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I think I'm being shafted by ds's school

(31 Posts)
PippaPegs Sun 22-Oct-17 15:11:13

I found out 2 weeks ago through ds's friend that he's been badly bullied and it's been allowed to continue by the staff (covered up it would seem)

This is at Primary level (yr5) what complicates matters is that the child's parent is a teacher at the school.

I've never had to deal with this issue with my other boys so this is a first for me and on taking advice I decided the best thing to do would be to speak to the boys mum. She did not react well and told me I was mistaken and did her best to deflect and minimise all behaviours and incidents I mentioned.

My ds is not happy about going to school anymore and isnon a week by week countdown sad

The way the staff member responded was to tell me that I was mistaken, she'd never received any complaints about her son (she has) and she claimed that the kick to my boys chest was a game commonly played amongst all children hmm

What I am most upset about is how confident the staff member was that my complaint wouldn't go any further. It has. I wrote to the Head of school and to the chair of the governors to ask for an investigation into the matters.

The staff member (bully's mother) has been phoning other children's parents to ask them my son's accounts (which I feel is intimidating and leading other parents and children as nobody is wants to complain)

I have a meeting with the Head on the Monday that we go back and wondered if anyone else had a similar experience and what the best course of action is. I have already found that the teacher has lied about what she has said (so I'd like to record the conversation or have notes written by someone)

I rang local schools to see if there was a space (no vacancies)

I'm not confident I can take them on (I'm very timid and a single mum (so very little support here)

BewareOfDragons Sun 22-Oct-17 15:18:24

The teacher is completely out of order for phoning other parents to investigate this and/or essentially get them on side. She has a conflict of interest. She should have immediately had other member(s) of staff investigating the complaints and/or had her child's other parent be the parent talking to the school about his behaviour if it comes to that.

The Headteacher should be pulling her up on this. It is completely inappropriate for her to be handling the incident as her child is the alleged bully. It sounds like she's blocked any opportunities for them to do so. Very, very concerning. You have done the right thing in going over her head. you need to follow this up.

BalloonSlayer Sun 22-Oct-17 15:45:56

Is there a friend who could come with you for moral support?

I'd suggest you write everything that has happened down.

If you feel you are going to cry, you could say "Sorry, can someone read out this bit for me please?"

Make sure you remind them you have had DC at this school for xx years and have never made a complaint, ie so they don't think you are being PFB.

Foxyloxy1plus1 Sun 22-Oct-17 15:49:04

The member of staff though, is acting as the child's mother and not as a member of staff. Given that the OP approached her rather than the school, I can see why she has taken it upon herself to contact other parents, as a parent. I'd agree there's a conflict though.

Is the child's mother also teaching OP's child, in which case, speaking to the class teacher wouldn't be appropriate.

As he OP has already arranged a meeting with the Head now, I hint that the best course of action is to go along to that and state clearly what has happened. If she can take someone with her to take notes, that might help. I would hold off from looking at othe schools until it's clear that he school understands the situation and is working to resolve it.

MarchEliza Sun 22-Oct-17 15:49:30

I have no experience of such matters but wanted to echo that the teacher (bully's mother) calling other parents is unacceptable and due to her role as teacher not impartial in any way.

Ttbb Sun 22-Oct-17 15:53:43

Your son was assaulted. They were were responsible to take care of him instead they allowed another child to kick him in the chest. Just say the words nepotism, neglect of duty of care and assault and they will back right down. Nothing scares the shit out of schools like a legitimate possibility of a law suit (they simply don't have the resources to deal with that).

IdaDown Sun 22-Oct-17 15:58:31

Ask the Head what their policy is regarding bullying and the involvement of a current teacher’s child.

* It should included processes for investigating the complaint against the child.
* processes for dealing with the parent/current member of staff.

Check if they’re following their own / LA guideline. If not (or don’t have any), why not?

Don’t be afraid to write down a diary / timeline of events and any questions you want to ask the head and to take it to the meeting. Make notes in the meeting of any action points (things the HT said they’d do). Follow up with an email; “thanks for the meeting bah blah - just to confirm x said, you’d do y etc...”

Ask the HT to stop the member of staff from contacting other parents re this issue - completely inappropriate.

tinytemper66 Sun 22-Oct-17 15:59:49

Don’t go in alone. Go with support so they can’t intimidate you.

LuluJakey1 Sun 22-Oct-17 16:03:33

The boy's mother should in no way be involved in the investigation of this. If she has taken it upon herself to do so it is a disciplinary action as she is potentially influencing witnesses.
The Headteacher must take your concerns seriously. Take a friend or relative with you, someone who can be calm and firm. Do not be fobbed off.
Do not be intimidated by the Head - he/she is paid to make sure your child is safe at school - that is the first priority for a Headteacher. If you feel you are not being listened to ring the local authority and ask about the complaint procedure to the local authority.Pursue it.
In future, I would advise allowing the school to deal with any concerns and not speaking directly to this or any other parents. It often does not end well

hippyhippyshake Sun 22-Oct-17 16:05:25

Any game that allows kicks to the chest should be banned not excused! You can't deal with the teacher any more as there is a conflict of interest. Hopefully the HT will be unbiased, it's tricky if there is a good relationship between them.

PippaPegs Sun 22-Oct-17 16:06:00

TTbb it's been happened more than once.

The problem with the HT is that the teacher and HT are very good friends. You don't have to look very closely to find photos of them slapped everywhere enjoying holidays together etc .

Everything stinks about how they've ignored my son. He told staff and was told not to be so ridiculous and to stop victimising the bully!

QueenofLouisiana Sun 22-Oct-17 16:07:06

Contact your local children’s centre and ask for a volunteer or worker to go with you? If you could meet in advance, you’d feel more secure perhaps and you have had a chance to rehearse what you want to say so you are less likely to get emotional.

You need to reinforce the fact that you do not feel that they are able to keep your child safe. How are they currently following their policy on bullying, safeguarding and staff conduct (policies should be on the website). Can you prove that the teacher-Mum has lied? I’m not doubting you- just be prepared to show how you know.

IdaDown Sun 22-Oct-17 16:11:02

Letter of no confidence to the governors, stating this has been allowed to continue and you have no faith in the HT abilities to follow procedures re investigation / possible disciplinary, due to the personal friendship between HT and member of staff.

Due to closeness of friendship ask the governors if the HT has made them aware of the situation and for them to step in as it would have been inappropriate for HT to investigate.

MehMehAndMeh Sun 22-Oct-17 16:11:24

If the school are that bad about it go to the board of governors, LEA and as you said year 5 there's a chance they may be 10 so if all else fails you can report an assault to the police.

PippaPegs Sun 22-Oct-17 16:11:42

I cannot prove the three lies as what she told was not witnessed

I believe she misled me so I wouldn't follow through with the complaint- as she walked off she actually said "take it further then!" angry

PippaPegs Sun 22-Oct-17 16:12:30

The children's centre volunteer is fantastic. Thank you.

chickenowner Sun 22-Oct-17 16:16:22

I'm a teacher and I think that teacher's behaviour is appalling.

She is using her position to try to bully you and your son.

Don't let it go! Arrange a meeting with the head of governors.

flumpybear Sun 22-Oct-17 16:17:06

I’m appalled !! I really hope you get the justice your poor child deserves

Gemini69 Sun 22-Oct-17 16:21:24

OP.. this is an appalling situation.. just wanted to send heart felt thoughts to your DS .. what a horrid situation .. be strong and best of luck Mum flowers

SimultaneousEquation Sun 22-Oct-17 16:22:48

The letter to the governors won’t help (I’m a governor). You need to use the school’s process first, then if that doesn’t work, raise it with the Chair of the governors.

This may seem like tedious detail, but your best chance of having the case considered seriously is first, to obtain the behaviour and bullying policy for the school. These should be available on the school website. Get your son to write a written account of what has happened. Go through the account finding that behaviours that are covered by those policies, and one-by-one, with the head teacher, ask how the schools behaviour/bullying policy is being applied.

Then, if you feel that your child hasn’t been treated in accordance with the school policies, you can take it to the governors. Specifically, you need to raise it with the chair of the governors (his or her name will be on the school website or the central register of school governors.). If you complain to him that you think the head is being unfair as she’s friends with the bully’s mother, you have much less of a chance of the problem being resolved than if you can point to the school policies, show the chair of governors what you showed the head, and demonstrate the head is not following the policies.

Hopefully it won’t get that far - you may find that the head will be able to detach herself from her personal views in this case and treat th incident like any other case of bullying.

KERALA1 Sun 22-Oct-17 16:28:18

This is why I think teachers dc being at same school is a really bad idea (speaking as teachers kid myself). We had issues with a teachers son, the other parents reluctant to say anything through fear of backlash. We did and the teacher has taken it out on our family ever since.

MammaTJ Sun 22-Oct-17 16:48:33

The apple really doesn't fall far from the tree does it? The boy is a bully, the mum also turns out to be a bully. Why does that not surprise me?

I think the support worked from the children centre is a brilliant idea. They are less likely to sweep concerns from a fellow professional under the carpet.

StaplesCorner Sun 22-Oct-17 16:51:42

Simultaneous I am a Governor too, I think there may be a process wherein if the Head is assumed to have an interest then he would be asked (or much more correct, he would volunteer) to be removed from considering the complaint. The Clerk of Governors could check what recourse was in procedure, always assuming there is a good clerk ...

But anyway, OP, sadly at the school my DDs first went to exactly the same situation happened, and the parent teacher joined in. These kids were 8 years old and the teacher's daughter was not invited to a party (same as many kids in the class) so she charged up to this little girl got in her face and said "that was VERY nasty you should have invited my daughter how mean and spiteful are you?!" terrorising the child who then had to spend the day with her on a coach trip!! The mother complained, of course, and was told that this was a very well regarded member of staff and there should not be any complaints against her. End of. (that wasn't the only thing she did - the girl was Muslim and the teacher ridiculed her for not eating a sausage at an event)

So bad things do happen to good people. The teacher is completely out of order, what a cow; taking someone in with you is a really good idea. Sometimes CAB can help with support in making complaints but it is hard (not impossible ) to by pass the head. I do feel for you, good luck.

PippaPegs Sun 22-Oct-17 19:09:26

Even talking about it on here makes me feel a bit better.

Numbsnet Sun 22-Oct-17 19:16:15

My son was bullied and it was minimised and he was victim blamed by teachers. If I were you, I'd try to exclude the teacher from any further involvement and deal directly with the head and BoM.
If it is questioned, say to them you can understand she may be biased or overly involved emotionally and you'd like to be dealt with professionally in line with the bullying policy.
We ended up switching schools as the head did nothing. If the top down has a victim blaming culture, nothing will be done.
Sorry your son is going through this. We took a year in the new school for him to get back to normal. He's fine now but hasn't forgotten it.

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