Parents Evening Grief

(178 Posts)
NikitaWhoWillNeverKnow Thu 10-Oct-13 18:27:13

Why are school giving me and my DS such a guilt trip because I refuse to go to parents eve?

They haven't even asked me why I won't go.

I'm in the playground twice a day. If there was a problem they could approach me then.

I know, more or less, his levels.

But all this talking doesn't help me or DS.

Why do they want me to go to this meeting?

And why are they guilt tripping my DS?

There are lots of reasons why I won't go. All of them to do with me being very unhappy with the school.

The HT has offered me a meeting but I don't want that either.

VoodooHexDoll Thu 10-Oct-13 18:31:10

The school want to open communications with you.

If you are not happy your ds will not be happy the school want to sort this out and feel that your lack of interest will put your son at a disadvantage to his peers.

Parent eve is about both you and school working together to help your son.

NikitaWhoWillNeverKnow Thu 10-Oct-13 18:36:13

But there's no lack of interest. And they know that.

There's a total lack of agreement about what's best for DS. This cannot be resolved in a 10 min pretend chat in front of DS.

Bakingtins Thu 10-Oct-13 18:37:11

They are busy at drop-off/pick-up - that's a time for a 10 second conversation, not a detailed discussion.
If you are unhappy but you won't meet them halfway when they are giving you opportunities to discuss any problems and work out a way forward how do you expect anything to change?

Sirzy Thu 10-Oct-13 18:38:09

If you are unhappy with things in the school surely that's even more reason to go?

LIZS Thu 10-Oct-13 18:39:06

How can they be guilt tripping you fi they haven't asked ?

In what way are they guilt tripping you?

NikitaWhoWillNeverKnow Thu 10-Oct-13 18:40:17

I don't expect anything to change.

I just want to survive to the end of year.

You can't discuss problems in a parents evening.

And the HT will never discuss problems. Ever. She'll talk to me, but I'm only allowed to discuss positive stuff.

That's why I won't meet her.

Stravy Thu 10-Oct-13 18:40:35

Why would it have to be in front of ds?

Why can't you book a double, or triple slot so you have more time?

Why can't you book an appointment on a different day to have even more time?

How do you have time to discuss things in the chaos of drop off/pick up but not at an appointment?

NikitaWhoWillNeverKnow Thu 10-Oct-13 18:42:26

How are they guilt tripping me?

Sending me an email confirming I won't meet with the HT
Calling DS into the HTs office to discuss why I won't go and asking him to ask DH to go
Asking my DH if he will go

FantasticDay Thu 10-Oct-13 18:42:28

If you (and ds) are unhappy with the school, it needs sorting! But that will involve you talking to either the teacher or headteacher. Maybe not at parents even, but imho you do need to book an appointment to talk. Hope it works out for you both

NikitaWhoWillNeverKnow Thu 10-Oct-13 18:43:39

If they'd offered me a longer slot without DS I would have taken it. But that's not on offer.

NikitaWhoWillNeverKnow Thu 10-Oct-13 18:45:48

I can't talk to the teacher because I think he's incompetent and have nothing polite to say to him.

I can't talk to the HT because she won't hear a bad word said against her teachers. So she won't discuss the problem.

BettyBotter Thu 10-Oct-13 18:46:29

Why not tell the school what you have told us? They are asking a perfectly reasonable question, not guilt tripping. They deserve a reasonable answer.

FantasticDay Thu 10-Oct-13 18:47:33

Sounds a good idea. They might not have time for an extended slot at parents evening, but could you book an appointment with the teacher another time?

BettyBotter Thu 10-Oct-13 18:48:51

Hang on - you said the HT has offered you a meeting but you don't want that. then you say if they'd offered you a longer appointment oyu would go without ds.

Why not take up the offer and not take ds? hmm

NikitaWhoWillNeverKnow Thu 10-Oct-13 18:49:45

I have told the HT I am unhappy with the teacher.

They haven't asked me why I won't go to patents eve

It is quite heavy handed tactics for the HT to approach DS I think. When he could have approached me.

Does your DS want you to go? If he does, I think you should go. If he's not bothered, then I wouldn't worry about it.

The other problems clearly need sorting, though. The HT sounds awful.

PatriciaHolm Thu 10-Oct-13 18:50:36

Might it be because they feel it will appear to your DS that either you don't care about his education, or that you have contempt for his teachers (which will suggest to him that he need have no respect either) neither is a good impression to give a child.

Have you no nearby school options? Communication has clearly collapsed and the next year is going to be very painful for all concerned, surely.

NikitaWhoWillNeverKnow Thu 10-Oct-13 18:53:53

My main point of contention is that because DS is on SA+ I should have been offered a longer slot to start with.

If I have to ask for a longer slot, ie a proper IEP meeting, without them offering it makes me feel like they have no concerns about DS.

If they have no concerns I have nothing polite to say to them.

They never ever offer me an IEP meeting without me begging for one. I find this unacceptable.

NikitaWhoWillNeverKnow Thu 10-Oct-13 18:56:54

I won't move school in Y6 because I don't think a new school will welcome him this late.

Besides, I think most schools have similar problems this one does.

juniper9 Thu 10-Oct-13 18:57:04

Parents' evening is not the time to be discussing IEPs. If you need to discuss this, you should meet with the SENCO and classteacher in a separate appointment.

It seems like they're trying to find a way to sit down and talk to you, but you're rejecting them because it's not on your exact terms.

LIZS Thu 10-Oct-13 18:57:36

why do you need to take ds ? Very unusual at primary ime

NikitaWhoWillNeverKnow Thu 10-Oct-13 18:58:51

School doesn't do IEP meetings. They're just discussed at parents eve.

School insist you bring the child to the meeting.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Thu 10-Oct-13 19:01:01

Bastards want to talk to you about your child? And are trying to find ways to make that happen? How unreasonable of them.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

NikitaWhoWillNeverKnow Thu 10-Oct-13 19:02:43

Id rather they found ways to teach him rather than all this talk about how wonderful everything is.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

clam Thu 10-Oct-13 19:04:58

You do realise that the only person who's going to suffer from your refusal to meet with the school is your son, don't you?

nkf Thu 10-Oct-13 19:05:21

What is it you want? Maybe you should just change schools? It sounds as if you are being offered opportunities to meet with relevant people, but you don't want to. If you have no faith in the school, then wouldn't it be better to look at alternatives?

LIZS Thu 10-Oct-13 19:05:25

So you go and say it isn't appropriate to discuss the iep now can we rearrange and change subject . If school is so bad why have you kept him there?

applebread Thu 10-Oct-13 19:06:17

They will use your non-attendance as a weapon against you. If you ever need to get more support from the scho or lea, if you want to challenge the iep, if they have any reason to complain about you to social services they will say "mother refused to engage with school". "Mother did not bother discussing child's issue at parents evening". "Despite our efforts, including personal involvement from headteacher, mother refused to attend parents evening".

You have less to lose by attending however galling it is.

RandomMess Thu 10-Oct-13 19:06:36

If you are not happy with the HT attitude towards discussions then put a complaint to governers!

nkf Thu 10-Oct-13 19:07:13

My main point of contention is that because DS is on SA+ I should have been offered a longer slot to start with.

If I have to ask for a longer slot, ie a proper IEP meeting, without them offering it makes me feel like they have no concerns about DS.

If they have no concerns I have nothing polite to say to them.

They never ever offer me an IEP meeting without me begging for one. I find this unacceptable.

This sounds a bit tantrummy to me.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BoundandRebound Thu 10-Oct-13 19:09:37


Just wow

You can't disassociate yourself from school like that and expect your DS to feel supported by you.

Why don't you just put your issues in a letter copying in the chair of governors and then go and meet them using the letter as a reason.

There are two types of meetings to be held in school with and without the child

BoundandRebound Thu 10-Oct-13 19:09:57

*letter as an agenda

Alibabaandthe40nappies Thu 10-Oct-13 19:10:05

Go and meet the HT, tell her what you've told us. Tell her you are approaching the governors.

You are being obstructive and childish, and the only loser here is your son. Go and sort it out like a grown up and a parent and stop stamping your feet because they won't follow your orders.

nkf Thu 10-Oct-13 19:11:17

Honestly, forget about bad words and all that. Go in with a spirit of I want to help you make this work. Whatever this is. Maybe there is a lot more you could write and no doubt you will, but so far, you sound very stroppy to me and that won't help your son.

missinglalaland Thu 10-Oct-13 19:11:45

I don't know what IEP means...
So, I might be misreading this, but I can certainly understand why you aren't happy. If you have serious concerns and they only offer you 10 minutes in front of the child (using him for cover?) that isn't acceptable. It's even worse that they are manipulating him about it.
I'd be fuming, myself.

nkf Thu 10-Oct-13 19:13:15

"I ought"
"It makes me feel"
"I have ..."
"I find this.."

Look at the language you are using.
It's not about you. It's about securing the best possible outcome for yoru son.

StitchingMoss Thu 10-Oct-13 19:20:58

The school would have to document that you've refused to meet the HT in writing (i.e. an email) to back themselves up if you complain to the local authority.

I agree with what others have said that your stance is not helpful at all. I would go to the SENCo and if you're still not happy try and speak to the Governors.

Iheartkingthistle, I wouldn't assume the Head was awful based on this thread - there are always two sides to every story.

blueemerald Thu 10-Oct-13 19:21:17

What do you plan to do at secondary school? Parents' Evenings are incredibly crucial (well, I'm a secondary teacher so I may be biased), especially for any students with additional learning needs. They are also a lot longer than primary parents' evenings.

I would take up an appointment with the Head, leave DS at home and take an itemised list of your concerns. Follow the meeting up with an email which either lists what you discussed or lists what you tried to discuss, as well as any strategies or interventions that were agreed on or the fact that none were agreed on.

You know your son best and are, therefore, in the best place to support his teachers in coming up with strategies to help him fulfil his potential.

blueemerald Thu 10-Oct-13 19:22:12

(I do hate myself for using the phrase incredibly crucial..... D'oh)

NikitaWhoWillNeverKnow Thu 10-Oct-13 19:26:55

I just don't understand why we have to talk it all.

It never helps.

All it does is upset me.

They know how much talking with them upsets me.

I don't understand what the point of all this talking is.

This talking has been going on for years. And it's got us to where we are now.

But I have nothing left to say to them.

And don't want to listen to their euphemisms and half truths.

NikitaWhoWillNeverKnow Thu 10-Oct-13 19:29:01

The reason I don't want to talk to them is cause they're never honest.

Ie they'll tell me good news but won't mention bad news. Being deliberately misleading. For years and years.

They won't admit any problems etc.

So there is nothing left to say.

StitchingMoss Thu 10-Oct-13 19:29:08

Are you listening to any of the advice on her Nikita?

nkf Thu 10-Oct-13 19:29:43

There you go again. You, you, you. So, don't go. It's year 6, Next year, you will have miraculously found a solution. Is this his first and only school?

StitchingMoss Thu 10-Oct-13 19:29:51

Have you spoken to the SENCo, the Governors, the local authority, parent partnership?

NikitaWhoWillNeverKnow Thu 10-Oct-13 19:30:49

I've asked them to respond to my concerns in writing but they've refused and said they'll only discuss them face to face.

But thy won't discuss them face to face either. We'll only be allowed to discuss what they want (the positive stuff) not what I want (the negative stuff)

nkf Thu 10-Oct-13 19:32:18

How do you present the negative stuff? Do you say the teacher is incompetent and the school is incompetent and that it's all incompetent. You may not realise it, but sometimes it's all about the delivery.

NikitaWhoWillNeverKnow Thu 10-Oct-13 19:33:10

I'm listening to the advice. And thinking about it. But I get very upset when I have to talk to school.

I have spoken (in past years) to the SENCO and the govs. But they're a big part of the problem.

If the SENCO was better we wouldn't be in this state.

nkf Thu 10-Oct-13 19:33:34

You want them to say what you want. And to agree with you. That's all. And maybe they are right. And maybe you are. But, there is (to my mind) something very off putting about how you present your case on here.

Badvoc Thu 10-Oct-13 19:34:06

I think there may be a rather huge back story here we are not getting?...
You sound like you have no faith or trust at all in this school and
I guess now it's year 6 at least you dont have to put up with it much longer?
Does your ds want you to go?

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Badvoc Thu 10-Oct-13 19:36:14

What - in a nutshell - is your problem with the school and teachers?
In one sentance.

colditz Thu 10-Oct-13 19:44:21

From their point of view, you have copped out of supporting your sons schooling. That's why they are asking him to get dad to go in - they are trying to engage with SOMEONE who has this child's interests at heart, other than being angry with the school and refusing to talk to them because you 'get upset'.

You do not have the luxury of 'getting upset', you have a job to do. If you think your son has serious issues, email the head teacher and copy the governors into the email, being very clear that you expect a reply.

You don't get to disengage. You don't get to strop and refuse to talk to your sons school. You are not four.

Hi Nikita, you sound very upset by it all. For what it's worth ....

I would either take up the opportunity to meet with HT (without DS) and try to raise the concerns you have, and talk about his IEP, without getting too upset.


Go with DS to the ten minute parents evening and talk about some positive stuff (like you feel they want you to do) - but for DS's benefit.

I do agree that it's hard to raise concerns or more difficult issues if you have DC with you. Cynically I wonder if that's part of the reason for this general development - parents evenings used to be for parents, including to raise concerns. Now it's very short with several forms to sign, targets to read etc. So basically all their agenda ! I think they're trouble-shooting by getting in there first and leaving little time for parents to raise stuff !

Anyway at our primary parents were only encouraged to bring DC, it wasn't compulsory. Compulsory attendance of DC seems a bit off to me ? I'd take whatever opportunities are offered to talk without DC present.

HTH flowers

lljkk Thu 10-Oct-13 19:50:12

DS has behavioural problems but at Parent Eve last yr his teach made point of just talking about his academics. Only the academics. It was a nice change!!

NikitaWhoWillNeverKnow Thu 10-Oct-13 19:50:18

I'm not sure I can say in a nutshell what's wrong. There's a lot of back story.

But I don't want to listen to them tell me DS is a 4b in reading when he can't read a book to himself or do his homework or research stuff.

I don't want to listen to them to tell me DS is a 4b in maths when he can't do 3 digit subtraction.


cloutiedumpling Thu 10-Oct-13 19:52:14

How about arranging to see either the HT or class teacher outwith PE and sending to them in advance of the meeting a list of the points that you wish to discuss at that meeting. You could state that you will be taking notes and will send a copy of the notes to the teacher the day after the meeting has taken place. This could help to ensure that all of the points are addressed at the meeting, which seems to be one of your concerns.

NikitaWhoWillNeverKnow Thu 10-Oct-13 19:57:48

I just feel we've said it all before. A hundred times.

And I don't want to keep discussing it.

NikitaWhoWillNeverKnow Thu 10-Oct-13 20:01:14

If they really want to discuss stuff, why won't they answer my concerns via email like I've asked?

Badvoc Thu 10-Oct-13 20:01:34

You sound very unhappy and stressed.
Does your ds want you to go?

moldingsunbeams Thu 10-Oct-13 20:03:45

I debated not going to dds in all honesty, I speak to school most weeks anyway as mum of a child with sen and tbh I never really learn anything from this one, its more to meet the teacher who I already know well due to issues last year.

ThisIsMeToo Thu 10-Oct-13 20:04:15

TBH, I think that there is so much back story there (I am guessing a while primary years worth) that you have a point in saying that the situation will be hard to change now, esp if the HT, SENCO and governors are all the same.

I would get some advice from people who have children with SN and SEN. And write a letter to the HT, copied to the governors, stating what you expect them to do re the IEP. There are some good websites to help you (Can't remember the name but people of the SN board here will be able to help) and demand the school to take notice.
EG an IEP has to be writing, not just a spoken word. Meetings can have minutes documented so they can't get out of what they have agreed to do and what they have refused to discuss will also be documented etc...

I would also put what you have said in writing, eg level 4b in reading (which too low anyway for Y6) isn't actually representative of his 'real' level.

I am actually wondering if they aren't trying to protect themselves as your child nis in Y6, will have the SATs at the end of the year and they will be able to say 'Mum didn't want to support the school' if he is failing (so it won't be the school failing him iyswim).

Putting some pressure on the child like IS wrong, esp when it involves being called at the HT office!
If they wanted to know why you aren't coming or find ways for you to come to the parents evening, they could have talked to you in the first place!

Floggingmolly Thu 10-Oct-13 20:04:28

You can't discuss problems in a parents meeting
Yet you've refused a proper meeting, and make the point that you're in the school yard twice a day; do you expect them to approach you there? Your refusal will come across as extreme disinterest, if it isn't just go confused

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

NikitaWhoWillNeverKnow Thu 10-Oct-13 20:05:25

But I still really don't understand what they want to say to me.

Why do they need to talk to me to tell me everything's brilliant?

Have a brief meeting with the HT.
You say you've said it all before.
But what have you said before - what do you want to say to them ?
Anything at all ?
What are your biggest concerns about DS at the moment?
eg. his reading ? moving up to secondary school next year ?

Good luck Nikita. Try to talk with someone at the school, just to keep communication slightly open ?
And like you say, it's his last year there - maybe a move next year will be good for you all?

nkf Thu 10-Oct-13 20:05:43

Maybe they want to have a discussion, not an email exchange. Maybe they want to show you something. Believe me, a child can be 4b in reading without ever reading a book to themselves. The levels aren't about reading for pleasure or doing research.

stargirl1701 Thu 10-Oct-13 20:06:44

We advise parents who are struggling to engage, for whatever reason, to bring a representative to the meeting. Parent to Parent is the charity we tend to work with. They meet with parents before and after the meeting to clarify what you want to know and then follow up to check you are happy. If relationships have broken down to this extent, I think you need to consider something like this.

ThisIsMeToo Thu 10-Oct-13 20:06:53

Btw, I agree that there is little to say or learn at a parent evening at the start of the year. Even teachers have told me so. It's all about settling in (which is fair enough for a R child or Y1, not so much for a Y6).

And that at parent evening, a lot of teachers only want to talk about the good stuff not the bad. Have had that too and getting answers about the 'bad stuff' is like pulling teeth out.
And I think the school and the teachers are good!

ThisIsMeToo Thu 10-Oct-13 20:09:23

nkf really wouldn't you be worried about a child unable to read at the start of Y6? Or unable to do some sort of research independantly?
Because I would.
In less than a year, that child will be 'independent' and will be assumed to know how to do some research. he will have a very hard time in secondary, regardless of the 'official' level of 4b (which is still failing in Y6)

NikitaWhoWillNeverKnow Thu 10-Oct-13 20:10:39

They know it's not disinterest

They know it's anxiety about talking to them. They know it's because we've had years of horrible meetings.

They have said some truly terrible things to me in the past.

girliefriend Thu 10-Oct-13 20:13:57

Why on earth is he still at this school? confused

Am I missing something? If I was this unhappy and dissatisfied with my dds school I would have moved her a long time ago.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

NikitaWhoWillNeverKnow Thu 10-Oct-13 20:24:56

I still really don't get it.

How is it acceptable for school to tell me everything is fine, he's made 2 levels of progress, he's a 4b when he can't read properly.

I can't object to his levels because they're the professionals.

I can't ask for more help with his reading because they don't know how to improve his reading.

They do agree his reading age is low. But they have no suggestions as to what to do about it.

They basically don't care because he's made 2 levels.

So why do we have to talk?

Failing to engage with them is going to backfire on the one person you care about the most here; your son. They will use your innate anxiety and years of frustration against you because they will simply label you as obstructive.

You are your child's best - and only - advocate.

What do you think is best for DS with regards to this school and longer term?.

Do you feel that your son has been failed by him languishing on SA plus for so long?. Has anyone ever advised you to apply for a statement for him, it would also seem not.

BTW IEPs should be done termly and with you present, never at parents evenings.

His needs are not being met but making two sub levels is to them accepted progress.

Of course you can bloody well object to his low levels, you're his advocate (his only one) and that is your job also. You are truly best placed to fight his corner for him!. You are currently not doing so, avoiding them like the plague will only harm your son in the long run.

Why is he behind on his reading?.

Has your son ever had a proper assessment done re his additional needs by someone like a developmental paediatrician (not school)?.

nkf Thu 10-Oct-13 20:34:40

I would be very worried about a child who couldn't read at the start of Year 6, But, I don't entirely accept the OP's word. Even though I only have her side of it. There is something not adding up for me.

Anyway, she doesn't want to go and she is looking for reasons why she shouldn't go. And indeed, perhaps she shouldn't go.

tiggytape Thu 10-Oct-13 20:41:04

Can you accept the offer of a longer meeting and tell them that you will be taking a friend along to support you and take notes?

You seem very distessed but your stategy of just keeping your head down until the end of Year 6 won't help. As well as there being a lot of Year 6 left to survive, the transfer to High School will be much easier if this can be resolved.
It is going to take enormous amounts of patience from you to get there. You are probably going to have to attend meetings that are frustrating and follow them up with written memory notes, formal queries and if necessary formal complaints. You can't just opt out and refuse to deal with them because your child is at their school in their care and if all trust has completely broken down then you can't very well just leave it like that for him for another 9 months. He is already being dragged into it.

NikitaWhoWillNeverKnow Thu 10-Oct-13 20:41:06

Nkf - DS can read, but so badly that I would describe it as 'functionally literate'

I observed him doing reading comprehension hw last night. He got most of the answers correct.

Yet he couldn't read lots of the words. Could read lots more but didn't (ie read them inaccurately) and was very very slow.

This is enough to get you a 4b. But it's not enough to cope at sec school.

I don't know why it doesn't add up to you.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

NikitaWhoWillNeverKnow Thu 10-Oct-13 20:43:26

They don't dispute he has reading problems.

thestringcheesemassacre Thu 10-Oct-13 20:45:05

I don't understand why you've not pulled him out of the school and moved him if you are this unhappy with it.

tiggytape Thu 10-Oct-13 20:45:11

Yes Attila said it better. You are DS's advocate. Like it or not, you have to deal with the school and keep dealing with them over and over and over again even if you ar unhappy, anxious and cannot get any further. You can't leave him in a kind of limbo for 9 months.

If you need to take advice then go to Parents in Partnership or ask a friend to attend all meetings with you - whatever may help or at least make you feel able to face it.

NikitaWhoWillNeverKnow Thu 10-Oct-13 20:45:23

The sec school don't stream in English. So that's the good news.

I think no one offers support for kids who can read, but only badly.

The sec school offer RWI, same as the primary school.

But some kids finish RWI and still don't read well.

NikitaWhoWillNeverKnow Thu 10-Oct-13 20:48:54

I haven't pulled him out for lots of reasons. But one of the reasons is there is no support anywhere for kids who can read, but not read well.

There is no reason to think any other school would be any better.

tiggytape Thu 10-Oct-13 20:51:48

In 2011 1 in 10 boys - almost 28,000 - left primary school with the reading age of a seven-year-old i.e. level 2

This is a huge area for concern but perhaps your expectations are too high?
He is assessed as a level 4. He can read and understand what he has read. That is good. Level 4 is bang on where he should be in fact.
Some children in his class will be a level 5 or a level 6. Compared to them he may seem very behind but that's because some of those children are already at the expected standard of 14 year olds!

Are you unhappy that a level 4 isn't good enough or are you worried he may be one of the children at a much lower level than level 4 but has been incorrectly assessed?

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

youarewinning Thu 10-Oct-13 20:52:59

Have you contacted parent partnership (PP)?

I wanted to discuss things with school , again they wouldn't acknowledge difficulties etc and wanted to skirt round difficulties
because accepting they are there means doing something about it

So I went to GP, who listened and made referrals, he saw camhs who referred for ASD assessment.

I contacted PP, have a case worker, emailed school to say after 3 phonecall requests on x,y and z I still hadn't heard from SENCo about when we could meet. Emailed HT that his IEP had not been reviewed, or I'd not seen a copy of review for 6 months and their policy states termly. Asked for review.

Emailed that my PP support worker was available on x,y and z date to meet with me and school to discuss how we can support DS.

Emailed to confirm contents of every discussion, to thank them for meeting and confirm what we discussed and what they agreed to action. Included in these emails the things we hadn't had a chance to discuss, mentioned my concerns and asked for a reply within 7 days.

They have a new SENCo and DS a new class teacher. In 4 weeks they have done more for DS than last years teacher did all year. I made a point of emailing HT to tell him what CT and SENCo have done - to re iterate that he didn't want to hear how crap last years teacher was but heres the evidence of what she didn't do. grin

You sound fed up and waiting to get to the end of his school life there. I was like this when DS started year 2, and it turned out his year 2 teacher was amazing and turned it round. I was ready to do the minimum contact required without looking as if I didn't care for DS.

Please feel free to PM me. Your coming across harsh and a bit like a stroppy toddler but I understand the root of that frustration.

Farewelltoarms Thu 10-Oct-13 20:55:10

As a bit of aside:
How is 4b in early y6 'falling behind' as someone above has said and reiterated? I thought that was good for the end of y6?
(Obv op's belief that he's not a 4b is a different matter).

Badvoc Thu 10-Oct-13 21:00:08

4b is the expected level at end of year 6 btw.

NewNameforNewTerm Thu 10-Oct-13 21:01:07

"This is enough to get you a 4b. But it's not enough to cope at sec school."
So are you agreeing or disagreeing that your child is a 4b reader?
Or are you saying here he is a 4b, but it is not good enough?

What exactly is it you want from the school and are not receiving?

Badvoc Thu 10-Oct-13 21:02:36

You have 2 choices and neither seem palatable to you...
Go and listen and accept their levelling of your ds.
Don't go and keep your head down, as I for him to be taken off the sen reg (why is he on it if he is a 4b btw?) and just get to the end if year 6 then start again with the sec school.

spanieleyes Thu 10-Oct-13 21:03:48

But , if I read correctly, she is not disputing that her son is a 4b, just that the requirements to be a 4b reader are not stringent enough to be able to cope with secondary school.
Given however that a good percentage of year 6's don't achieve 4b, then surely secondary schools are geared up for this/

Badvoc Thu 10-Oct-13 21:04:36

I think your ds is a 4b but that he has other issues (perhaps processing?) that make it very hard for him to do homework/research etc?
And you are worried that he wing cope at sec school?

NikitaWhoWillNeverKnow Thu 10-Oct-13 21:07:57

Regarding the 4b. These are the non disputed facts that me and school agree on:

* he has got a 4 on a SATs paper
* his levelled reader says Y4 on it
* his reading age is years below his age

So school have interpreted those facts as he is a 4.

I know that when DD was in Y2 and was a level 2 or 3 she was a better reader than he is now. Ie she could read Harry potter.

Does anyone really think it is right for school to claim he is a 4 if he couldn't read Harry potter or Roald Dahl or do tonight's hw which was to find out about nelson mendella?

LIZS Thu 10-Oct-13 21:11:00

If it so upsets you , why not just send dh ?

NikitaWhoWillNeverKnow Thu 10-Oct-13 21:14:17

I don't want to send DH because I don't see that any good will come from smiling and nodding and agreeing its fantastic that he's a 4b.

spanieleyes Thu 10-Oct-13 21:14:44

But the point the school has is that it isn't essential that you are able to read Harry Potter or Roald Dahl for that matter to be classed as a level 4 reader, but you do need to achieve a level 4 on a SATS paper!
I'm not saying that this is correct, but it is true!

LIZS Thu 10-Oct-13 21:17:38

Does dh agree with you about his issues ? Can you not trust him to ask pertinent questions.

NikitaWhoWillNeverKnow Thu 10-Oct-13 21:21:59

Yes, I know that's school point.

Ie school doesn't care about DS, they care about his SATs level.

Whereas I don't care about his SATs level, I care about him.

If they want to say he's a 4 that's fine. But they need to recognise that he can't read properly and do something about it.

Basically, school and me don't have the same interests at heart.

NikitaWhoWillNeverKnow Thu 10-Oct-13 21:23:50

DH is a peace maker. I cannot trust him to do anything besides agree with school.

tiggytape Thu 10-Oct-13 21:24:44

Nikita - With all due respect, you are being a bit unrealistic. The SATS test is a test of reading and more importantly of understanding what is read.
If DS can get a level 4 on the SATS papers then he is reading and understanding the text at a level 4 standard. The reading comp for level 4 is pretty tricky and if he couldn't read, he wouldn't achieve the level 4 standard.

Perhaps the reading age test was a blip (they are very boring tests and children perform badly on them sometimes). If not, then perhaps a tracking problem or other difficulty can be discussed. If he is a level 4 for comprehension then a very low reading age could be seen as a one-off or as being odd and in need of investigation.

My DS got a level 5a for English in Year 6. He wouldn't have been able to do a research project on Nelson Mendella using numerous internet sources. The information on Google is just too vast and disjointed. If given one or two books aimed at his age group, he would have managed it but the skills needed to research a subject and present a report are way above most 10 year olds. The teacher was probably only expecting a few sentences. I think your idea of the required standard for High School far exceeds the reality and most High Schools cater for children who are level 2 or 3 let alone a level 4.

NikitaWhoWillNeverKnow Thu 10-Oct-13 21:28:00

His reading age is not a blip! It's real.

They agree he has difficulties.

He's on SA+ for his difficulties!

spanieleyes Thu 10-Oct-13 21:30:24

So if his reading ability is so poor, how can he read the SATs paper sufficiently well to answer the questions based on it?

moldingsunbeams Thu 10-Oct-13 21:31:32

I think theres a difference between reading age and sats scores, dd has a reading age of 14 but on her sats she got a level 3. Because they have to not only read but go back and search through information to answer the question, dd cannot do that very well.

But she can read pretty much anything fluently.

NikitaWhoWillNeverKnow Thu 10-Oct-13 21:32:37

Spaniel - I really don't know. Lots of guessing from the questions and lots of rereading of sentences that he thinks the answer is in.

Eg he said he had to read the title 5 times to understand it.

tiggytape Thu 10-Oct-13 21:34:12

Right O.K.

But you do realise the SATS test is also a reading test?
Children read a long and often quite complex text and then answer questions that require them to refer back to the text, find key passages, draw inferences and use all sorts of other complex literacy skills.
So he must be able to read and to understand what he has read and be able to express this in writing to the standard expected for a child his age to get a level 4 in these tests. This is a really important set of skills and he has mastered them - which is great.

Therefore if his reading age tests (I am presuming you mean the ones where they read a list of increasingly harder words until they make too many errors and are stopped) show a low reading age, something else may be going on and it is important to find out what. It isn't that he cannot read - unless he is somehow cheating in the SATS tests, that just doesn't add up.

NikitaWhoWillNeverKnow Thu 10-Oct-13 21:37:55

No. For a reading comp test it doesn't matter if you read 'he walks fast' or 'he walked fast'

100 errors of that magnitude mean he is functionally literate but not a fluent reader.

His reading really isn't age appropriate. School agree with this.

He reads to a TA every day. That is because school agree his reading is poor.

youarewinning Thu 10-Oct-13 21:51:35

OK. So his main issues are reading exactly what is written not his understanding of it?

For him to be on SA+ there must be a recognised list of specific difficulties he has and lots of support in place.

What are school disputing? That he needs SA+? Why won't you meet with them? I can't see that they are saying he's fine when they have him on SA+ and clearly he's having intensive intervention if it's daily.

To give you an idea of how much his school are doing my DS (year 5) is a 2b writer, 3c reading and 4c maths (yr 4 QCA results) with SALT,OT, Camhs involvement and is on SA. He isn't even achieving his expected level, let alone exceeding (apart from maths!). He doesn't get daily involvement or support. He has an IEP and programmes in place.

But nikita it sounds like you need to accept difficulties don't just disappear because they get help. Your DS may always read inaccurately but if he can understand what he's reading academically he'll move along nicely.

NikitaWhoWillNeverKnow Thu 10-Oct-13 21:53:00

Anyway, we digress.

It doesn't matter what level he's on.

What I still really truly don't understand is why I have to go to patents evening. They're supporting him as best as they can at school. Me talking to them won't make them better at supporting him. I'm supporting him as best as I can at home. Them talking to me won't change that.

I know what he can and can't do. Because I work with him every day.

I can't do any more. I won't do any less.

So I don't see why we have to talk about it. It won't change anything.

nkf Thu 10-Oct-13 21:56:22

You don't have to go to parents' evening. The school would like you to because they probably believe there is value in parents' evenings. Nobody can make you. It's not compulsory. Nobody is going to arrest you. So, that's answered that question. No more digressions. You really truly don't understand why you have to go? Well, you don't have to go.

NikitaWhoWillNeverKnow Thu 10-Oct-13 21:56:58

YouAreWinning - But why do we have to keep talking about it?

I don't want school to do anything different than they're currently doing.

But nor do I want to listen to them tell me everything's wonderful.

tiggytape Thu 10-Oct-13 21:58:19

This indicates something may be wrong but I can see why the school want to talk to you about the positives.
Your DS has a reading / tracking / attention / accuracy problem that needs to be identified and perhaps more support with that is required with this BUT they are offering daily 1:1 support which is a good start.

AND despite this difficulty, he has already reached the target set for an end of Year 6 child. If he makes further progress this year, he could conceivably end up with a literacy score above the target for his age. Which is also great.
AND the difficulty he has with reading out loud hasn't prevented him developing the skills which will be most important to him later on. Comprehension and the ability to understand what has been read are key skills that many struggle with. If your DS has mastered this then that is also great news.

I can see why you are frustrated but I can also see the school's point of view. They will have children whose comprehension skills lag 3 or 4 years behind your son's. That's not to say they shouldn't be getting on top of his specific reading problems but your DS has achieved well in many areas of literacy and perhaps using that as a starting point to ask them to investigate further his one area of difficulty might be the way to go rather than keep insisting it is all bad news.

NikitaWhoWillNeverKnow Thu 10-Oct-13 21:59:04

Nkf - you're really not being very helpful. I know I don't have to go. I'm trying to work out why school care - ie what school think will be gained from more talking.

nkf Thu 10-Oct-13 21:59:36

There are tons of parents who never show up at parents' evenings. Loads of schools where about 50% show. up. Join the absentees. If you are so sure they're a waste of time, then don't go. Why feel guilty? Who cares? You know you're right, yes?

Imsosorryalan Thu 10-Oct-13 22:00:26

Not read all the messages but does the school have a family liason officer? Someone who supports the parents? Could you speak to them first.

youarewinning Thu 10-Oct-13 22:01:08

Probably because they review the IEP at the meeting and their policy states it will be reviewed at X intervals of time. You've said no thanks to parents evening but refused to meet the HT. They want to review his IEP because that's their policy. They want confirmation from you that you won't meet so you cannot complain they are not following their policy.

I'm meeting DS CT and SENCo at parents eve next week (separate apts). Having only just had a meeting with them 2 weeks ago and having got a review meeting with them in Jan already booked. Having seen his pead cons this morning and still not having had a report from camhs. Why? Because even if they have nothing new to report it keeps up the channels of communication. I find the friendly chats help to keep them on side.

nkf Thu 10-Oct-13 22:01:11

Well, you'll never know if you don't ask them. MN can't answer the question for you.

NewNameforNewTerm Thu 10-Oct-13 22:09:37

As a teacher it is nice to share the positives with parents. We need to talk to them about negatives when there are behavioural issues or a child is struggling academically, so it is nice to give a balance. Surely achieving 4b is a success and to be celebrated by you, your child and the school, but saying it is not good enough (despite the information about expected levels in each year group) is to focus on just your child's shortcomings.

NikitaWhoWillNeverKnow Thu 10-Oct-13 22:09:43

YouAreWinning - maybe. But they've been quite happy to not show me IEPs in the past.

I think TT has it more accurately. There's lots of things going right which school want to concentrate on. But I find no value on discussing that. I find value in discussing problems but school don't like to do that.

I think the HT is making a big deal out of me having to go to PE for reasons of her own. she is adament all parents have to attend. That doesn't mean there is value in them.

DS wouldn't be caught in the middle if she didn't bring him
Into it.

NikitaWhoWillNeverKnow Thu 10-Oct-13 22:11:54

NewName - this is what the HT said to DS - that it was a time to share positives.

But I don't want to share positives. It's certainly not this teacher, 4 weeks into term, who's helped DS get to where he is.

tiggytape Thu 10-Oct-13 22:13:31

There is nothing obvious in it for the school. They don't get Ofsted brownie points by forcing you to attend PE for example so they must genuinely want to include you for them to be bending over backwards to get you to come in.
I would see it that the school are genuinely trying to update the IEP, reassure you that the overall picture is positive and discuss the one area that is of concern. But I don't know - they might have other assessments to discuss with you or have a possible referal in mind. If you don't go, you won't know.

NikitaWhoWillNeverKnow Thu 10-Oct-13 22:17:47

TT - I think you're probably very close to being right.

The HT wants to reassure me and I don't want that.

NikitaWhoWillNeverKnow Thu 10-Oct-13 22:20:32

I think she's also not used to anyone saying no to her.

PatriciaHolm Thu 10-Oct-13 22:32:25

DS is of course going to be brought into it; surely he's going to notice he's the only one whose parent isn't going to PE?

You've clearly shut down on terms of positive comms with school. You don't believe anything they do or say can be positive. Your DS doesn't need to know that though. What harm can possibly come from going and showing him that you support him and his achievements at school?

NikitaWhoWillNeverKnow Thu 10-Oct-13 22:52:21

I'm concerned if I talk to the teacher I will do harm. Ie I'll be rude and upset him.

Less concerned about upsetting the HT more concerned about her upsetting me.

Certainly the safest thing is to not talk.

But you guys have convinced me, against my better judgement, to talk to the HT. but I think it will be very painful for me and would've been far better if the HT had left it alone.

It won't achieve anything good or bad for DS. It won't achieve anything.

FixItUpChappie Thu 10-Oct-13 23:15:51

Nope, I still don't understand why you haven't moved your son to different school if your relationship with the current school is so bad that you are making such a big deal about going to a simple parent teacher night.

You worry you don't have the self-control to just be polite and make an effort with the teacher? That is not the most mature attitude. If things have become so personal for you then I would look very hard at changing schools. It wont be perfect and everything wont be done just your way but some good can come from a fresh start.

Oblomov Fri 11-Oct-13 04:49:27

If you don't like talking, put it in writing.

"I have repeatedly raised these issues but you have repeatedly failed to address and ......."
I fail to see .......

Atleast then, they won't be able to claim you didn't tell them.

cansu Fri 11-Oct-13 06:33:39

you sound very immature. so the school are putting interventions in place to help your ds. He is making progress in some areas and you can't be polite to the new teacher and attend parents evening?? Why don't you home educate your ds?

NikitaWhoWillNeverKnow Fri 11-Oct-13 06:38:06

I have put my top concerns in writing. And they've said they won't answer me in writing only face to face. but they said this in the past as well and when I have the face to face meeting they still won't answer my questions.

Ihave asked a couple of simple questions in writing and they have refused to answer. Are they really bending over backwards to accomidate me? Or just being obtuse so that the truth isn't put in writing?

NikitaWhoWillNeverKnow Fri 11-Oct-13 06:39:56

DS refuses to be home educated, and I don't see how I can make it work if he doesn't want to do it.

cansu Fri 11-Oct-13 06:44:30

why does he refuse? Does he perhaps enjoy school? If so he must be getting something out of it? You seem to be all about the difficulties and say there is no point talking about the positives. This is wrong. Yes acknowledge the difficulties but you can still celebrate the good things about your ds wth school. If he does a great piece of art or tries hard with something he finds tough then you can say how pleased you are about that or perhaps you cant. Why would you need to be rude to the teacher? My dd has loads of issues as has quite severe and complex SEN. That doesn't mean that I can't be pleasant at school and be pleased about her achievements.

cansu Fri 11-Oct-13 06:45:40

What ideally do you want the school to do that they are not doing now?

Growlithe Fri 11-Oct-13 06:47:24

They say he is 4b for reading but you say he isn't. Is there any chance he actually performs better in school than at home?

Waferthinmint Fri 11-Oct-13 06:48:53

You really are being quite ridiculous - the school have offered a variety of opportunities to help. Why not write a clear bullet point letter in advance and then meet HT ( with a friend to take notes if necessary) and go through each of the points.

englishteacher78 Fri 11-Oct-13 06:51:07

As a teacher I like parents evenings as an opportunity to discuss positives. Negatives we discuss throughout the year, by phone call, letter and email.
Btw I work in a selective school and we've had students come in at Level 3 for English.
Other than this 1:1 support what else do you want the school to do precisely? Being specific may help.

youarewinning Fri 11-Oct-13 07:03:22

I was all willing to help having been there with school not listening but you actually don't want any do you?

Well, its 7am and I start work in an hour, so need to wake DS up, get ready and then leave. This morning I'll be waiting for a text from my Ddad to say how DS celebration assembly went where he is getting a HT award for a piece of writing. Its a 2b standard piece of writing - the celebration? It's legible and everything has been spelt using plausible phonetic attempts. grin BTW he's year 5.

School are very positive - what's the point of focussing on his slow achievement? They are doing everything they can - his SN provides a barrier that's proving hard to overcome.

When your calmer re read your posts. single sentences that are blunt and all about you. Not your DS. And also extremely contradictory.

Oblomov Fri 11-Oct-13 07:04:59

Mind you.
I do have some sympathy with OP.

My school are like this.
I have emailed and written in the past.
I wrote a 16 page letter, including diary of every event.
They refuse to put anything in writing.
They called a meeting. Dh came too. Dh is very good in these situations and pressed HT until she was clearly very uncomfortable. But still, we actually achieved almost bugger all.

I had previously had P2P there, at previous meetings.

Dh and I just gave up. And ride with it. Because ds1 (Yr 5) is fundamentally happy and doing OK - JUST.

NikitaWhoWillNeverKnow Fri 11-Oct-13 07:05:28

Wafer - this is Y6. I've had 6 years if past meetings. In the past I've done everything you suggest. It hasn't helped

EnglishTeacher - there is nothing I want school to do. Which is why I have nothing to say to them.

They never ever discus the negatives. Or rather they never ever see the negatives. He can go a whole year without making any progress and still school won't discuss problems.

If school was prepared to discuss negatives I'd be albeit also discuss positives.

Oblomov Fri 11-Oct-13 07:09:23

My school is like this.
Always insist that ds is "fine".
It's like talking to someone who has their hands over their ears going -'na, na, na,- na, na, na, ner, ner, ner, ner, na, na na'.
I have had 5 years of it and achieved nothing.

NikitaWhoWillNeverKnow Fri 11-Oct-13 07:09:51

Oblomov - that's basically the situation. After 6 years of doing everything I give up.

ballstoit Fri 11-Oct-13 07:09:53

If it's so painful for you, they only want to talk about positives, your dh is a 'yes man'. and it would be good for your ds to go and feel supported and hear positive stuff about him.....

Am I the only one who sees the obvious answer.

To be blunt, you sound combative and awkward. I dare say school is not perfect, they rarely are, but I have some sympathy with them as you seem to be unwilling or unable to acknowledge anything good your ds does. Maybe it's your expectations that are awry, of both ds and school.

TheSherrif Fri 11-Oct-13 07:14:19

So basically you're not prepared to let your child hear his teacher talk positively about him to his mother for 10 minutes? How about putting his self esteem first for a change? Doesn't mean you have to give up your opinions about the school, but it might mean the world to him. You seem to have decided nothing will ever make you happy - fair enough (and to have given up completely which you have no right to do as a parent), but allow him some respite from all this "he can't do it" stuff.

NikitaWhoWillNeverKnow Fri 11-Oct-13 07:20:56

Grrrr. It's only now, 6 pages in, people are telling me the point of PE is for DS listen to the teacher be positive.

I had no idea that was the point of it! I thought it was about discussing targets and progress and IEPs

englishteacher78 Fri 11-Oct-13 07:21:10

I had some parents like this. I would tell them how well their son was doing. The reply, 'Well, he never reads at home so that can't be true.' All said in front of him.
He got an A* at A Level. And still holds the record for most improved student. His parents, I am happy to say, are now very proud. grin

NikitaWhoWillNeverKnow Fri 11-Oct-13 07:23:47

Those if you who think I'm childish and awkward and never happy etc. etc. Thats what school think of me.

Which is another huge barrier to me talking to them.

Growlithe Fri 11-Oct-13 07:27:09

You don't listen when the negatives are pointed out about yourself then. hmm

englishteacher78 Fri 11-Oct-13 07:28:55

If you make your points the way you have online I can understand how they'd respond AND how it would then make you feel rubbish and attacked. I understand you think it's worthless now but you need to confront this so you're ready for secondary school. You may find it difficult to speak to many of the teachers - we're not available in the playground in the way primary teachers are. Given that you think the primary wont change anything, could you maybe try seeing it as a rehearsal for secondary correspondence?

NikitaWhoWillNeverKnow Fri 11-Oct-13 07:33:48

But secondary will be a fresh start, without 6 years of problems between us. So it'll be totally different.

englishteacher78 Fri 11-Oct-13 07:47:33

Not if you don't have strategies for working with people you find difficult. It's pretty much guaranteed you won't have a positive relationship with all teachers over the time. There will be some you just don't like.

Oblomov Fri 11-Oct-13 07:51:34

I think a lot of you are misunderstanding.
And not being very understanding.

I do go to parents evenings. I really enjoy seeing ds1's good work. I praise him and accept compliments.
I go to IEP meetings which are pointless.

I have begged and begged ( and cried) that already his reading is good, it could be better, because his Aspergers, means he has little empathy or prediction skills. As you go through primary, this lack of this particular skills, hinders more and more, every year.
But they have done nothing.

When you have a school, like Op, and I do, that insists all is well.
Even when you hear the good. It is slightly tainted. Because you think to yourself.
'whilst this is good, if you just did what you are supposed to, he could be so much better'

And that taint is very hard to get away from.

Only those with SN child, who have had a unsupportive school, could really understand what this feels like.

QueenQueenie Fri 11-Oct-13 07:55:20

It won't be totally different op... you will still be the same person with the same attitudes!

LIZS Fri 11-Oct-13 08:03:22

I can understand you are tired of hearing same old and have been worn down to an extent with frustration and anger. However I still think you should go , if only to listen and let ds hear what is being said of him. Does it matter if dh entertains what he is being told , it is his choice . At end of 10 minutes ask for a further meeting without ds to review IEP and his secondary transfer. And yes agree with others it is only a fresh start if you can get out of this mindset and feel more proactive, involving other agencies now may help you do so . Not sure you have realistic expectations of a secondary though, you may need to take a step back at that point.

Growlithe Fri 11-Oct-13 08:08:25

Only those with SN child, who have had a unsupportive school, could really understand what this feels like.

I get this, and I don't know what this feels like. But I do know that what the OP is doing, in refusing to communicate with them is not helpful in any situation where conflict exists. And it is even more frustrating reading when you know that the child is stuck in the middle and needs help.

Use the broken record technique. Repeat the same things every time. Yes it is frustrating and may seem pointless, but it is less pointless than not communicating at all, or being rude.

NikitaWhoWillNeverKnow Fri 11-Oct-13 08:12:34

Queen - I wasn't like this when DS was in reception! We had years of good relationship.

I am like this as a direct result of things this school have mishandled in the past.

So, no, I won't be like this with sec. And as you only get to talk to each teacher for 5 mins a year in sec it'll never deterioate to this point.

Besides the sec I have chosen don't just focus on the positives. It has target grades, and whether you're achieving them etc in the wall. Which I think will help my DS

NikitaWhoWillNeverKnow Fri 11-Oct-13 08:18:35

But the broken record technique is rude!

And one I won't use. I'd rather walk away and have them think I was rude then stay there and be rude.

LIZS Fri 11-Oct-13 08:23:23

10 minutes isn't long and you can always stop the conversation and say this is better left to another time. Has he ever had an Ed Psych assessment . tbh use this year to go through the motions with current school and get as much info as possible ready for your next school . btw 5 mins becomes 2 by the time you've sat down , introduced each other and teacher has found right paperwork and you chat. They won't be very forthcoming unless he is at top or bottom and expect to explain the situation to each one time and again.

MILLYMOLLYMANDYMAX Fri 11-Oct-13 08:24:12

At the end of year 3 ds was completely illiterate. He scored 0 on all his end of year tests. The HT and his form teacher were of little help. They were like broken records that it didn't matter whether ds could not read or write he still had to do the homework set for all the class. Ie write a letter / story etc. They were having no excuses this was the homework, if he did not do it he would be told off and sent to the HT. He was bullied because he couldn't read or write.
I saw the form teacher but part of my issue was because she taught her own son he was always in the classroom and she would not ask him to leave.
I pulled him out of school for 2 years to teach him to read and write and after a long process of going around a lot of different schools he returned to the classroom in the October of year 6 to a school which was according to Ofsed failing. The school I pulled him out of was according to Ofsted outstanding.
There was a new HT at the school and when we went around the school we both felt that this was the school. He settled in straight away. If your child is genuinely unhappy and is not progressing I would have no problem in pulling out of school. Not all schools are the same. Go and see the schools and make up your own mind.

tiggytape Fri 11-Oct-13 08:38:22

But secondary will be a fresh start, without 6 years of problems between us. So it'll be totally different.

Secondary school will be very much the same in many respects.
The staff will have targets for each child. If the child reaches the target they will be happy. If the parent is unhappy despite the child reaching the target they will be perplexed.
If the parent has specific concerns about a medical or learning disability the school will listen. If they think the parent is wrong, they will emphasise the positives to show this is not the case. If the parent disagrees, they will have to patiently and sometimes repeatedly keep going in to discuss it.

DropYourSword Fri 11-Oct-13 08:42:09

I think you're past the point of parents evening having any benefit for any party to be honest. But I don't think your problems will magically resolve in secondary school either.

The further I read through this thread the more sympathy I have for you as you just sounds totally over it all. Having said that it does seem to me that parents expect that schools can wave a magic wand and fix everything. Ok, if you're sons reading is below where it should be, what can the school do that they aren't already doing? You said you're doing as much as your can at home. Can you just accept that your son will have strengths and weaknesses. Or are there things the school could be doing but aren't?

cory Fri 11-Oct-13 09:08:34

"Only those with SN child, who have had a unsupportive school, could really understand what this feels like."

I had an SN child and a totally unsupportive junior school.

I still felt it was my job to model to dd how you work on communications, how you handle a difficult situation, how you respond to rudeness with firmness and courtesy (ok, didn't always manage that one blush) and how you hang in there.

Because if I wasn't out there showing her those things, then her only model would be the school- and that was hardly going to help her in life.

Dd is still disabled. She has been damaged by the school's bad attitude and suffered a breakdown as a result. In fact, she has had the double whammy of a similar experience from healthcare professionals as well: misdiagnosed and wrongly treated.

But the lessons she has learnt from me still stand: she knows how to negotiate, how to get the best out of people, how to push down defeatist thoughts, how to try again and not give up. And if she ever manages to fulfill her dreams it will be because of that. Not because the school had a sudden epiphany and turned into something different.

NikitaWhoWillNeverKnow Fri 11-Oct-13 09:54:56

TT - very good points. But also my expectations of sec school will be different. I don't for a moment expect sec school to teach my DS to read. That's a job for primary school - and me.

Cory - I like your attitude. But I'm modelling slightly diff values to you. I'm most certainly modelling how to not give up. We have absolutely not given up with DSs education - we have only given up with communicating with school.

By and large he isn't aware of the interactions between me and school, so no matter how well I handle it I won't be modelling good behaviour to him.

But what I think I'm modelling to him is that someone isn't necessarily right just because they hold a position of authority. That you should think for yourself, do your own research, and that you shouldn't accept people doing the wrong thing, even if they do hold a position of authority.

Diff lessons to you, but those are the ones I can teach and ones that I believe in.

And yes, I'm also modelling how not to do things. My kids like to tease me about that, and they can learn what not to do from that.

I don't know how to get the best out of people. That's not my strength. So I can't model that to my children. <shrug> They've learnt plenty of other valuable stuff from me.

Pinnheart Fri 11-Oct-13 10:04:24

I will start by saying that i have not read every message so this may have been said already. Also I am not a teacher but I do work with people who are sometimes in very difficult situations that are hard to face. Often I am sure that they would rather not speak to me or my colleagues but they basically have no choice. As a parent you have a responsibility to your child to keep communication open with their school whether you like it or not. If talking to the school makes you anxious you have to learn some coping mechanisms to deal with this. If you have not already, go and see your GP and talk to them about your anxiety. This is a problem you need to deal with so that you can parent your child in the manner he deserves. Also follow all the advice you have been given here about having your child properly assessed. If you have concrete evidence from an educational psychologist maybe this will add more weight to your conversations with the school. When you approach the relevant people at school it might help to have a list of topics you need to discuss, if necessary write down the answers. Try to stay as calm as possible even when they say things you don't like as they may not take you seriously if you start ranting. You need to get to get this sorted for child. As a parent you need to step up and be a strong advocate for your child, He needs to feel that you will stand up for him no matter what.

FantasticDay Fri 11-Oct-13 10:08:12

Does DS want you to go? I don't think a PE with child present is the place to discuss complex issues really. Your ds must have worked hard to progress 2 levels - even if there are still (possible many) issues to address. Do you think dh going and seeing his hard work, and praising him for that, would be a confidence boost for ds?

Growlithe Fri 11-Oct-13 14:40:32

But the broken record technique is rude!

No it isn't. You have made points in an email they haven't answered. So print your email, have a meeting with the HT and read out each issue. Listen to what they say in response, if anything, and take notes. Email back with the points, any agreed actions (by you or by them) and anything you don't feel was addressed (effectively minutes).

If anything is outstanding, arrange another meeting, and go through the process again.

You don't have to be rude about it. You can be perfectly polite and still be assertive.

QueenQueenie Fri 11-Oct-13 16:07:50

Your last post doesn't make sense to me op. If it's not secondary school's job to help with reading, only primary school's and your own what will happen when he gets there and still has reading problems (in your firm opinion)??
If secondary school say there is no problem you will accept that?
He will carry on having problems but now you won't expect school to address them?
I do get that you feel very frustrated. I have to say I think you come across as also quite frustrating.
Children don't like to be singled out / different. By resolutely not attending parents' evening when all his peers and their parents will almost certainly go you risk your ds feeling left out / singled out etc. which is a shame.

insanityscratching Fri 11-Oct-13 16:37:42

I think you should attend for your son's sake tbh. If you choose you can take the positives with a pinch of salt but it would be good for your son to hear how they value his effort and contribution.
As the parent of two children with statements believe me I have had times when I have felt totally frustrated with certain individuals but the answer has been to keep lines of communication open for my children's sake.
For me, if my child was there I would want to focus on the positives to be honest so that their self esteem wasn't damaged anyway.
I fear you might be very disappointed when it comes to secondary though as IME communication isn't generally great and they like parents firmly at arm's length rather than questioning their methods and outcomes.

youarewinning Fri 11-Oct-13 16:45:16

oblomov I was very understanding at the beginning of this thread having been there, and actually empathising with the OP. I even offered her the chance to PM me.
The difficulty in this case is that any suggestions are met with no I don't want to talk to them. I have suggested an email (like grow suggested), I like to then take the email to meeting and scribble on it and re send it with the 'outcome' of each point in a different colour! Where it wasn't discussed I'll type wasn't discussed, you didn't want to discuss this with me, not solved and here's what I'd like you to do to solve it. In fact I've found going with the paper in hand and them knowing I'll do this means they'll listen now!

Nikita have you requested an assessment of his specific needs? Why not contact LA about doing a statutory assessment. Find out what his difficulties are and how he's coping with these - because if he's a 4b he's coping and has found his own strategies. The school (primary or secondary) should be developing the skills he lacks and the coping strategies he has. Not everyone learns the way the education system intends them too.

TheSherrif Sat 12-Oct-13 15:29:54

Just to say I do have a child with SN. I have been through all the school years, battling as I went. But I still think giving up because 'nothing ever changes' says a lot about your attitude. Sadly, for those of us who have been further than you, it does not get any easier as they get older, it just gets harder & you have to be prepared to fight even harder. Put your child's needs first instead of your 'no one understands me' nonsense.

Inclusionist Sat 12-Oct-13 18:19:16

I haven't read the whole thread but have you asked Parent Partnership to support you at a TAC meeting?

You can call one of these with any professionals you want (CAMHS professional who gave your DS is dx, HT, SENCo, Teacher, TA, Parent Partnership and yourself?).

Seems a shame to write off a whole year of school.

cory Sun 13-Oct-13 18:44:01

NikitaWhoWillNeverKnow Fri 11-Oct-13 09:54:56

"Cory - I like your attitude. But I'm modelling slightly diff values to you. I'm most certainly modelling how to not give up. We have absolutely not given up with DSs education - we have only given up with communicating with school.

By and large he isn't aware of the interactions between me and school, so no matter how well I handle it I won't be modelling good behaviour to him.

But what I think I'm modelling to him is that someone isn't necessarily right just because they hold a position of authority. That you should think for yourself, do your own research, and that you shouldn't accept people doing the wrong thing, even if they do hold a position of authority.

Diff lessons to you, but those are the ones I can teach and ones that I believe in."

I really don't see why you can't think for yourself and stick to your own values as well as keeping channels of communication going.

How are you going to be in a position to stick up for your own values if you refuse to communicate with other people?

The way I see it, it was precisely because I was thinking for myself, and thinking something different to the school, that I needed to keep on talking to them, otherwise they'd end up thinking their way was the right way- and I wasn't going to have that happen on my watch!

nennypops Mon 14-Oct-13 10:15:55

I think you need to tell the school you will attend a meeting if they agree that it will proceed on the basis of your agenda, and send them an agenda listing your concerns with a final item for discussion about what they are going to do about it. You should go with an advocate - possibly a volunteer from the Dyslexia Association or an organisation like SOS SEN, or a paid advocate like Fiona Slomovic - who can take notes and can firmly keep them to the point. Afterwards the advocate should in effect write the minutes and an agreed action plan and send it to the school. That way, you may feel you have achieved something positive from the meeting and the school cannot say that you are not engaging with them. And from that point onwards you can firmly hold them to the action plan.

MrsTruper Mon 14-Oct-13 19:42:58

sounds like a nightmare school you poor are probably tired out from trying......I would skip it all and start fresh in secondary....

Hulababy Mon 14-Oct-13 19:51:21

I work in a school and the expectation is that the class teacher must meet with every parent for parent's evening.
If an appointment isn't made by the parent the teacher is expected to chase this up and get one made, even if it is at a different time/day.
If a parent doesn't show then the teacher is expected to chase this up and make a new appointment.
The HT expects this of the teacher, and for the teacher to do all necessary chasing. If it really is a no go then the HT will take over and chase further.

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