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to be really cross with my eldest daughter's school?

(113 Posts)
freddiefrog Mon 23-Sep-13 10:19:26

and to have expected them to call me if they were sending her home?

Came home from dropping DD2 at school to find DD1 (who is 11 and started secondary school, 2 and a half weeks ago) sitting on the doorstep as she'd been sent home from school for not wearing correct uniform

DD1 stayed over at a friend's house on Friday night - friend's birthday and they were going out for a pizza and a sleepover. She went straight there from school on Friday and friend's dad dropped her home Saturday afternoon. When she got home she realised that she'd left her school shoes behind. We tried several times over the weekend to contact friend to get the shoes back, but we didn't manage to get hold of her until quite late last night so it was arranged that DD would meet her friend in the school reception area this morning and get her shoes.

DD went off to school this morning in a pair of plain black, lace up plimsoll type shoes with a note from me explaining what had happened. They're not uniform regulation shoes, however, she was only ever going to wear them to school and change into her proper shoes as soon as she got there so I thought it would be fine

She got as far as the gate when a teacher picked up on her shoes and wouldn't let her enter the school grounds and sent her home. DD says she tried to explain to the teacher that her friend was waiting for her in reception with her proper shoes, but he wouldn't listen to a word she said and refused to read the note I'd written.

What if I'd gone off to work or out for the day assuming my DD was safely in school? No one called me, they're not allowed mobile phones in school (they're confiscated every morning and returned every evening) so she doesn't take hers in with her so had no way of contacting me herself

I've taken her back and she's now in school, in the correct shoes, and I've asked for someone to call me as I'm really cross about it.

justmyview Mon 23-Sep-13 12:56:31

I think it's fair enough to have a strict uniform code, but this time it does sound OTT

I don't agree with firing off angry letters to local authority / Governors etc.

ivykaty44 Mon 23-Sep-13 13:01:34

fred - don't be cross when you go in as if you are calm and can make your point you will do much better.

What point do you want to make to the head?

What do you want to result to be?

If it was me I would want the HT to understand that students do need to be listen to as if they are not listen to when something as important as being sent home is involved then there is a problem with the school ethos.

i would want the result to be that teachers listen to a student and contact the parent before sending home from school for the day.

you may have different issues

MrsHoratioNelson Mon 23-Sep-13 13:02:41

Generally speaking I am pro uniform, but seriously, having to wait for authorisation before wearing a coat to school? WTAF?!

YouTheCat Mon 23-Sep-13 13:03:41

The teacher on the gate was a total bellend.

But good that the head has got back to you quickly and is coming at this from an apologetic starting point.

FrigginRexManningDay Mon 23-Sep-13 13:04:22

Hope your dd isn't too upset,what a wanker teacher. I think dds secondary has a great idea of privilege books. Every student gets one and teachers put either blue for good and red for bad stamps in them. Three red and you are sent to your mentor (like a head of year),five blue and you get a privilege like school shop tokens or homework pass.

JenaiMorris Mon 23-Sep-13 13:08:09

It's shit like this that turned me into a school refuser. It's so destructive.

Good that the head is on the case, although the bellend uniform inspector will claim they knew nothing about a note.

friday16 Mon 23-Sep-13 13:09:42

OP, I presume this is an Ofsted outstanding school where 100% of the pupils get 5 A*-C including English and Maths, the added value is massively in excess of 1000 and its performance on key measures such as "FSM children going to higher education" is beyond reproach?

Because otherwise you might reasonably ask why teachers, and the head, are pissing about with this sort of nonsense rather than improving the quality of teaching and learning, mightn't you?

Insist that the teacher in question is in the meeting with the head. If that's not possible, make a formal complaint to the governors. The teacher's a fuckwit, but the head is presumably enabling and encouraging this sort of behaviour, when he should instead be worrying about learning outcomes.

mineofuselessinformation Mon 23-Sep-13 13:09:45

Even if he didn't believe her, he could have asked her to wait with him until he could go in and check....

BurberryQ Mon 23-Sep-13 13:11:24

that is bang out of order IME, not listening to her and refusing to read a note from a parent? these people are sick.

pooka Mon 23-Sep-13 13:12:57

Yes - you definitely need to have an idea of a reasonable/proportionate outcome that can be achieved.

So an agreement that staff will be advised of protocols i.e. read notes, don't just send child home from gates (incidentally I personally think that if they were doing this for a different uniform infringement i.e. no friend waiting with uniform inside, they should take the child in, make note of details in office, ring contact details and then send home) and so on.

An apology from Head. (I don't think you anyone else should grovel, but the head as representative of the school should be apologising for the incident).

Whatdoiknowanyway Mon 23-Sep-13 13:14:38

Just a thought. Years ago my daughter was very upset about 2 teachers checking people's travel passes at the station nearest the school.
Turns out it was sixth formers messing about but an eleven year old in her first weeks at high school will not always be able to tell the difference between a 6th former and a teacher.
Could this be similar?

freddiefrog Mon 23-Sep-13 13:19:57

ivykaty -

I want them to accept that this whole issue with uniform is ridiculous. That most of us just want the best for our kids and while on the whole we're supportive of the school rules and ensure our kids are in correct uniform, sometimes stuff just happens and we can't help that.

The teacher absolutely should have listened to my daughter this morning, it would have saved all this aggravation if he'd just said to her "ok, go find your friend then come back and show me your proper shoes".

I was talking to a friend about it earlier and she pointed me in the direction of a parents and guardians group on Facebook and it's full of parents complaining about stuff like this. Most of it, yes, just suck it up, rules are rules but some of the complaints are ridiculous
- a mum complaining that her DD had been taught in isolation for wearing a boys blazer (the buttons do up different ways), she'd bought it 2nd hand off the local selling pages as she couldn't afford a new one and hadn't realised a difference
- another mum complaining that her son had been refused permission to remove his blazer in class - he was hot and uncomfortable, hardly conducive to learning

I personally think there are far more serious issues within the school than an odd bit of creative uniform, that need to be addressed first

I'm going to jot down everything I want to say, as I'm annoyed and everything will go out of my head.

Tee2072 Mon 23-Sep-13 13:21:36

It sounds to me like they know they aren't all that academically and so are being draconian about uniform rather than pulling up their teaching.

I'd be furious.

freddiefrog Mon 23-Sep-13 13:24:30

No, it's not an Ofsted outstanding school, with amazing results, it's not bad, but not amazingly wonderful with no other issues to address.

freddiefrog Mon 23-Sep-13 13:29:13

And I'd also like to know what their policies on sending kids home are.

Looking on Facebook, DD isn't the 1st kid to be turned away at the gate and sent home for uniform infringement without a parent being informed.

Surely it can't be legal to send them home without making sure a parent is aware of it first.

WorrySighWorrySigh Mon 23-Sep-13 13:31:45

Dont be surprised if the school tries to find a way of denying the incident occurred or tries to turn it around to somehow make it your DD's fault.

A student should only be sent home for a uniform infraction if and only if the clothing the student is wearing is indecent or dangerous. Even then the school should keep the student safe until the student can be safely returned to an appropriate adult.

Anything else is an utter abdication of the school's responsibilities.

Good luck with the meeting this afternoon.

ivykaty44 Mon 23-Sep-13 13:32:22

sending a student to be taught in solution due to his mothers finances is down right cruel and there is not any excuse for the school to behave in this dickensean way.

Ask the head teacher is the ridiculous nature with the uniform a smoke screen to cover up other problems?

BurberryQ Mon 23-Sep-13 13:41:37

I can more or less guarantee that you will go to the school and as Worrysighworry said, they will
"find a way of denying the incident occurred or try to turn it around to somehow make it your DD's fault."

I would put money on this.

freddiefrog Mon 23-Sep-13 13:47:25

Apparently, the best way to address problems is to start with the small things (uniform) and work up (according to the latest newsletter) hmm

My DD is just getting to grips with the place. There should be a clear uniform policy that all staff are aware of, she shouldn't have to worry if she's going to get pulled up on her uniform every 5 minutes because a teacher has interpreted the rules differently. It's like some of the teachers are looking for things to pick at

The shoes this morning weren't regulation I agree - they were black, lace up, canvas pumps. DD isn't a formal shoe wearer, other than a pair of black ankle boots (which aren't allowed either), she wears Vans/Converse. These were the black-est, plainest, least offensive shoes she owns, to wear temporarily until she got to school and she could change into her proper shoes. It just needs a bit of common sense

GoldenGytha Mon 23-Sep-13 13:48:31

I was always very pro-uniform, but reading these posts, it seems it has got totally out of hand,

In Scotland, so we don't have Governers and Ofsted here, and our schools seem to be much more relaxed about uniform, the only rule that was insisted on was that 5th and 6th years wear their school tie, as it was different to the rest of the school's.

But as long as they were wearing their ties, the kids could wear jeans and trainers to school! It never, to my knowledge had any detrimental effect on any of the kids.

Being a bit of a stickler, mine always wore the correct uniform of black skirt/trousers, white/black blouse, black jumper/cardigan/sweatshirt and tie.
There was never any rule about when the kids could wear coats, and living here in NE Scotland, a warm coat is often a necessity! And I don't remember any strict rules about what kind of shoes could be worn either (within reason)

In short, you had a school in a deprived area, but one where the teachers and pupils had a fantastic relationship, No uniform inspectors here!

Tee2072 Mon 23-Sep-13 13:52:38

I think I would mostly be angry that the teacher wouldn't listen.

What does that teach a child?

ivykaty44 Mon 23-Sep-13 13:55:54

well of course if you send all the student home wearing the wrong uniform there parents will get pissed off and send them else where to school and that will get rid of the problem - the students wink

the more i hear about schools and their uniforms, the more i realise that this country is going blooming barmey!

dont get me wrong, im all for uniforms, i absolutely agree with them, but when it comes to logos/names on anything and everything, being sent straight home for something a student cant help, punishing students because their parents cant afford new or all uniform is utterly rediculous!

and not being able to wear coats? ffs! im sorry but what right does the school have to tell students that they cant wear a coat? or take off their blazer when hot? how far is this going to go if its allowed to continue? next it will be the right colour underwear, the correct hairstyle, the correct hair colour...

actally now ive said that, its reminded me of that hair product advert! that is what schools are going to end up like...

PrimalLass Mon 23-Sep-13 14:09:01

I would try and make the point that if they think she is responsible enough to be sent home at 11, without them checking whether she has got there or not, then she should be responsible enough to be listened to and treated with respect.

irregularegular Mon 23-Sep-13 14:11:45

I hope you get an apology - that really, really isn't on

I also have an 11 yr old DD in yr 7. She would be distraught if that happened to her. Her journey to school takes nearly an hour, travelling by train and walking across the city centre - but with a group of girls.

My husband and I both work during the day.

She would be able to get into the house and has a phone, but I'd still expect to be informed by school if she was being sent home for the day. And turning up one day in the wrong shoes is NOT a good enough reason - even if she didn't have the right ones to change into.

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