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to tell this teaching assistant to leave my daughter alone?

(32 Posts)
huddlecuddle Thu 06-Oct-11 22:09:58

It is such a small issue but it's causing DD quite a lot of heartache. She is eleven and just started at secondary school this September. Over the summer one of her best friends moved away and her grandad also died. She has been very good but one day it did get a bit much to her at school and she became a bit tearful. She has said the class teacher was talking to her when the teaching assistant (all year 7 classes have them) came over and said that "if she was upset that she had no friends, then come along to the Breaktime Club." DD was upset at this as she does have friends but didn't feel able to say anything.

DD though the TA would forget about this but at breaktime she insisted DD attend the club. This is held in the special needs department and according to the school prospectus "provides a safe social environment and healthy snacks for children who find making friends difficult" This doesn't describe DD at all and she has little in common with the other children (mainly boys) who attend. However, the TA keeps taking DD to the club despite DD saying (asking) politely to spend break int he playground with her friends.

I rang up on Tuesday and spoke to the special needs co ordinator who was quite defensive although I wasn't rude - I just said that we appreciated the TA's concern but DD would prefer to spend break with her friends. Today however the TA approached DD in the yard and said "Why have you told your mum you hate the club? You love it! Bring your friends!" The entire group of reluctant girls ended up having to go and are now annoyed with DD who is in turn very upset.

I'm going to have to go in and speak to the TA but it sounds so petty. However, DD really is upset by this - AIBU to be annoyed at this TA?

Eglu Thu 06-Oct-11 22:13:44

YANBU. The TA obviously loves her little club and wants more people attending but forcing people to go who aren't interested is not nice.

troisgarcons Thu 06-Oct-11 22:17:06

It's secondary school, you won't be allowed near a TA - you'll have to go through her year head/form tutor.

Sorry your daughter is feeling like shes a rough time but at least she was encouraged to take her other friends in - it's all about getting the mix right. Other parents would be going dipshit if they thought their child was being cold shouldered or the school wasn't trying to smooth the transition.

chelen Thu 06-Oct-11 22:17:49

YANBU, this is not helping your daughter. However well-meaning the TA, she needs to be told to tone it down a bit.

thisisyesterday Thu 06-Oct-11 22:22:12

yanbu

your daughter ought to be able to say thanks but no thanks. and coming up to her and accusing her of telling you she hates it.. i mean wtf??

i would definitely have a word

MaureenMLove Thu 06-Oct-11 22:22:32

What about suggesting to DD, that she tells the TA at lunchtime, that she needs to go to see a particular teacher and she'll be along later? The she could just not turn up? I know it's not true, but it might be an easier way for an 11 year old to get out of it, without disappointing the TA! grin

She sounds awfully full on! We've got one like that at our school, I do hope you're not talking about her! grin Although, that said, I'll sort her for you!

huddlecuddle Thu 06-Oct-11 22:22:52

Thanks. She was only 'encouraged' (forced!) to bring her friends once - the other times the TA has just swooped on her as the children are packing their things away. The problem is (and I really don't wish to sound awful here) is that as a consequence DD is starting to be viewed as a bit of a misfit as the other children who attend this 'club' are.

I just feel that at eleven years old when a child says "I'd like to go outside with my friends please," anyone would surely respect that and step backwards. She nay be well meaning, but I feel quite angry at her actions and I pobably am BU but I can't help it. DD needs to settle into secondary school and this is really impacting on her negatively.

Harecare Thu 06-Oct-11 22:25:08

Yanbu.

huddlecuddle Thu 06-Oct-11 22:25:59

Thanks Maureen - unfortunately the children have lessons one and two then break! The TA is with the same class all the time so DD has no form of escape!

I'm really not a precious mummy type (DD also complains she was told off for talking when she wasn't but I pointed out to her she probably got away with talking when she was on many occasions!) but to be honest the TA appears to have fixated a bit on DD. I don't mean in a sinister way but DD is gentle and sensitive and it's easy to assume she's a delicate flower when in fact she is a happy funny little girl but a little quiet initially.

MarginallyNarkyPuffin Thu 06-Oct-11 22:26:24

I'd write a letter saying that your DD WILL NOT be attending the club and ANY enquiries about the issue should be directed to you not your DD. I'd give her 2 copies. One to hand to her form tutor and one to hand to the TA.

If either of them say anything to your DD, tell her to say, 'You'll have to talk to my mother about that.' Nothing else. Repeat as necessary.

If she approaches your DD after this then you have grounds to go to the deputy head/head of year about it. She's actually doing the complete opposite of what she's supposed to be doing. She's isolating your DD from her friends and damaging her friendships. Probably in an attempt to get more girls into the club - she knows your DD has friends as she dragged them into it as well!

troisgarcons Thu 06-Oct-11 22:26:41

You need to tip her HOY off, they are Gods Own Annointed when it comes to protecting their little ones!

RCToday Thu 06-Oct-11 22:28:30

complain to the head, it would be awful if she had to spend time with 'misfits'

hmm

MollyintheMoon Thu 06-Oct-11 22:28:37

I don't think it would BU for you to have a word with the TA/head of year/tutor. Your DD is being forced to do something she doesn't want to do. Regardless of who or what the club is for, your DD wants to play outside with her friends and is being prevented from doing so.

Themumsnot Thu 06-Oct-11 22:29:20

I really think the best thing to do would be to go through your DD's form tutor rather than approach the TA directly. The TA seems to have exceeded her remit at the very least, but she needs to be dealt with through the proper school channels. YANBU to be annoyed though. You also need to tell your DD that No is, as we say on MN, a complete sentence. grin Sounds like she is going to need to be blunt to get through to the TA. But prime her tutor first.

FabbyChic Thu 06-Oct-11 22:31:26

Phone the school and speak to someone, leave a message for the TA if you have to, or write your child a note and tell her if the TA asks her to go again to give her the note from you.

In the note put, As you will not take a no from my daughter you will take one from me, she does not wish to attend the sessions and if you persists in making her I will have to come in to see the head.

If you wish to discuss call me.

Thats what I would do.

MaureenMLove Thu 06-Oct-11 22:32:17

Does she have a pastorial care officer/leader? Maybe it would be better to speak directly to them, rather than the Head of Year.

Our officers are support staff, like the TA's, so it might be a better conversation between the two of them, rather than teaching staff, iyswim?

You might be able to talk more casually with them about it.

huddlecuddle Thu 06-Oct-11 22:34:31

The letters are an excellent idea - I may well do that.

RCToday, you've missed the point. If DD wanted to spend time with these children that would be different, but she doesn't. They are in the club because some of them become volatile and violent on the playground. Others DD just doesn't have much in common with. She has her own group of friends and wants to be with them and the TA is preventing her from doing this.

Salmotrutta Thu 06-Oct-11 22:35:09

Does she have a Guidance Teacher? They are best for this sort of thing - up here anyway. They will intercede regarding issues like this.
They may be PCS Teachers in England? If she has one, I'd phone them.

JockTamsonsBairns Thu 06-Oct-11 22:39:07

Was just going to say exactly what themumsnot said. At secondary level, you really need to be approaching this through the proper channels - and that means contacting her form tutor in the first instance. A letter or an email is indeed a good idea. It's not like primary where you get to speak to who you want when you pop in.

It's an awful situation for your Dd, I do feel for her. However, it's these kinds of situations which help to build her confidence and assertiveness as she gets older. If it was my Dd, I'd be emphasising to her that it's absolutely fine for her to say something along the lines of "No thanks, I prefer to be outside with my friends". Repeat ad nauseum.

MaureenMLove Thu 06-Oct-11 22:39:17

Personally, I wouldn't be too harsh on the TA, but that's probably because I like to give everyone the benefit of the doubt! grin

And also, I'm looking at it from the inside, so to speak. If one of our TA's got a letter like that, it could be read as quite hurtful and the TA's will all speak to each other about the shitty letter one of them got from a parent. Not a great way to start in a new school!

Each to their own though. Only you know the way your school works. (Look! - there's me giving everyone the benefit of doubt again! grin)

It seems a bit weird that they would stop her playing with her friends in order to force her to go to a club for children who can't make friends easily.

It sounds like they are having completely the opposite effect to the one they hoped to have with the club.

If the children in the club are mostly boys the TA might be trying to fit a quota of girls in for some reason.

I would organise a meeting with her teacher or head of year, but I do like the idea of a couple of notes in the meantime. Include your mobile number on the note, so they can ring you directly if there is a problem.

huddlecuddle Thu 06-Oct-11 22:45:24

You are probably right, Maureen, but since I have already rang up and the TA has ignored my wishes, I can't help but wonder if she is just incredibly thick skinned. I will go in if I have to but I'd rather not have to (it involves taking time off from work as much as anything.)

I think I will send DD in with a note along the lines of, "DD has requested that she does not attend break club - please contact me on * mobile number * if you wish to discuss this any further *

I am most annoyed that she practically accused DD of lying about break club at home!

MarginallyNarkyPuffin Thu 06-Oct-11 22:47:04

Maureen, my letter suggestion or Fabby's or both? I would go with 'DD will not be attending these sessions any more. If you wish to discuss this feel free to contact me on 01234 567890.'

MaureenMLove Thu 06-Oct-11 22:48:38

Sounds perfect. Maybe a wee separate note from you to form tutor to explain what the other note is about too? Form tutor is going to be with her until she leaves school, one would assume, so I'm sure she'd like to know.

RCToday Thu 06-Oct-11 22:49:00

OP, no I didnt miss the point

You said it was a club for children who had difficulty making friends

then you said you didn't want your DD being seen as a misfit

and then they became the volatile and violent kids in the playground

but luckily enough she has heaps of friends and doesn't need this help in school

or maybe the TA is just doing her job

speak to her teacher

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