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to think that school are being petty about black ink and handwriting pens

(93 Posts)
muminthenorthwest Sat 12-Oct-13 18:30:07

DS, 9, is left handed and having trouble with smudging his work as he writes (I am LH and had the same until I worked out how to write at an angle).

have bought a left-handed, quick-drying pen for him to try out, but have been told now that he can't use it as it is blue ink, not black. FFS.

queried it (there were no black ones available) and was told that they 'have' to write in black in books.

Possibly blue would be ok for writing on walls then?

AIBU to want to have a major rant about petty, pedantic rules (with no logical reason to them) stifling creativity and individuality in children and adults alike?!

I'd have thought it better to write neatly in blue than it looking like a drunken spider trail in black. But what do I know? I'm just the parent.

Poor DS is dreading parents' evening as he thinks I'm going to throw a wobbler. It's a possibility.

Donkeyok Sat 12-Oct-13 19:42:45

I remember a Head of Department telling me that my preferred colour green was only allowed to be used by the Arch Bishop of Canterbury.
Seriously grin

sonlypuppyfat Sat 12-Oct-13 19:43:16

Schools are pathetic full of little Hitlers

MistyB Sat 12-Oct-13 19:43:44

In our school, one class 5 teacher required black and the other requires blue. Nonsense!!

lljkk Sat 12-Oct-13 19:43:46

What do you do when the Staiblos get nicked?

Our primary school insists on Berol pens (no Biros, DS is also LH) but they keep disappearing. We now supply only old pens that are lying around the house & challenge the school to make further issue of it. No way I'd supply anything that costs more than 5p.

Meanwhile high school insists on ONLY Biros, sigh.

StephenKatz Sat 12-Oct-13 19:44:20


Donkeyok Sat 12-Oct-13 19:47:31

Yeas and its probably the teacher who has been nicking all the pens.
I know I have to do an amnesty where I hand back pots that have accumulated around shelves, cupboards and even in my drawers!

Oldandcobwebby Sat 12-Oct-13 19:49:07

SilverApples - my apologies! I see now that you are faced by a huge hierarchy of lunatics. I had stupidly thought that OFSTED had bigger issues to worry about than this petty nonsense. Clearly they must have made the whole of the education system so honed to perfection that there is time to worry about minutiae.

Come and work with me. I'll let you use any pen you like, and praise you for your creativity!

Picturesinthefirelight Sat 12-Oct-13 19:50:42

Ds's stabilio came with name stickers!

OldRoan Sat 12-Oct-13 19:51:36

Silver I was talking to a supply teacher who said she worked in one school where you were presented with a special Supply Teacher Pencil Case upon arrival, containing special 'Supply Teacher marked my work' stamps and the correct pens, along with a list of when they were to be used...

ProphetOfDoom Sat 12-Oct-13 19:52:06

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

noblegiraffe Sat 12-Oct-13 19:52:50

Teachers are told what colours to use as much as the kids are.

Which is a shame because I liked marking in glittery purple.

CallMeNancy Sat 12-Oct-13 19:58:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Donkeyok Sat 12-Oct-13 20:00:08

We had a whole school policy on how many spellings per page to correct.
Personally I felt it was too high a number for the SEN.
Spellings were to be corrected in red.
As an art teacher I always liked to mark in pencil
so later the child could rub out my comments and enjoy their work.
It always felt invasive when I saw another teacher writing on the students' work.

steppemum Sat 12-Oct-13 20:01:54

I do think this is majorly unreasonable

When I was teaching I had a LH in the class, she had the most beautiful writing and was really struggling with the switch to pens. (she was also a very quiet shy child) I talked to her about it and she said how hard she found it because it smudged and she just wanted to go on using pencil.

So she and I set out on a quest, we got hold of every pen we could find and we had a pen testing time, until she found one that she was happy with, because she could write comfortably and it didn't smudge. (it was actually a very basic bic biro that worked best)

Teacher shouldn't be so rigid.

laughingeyes2013 Sat 12-Oct-13 20:14:26

Surely all ink pens offers the choice of blue or black ink refills?

Please don't kick up a fuss over it for your son's sake. He has to be with these people all day, not you!

neverputasockinatoaster Sat 12-Oct-13 20:45:29

We have to mark in blue. A specific shade of blue.

I used to mark in purple........

Now there are special codes and everything and I am always getting told off for using the wrong code or forgetting the code.... Given I just about remember to breath in and out some days I get told off a lot....

Lack of cohesion apparently. I've even promised I'll tell ofsted I'm a rebel but it doesn't work....

Oh, and those Stabilo things come in black or you can buy black refils.

Spikeytree Sat 12-Oct-13 20:50:13

We mark in red, kids correct in green, we highlight in green and pink. Not allowed any variation or Ofsted will get you for lack of consistency.

As an aside, those exam boards who scan their papers for online marking do insist on candidates writing in black ink as it shows up better when scanned.

Salmotrutta Sat 12-Oct-13 20:56:21

I can't believe there are schools where teachers are told to mark in a particular colour and a colour policy exists! shock

I think we might have been told up here in Scotland that red pen might be frowned on a bit but everyone ignored that stupid suggestion thank god.

Salmotrutta Sat 12-Oct-13 20:58:15

OFSTED actually dictate shit like this down South? hmm

Thank heavens we don't have them up here - at least HMIE are grounded in reality!

Spikeytree Sat 12-Oct-13 20:59:24

I used to mark in green but that's not allowed anymore. Our Ofsted last Jan picked up on the fact that not everyone was fully following the marking policy that was introduced the previous Sept, so now we are checked up on at random (SLT poke their head round the door and grab a book off a child).

Salmotrutta Sat 12-Oct-13 21:02:59

I am actually astounded by this madness.

And very grateful I teach in Scotland.

bundaberg Sat 12-Oct-13 21:04:38

they are being very unreasonable. i would actually ask for a meeting to discuss this, i know that might seem like overkill but bear with me

the school have a duty to ensure every child is treated fairly and has equal access to the curriculum etc etc... i would argue that using the pens they are providing is unhelpful as he smudges his work, makes his hands grubby and can't read what he has written. potential to also get work marked down as it is messy?

THEY should be finding ways of dealing with this, including getting him an appropriate pen to write with. not telling you off because you've done it and they have soem ridiculous rule about the colour of the ink hmm

edam Sat 12-Oct-13 21:04:49

That's why our education system is doing so well, Salmotrutta. All that bossyboots stuff from Ofsted has done wonders for our international rankings...hmm

PatTheHammer Sat 12-Oct-13 21:07:34

A member of my dept and deputy head is an Ofsted inspector and in a dept meeting this summer the colour pen for marking was brought up and he said that Ofsted couldn't care less.

Obviously some inspectors have a stick up their arses about the most pathetic things.

teacherwith2kids Sat 12-Oct-13 21:07:48

In English (and extended written work in other subjects - but in those it's my choice, because the children understand the 'code') I have to mark positive things in pink, and 'to improve' in green.

In Maths, I have to mark in blue (all maths work by children is in pencil).

In other subjects, I tend to mark all responses that require only small amounts of writing in blue because at the moment all my children write in pencil. Later in the year they will start writing in (blue) ink, and I shall switch to black. I could, however, mark those subjects in luminous yellow as there is no fixed policy for them....

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