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AIBU to think the school should have told DP about his kids parents evening?

(211 Posts)
littlejessie Wed 02-Apr-14 12:53:41

A-ages since I last posted, but thought this might be the place to ask! My DP has two sons, has been very involved in their lives since separating from their mum when they were small. They are both in primary school. Pre-school, they were with us around 75% of time outside time spent with child minder, and since school has started, they come to us every weekend (mostly).

He's a good Dad, generous financially to XDP and very involved in all aspects of the kids lives.

A couple of weeks ago we heard through XDP there was a parent's evening the following week. This was a surprise as he's signed up to the Parentmail email system and we understood he'd get this kind of information directly (nothing had arrived).

He emailed the school, just in case there was some kind of issue:

Dear (school secretary),

I was informed tonight that there is a parent’s evening for DS1 and DS2 next Thursday.

I haven’t been notified of this by the school. Could you make sure I am receiving direct notification of any meetings about the boys and their progress?



and this is the response that arrived:

"I will try (DP) but that information goes home via school bags, it's not something that is communicated by Parentmail as it is individual to each child. The boys appointments are 4.30pm for DS1 and 5.50pm for DS2. I will let their teachers know you need to be told of meetings separately.

Probably best for future years to keep an eye on the newsletter and when you see the dates for Parents' Nights pop up remind me and I can let you know what time is allocated - best if you do this as there's no way I'll remember! This is what we do for several parents in similar circumstances to yourself. We will try to keep you in the loop in future.

Kind regards

(school secretary)"

AIBU thinking this response isn't quite right? Surely the school have some kind of obligation to keep him posted about this kind of thing?

vestandknickers Wed 02-Apr-14 12:57:30

Why didn't the children's Mum tell him?

I think the response from the school is perfectly reasonable I'm afraid.

Still hard for him if he feels he's missing out, but something he needs to sort out with his ex partner.

IHeartKingThistle Wed 02-Apr-14 12:58:08

The school secretary (who will be insanely busy) went out of her way to find information, write a detailed reply, promise to inform class teachers, suggest a future solution and be polite at the same time. Plus the dates are on the newsletter. I'd be satisfied with that if I were you!

JanePurdy Wed 02-Apr-14 13:01:02

I think the response from the school is fine.

Shakirasma Wed 02-Apr-14 13:01:08

I don't see anything wrong with the schools handling of this. The kids mum told him herself so what's the problem?

littlejessie Wed 02-Apr-14 13:01:41

Maybe I am being unreasonable then!

I always thought 'non resident' parents had equal entitlement in terms of being informed about their children's wellbeing and progress...but perhaps I'm wrong?

I don't think he should be grateful that someone took the time to reply to him, though, no matter how busy. He's the kids Dad - not some person off the street asking for information that's none of his concern.

NewNameForSpring Wed 02-Apr-14 13:02:28

Yes I think that school secretary has been amazing and very helpful.

This is one of the tricky things when the parents have split up. I find it myself but it is really up to XH and me to check school bags and to communicate with each other about any news that comes in. We are getting better at it.

Just needs better communication with the children's mother. smile

rollonthesummer Wed 02-Apr-14 13:02:48

Goodness me-that explanation was extremely helpful! Just look at the term dates and contact the school near each one. Why can't he speak to the children's mother about these things??

littlejessie Wed 02-Apr-14 13:03:15

I think the issue with the kids Mum being relied on to 'pass it on' is fine, if you have a good relationship with your XDP and you could trust and rely on them to do so. Not everyone will be in the position we are in which leaves the door open for exclusion from these kind of events and meetings.

That just seems wrong to me.

eightandthreequarters Wed 02-Apr-14 13:04:24

That seems reasonable from the school. DH and his ex-p will just need to remember to communicate these things to each other. At some point in the future it could be your household on the receiving end of the bookbag, and he will need to inform her.

Shakirasma Wed 02-Apr-14 13:04:55

The school have got better things to do than put everything in duplicate. Whilst that may be necessary if there is no contact between resident and non resident parents, in your case what is wrong with the children's mother passing on the information?

BettySwollocksandaCrustyRack Wed 02-Apr-14 13:05:22

But how on earth do you expect the school to remember who has a split family and who doesn't? Do they need to check their files every time a letter goes in the book bag.

I think the schools response was spot on, your DH already knew about the parents evening anyway, I really can't see what the issue is.


rollonthesummer Wed 02-Apr-14 13:08:07

What do you think the school should do, OP?

diddl Wed 02-Apr-14 13:08:37

I think that that is a fantastic reply!

He was told about the parents evening & it was explained why he didn't get the info.

Will he be going with his ex then or do you think he should get a time of his own to go?

"I always thought 'non resident' parents had equal entitlement in terms of being informed about their children's wellbeing and progress"

Why would the school think that such info wasn't being passed onto him by the children's mother?

diddl Wed 02-Apr-14 13:10:35

"I think the issue with the kids Mum being relied on to 'pass it on' is fine, if you have a good relationship with your XDP and you could trust and rely on them to do so."

And if you don't, I'm sure you can tell the school & they will then give you the info directly.

littlejessie Wed 02-Apr-14 13:10:45

If the school know the kids have separated parents, and have been contacted directly about ensuring both are involved and informed about their children's progress including being invited to parent's evenings, I truly don't see there should be an issue with doing this. It shouldn't be about time/business...the kids are entitled to involvement from both parents and the school should help facilitate this.

In our particular situation luckily this lack of communication with DP didn't result in him missing the meetings, but if XDP hadn't informed him, he wouldn't have known they were on. Which would have been a real shame.

givemeaclue Wed 02-Apr-14 13:11:11

So is he going to the parents evening?

diddl Wed 02-Apr-14 13:13:04

"but if XDP hadn't informed him, he wouldn't have known they were on. Which would have been a real shame."

But she did, so there's no issue!

And there's nothing to stop him asking when such things will be!

TheGirlFromIpanema Wed 02-Apr-14 13:16:07

Tbh I don't think the school have any sort of duty at all to help facilitate involvement from both separated parents.

Could your DP not drop into the office and pick up the newsletter once a week?

littlejessie Wed 02-Apr-14 13:16:25

Yes, it's been and he went along.

I'm in a similar situation with my DD's Dad and our school are great - they just inform both of us separately about things like this. It's a lot easier!

littlejessie Wed 02-Apr-14 13:17:18

Gawd, I have to admit I think it's shocking that most of you think it's not the school's business to inform a child's PARENT of a parent's evening. Honestly, I am stunned!

rollonthesummer Wed 02-Apr-14 13:18:16

My children's school has appointments in March and October. Your boyfriend's children will have no doubt be similar. Once he's noted them in his diary from the school newsletter, he will then be able to find out more details. It isn't difficult.

WooWooOwl Wed 02-Apr-14 13:19:02

The schools response seems fine to me, quite helpful in fact. They are right that your DP could note the dates of parents evenings from the newsletter and make sure he finds out when appointments are.

Surely he has more responsibility to do that than the school has to make special effort to tell him?

It's very sad when parents can't just communicate with each other over things this simple.

sunshinysummer Wed 02-Apr-14 13:19:10

But he was told about the date of the meeting via parentmail-in the school newsletter.
All he had to do was contact the school to find out the time. That is quite normal anyway regardless of parental circumstances.

If he had no idea that there was a meeting I can see Why he might be annoyed but he did know-via the newsletter.

I think the reply was extremely helpful and basically says-when he sees the date contact them for the time if he can't check in the book bag. I'm not sure what else he could want?

SaucyJack Wed 02-Apr-14 13:20:06

I agree schools should has the facilities for this sort of situation.

Our school has a text messaging service, and they can clearly target it at specific classes/after-school clubs. I'm sure it would be no real bother to target it at a list of NRPs who have consented to opt in for relevant messages.

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