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To get hacked off when parents go straight to the Head

(23 Posts)
MaureenCognito Wed 24-Oct-12 08:26:37

Over something relatively un serious (bickering friends) or something lost.
Or they just need to take it to the the person concerned first ?
Why can parents not accept class teachers middle managers as figures of authority ?


KittyFane1 Wed 24-Oct-12 08:29:20

Are you the parent, teacher, middle manager or head?!

lottiegarbanzo Wed 24-Oct-12 08:29:43

Won't a good head tell them this - to talk to the person concerned, thus backing their staff's authority?

KittyFane1 Wed 24-Oct-12 08:30:05

Are you the parent, teacher, middle manager or head?!

Everlong Wed 24-Oct-12 08:41:42

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mummytime Wed 24-Oct-12 09:06:36

At senior school I tend to go straight to the Head of year over pastoral issues, they can usually get a message to everyone and for my DS his form tutors have recently been pants (one didn't even know wo he was). I have been known to go to the Head of Department over subject issues (usually because I think the teacher is the problem).

Are you hacked off at me?

KittyFane1 Wed 24-Oct-12 09:07:57

Sorry! Didn't mean to ask that twice!!

freddiefrog Wed 24-Oct-12 09:16:02

Our head will refer you back to the class teacher if you've not tried to resolve issues with them first.

DH is a governor and some parents don't even bother with the head, they demand he deal with all sorts (from lost PE kits to reading book issues)

TiAAAAARGHo Wed 24-Oct-12 09:19:57

Maybe they feel intimidated by the person concerned. Or have tried to raise it obliquely and been shot down.

It depends on how easy it would be to speak to the person concerned. If they are open and friendly, fine, if they come across usually as someone who will become angry/defensive or have a reputation for being so according to other parents however...

Mrsjay Wed 24-Oct-12 09:27:14

Some folk just like getting all offended and demand that their problem is far too important to go to a teacher about it, some do speak to teachers though or feel they are not listened too, but you do get triva and off the go marching up to the HT .

AuscreemaAscare Wed 24-Oct-12 09:46:15

I used to find it disrespectful at first. I was the one dealing with the child all day so why not inform me of an issue and trust me to sort it out? Then I realised that many people don't understand what the Head does all day and assume he sits in his office twiddling pencils. They genuinely didn't want to bother me because they could see that I was always busy.

I did enjoy seeing my horrible ex-boss being marched into the cloakroom by a pushy Hyacinch Bouquet-type to personally look for her DGD's missing P.E bag, which was hung neatly on the next peg grin

aquashiv Wed 24-Oct-12 12:57:04

Perhaps the problem is the teacher as the parent sees it.
Guess we are programmed to go straight to the top.
I think happends alot in the early years seems to calm down a bit once parents understand protocal.

MaureenCognito Wed 24-Oct-12 17:00:03

No. As first port of call. The head. It's very primary school.

mummytime Wed 24-Oct-12 17:11:42

The only time I did this at Primary school was because it was the start of the school day and something that had upset my DD, which lead to me bursting into tears. Class teacher needed to do teaching, head gave me some tissues and was great.

It does sound like the parents are either very entitled, haven't learnt the system yet, or need to grown up. You do wonder what they are like in their private/work life.

NightLark Wed 24-Oct-12 17:13:22

I think it's a kind of 'I want to see the manager' approach. Class teachers at DS's primary always seem so busy and unavailable.

EdithWeston Wed 24-Oct-12 17:17:00

If a whole cohort of parents, and especially cohorts over successive years, demonstrate with their feet that a teacher is inefficient/unpleasant/difficult and choose the inconvenience of seeking appointments with others (not the obvious choice of the form teacher/pastoral tutor), then senior management really do need to find out what is wrong with the teacher that no-one wants to deal with.

It's not necessarily a symptom of "entitled" parents. It needs to be individually investigated.

Adversecamber Wed 24-Oct-12 17:17:49

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

whathasthecatdonenow Wed 24-Oct-12 17:18:10

I'm secondary, and it happens here too - people email the head with an issue, his PA just forwards it to the relevant teacher, the head doesn't even look at it. It makes me laugh as our school is just under 2000 pupils - chances are the head wouldn't know your DC and their issues if he fell over him in the playground, he certainly isn't going to personally intervene in the fact that your DC (or more likely you) thinks homework about the Mosque is unfair.

ReallyTired Wed 24-Oct-12 17:25:20

I think a lot depends on the circumstances. If the class teacher is unavailable and its truely urgent that a matter is dealt with then I think its OK to talk to senior management. (Ie. If your child is suicidal because of school then I think a parent can be forgiven for going to the top, not for something trival like changing a reading book.)

Under normal circumstances I think the class teacher should be the first port of call.

blackeyedsusan Wed 24-Oct-12 17:28:04

welll maybe because the teacher is busy teaching and the head sits in the office and does nothing all day? grin

Startailoforangeandgold Wed 24-Oct-12 17:31:30

Because coming from a small primary there was no middle management.
It was class teacher, HT.

At senior school it's horrifically complicated, if an email to the subject teacher doesn't fix it, is the next stop the their tutor, head of house or head of subject the problem occurred in. It's all too complicated and the HT is nice and approachable.

cory Wed 24-Oct-12 17:38:48

I always tried to speak to teachers at dd's junior school, but they were so intimidated by the head that they could never either make a decision themselves or approach the head about an issue themselves, so they would end up asking me to approach the head "because I don't like to". Clearly a management problem at that particular school, but it can be difficult to know exactly how much teachers are allowed/expected to resolve when it varies so widely from school to school.

If you have worked in a school for several years, you will know how that particular system works and it will seem natural to you, but for a parent who has maybe come from a totally different school or has their first child starting school, it is far less self evident who decides what.

JoanBias Wed 24-Oct-12 17:43:12

Have experienced a 'straight to head' Mummy at my son's school. She would whine about everything and eventually she was asked to leave.

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