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to think that if you can't spare the staff to clean up a soiled child you can't spare them to supervise one who is sent out of class?

(123 Posts)
Kyrptonite Tue 05-Nov-13 23:17:43

DS is 4, fairly bright, can be a handful (was referred to CAMHS for suspected ADHD, they wouldn't follow it up) and has toileting issues. He will soil his pants pretty much every day (doctor thinks he has encopresis, finally have a hospital appointment tomorrow).

Before he started school I went in and had a chat with his teacher and the head about the behavioural issues and the soiling. They assured me that there would only be a problem if he was having multiple accidents a day which is perfectly reasonable.

The first 4 weeks he came out of school 3 times absolutely caked in poo. He stunk. The next time it happened the TA came out with him at home time waving his bag of soiled clothing in front of her and said in front of DS that they could smell him this time so changed him. I emailed the school and asked if they could perhaps put his clothes in his PE bag so it was slightly less obvious and embarrassing. Cue meeting with arsey head who said they didn't have to change him and it was only because the TA was available that they could. I explained his medical condition, asked me to bring in some info on it (couldn't she have googled?!) and she said she hadn't heard of it and could I put DS in pull ups.

I refused the pull up idea as his accidents at school are very infrequent (he seems to save that for when he is at home) and I was worried that the other children might see him in pull ups when getting changed for PE and tease him. The head teacher said that they didn't have the staff available to change him and that 4/5 year old children wouldn't notice a child in a nappy!

DS's teacher took DP aside before half term and basically said that DS's behaviour stood out a mile from the rest of the class. DP explained again that the Dr had also had concerns and could the school involve the SENCO. We went to an open afternoon at the school and it seemed as though the headteacher kept looking at DS, waiting for him to do something and tell him off. I thought I was imagining this but DP saw it too and he isn't the most observant!

DS keeps saying he's been sent out of his classroom or excluded from activities. I ask him why and he can't tell me. He genuinely can't seem to understand what he has done wrong or he just can't remember. I'm slightly confused as to who is supervising him when he's been sent out. surely the school don't just leave a 4 year old outside a room on their own? Especially one who has been a PITA and could do anything left to their own devices.

I'm also baffled as to how, if DS isn't being left alone, they have the staff to supervise him but not change him when he's had an accident that is not through any fault of his own.

Also, surely sending a child out doesn't actually help unless they understand what they have done. Should they not be trying to support him to behave how they want him to?

I am well aware that he is no angel. I'm just confused as to whether this is normal for reception or if I need to speak to the teacher.

foreverondiet Wed 06-Nov-13 21:50:03

At my dc school and nursery the policy is if your child has a poo accident you have to come and collect them immediately - might be different for a child with sn.

sublimelime Wed 06-Nov-13 22:18:39

forever the school / nursery have a Duty of Care though. They absolutely cannot leave a child in soiled clothing and claim their Duty lies with a parent whilst the child is in their care. The parent might have a job they cannot leave immediately and get to their child in adequate time, a nurse, fire fighter or even teacher for example. Yes they would collect their child if ill, but in the meantime the school should care for the child until they arrive. Leaving a child in soiled pants is not adequate care.

sandiy Wed 06-Nov-13 22:57:10

You should have been Adviced to do movicol over a weekend if you can,It's really not a good idea to send you son to school while he is disempacting.He is going to have the most shocking runny poo and also all the solid poo that he has nt passed will be really smelly.Basically if you follow the plan over the next few days he should be cleared out by next week.I warn you it will be messy.Its really important that you follow the instructions properly.Dealing with constipation is belt and braces.Once you cleared him out it's important he has high fibre diet and plenty to drink of water based fluids aim for six big drinks.He should have movicol just one or two sachets to keep his poosoft then the soiling should stop.
ADHD wise he can be assessed and medicated if neccesarily from age six.I do wonder if you may not be better in a larger school ADHD can be challenging at best and your little boy will not be able to help his behaviour if that's the case.Your health visitor or school nurse will be able to offer you additional face to face support.Good luck

Kyrptonite Thu 07-Nov-13 08:32:28

He could be dis impacting for months. He's been like this for over a year so it is highly unlikely that movicol over the course of a weekend will change things dramatically.

mrsjay Thu 07-Nov-13 08:46:20

You should have been Adviced to do movicol over a weekend

^ ^ this not his usual dose of course but if you need to give him quite a lot of sachets then i wouldnt do it on a school day either as he will be miserable

ladyrainy Thu 07-Nov-13 08:50:46

what about taking a week off to get the movicol established with him? Then you can see how he goes after that.

thegreylady Thu 07-Nov-13 08:57:09

Could you put boxers over a pullup for school to avoid the PE embarrassment? Poor little boy. The school isn't handlimg this very sensitively at all.

mrsjay Thu 07-Nov-13 08:58:14

I'm also going to contact the council tomorrow and speak to someone and I will make a list of potential new schools.

I hope you get it sorted

saintlyjimjams Thu 07-Nov-13 09:05:34

No you are not over reacting. Years ago someone (ofsted??) published guidance about toilet training, children with SN and accidents & basically said mainstream schools needed to stop making a fuss, and ensure they had resources to deal with it.

An on phone now but will see if I can find later x

CalamityKate Thu 07-Nov-13 09:29:48

When my son was in reception he went through a phase of having accidents about every 2 weeks.
The school was fantastic. All that happened was that after the first couple of times his teacher asked us to provide a note giving permission for the school to change him.
She was charmingly good natured about the whole thing - all she was worried about was DSs comfort and dignity.

MILLYMOLLYMANDYMAX Thu 07-Nov-13 09:39:06

Could there be a connection between him soiling himself and his behaviour getting worse at school. It must be unpleasant, embarassing and knocking his confidence to soil himself infront of his class mates. If you can i would remove him from the school permanently and home ed for a while, get his bowel problem sorted then put him back in a different school. At the moment i get the impression from your posts that the involvement with the school is causing you huge stress and it cannot be good for you or him. Even a few weeks without this stress could make all the difference.
As someone who tried to keep ds in school by trying to talk and plan and generally bend over backwards with the school over ds's education the relief we both felt when the decision to pull him out of school permanently was made was immense.
I know home education sounds a huge thing to do but there is lots of suport from the home ed community and I think if the head is watching to see if he puts a foot wrong and his teacher is sending him out of the classroom when he doesn't know why then that would indicate that the relationship you have with the school has irretrievably broken down.
There would be no way i would be sending him in to that sort of enviroment for a second more.

Sorry to be so dramatic but in ds's case the class started to pick up on the fact he was not liked by the teachers and that was when the bullying and teasing because he could not read started.

Outofyourmouth Thu 07-Nov-13 10:20:55

I know you are not keen to put him back in pull ups, but you might see and improvement in his behaviour. My DD had soiling accidents in reception and the staff always cleaned her up afterwards, but I took the decision that they were becoming too frequent and returned to pull ups. The teacher soon reported that her learning and behaviour improved, and we think it had removed the stress of constantly worrying about the toilet. She was not bullied and was supported by the teachers and children in her class.

DD has other delays and was on Schoool Action Plus with an Individual Education Plan (IEP) because of her behaviour and I encorage you to talk to his teacher and senco to get this for your son. I am surprised they haven't approached you about this already. Get all reports from the doctors, paediatricians etc copied to the senco so they have all the information about your sons condition, then they have no excuses to say they have not been informed. If the school are still being unhelpful then follow your instinct and look for a new one, your son deserves a supportive and nurturing environment, not one that see's him as an inconvenience.

Best of luck x.

Outofyourmouth Thu 07-Nov-13 10:24:18

Oh and find out if you have a Paediatric continence service in your area, they were a great support for me with Dd.

sublimelime Thu 07-Nov-13 10:32:56

I think you can get removable incontinence pads to put inside pants for children.

MrsFlorrick Thu 07-Nov-13 10:44:57

Your poor DS. That's awful.

My DD started reception this year. She is the youngest in her class (summer baby).

She has had a couple of accidents during the first term. Wet herself twice and a poo accident. She has change of knickers and tights in her bag.

DD doesn't have any sen or medical issues. She is just still very young like your DS and accidents can happen.

The school change her absolutely no problem. They even washed out the poo knickers so it wouldn't smell.

They provide plastic bags for the soiled items and its dealt with sensitively.

Plenty of DDs other little friends have had an accident or two.

I just don't understand how the schools can expect small children who have just turned 4 to make it to the loo every time? Particularly when they are in class and there may be a few minutes delay of getting to the loo. And as everyone know small children only ask for the loo when they are very close to actually wetting themselves.

I hate to read about all these poor DC who spend a day soiled in school because the schools don't look after them.

It's not acceptable. It's not as if my DD isn't toilet trained. She is fully. But an accident is just that.

And if the school leave them soiled then surely they will be even more afraid of soiling and then more likely to do so out of fear. sad

Kyrptonite Thu 07-Nov-13 11:02:08

He came out once and burst into tears in the car because he had had an accident just before carpet time and couldn't sit down properly on the carpet because of it.

I've put in an application for the local school. It's bigger and the list of support staff is as big as the list of teachers which seemed good.

Outofyourmouth Thu 07-Nov-13 11:45:26

Hi Kryptonite, I think you are doing the right thing. A fresh start at a more supportive school who better understand your sons needs will be good for all of you. I hope it all works out ok.

Kyrptonite Thu 07-Nov-13 11:54:07

Thank you.
I haven't had a reply to my email from current school yet. I'm now slightly dreading pick up time!
I'm going to start the movicol at the weekend and possibly go back to trying a reward chart with him. He's regressed slightly in his play and has become obsessed with the die cast cars from the Disney film so I may offer a star for every time he poos in the loo or takes his medicine so he can 'earn' new cars.
He hates the movicol. Ive had to hide it in hot chocolate before or he becomes hysterical at the idea of taking it hmm

Quangle Thu 07-Nov-13 12:06:46

OP, I'm angry for you and DS. My DD had four accidents in a term at her nursery attached to a primary school. She was just turned three, had a brand new baby brother and this was her first ever time in a care-outside-the-home setting.

The school went nuts - accused me of lying about having potty trained her, threw all that stuff around about not having enough staff available to clean up soiled children, and after accident number 4, threatened to have her removed from the school. I moved her pretty sharpish.

This self-important "we're too busy to deal with it" thing is not acceptable for professionals working with early years. I understand that teachers don't want to be potty training children whose parents are too lazy to bother but you and I are not those parents - and yet they seem only too willing to use that label. In your case, there's a medical situation the school is simply failing to manage. I think you are doing the right thing by looking at another school.

CalamityKate's experience is what should happen - but it's quite common that it doesn't happen and the children suffer as a result.

I do hope you make progress soon and DS gets through this with his confidence intact.

eofa1 Thu 07-Nov-13 12:32:15

You might not like it, but the fact is that a school telling you they don't have the resources to change a soiled child regularly is most likely nothing to do with them being "self important", but really that they errr, don't have the resources. Nothing unreasonable in asking that a child who soils himself regularly wear pull-ups.

Quangle Thu 07-Nov-13 12:37:37

well if that's the case then they are not equipped to deal with 30 three year olds who are not allowed to wear pullups...Most schools do not permit pullups these days.

Under 5s have regular accidents - my daughter had 4 accidents in a term at literally just turned three and they threatened to throw her out of school. What on earth do they expect of three year olds? The reaction is not proportionate. And with four team members, they weren't under-resourced, just under-bothered.

eofa1 Thu 07-Nov-13 12:43:29

I think you've got absolutely no grounds to accuse them of not being bothered. You have no idea what other pressures those team members were under or what they had to deal with.

eofa1 Thu 07-Nov-13 12:47:59

And if you've accepted a child on the basis that they're potty trained, and then they have four accidents in a term, it's not unreasonable to raise this with the parent.

Leopoldina Thu 07-Nov-13 12:50:07

Can you take him out of school for a few days and together with 2x weekend days make a serious attempt to dis-impact? 2 sachets a day are not going to do that - you'll need to go up one or two sachets a day until there's a major clear out (& you'll know when that happens) - took us up to 12 / day. We were advised by our consultant that movicol is ONLY for disimpacting and when that's taken place & you titrate down by 1x sachet a day you need to introduce senna (starting at 5ml / day and going up 1ml / day until you get a daily poo, stick at that dose for a few weeks then try titrating back down 1ml / day making sure you still get the daily poo. we went up to around 20ml / day of senna before going back downwards. THe great thing with the senna is that you can pretty much set your watch for the poo and can time the medicine to make sure it happens when he's at home.
Movicol won't help a lazy bowel - only senna can make him aware of the contractions & what the sensation of needing to go is like.
our consultant was a godsend (he was the 3rd we ended up with) and he did tell us that Movicol gets heavily over prescribed because it is NEW and therefore has been tested whereas the old fashioned remedies that have been around decades don't have a drug company with a licence pushing them on doctors and reams of data behind them. Doesn't mean they don't WORK. He was also v connected iwth the setting up of the ERIC charity and that website was a great help.

hope that's some help.

Leopoldina Thu 07-Nov-13 12:51:42

eofa1 - you do realise that schools can't refuse to accept a child on teh basis that they're not potty trained? and that a large number of developmental issues can contribute to accidents of either kind? I think what you seem to be advocating is disability discrimination but I may be reading you wrongly.

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