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To worry about receiving a badly written letter from the head teacher of our local primary school?

(51 Posts)
KKMc Thu 09-Jun-11 13:20:56

The letter about an open day at the nursery class in the primary school where my DD has a place in August contained a misplaced apostrophe, two mystery acronyms, a typo ('reply skip' not 'slip') and some stray formatting. It was signed on behalf of the head teacher. It's not a good sign, is it?

Nixea Thu 09-Jun-11 13:22:06

Or maybe it's a great sign ie. they're all too busy with the kids to worry about the letters?

<is clutching at straws>

excitedLJ Thu 09-Jun-11 13:26:09

it probably came from a very busy secretary who has a million letters to write today.

Without meaning to be offensive at all I'm sure you have more important things to spend time worrying about.

besides, we're all guilty of the occasional omission of a comma....

Folicacid Thu 09-Jun-11 13:26:34

Is it likely that the letter was written by the actual Head?

The acronyms are just a bit of laziness, typo a mistake, the apostrophe is a bit more annoying.

Don't panic just yet.

Rosebud05 Thu 09-Jun-11 13:26:58

I don't imagine that the head typed the letter her/himelf, but this sort of thing annoys me a bit too.

I wouldn't see it as indicator of anything all that significant about the school, other than a not brilliant introduction for new parents.

Hope that you're pleasantly surprised by the school when you visit.

BeerTricksPotter Thu 09-Jun-11 13:27:47

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

bluerodeo Thu 09-Jun-11 13:27:52

what's a mystery acronym?

itisnearlysummer Thu 09-Jun-11 13:29:52

Acronym - probably ones they use all the time and didn't occur to them that some parents might not have understood. What were they?

Typo - a mistake (school's employ people and sometimes people make them)

Apostrophe - as above.

The letter won't have been written by the head. Or at least, it won't have been typed by the head. if it was signed on behalf of the head, they probably didn't even proof read it.

hogsback Thu 09-Jun-11 13:30:18

what's a mystery acronym?

YAIC

iklboo Thu 09-Jun-11 13:30:34

When I told DS's Reception teacher what I did for a living she blanched & launched into a ten minute explanation that they 'write in DS's progress book as he's going along and sometimes they're in a rush to remember what he's done and have to write it in before they forget and that's why they sometimes make spelling/punctuation/grammar mistakes grin

caughtinanet Thu 09-Jun-11 13:30:46

I'm with you OP, I wince every time a letter comes home from school with, what to me at least, are glaring errors BUT I can't fault the school in any other way so I grit my teeth and try to ignore it.

Please don't be put off by that alone, hard though it is give the school a chance.

SuePurblybilt Thu 09-Jun-11 13:31:59

It's a bit unprofessional and irritating but I doubt the HT wrote it anyway. Tell them it won't be going on the wall and write Must Try Harder on the bottom grin.

As long as the admin staff aren't teaching classes, I wouldn't lose sleep over it.

KKMc Thu 09-Jun-11 13:34:11

The acronyms I didn't understand were were 'samples of PLPs' and 'meet with the PSA' - maybe they're more generally understood once we're in the school system.

BeerTricksPotter Thu 09-Jun-11 13:35:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LeQueen Thu 09-Jun-11 13:36:44

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ChaosTrulyReigns Thu 09-Jun-11 13:41:46

Do you have a red pen?

I have, I actually have anonymously sent a woeful example back.

It's an edukationul establishment.

hmm

<<spilts infinitives>>

razzlebathbone Thu 09-Jun-11 13:42:01

YANBU. I'd be really pissed off. People shouldn't write letters for a living if they can't get to grips with basic grammar, especially working in an educational institution.

sleeplessinseatle Thu 09-Jun-11 13:42:47

KKMc, think we might be starting our DC in the same nursery. Did it also refer to 'there' instead of 'their'?

LineRunner Thu 09-Jun-11 13:47:00

I've had years of being in receipt of school letters and school reports (from five different schools to date) littered with spelling mistakes, erroneous or missing apostrophes, and grammatical errors. The school reports are certainly meant to have been read by the Head Teacher, so yes, it is all a bit disappointing and it doesn't set a very good example to children or their parents.

I appreciate that busy admin staff or teaching assistants create the letters, but they must be based on a notes from the Head or other teachers.

I do understand the OP's being a bit bemused by this, and if I were running a school (which thank fuck for all concerned I'm not) I would certainly have a policy where all materials leaving the school in the school's name were proof-read and mistake-free.

But that's just me.

By the way, funny when you see the same the same stuff an a school's web site it seems to be correct?

SuePurblybilt Thu 09-Jun-11 14:03:42

<mops up Chaos' infinitives with a handy dishcloth>
There now.

hogsback Thu 09-Jun-11 14:06:51

The mystery acronyms would annoy me intensely. If you are going to use acronyms or abbreviations in communications to non-specialists you must define them the first time you use them.

I would send the letter back pointing this out.

limitedperiodonly Thu 09-Jun-11 14:11:20

Mystery acronyms are used by groups of people who fear that if the rest of us know what they're talking about they will lose power.

I make a point of asking for an explanation every time and adding: 'Oh, so you mean xxx. Why didn't you just say that?'

I'm with LineRunner's proof-reading policy.

nickelbabe Thu 09-Jun-11 14:17:48

The thing is, thoguh, it shouldn't be a case of "ooh, forgive it because it's probably been done by admin staff"
If you work in Admin, then you should bloody have a good grasp of the English Language! angry

If you are employed specifically to do things like type letters and do publicity for things, then one of your job specifications should be a good level of written English!

If you can't manage that, then maybe a typist/admin person is not your most ideal job!

nickelbabe Thu 09-Jun-11 14:18:50

LineRunner - re: websites - not always true.
I've been looking at school websites recently and some of them have mistakes on (that aren't just typos)

Truffleshuffler Thu 09-Jun-11 14:19:32

I would definitely send it back to the head teacher with the corrections in red pen. Also, I would mark the envelope 'private and confidential' to make sure it gets to the head and not just to the same secretary who wrote it.

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