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To complain to this teacher (and what do I say)?

(228 Posts)
MerryMarigold Fri 06-Nov-15 11:40:48

Dd (Y2) started a new school on Monday. The school uniform says PE kit should be school T shirt and black shorts. Before she started and I was in school, I saw some of the older girls doing PE in cycling shorts, so I assumed black leggings would be ok and sent her in with these in her PE kit.

Anyway, she had PE on Wednesday and came home saying she is not allowed the leggings and needs black shorts. Fine <inward sigh>, I will go to the uniform shop at the weekend, which is probably the only place you can get them at this time of year. Then yesterday she had PE again and had to sit out because she didn't have the shorts. shock Apparently you can't do gymnastics in leggings. hmm She was sad as they were playing stuck in the mud which she loves. I really don't see why you can't wear leggings to play that!

This is not some posh school, it is a state school in a fairly deprived area. At our last school we didn't even have a pointless PE uniform.

I just feel it was very unkind to make a small girl sit out of PE which she loves, single her out in her first week at a new school and give me one evening's notice to get shorts for her.

So, anyway, do I bring this up with class teacher (who is lovely)? Or PE teacher herself? And what do I say?

Bubbletree4 Fri 06-Nov-15 11:50:47

You should have cut the leggings off in order to make them into shorts straightaway. Just follow the rules in future. Some schools give small punishments out like this to encourage the kids to take some responsibility and speak to their parents about what's needed.

I don't like your comments about "some posh school". At our "posh" school, they let the infants do PE in their uniform if they don't have kit.

Wellthen Fri 06-Nov-15 11:51:17

The teacher is being unreasonable to make her sit out when she does have appropriate clothing. But equally, is t really worth complaining about? You've said you're happy to buy the shorts.

NotMeNotYouNotAnyone Fri 06-Nov-15 11:52:58

Yabu to not follow the rules. Would it really have been so hard to provide the requested shorts in the first place?

The teacher was harsh to make DD sit out but it's your own fault so ywbu to complain

Hygge Fri 06-Nov-15 11:53:12

Our local ASDA still has school uniform and PE stuff in stock if that helps.

If you really want to speak to the teacher then do, just ask what the situation was and explain you need time to get to the specialist shop so can she please do PE in what she has in the meantime.

DS's PE bag was tipped out onto the floor last (school) year, and one of his black pumps was missing. The teacher said they had searched and couldn't find it.

I couldn't find any black pumps in his size so bought blue ones, which are against the rules, but I explained to her that it wasn't his fault someone else had tampered with his kit or that I couldn't find his size in black, and she was happy to let him wear his new blue pumps.

They may be more understanding if you explain to them what's wrong.

MerryMarigold Fri 06-Nov-15 11:53:55

Bubble, the posh school comment is because some private schools that I know of are super strict on uniform, so I think if you choose to pay for a school like this then it would be quite unreasonable to complain.

Wellthen, exactly. Is it really worth complaining about? I dunno. I feel very upset about it, but maybe I have PMT!

givemushypeasachance Fri 06-Nov-15 11:54:19

If they have a uniform policy and enforce it then you're unlikely to have much success in making a complaint. The policy says black shorts and you sent her with black leggings - unless it said 'black shorts (leggings optional)' then you've not given her the right kit. Some schools send children home if they aren't wearing correct uniform, so saying no PE kit = no PE isn't an extreme reaction. (Though I would have deliberately brought the wrong kit every week if it meant skipping gym!)

Trying to argue that it's physically possible to do gym in leggings is the equivalent of the parents doing a sad face in the Daily Fail arguing that 'why shouldn't Darren wear black trainers/Kelsey wear thigh-hugging tight trousers/Jas dye their hair green, it doesn't stop them learning maths'. It's a factually correct statement but the schools make the rules, and would probably just say that if you strongly disagree with their uniform policy then there are other schools you could send your child to.

thunderbird69 Fri 06-Nov-15 11:54:33

I wouldn't complain if I were you, it's not a big deal - you haven't given her the required PE kit. You can usually get PE kit online at Next or M&S.

CFSsucks Fri 06-Nov-15 11:55:28

YABU. The uniform stated that it is black shorts. Shorts are not leggings so why you came to the conclusion that they would be fine, I don't know.

Get her the shorts that she is required to have then she can join in. There are always parents that flout the rules, if the teachers all turned a blind eye, the children would rock up in anything their parents fancied.

goodnightdarthvader1 Fri 06-Nov-15 11:55:43

It wasn't one day's notice, was it? You had the list, you chose to ignore it.

Greengardenpixie Fri 06-Nov-15 11:55:58

Absolutely unreasonable! I am a teacher and would have never let her sit out and certainly not because she has the wrong kit! A note home to say would have been sufficient. I would phone and say that you are not happy.

Thatpoorpig Fri 06-Nov-15 11:57:08

Actually I agree with the op, pe is part of the curriculum and her daughter should have had access to it as long she had something to where that wouldn't be a health or safety issue (which it wasn't).

But, I would,are sure to find out exactly what happened anyhow before complaining as there may have been a misunderstanding, e.g. Teacher might have asked them to change in to kit and daughter might have though "oops don't have shorts yet " and told teacher she had no kit at all (for example)

Thatpoorpig Fri 06-Nov-15 11:58:04

*Something to wear

MerryMarigold Fri 06-Nov-15 11:58:09

Don't live near Asda unfortunately, we only have quite small supermarkets who don't have uniform anymore. I will go to the uniform shop.

Notme, I didn't realise it was 'against the rules' having seen girls in cycling shorts - which is basically a few inches more of material! (And anyway, they don't have the correct T shirts yet as the school have been delayed getting a delivery in though I ordered them before half term. I didn't order shorts as I thought the leggings would be ok).

Greengardenpixie Fri 06-Nov-15 11:58:18

Well, i suppose i am from Scotland though and no uniform is compulsory here. Children generally have a gym kit but sometimes they forget it or it gets lost and we make do on that day and then its sorted out. What about children who lose it and cant afford to replace it? Do they sit out all year long?

Greengardenpixie Fri 06-Nov-15 11:59:44

Agree with thatpoorpig, totally unacceptable that she shouldnt access the curriculum because of that reason.

RiverTam Fri 06-Nov-15 12:00:32

This sums up exactly why school uniform policies are such a pile of wank, and why I am so relieved that DD's school doesn't have one. A child has appropriate clothing for an activity yet due to some arbitrary rule made up by some random adult she has to sit out. Pathetic, what a waste of everyone's time. (And DD goes to a specific gymnastics club where leggings are more than acceptable so it's utter gibberish to say otherwise.)

AnnaMarlowe Fri 06-Nov-15 12:01:22

I'm not sure why you sent leggings in the first place, however:

Personally I send a polite note apologising for lack of correct uniform and expressing your intention to resolve but expressing concern that your daughter did not have access to her PE lesson despite having perfectly adequate (although incorrect) clothing.

BlueJug Fri 06-Nov-15 12:01:49

If you phone you take up time and energy - yours and the school's - that could be used for better things. It won't achieve anything that getting her shorts for the next lesson won't.

Not nice for DD in her first week, no, but not really her fault - yours.

"posh school" is a silly comment as you clearly don't know the uniform policies of all schools, ("posh" - whatever that means - the opposite of "chav" maybe - both unhelpful words to describe schools)

MerryMarigold Fri 06-Nov-15 12:03:40

Thatpoorpig, yes good point. Maybe dd was too embarrassed. She did say the teacher said she 'couldn't do gymnastics in leggings' (like it was physically impossible). But yes, I will start by saying Dd said she had to sit out, is that true and why?

For those saying I should have followed the rules, I am a bit surprised (and unused) to such a strict uniform policy. In fact, the actual uniform policy isn't that strict, just apparently the PE one! Having seen girls in cycling shorts I (wrongly) assumed it was ok as long as it was black and stretchy! I know that was incorrect, but I still feel an evening's notice to rectify it is not on. I hardly think black leggings vs. black shorts is the same as wearing branded trainers and low slung jeans to school!

PaulAnkaTheDog Fri 06-Nov-15 12:04:39

Frustrating yes but pointless to complain. You knew that she didn't have the correct clothes, rectify that and there's no issue.

MerryMarigold Fri 06-Nov-15 12:07:03

I think I have answered several times why I thought black leggings would be ok. And it was a reasonable assumption I believe - based on my previous experience of no uniformed PE kit (Dd has worn leggings for the past 4 years she has been in school) AND seeing girls in cycling shorts.

SoupDragon Fri 06-Nov-15 12:07:38

YANBU to think that your DD shouldn't have been made to sit out because she had leggings and not shorts.

YABU to think that leggings are the same as cycling shorts though. Although I really fail to see how they are inappropriate for PE - DSs play rugby with leggings under their shorts when it's particularly cold.

JustCallMeDory Fri 06-Nov-15 12:09:51

Your DD's started school partway into the term - you're bound to both be feeling quite unsettled and you're also wanting her to have as smooth a transition as possible. That's probably why you're feeling upset about her being asked to sit out of the session just because she doesn't have exactly the right clothing.

I agree, the school seem to be being a bit unreasonable here, but perhaps it's hitting home more because you're already a bit emotionally stirred up by DD starting a new school.

I'd say let this one go, breathe, and take a long-term view. When you're both settled in, you can always join the Parents' Forum and raise the issue there.

pinkdelight Fri 06-Nov-15 12:10:12

If she's starting a new school, I don't know why you'd do anything to make her stand out. If it says shorts, get her shorts. Leggings aren't shorts. YABU and a bit weird.

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