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School succumbing to pushy parent syndrome

(21 Posts)
ExitPursuedByAGryffin Wed 03-Aug-11 08:48:48

DD is due to start Y7 in September and her prep school class has been divided between the two classes in Senior school, with new starters making up the rest. We were assured that the division of the prep school girls had been carefully thought out with due regard to geography, personality etc.

We have had issues with the prep school succumbing to pushy parents who insist their DD has to have a place on the sports team or the best part in the play etc, leaving the children of non pushy parents trailing in their wake. We were assured that this would not be allowed to happen at senior school.

I have discovered from the parents of one of my DDs friends that they were unhappy with the class she had been allocated (the one my DD is in) and had been into school since the start of the holidays to complain and have successfully had their DD moved to the other class. This leaves my DD in a class with not one friend with whom she has shared a play date or sleepover in the past four years. All her friends are in the other class.

My DD is being quite phlegmatic about it and says not to worry, she will make new friends.

I really want to make my feelings known to the school as I am bitterly disappointed that the pushy parent syndrome has started even before the term begins.

If I were to write and complain, can someone think of an alternative to ‘play date’. I hate the bloody expression but am struggling to think of an alternative.

TuesdayMummy Wed 03-Aug-11 08:51:17

Why not just refer to other children who she has socialised with?

Lucyinthepie Wed 03-Aug-11 08:52:36

If your DD isn't bothered then leave it.

Ingles2 Wed 03-Aug-11 08:59:17

I don't understand why you want to write and complain if you dd is not bothered by the change. In fact I think it's a good thing your dd has a change to make friends with other people.
As for the move, well, What other parents do is there own business isn't it?
Is it because you are taking the move as a bit of a personal slight? and as for the school succumbing to pushy parent, is that because they are otherwise known as "the paying customer"?

ExitPursuedByAGryffin Wed 03-Aug-11 09:09:17

I know, I know, I should just leave it - but we are all paying customers and if everyone went in to whine that their DD was not with their BFF it would be a real bunfight. I am more than happy for DD to get away from most of the girls she has socialised with (thank you TuesdayMummy) over the past four years and hope that she will make lots of new friends - it just galls me that the school assured everyone that they would not bow to pressure, and now they have.

And yes Ingles2 - there is probably a part of me feels slighted that my DDs class was not good enough for them.

I just thought we had left all this behind in prep.


Orchidskeepdying Wed 03-Aug-11 09:12:26

Oh dear God.... this is truely awful!!! I would withdraw her Immediately.

cjbartlett Wed 03-Aug-11 09:17:20

I'd just leave it
You don't know the exact conversation
Perhaps there is a bullying situation for all you know
If you've been unhappy with the school for so long why didn't you change ?

sunnydelight Wed 03-Aug-11 09:17:39

If your daughter isn't bothered I'd leave it tbh, and be enthusiastic in front of her about the opportunity to make new friends. It's nice sometimes to have fresh blood; our school has an intake in Y5 with kids wanting to make the transition before High school. DS2 made some great friends that year and I know their parents were really happy that DS was so welcoming to the "new kids".

I think Ingles is right - I have to say that as a "paying customer" I expect the school to take on board any concerns I have - it's one of the things I pay for. I have insisted on my eldest moving classes occasionally (High school) as for various reasons the teachers just didn't work for him. Pushy, maybe, but unfortunately the meek do not inherit the earth!

Bonsoir Wed 03-Aug-11 09:25:29

I'm not sure why you think that the school should bow to your pressure not to take the feelings of other paying customers parents into considerations when making class allocations. You have no right to tell the school how it should behave, more particularly if other parents like the fact that the school is responsive to customer demands.

ExitPursuedByAGryffin Wed 03-Aug-11 09:57:01

This is why I love Mumsnet. Helps me to see things in a far more rationale manner.

You are right Bonsoir - we are all paying customers and at least the school is responsive to customer concerns. As I know this mother well, I am fully aware of her motives, but as you say, that is down to them wanting the best for their DD, and I should admire them for that.

CJBarlett - I would have moved her if there was another decent school in the area, but unfortunatley there is not. And she is happy there.

<Exit gets a grip and puts on a happy face>

Bonsoir Wed 03-Aug-11 10:19:32


TBH, we have exactly the same issues going on at my DD's school, where there are five parallel classes in primary, and children are mixed up and reallocated every year. The school is generally pretty responsive to parents' (reasonable) requests, albeit with the proviso that the class groups need to be workable (which sometimes means eg separating close friends who find one another's presence in the classroom a distraction). If you don't show overt "interest" in your child's friendship groups and learning, you don't get the best teachers/groups by virtue of the fact that other parents are showing "interest".

squeakytoy Wed 03-Aug-11 10:23:29

If your daughter is not bothered, why are you? confused.

School is primarily for learning, not building a social life.

ExitPursuedByAGryffin Wed 03-Aug-11 10:28:33

Exactly squeakytoy - which is what got my back up about the other parents who claim that their DD is too busy at the weekend to have a social life therefore she needs to be in the same class as her BFF at school. (which I think is one of the reasons that they were split up in the first place).

But as you say, as my DD is not bothered, I should take a lead from her.
She was upset when she first found out though, but has shrugged it off.

beanandspud Wed 03-Aug-11 10:33:44

Learning to make new friends and get on with new people (even those that you don't particularly like/have anything in common with) are really valuable skills that will help your DD in later life. If your daughter isn't bothered I would ignore what the other parents choose to do and take your lead from her.

Bonsoir Wed 03-Aug-11 10:37:55

I think that the social aspect of school is at least as important as the learning aspect, if not more so. I can teach DD to read at home, do maths etc - in fact, those skills are better taught one-to-one. But I cannot teach her how to make friends and get on with her peers at home.

Miggsie Wed 03-Aug-11 10:41:49

Frankly I would not be happy to have my daughter at a school where they patently say anything they think will keep the parents happy to the parent's face then do what they want to do anyway. They don't sound trustworthy and I wouldn't want my DD to have her choices determined by a bunch of two faced spineless twits.

HeatherSmall Wed 03-Aug-11 10:43:57

I'd be delighted she has a chance to get away from the push parents offspring it's likely the children will grow up the same if not worse.
At our school prep is all a bit precious when they reach seniors it opens up a bit and people who might not on the surface be able to afford private suddnely come out of the wood work, make sit all much more interesting.

ExitPursuedByAGryffin Wed 03-Aug-11 10:49:04

They are desperate to keep the fees Miggsie. Spineless twits is a pretty good description of them.

I know that the parents in question threatened to move their DD if she was not put in the same class as her BFF - but how would that work - moving her to a school where she knew no one? confused

As I said, the only alternative is the local state school which is not brilliant. I will see how DD gets on during the Autumn term. She has become a bit of a coaster at school and I have had to put the hard word on her that if she doesn't work hard we will have to review her schooling. I hope that her being separated from some of girls who seem to have a negative effect on her will help her to concentrate more.

Bonsoir - I agree that there is a huge social element to school - but most of it seems to go on on the school bus - where they are all mixed up anyway.

usualsuspect Wed 03-Aug-11 10:49:46

and people pay for this?

wordfactory Wed 03-Aug-11 10:49:47

I wouldn't worry about it op.

1. With setting etc and houses and sports, your DD will probably spend little time in her tutor group. This is usually only for registration and PHSE.

2. I make it my policy to only complain about things that actually do matter. Then I am the proverbial PITA as I have the nergy and inclination.

3. I make it my policy never to concern myself with what other parents are or are not doing. They have their reasons.

4. All schools, indded all organisations have blanket policies that are adapatable when necessary. If they rigidly stuck to their policies in the face of good evidence not to...they would be failing.

wordfactory Wed 03-Aug-11 10:51:51

And OP if you really feel that your school is run by spineless twits then change schools.

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