Moving schools for final year of primary

(8 Posts)
Izlet Tue 21-Jul-15 14:19:12

I have a dilemma re DD's schooling and wanted to get a general consensus.

DD goes to a state primary 5 minutes from home. She's been getting good grades and is popular with the other children in the class.
There have, however, been problems with the class teacher, culminating with the departure of one of DD's best friends before the end of the Xmas term as she was developing tics from the class situation.
Following this, some of us parents met up to discuss the what had happened and we discovered that pretty much all our children had been telling us variations of the same examples of the class teacher's behaviour, some more and some less, namely:
- ridiculing children who got wrong answers, leading to no one wanting to put their hand up.
- ridiculing a child with sn, reading out his low marks to the class and constantly punishing him (child has some behavioural issues NOT monitored by his 121, who prefers to wander off and sit by her favourites, but that's another story)
- books thrown at the same child plus another disruptive one
- constant unfavourable comparison to the other class in the same year, being told they're losers, stupid, etc. Much of this is linked to the lack of hands up when questioned (see point one).

We decided at this point to request a meeting with said teacher to express our concerns. Teacher denied everything and said our children were making it up etc. etc.

Fast forward a month or so and I was summoned to discuss my daughter's disruptive behaviour. She was being accused of the most bizarre things, eg.laziness because she hadn't yet finished a painting - neither had many others- also she was accused of stopping other children from learning English - bizarre as the teacher always uses her for reading as her accent is better (DD is bilingual). I offered to send DD in with independent English workbooks so she couldn't "disrupt" others, only to find DD never got the chance to use them as the teacher wanted her to help again...

Anyway, ff again to end if year, school report. DD has always got the equivalent of A/B with a glowing personal statement. Mid year she got the same, this was before our meeting with teacher. End of year tests were all As. Report arrives with B/C and a negative personal statement.
Coincidence?

I now want to move her for her final year as I think the teacher will sabotage her academic results, DD will get pissed off that her hard work and top marks are being ignored and stop making an effort, plus the end of school tests (equivalent of UK Sats) are marked internally so there is a risk they could get marked down, which in turn will affect her choices at secondary to some extent.

DD doesn't want to move schools as she has a nice group of friends. However I discussed this with a psychologist friend who told me that at that age a bad teacher is more detrimental than a lack of friends.
Another problem is that there are no places at any if the local state schools except for a totally crap one, so I would need to put her in private for a year. This wouldn't normally be a problem but round here they're all catholic and we are fervent atheists. I could live with that for a year and now she's no longer at an impressionable age but it does stick in my craw a bit.
Finally, current school is very local and thus handy when rushing back from work for school pick up, all other schools are about 15-20 min walk away in the wrong direction.

I should add that we're not in the UK so we can't really go down the governer LEA route, plus teachers are pretty much a protected category here and it is very difficult to remove a bad one.

So wise ones, WWYD? I'm leaning very strongly towards moving her, but should I go against DD's wishes?

Izlet Tue 21-Jul-15 15:03:38

Sorry, that was long and maybe better moved to primary

Izlet Tue 21-Jul-15 17:29:40

Anyone? Reading it back it does seem pretty obvious what needs to be done. Not sure about the effects of upheaval on DD sad

overthemill Tue 21-Jul-15 17:33:44

If what you say is true ( and I have no reason to disbelieve you) then you really should be taking it up with the teacher's manager - Head of Department. I realise this is not always easy. Do other parents have similar feelings now end of year reports issued? Moving kids at this age can be tricky but ultimately your call.

Is it an international school with 'english ' system or different altogether? I can't think that this teacher is unknown to the school,as difficult. Shame to move the victim

Izlet Tue 21-Jul-15 17:49:13

It's a local school, not uk system. A few other parents were willing to go further, but alas the majority pulled back at the last moment for fear of repercussions. It is theoretically possible to unseat a teacher but unless there is a clear majority it won't happen.
In my friend's DS school they managed, but that was because the majority of the class were foreign (not ex pats, actual immigrants) who don't put up with crap. The locals sadly will not put their head above the parapet.

overthemill Tue 21-Jul-15 23:50:50

I don't really understand 'unseat the teacher'. You would be raising a legitimate concern about a member of staff with their manager. You have evidence of poor treatment ( via grades/ reports). Someone has to stop this bully surely? But you could move the child - seems a shame though if they are happy generally with good friendship group. Would child be in different class next year with new teacher or same one?

Izlet Wed 22-Jul-15 16:10:58

It's the same teacher, where we are it is usual for the same teacher to take them through primary.
We have tried the gentle talking, we have approached someone about a disciplinary but all that involves is a pre-announced inspection and in any case the management is ineffectual. Other teachers from the same year have tried speaking to her after talking to the children but she is adamant she is right and the children are all terrible and telling lies about her. At this point I believe she should go as the relationship has irretrievably broken down.

Another teacher further down the same school has advised me to move my daughter, she doesn't send her DC to this school and doesn't rate this teacher. Her DS would have been in the same class as my DD and she wanted to avoid it.

It is a huge shame and to be honest a huge amount of logistical hassle moving DD but she has gone from a curious little girl keen to learn to one who daren't express any viewpoint outside that written in the book/espoused by the teacher. Her behaviour at home has also gone been going downhill as she takes her frustrations out on us.
Yet she is adamant she wants to stick it out. That us the only thing that's holding me back from moving her in a heartbeat. Sigh.

LoveAnchor Wed 22-Jul-15 22:52:43

Is there an option to visit the private school you have in mind, with your DD, so that you can form an opinion together? Might not be possible during school holidays, but then again they should be interested in new customers, so worth asking. The person showing you the school should do a good job at selling it, and explaining how it is different/better than state schools. You can then reiterate those points to your DD again at home, and seeing whether over time she is more open to the idea. The new school could offer better opportunities, better facilities, exciting school trips, after-school clubs, better average academic results in a year's time,.. things like that.

From friendships point of view, tell her that she will be moving school but will not be moving house, so she can continue seeing her old friends after school, same way as before (or start seeing them after school, if she hasn't previously). This is where all the fun is, surely, not at school! Sleepovers, playdates, cinema... It all sounds obvious, but if your DD is anxious about losing friends she will NOT be thinking this way and it is important to say it out loud.

Broadly I would say going against your DD's wishes is a bad idea, but at this age, and given some time, I think you have all the chances in the world to influence her decision.

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