one of the TA's in the school didn't actually realise it wasn't his actual name!

cece Tue 02-Jul-13 21:47:13

This year I have an Alexander in my class. It is in the register as this. However, his 'real' name is Sacha. that is what everyone calls him; friends, family and teachers. No problem.

Bugsylugs Tue 02-Jul-13 21:53:25

I am so hoping ds school use his preferred name. I so not like his legal name love his preferred and middle name.

Find it worrying that if it is so difficult to remember a pupil's name how accurate are reports? Guess that is a whole other thread.

I would find it exceedingly rude if someone other than my parents called me by something other than my preferred name same rights should be given to children.

exoticfruits Tue 02-Jul-13 21:56:58

It seems odd to me. As a supply teacher I take the register and say 'tell me if you are know as something else' because I have no way of knowing whether Samuel is Samuel or Sam. I just call them what they are generally called.

exoticfruits Tue 02-Jul-13 21:57:26

Sorry 'known'

LemonMousse Tue 02-Jul-13 22:30:28

I've been preparing stuff (name cards, peg labels) for our new starters using the list from the LEA. After the visits started and we met them properly, there are at least 3 little ones who are known by a diminutive form of their name and one little boy who's officially (something like) John Henry but is known as Henry.

The class teacher asked me to make those ones again with the children's preferred names - no problem - it's sorted.

I really can't understand why the OP's teacher has a problem with using the preferred name!

MidniteScribbler Wed 03-Jul-13 01:57:52

Find it worrying that if it is so difficult to remember a pupil's name how accurate are reports?

It's not about remembering the students. It's about some parents being exceptionally precious about their child's nickname. If a child is on the class register, documentation, reports, etc as Alexander but prefers to be called Alex, I don't particularly need a parent in my face getting upset because whilst their child was misbehaving one day I called them Alexander in the midst of all the commotion. I can call him Alex all the time, but the one time I slip I guarantee that parent will be going on at me, not about the fact that their child misbehaved, but about the use of his legal name.

ChippingInWiredOnCoffee Wed 03-Jul-13 02:20:47

Blisxx - but we aren't talking about 7x30 secondary students, we are talking about 12-15 new entrants.

OP - I would speak to the Head, making sure they understand that your DD will be called Lottie and I'd be asking a few questions about the teacher as she doesn't sound ideal as a new entrants teacher.

Pozzled Wed 03-Jul-13 07:24:59

Blissx I teach in a similar school. In every class there are usually 10-20 names on the register that are foreign in origin, that I have never seen before. There are also names that I have seen, but can be pronounced slightly differently. There are children who go by completely different names from what's on the register. A lot of muslim families name one son Mohammed, but use a different name day to day.

It is very difficult when you meet a class for the first time. But I make a point of telling the children to correct me if I get it wrong, and I make a real effort to learn their names and the correct pronunciation quickly. Respect for the name is part of respect for the person IMO.

SoupDragon Wed 03-Jul-13 07:27:33

steppemum Why is is "not acceptable" to be known by a middle name? How, exactly, is it not my name? It is my name, I have been know by it since birth and it's right there on my birth certificate in its full glory. Unlike the "Vicky" of your example which is a made up nickname.

How is one more acceptable than the other?

A boy in dd1's reception class has to all intents and purposes changed his name since May half term. He is Polish and started the year with an anglicised version of his name. When I mentioned him in passing to dd recently, I was told, oh, his name is so and so now. They've reverted back to the Polish version that was originally down in all the literature we got at the start. If a bunch of 5 year olds can reel off the name of every kid in the school plus their nicknames and associated other names then I'm sure the teacher can cope.

mrz Wed 03-Jul-13 07:40:21

I was known by my middle name all through primary school but when I went to grammar school they insisted I must be called by my first name.

MumnGran Wed 03-Jul-13 07:43:12

OP - I am very confused by your post. You refer to 'first name' and 'given name', and these are normally considered to be the same thing ....... i.e a form may have a box for surname and a box for 'given name' in which the first name would be written.

So ....if you are not using either the first or middle name of your child, which name are you using?

if it is something else altogether (rather than a contraction such as Sam for Samuel) then actually I think the teacher has a point .....your child is at school to learn, and should know how to write and read their legal name. A bit of fault on your part, to be honest, if you have only taught (or allowed to nursery to teach) some other option which will never be acceptable on forms, exam entries etc etc.

Ruprekt Wed 03-Jul-13 07:47:21

MumnGran.....the child's official name is

Charlotte (middle name) (surname) but is called Lottie!

(Read the thread!)

This would make me cross too.

My DN's are called Officially Charles,Amelia and Thomas but are known as Charlie, Milly and Tom.

Not difficult and school know this.

I would take it up with school or re-do the forms.

Lavenderloves Wed 03-Jul-13 07:48:50

I think the school should use the name you choose, it's mean for your DD, she's only small.

I have two names for my children, one name is only used by me though, more of a pet name really.

A shortening of a name is very normal and the teacher needs to accept it. You should teach your child her full name though she's right on that.

5madthings Wed 03-Jul-13 07:51:49

No 'given name' on a form is for the name,e a child uses and is known by, you put their birth certificate name in the 'official name' bit and what they are known by if its different in the given name box. So my son is Theodore, known as Theo.

is girl is Charlotte, known as Lottie, very simple.

Ds has always been called by the shortened version of his name. When he started primary they asked for his full first name and there was a box to state what he was known as, in which I put the shortened version as he only gets the full one when I'm shouting or trying to get his attention grin

He wasn't the greatest with his letters either but by the end of the first year he could spell the long version too.

Pagwatch Wed 03-Jul-13 07:56:26

Gah, I have the opposite problem.
DD has a perfectly reasonable first name. That's what we call her. That's how I refer to her.
I end up talking to teachers and other parents where I am using her proper name and they are replying using a nickname/shirtened version that we never use.

It irritates me because it's rude

soapboxqueen Wed 03-Jul-13 09:21:43

'given name' is not a nickname. It means exactly the same as Christian name or first name. You have a family name e.g. a surname and then the name your family gave you eg given name.

There is no need to change forms or anything else. If I felt strongly about it I would just say that i really must insist that she is called the name she is used to. it's not like asking for a child to be called knickerbocker morning glory.

I still think it is important that a child know their legal name in case of an emergency where an adult who doesn't know the shortened name is reading out the register after a fire. It is not always possible to make a mark on the register as a note to other staff members or possibly even an emergency services worker.

I'm also shocked at the small number of people who have called into question the abilities of this particular teacher based on this one incident which in the grand scheme of things isn't the end of the world and more than likely is a whole school policy imposed by the head.

noblegiraffe Wed 03-Jul-13 09:28:55

My DS starts school in September and the form had 'name' and 'I like to be known as' and 'name you want your child to be taught to write'.

I'm fairly sure that by the time he is old enough to fill out forms and exam entries himself, he'll have figured out how to write his legal name.

Floggingmolly Wed 03-Jul-13 09:49:00

Probably wise, noblegiraffe, as the amount of posters on this thread who hadn't understood that "given" name actually refers to the name on the child's birth certificate and not a nick name bestowed afterwards is frankly staggering.

5madthings Wed 03-Jul-13 09:55:44

The instructions that come with the form from the Lea, say for legal name you put birth certificate and under given name put the name they go by if different from legal name. So for my other sons who dont have a shortening is rudi (ds4) so we left 'given name' blank as he so known by that which is his legal name. This is what the forms tell you to do, its bee the same each time my four boys started primary and again for high school for ds1 and ds2.

soapboxqueen Wed 03-Jul-13 10:05:06

If that's the case madthings then the LEA have got it wrong and is probably creating confusion in some quarters.

5madthings Wed 03-Jul-13 10:13:04

Well that is what the ask you to do. Only okn ds1's form did we have to out different is Theo as he is Theodore. The others don't get their names shortened, they have random nicknames of course but just for our use, I don't expect ds2's teacher to call him fruitcake as we do grin Oscar will suffice at school!

they have the same box for surnames is legal surname and 'given surname' if they use a different one!

morethanpotatoprints Wed 03-Jul-13 10:19:09

Your childs given name is the name you gave them at birth, which is on their birth certificate.
The only way a teacher would call them anything else would be if they asked what you preferred to be called.
For example, Thomas may prefer Tom, Tommy, or William could be Will, Bill, Billy etc.
I don't think you can expect them to call them other names.
The name on the register has to be their given names for health and safety reasons as well.

DoubleLifeIsALifeHalved Wed 03-Jul-13 10:29:06

Wow, how arrogant of a school to believe that they can change a child's identity! That's what a name is, and its the family and child who create this identity and their whole personality and self esteem is related to the name.

Some children for a myriad of reasons do not go by their official first name. Not as just a whim or a cutesy nick name, but a genuine 'known as' name. This should be respected and adhered to.

My child (3) doesn't even know his first (official) name and would get extremely upset if a stranger (and that's what a teacher is when they first start school) demanded he answer to a completely alien name! And he'd feel bullied and confused and disregarded if this was enforced by this person in authority.

Before anyone starts telling me I'm at fault balh blah etc, there is a perfectly reasonable explanation but I would expect a school to be reasonable and not have a blanket rule which benefits no one! I would also expect that they would be human enough to respect his name even without an explanation (although I'm perfectly happy to talk it through as part of a sensible conversation, it's the refusal to discuss it that's riling me!)

I would also imagine my ds would at least know his full name by the time he started school, but at the moment when I tell him at the moment he says 'no' and walks off. When I did push it and say 'yes sweetie that's your full name', he got very upset and started to cry, so I've not been back to that conversation until he can understand it better.

I am aware I sound very cross, but I am! I had no idea a school could potentially do this to my child and I would take this extremely seriously.

Btw the reason is that ds father is from another country and it was culturally essential that his child was named in a certain way, especially for his family who are still there. So the first name on his birth certificate is utterly unfamiliar in this country and unpronounceable. Its lovely in its meaning, but never intended as the actual name. We use his second name and that was always the name meant to be used everyday.

If some random teacher took it upon themselves to overrule my ds whole life, they'd pronounce it wrong anyway, so would be forcing a mangled horrible sounding wrong name upon my child!

maja00 Wed 03-Jul-13 11:03:10

morethan, I think you're wrong on all counts! A child's name is what they are called, it's part of their identity. In lots of cultures the name on the birth certificate is not the actual name used.
You might not have read the OP, but the school asked for "preferred name".
Of course you can expect a school/teacher to use a child's preferred name - most manage to.
Electronic registers can cope fine with official names and preferred names.

8wellyspider Wed 03-Jul-13 12:39:12

I would most definitely fight it - politely at first obviously. They have the option for 'known as' on the form, then their system can handle their known as name.

Forcing conforming to their own version of your own identity seems to be placing too much cognitive loading onto a 4 yo!

Sprink Wed 03-Jul-13 13:58:59

MidniteScribbler: "the one time I slip I guarantee that parent will be going on at me, not about the fact that their child misbehaved, but about the use of his legal name."

Well that's just annoying and should be ignored. Honestly, why can't people just be reasonable?

morethanpotatoprints Wed 03-Jul-13 14:04:18


I was told that the name on the register had to be the official birth certificate name in case of fire and having to make sure all were present.
What if somebody was a cover and had no idea of preferred name, the child would need to respond to the name on the register.
I always had to use the given/ birth certificate name for official things but was allowed to call dc preferred name in class.

Sprink Wed 03-Jul-13 14:05:34

soapboxqueen--"shocked at the small number of people who have called into question the abilities of this particular teacher"

Good point, though I don't think it's so much questioning her abilities as it is questioning her flexibility. It screams "1950s British education" and that gets some people's backs up. (Not mine, but some people's.)

maja00 Wed 03-Jul-13 14:08:03

Most electronic registers can cope with both official and preferred names.

edam Wed 03-Jul-13 14:23:34

soapbox - people are questioning the teacher's abilities because this is such a weird way to behave. It is unkind and unreasonable to insist a child uses a name that isn't actually the name they use. It's hardly unknown for a Charlotte to be called Lottie, or a William to be called Bill, or a Theodore to be called Theo, or a Jonathan to be called Jonny - it's been going on for centuries, FGS. If the teacher is unnecessarily obstinate about this, what else is she going to be strange about? Her weirdness raises big questions about her attitude.

ReginaPhilangie Wed 03-Jul-13 14:24:19

We gave dd1 the shortened version of her name as her official name, (Katie, not Katherine) on her birth certificate. She's come across a few people now who have insisted on calling her Katherine. They just a get a blank look from her and a "that's not my name". Because it's not her name, her name is Katie.

I think the teacher is being ridiculous btw.

soapboxqueen Wed 03-Jul-13 18:32:39

edam - how do you know it isn't school policy, or LEA policy for that matter?

I personally call a child whatever they want, within reason, but there is no evidence that this particular teacher even agrees with doing it.

maja00 Wed 03-Jul-13 18:50:03

The school asked for preferred name which suggests it is their policy to use it. Unless they are just curious hmm

I doubt any LEA has a policy of only using a child's official name - it would be very culturally insensitive if not discriminatory to do so.

soapboxqueen Wed 03-Jul-13 18:58:40

You'd be surprised at the stuff LEA advisors come out with. Especially the ones that don't have experience of early years which is most of them.

I'm not saying that the school should dictate what a child is called at all. I just think that the rationale behind it should be discovered before blaming the individual teacher.

redcaryellowcar Wed 03-Jul-13 19:00:40

I have friend of a friend whose first name is passed from mother to daughter, and they use middle name as known name, I rather like the concept but had never heard of it before!

Thatssofunny Wed 03-Jul-13 20:04:19

I don't quite understand why it's such an issue for the school or this particular teacher. It's not up to her to decide what your child is called (and I'm having a whole range of weirdly named kids in my class - at least according to my own taste...their parents quite obviously like their names; they'd giggle at the names the kids at my previous school had). Is your daughter's "nickname" something really silly?
We have preferred names on the register in most cases. In a previous year, I had a child, who had the same first name as the McDonald's clown. He went by something completely different and not at all related. Everyone called him by his "nickname". It was also the one given in the register.

edam Wed 03-Jul-13 20:22:21

soapbox - then the teacher should have explained it is school or LEA policy. Not taken it upon herself to refuse to call the child by the name the child uses.

I doubt very much it is policy, tbh, I think you are stretching the point to try to justify the teacher. But even if it is it still needs to be challenged. Everyone in this country has an absolute legal right to use whatever name they like - you don't need anyone's formal permission, unless there is an intent to deceive (i.e. you are a con artist or an identity thief).

Although bank systems and processes to avoid identity theft do mean it's handy these days to have some kind of proof you aren't actually obliged to use a deed poll, for instance. Irritating as those same processes don't actually stop huge criminal activity by banks e.g. HBOS (IIRC) and money-laundering. Just hassle for ordinary people.

elfycat Wed 03-Jul-13 20:36:39

I'm in trouble as not only does DD1 have a full version of a first name that she is called a shortened version of, but her full version is a not-totally-but-very-nearly unique spelling which I am already correcting on the official paperwork

Thank you person at the Schools Admission office who corrected it from the form I sent in.

So say DD1 is called Becky We registered her, not as Rebecca but rather Rebekah. Which is a valid spelling but not the common one, and someone helpfully corrected me. Thanks.

DD1 does know her full name and I've explained that it'll be the name in use on forms and she needs to say it is her. Then let people know she's 'Becky' when they're talking to her.

soapboxqueen Wed 03-Jul-13 20:49:38

edam I'm not trying to justify anything. I've stated quite a few times that I think the child should be called whatever she wants.

However, you do not know why the teacher said what she said. You just don't. I don't like people making assumptions and then criticizing others based on these assumptions. She could be a power made loon or following school policy (or tradition) that had been in place so long, she didn't think to justify it.

LEA advisors come out with all sorts of bizzareness. Children don't really need a lunch break was one of my personal favouritesgrin

edam Wed 03-Jul-13 21:04:15

YY they do - am a school governor and have heard of some horrors! (Thankfully ours are v. helpful but there are plenty of stories about others...)

LemonMousse Wed 03-Jul-13 22:48:48

noble the staff at your DS's school sound like a sensible lot - well done to them for thinking that through grin

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now