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to make my Year 10 Self-harming DD change schools next wee

(90 Posts)
bellejar Sun 27-Jan-13 15:48:39

I know that my DD is unhappy at school. She has no real friends and is getting more and more withdrawn and insular. About 12 months ago I spoke to her form teacher about a girl who was bullying DD (whilst pretending to be her "friend") - teacher said my DD should stand up for herself more. Last summer I spoke to her new form teacher + Head of Year. Nothing happened. In November DD was making herself sick so that she wouldn't have to to school. I told her form teacher + Head of Year who said to her "Everything alright?" She of course said yes. Last week I found out that she was self-harming and has cut her forearm to pieces at school, since November. She doesn't know that we have read her internet history and it is full of messages to Childline about self-harm, depression and killing herself.

We looked at another school (private) who instantly told me about 1-1 pastoral care + counselling for her. We have family there. She passed the exam with flying colours and she went in a few days ago to spend the day at school. They said that the teachers and girls liked her.

Now DD says she doesn't want to move schools because she says it's not that bad. She doesnkt ow that we've read posts from her saying how much she hates her school and that she has no real friends.

I think she is frightened about moving mid-term and also about the work she is going to have to do. We don't care about her A grades - we just want her to be happy and well-adjusted.

We told her (we = DH + me) to write pros + cons for each school.

AIBU to move her anyway?

lovetomoan Tue 29-Jan-13 12:58:35

Move her. My DH had the same problem (bullying) and his parents never noticed. It will be a fresh start for her.
It breaks my heart to read this as someone close to me had the same problem. She is a very successful adult now. Wish your DD all the best.

Goldmandra Tue 29-Jan-13 13:07:38

OP I think you need to get the GP to contact CAMHS and ask them to give her an emergency appointment.

Your DD sounds terrified of the prospect of this change and needs help to manage it.

She already has a history of self harm and contemplating suicide and she is not allowing you to help her with the awful emotions she is experiencing. You can't wait for a routine appointment to come through.

flamingtoaster Tue 29-Jan-13 13:09:37

Move her. I should have moved DS a year before I finally did and it is a source of constant regret that he experienced a year of unhappiness that could have been avoided. I wish your DD great happiness in her new school once she has settled in.

SpicyPear Tue 29-Jan-13 13:11:12

gold makes a good point. If you can find the money to do it, I'd actually get a private referral asap.

MamaBear17 Tue 29-Jan-13 13:15:07

Move her. Be confident in your decision - you are clearly a very supportive parent and she is lucky to have you. Consider taking her to your GP and see if they can get her in for councilling much sooner. I am a head of year, your daughter's treatment at her current school makes me so angry. A child who is harming themselves does it for a reason, usually because they are desperate for some attention from the people around him/her because there is a problem. That is a very serious issue that needs addressing. Good luck to you all.

bellejar Tue 29-Jan-13 14:32:40

Thank you everyone - I have arranged for DD to see cousins over half-term to big up the new school. DH lost his rag last night and told her she was moving, end of. I am still waiting for her current school to phone. Good point about the emergence CAHMS appointment. And thank you for your support x

fromparistoberlin Tue 29-Jan-13 14:56:32

yay! I am so pleased this sad chaper is coming to end

pls keep us posted

blueemerald Tue 29-Jan-13 15:04:11

I've only read your posts OP but please move her! Teenagers (human beings at any stage actually) don't like change, there is a terrible fear of the unknown. She may actually be crying out for you to take total control of the situation away from her. You have been incredibly strong so far so just make this little push, change schools and by Easter you'll already be seeing the changes in her.

degutastic Tue 29-Jan-13 15:35:57

I think you should take it out of her hands and move her too. Good luck, I hope things improve for her sad

Floggingmolly Tue 29-Jan-13 15:49:17

Don't hesitate. She won't be in the frame of mind to make the decision for herself just now.

TerrariaMum Tue 29-Jan-13 16:14:41

I was in the same situation your DD is in, though maybe younger. My parents moved me. I was furious at them, but honestly, it was the best thing they could have done. After a few days at the new place, I stopped feeling that twisted knot in my stomach and felt a lot better. The new school wasn't perfect, but at least I wasn't being bullied.

Conclusion: Move her!

Yfronts Tue 29-Jan-13 16:40:31

My friends DD moved schools in such circumstances and it was the making of her. Lovely private school with great pastoral school. She will be fine once she has been at her new school a month or so.

NotYouNaanBread Tue 29-Jan-13 17:57:24

I was desperately unhappy at secondary school. I wish my parents had acted as you are doing - you're doing absolutely the right thing.

LynetteScavo Tue 29-Jan-13 18:02:21

Of course she should move schools, and of course she is scared.

Take the decision away from her and tell her she is moving.

Make a big point of telling her her grades are not an issue for you. (I would imagine this would have the effect of her relaxing, and therefore doing better in the long run.)

SoggySummer Tue 29-Jan-13 19:57:45

Did the school bother with calling you back?? Did they explain why its taken 2 days to respond to a request for an urgent call back??

SoggySummer Thu 31-Jan-13 18:43:49

How are you getting on with this? Have you come to decision yet?

bellejar Sat 02-Feb-13 09:07:20


The Head of Pastoral at current school phoned at 4.19 - an entire school day in which to phone earlier. And anyone with half a brain would realise that as school finishes at 4 + it takes 10 mins to get out of school, that I would be driving at 4.19 with DD sitting next to me in the car! Also, he only phoned because at 3.45 I handed in the letter to the Head saying that we were withdrawing DD.

To cut to the chase, I finally spoke to Head of Pastoral on Thursday evening. His plan for DD is to work out how much of a danger she is to herself and to search her clothes for items ie scissors. Communication with me would be whenever I wanted but probably every half term. The Headmaster did not phone us but instead sent us the shittiest letter basically saying "you are bad parents for ruining her life. You are very bad parents, now fuck off."

So, current school has totally missed the point AGAIN, ie work on the causes of her self-harming (ie isolation and low self-esteem), not just humiliate the poor child.

We will be accepting the place at the new school, she is going in on Thursday to talk over the curriculum cross-over with the new Head of Learning and she starts properly after half-term. She's gone into new school today with DH as they have an open morning.

Current school made our decision for us: no help at all but just a tardy response, accusations that this is all our fault and a Headmaster who refused to be conciliatory. He is an arse: she is one of the year's brightest pupils but he couldn't even fight for her and make her feel valued and worth making a phone call for.

cocolepew Sat 02-Feb-13 09:32:40

I hope your DD settles into her new school smile. The attitude of her old school is woeful angry.

bellejar Sat 02-Feb-13 09:50:51

Thank you x

Goldmandra Sat 02-Feb-13 11:37:38

In some ways the staff at the old school have done you a favour. No responsible parent would leave their child in a school where the staff display this attitude. If you ever have a wobble all about the new school all you need do is go back and re-read that letter.

My DD1 is in a school with a similar attitude and I have had emails similar to the letter you describe. She is in year 11 so can't be moved but she will not attend their sixth form even though she has recently found a nice bunch of similarly geeky friends who she would like to be with.

You are sooooo doing the right thing and I hope she's very happy once she settles in to the new place.

bellejar Sat 02-Feb-13 15:26:42

Blimey goldmandra - are they at the same school??

PessaryPam Sat 02-Feb-13 15:31:18

Well done, I hope all improves rapidly for your DD.

mrsbunnylove Sat 02-Feb-13 15:31:25

The Head of Pastoral at current school phoned at 4.19 - an entire school day in which to phone earlier... anyone with half a brain would realise that as school finishes at 4...

op, i'm totally with you on moving your daughter and that the current school is not supportive.

but parents never seem to understand that a teacher's day is non-stop (my in-school working day is often from 6.30am to 8pm) and that we're not just sitting around drinking coffee and ignoring their calls! after 4 might have been the first chance the HoP had.

hackmum Sat 02-Feb-13 15:44:38

Move her. I can be completely unequivocal about this because I went through something similar with my own DD - she hated her old school but was frightened of starting at the new school because her confidence was shot to pieces and she thought they would all bully her. But within a few days she was loving it and happier than I'd ever seen her.

When you're vulnerable and lacking in self-confidence, change itself - even change for the better - can seem scary. But you are making the right decision.

Goldmandra Sat 02-Feb-13 19:14:05

Blimey goldmandra - are they at the same school??

No. DD's is a state funded academy. Their attitude has become 100 times as bad since they became and academy. They clearly know they are unaccountable and are making the most of it.

I'd be even angrier if it were a private school.

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