Ive been worried about dd at school for a year and finally it sounds like school are too.(138 Posts)
The head of year has rung and left a message saying she's worried about dd concerning how happy dd is and regarding problems dd is having with other kids.
I'm surprised she's rung to be honest as these problems have been going on for a year and I spoke to the HOY (same teacher) last year who seemed quite dismissive and made me feel I was been all PFB about it.
Dd seems to have a couple of friends who she gets on ok with but apart from that there seems to be quite a few girls who take pleasure in been nasty towards her. Dd was unhappy in Yr 7 a lot of the time, saying she spent quite a bit of time alone, etc. not just that but people were been low key nasty towards her every day, name calling, saying she's a geek, that she's weird, etc.
The constant name calling is getting her down and I worry about how its affecting her confidence. She was crying last week - not even over a specific incident and said she didn't feel safe but couldn't tell me why. I obv talk things over with her, give her little pep talks. I've bought her all the books about girls and friendships, etc.
She came home from school on Monday saying boys had been talking and laughing about her on the bus. Then Tuesday someone shoved a desk into her stomach on purpose and someone else threw a chair at her. This is in lessons, dd says the teacher is oblivious! Then more name calling in the next lesson.
When I speak to the HOY about it what should I be expecting her to say/do to try and sort the situation? Could I ask about counselling for dd as I am quite worried about how down she is. Would this be a CAHMs referral or could they do something in school.
Honestly I read in the news about girls who have committed suicide due to low level bullying like this over years and it frightens me.
Sadly I'm going away early tomorrow morning for a course which work have paid for and cost a fortune so can't not go.
Ive got to leave before dd needs to go, as does dh. I'm planning on getting her up and dressed and breakfast before I go. She's a good kid though and I don't think she'd just not catch the bus.
I've posted two copies of my letter to school. One to HOY and one to the head. I won't be home till Tuesday evening.
Obv I can ring home Monday evening and see how she is.
I would use the word "safeguarding" or the phrase that "this is a safeguarding issue" next time you communicate with the school.
It should make them sit up as it's a real educational buzz word.
Don't worry about putting the HOY's back up, sounds like they need it.
As I teacher, I know that the parents that make the most fuss are definitely listened to and that their children are looked out for etc (even if you cause raised eyebrows in the staff room, who cares! Your daughter is more important than that!)
Also consider getting a Camhs referral from the GP as it can take ages to be seen/assessed etc, at least six months in some areas.
Mentioning local press might put a rocket up the school too.
I did wonder if the staff might think I'm over reacting to what they may see as normal teen behaviour. But then I thought I don't give a shit if they do. I don't really give a shit if I am overreacting. I guess its better to over react than under react.
Could you ask her to text you when she arrives at school just to let you know she's there or, perhaps, ring the school to check that she's arrived and is OK? I don't think it would do any harm for them to be reminded that she's there and needs someone looking out for her anyway.
Puking is a strong anxiety reaction and it wouldn't be that unreasonable if she tried to go to school but couldn't go through with it.
I'd love the give the HT a piece of my mind
I hope your course goes well and your DD finds that she can go in and things are better than she expected tomorrow.
Even if it is regarded by the school as normal teen behaviour, the fact is, your dd is not coping with it, it is happening at school and they have a duty of care.
You have exactly the right attitude Viva, your dd is lucky to have you fighting her corner. Hope you get some joy out of them
Ofsted reports on how safe children feel is a snapshot of one day. It really is not a good method to see if a school is the right one for a child . By the way all the bullying you mention was rife in my DDs very expensive boarding school, except the furniture throwing. Anyone a bit different can be picked on in any school. My DD was called the names you mention. Girls, at this age, seem to have problems with so called friends and can make the wrong call about who is a suitable friend. Often they choose the ultra popular ones instead of ones they may have something in common with. Also they do seem to realise who is a trustworthy friend by about year 9/10 and it takes a while for them to sort this out and realise there are other girls a bit like them. Some children will always be a bit different but the other girls will mature and be more accommodating. My DDs had to slightly moderate their ways too in order to fit in. This does not mean not being true to yourself, but it does mean maybe joining in with a makeup session for example. I think I would try and stay in the school but work with them to sort out the problems. You are not guaranteed to solve them by going elsewhere where kids will tease out why she has moved. If she is a grammar school child, try and stay at the school with the best academic reputation. Good luck to her and stay positive.
What do OFSTED base their judgement of how safe children feel on?
Our local high school did their own 5 min questionnaire too and asked parents to fill them out at parents evening. Only 12% of parents did it and it came out that 99% either agreed or strongly agreed that their child felt safe. 1% didn't. Even 1% is too much though really, as no one should feel unsafe at school.
Little Siouxie Sue that is exactly what I told myself, that it was normal teen behaviour, BUT it destroyed my DDs confidence and made her miserable, she didn't seek out the bullies and make herself the target, they picked on her, now she has moved to another school we realise it is not normal at all. Any school where this behaviour is being tolerated is letting it's pupils down, however expensive (and if it was Wycombe Abbey it is known for it) . The bullies at DDs old school are still at it, they have colonised an area of the sixth form, play loud music, and if anyone dares to sit down in their seats or ask them to turn it down they hiss snake at them. Schools cannot allow the dysfunctional pupils to take over the norms and make bullying "normal" and parents should not tolerate it.
Dd has had an ok day at school......apart from HPV jab!
She says she kept away from these girls. The HOY had a chat with her and told her to come to her anytime. Sounds like the isolation and calling parents in was the punishment. HOY said something to dd about how it will have taught the girls a lesson.
Lets hope so.
Dunno what hoy and head will make of my letter tomorrow!
Oh she must have felt that was a bit below the belt! Well done her for getting into school today. I don't suppose that was at all easy. To overcome that level of anxiety is a massive achievement.
I hope the HOY doesn't think she's discharged her duties by simply doling out a the isolation. There is work to do to strengthen the anti-bullying message generally and to help your DD to feel safe and listened to. If she thinks just having a quick chat today will solve everything she's sadly mistaken.
Hopefully your letter and a follow-up meeting will give them reason to think this through more and make more effort to address the culture in the school and your DD's perception of their ability to care for her.
Alexandrite, they actually got rid of her.
Glad she had a good day but I am sure you need to keep pressure on the school to be proactive, these crowds lurch from one attention seeking crisis to the next and the rest of the year never know when they are going to be the target.
I think part of the problem is that often the bullies do have problems themselves, the schools too often lose sight of how it affects their targets, especially the more sensitive pupils, when trying to support them.
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