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To all teachers out there

(38 Posts)
nochocolatevanillaicecream Thu 10-Dec-15 15:54:49

What would the school policy be about a grandmother talking to a school about a child without the parents knowledge or authority? Should the school comply or wait for the parent?

I am not a teacher, but I would be very surprised if a school gave out information about a child, to someone other than the child's parents.

catfordbetty Thu 10-Dec-15 15:57:22

Unless you are the child's legal guardian, the policy of the school would be not to discuss confidential matters.

CrohnicallyAspie Thu 10-Dec-15 15:57:50

Depends what it is- if grandparent is dropping off/picking up and it's either a message given to all/most kids (so nothing confidential) that's ok imho. Or if it's something time sensitive and can't wait till parent is there (little Johnny banged his head today).

However, I wouldn't discuss school work etc in any more detail than 'he's been in the craft area today'

Sighing Thu 10-Dec-15 15:59:06

What sort of information? Is this a grandparent who does the school run / at the door with a teacher or a grandparent turning up and asking out of the blue? Also I'd probably wonder if the grandparent was a named contact for the child.
Generally grandparents don't get a great deal of info though.

OurBlanche Thu 10-Dec-15 16:00:10

The school would probably listen to you, but should not actively discuss anything with you or answer any of your questions. They may give you information in what you could/should do, who you could/should contact, depending on why you want to talk to them.

If it is a matter of a child's health or well being a school should always be open to listening.

I hope that makes sense.

WhyCantIuseTheNameIWant Thu 10-Dec-15 16:01:49

I am guessing you can't say much for confidentiality.

But is the grandparent offering info, is the child at risk in any way?

Or is the gp being nosey? Trying to gain info from the school?

These would be treated slightly differently.

But no info should be given to anybody not listed on the child's contact list.

I could see a situation where a child is hurt at school or becomes unwell. School phones first contact (mum). Mum can't answer as sh is driving/working... They phone second contact. Granny. They say child is sick/hurt. Fair enough.

nochocolatevanillaicecream Thu 10-Dec-15 16:05:27

My dd is 14 and in yr10. My (d)m called her youth worker for a conversation and he responded with detailed information

Maryz Thu 10-Dec-15 16:12:14

I'm amazed he told her anything.

Even as a parent trying to get information about teenagers out of "youth workers" is like getting blood from a stone. It's all confidential to the child these days.

PurpleDaisies Thu 10-Dec-15 16:14:21

Is the youth worker employed by the school? I wouldn't be happy with that.

Why was your mother ringing them?!

OurBlanche Thu 10-Dec-15 16:22:50

Then you MUST complain to his manager. He really has overstepped a line there.

I am quite surprised, youth workers know better, much better!

As others have said, a parent should find it hard to get details about a 14 year old. He is there for the child, she should be able to expect confidentiality in all things that do not pose a danger. He has acted in a way that makes him nigh on useless in his job!

ComposHatComesBack Thu 10-Dec-15 16:23:17

Maryz

That fits with my experience, when I worked for social services we did some multi-agency training with youth workers, teachers and almost without exception youth workers seemed to be under the impression that whatever a client told them was confidential.

Far from being loose lipped, it was almost like a code of Omerta and getting them to share relevant and appropriate information with others was an utter fucking nightmare.

Maryz Thu 10-Dec-15 16:25:51

Yes, exactly Compos.

My son has an assigned resource class with a SN assistant (in Ireland) - I can't even get her to tell me whether he's attended it or not.

We have meetings with him there; that the only time I find out anything.

Now, he's fine, and I'm happy enough for her to talk to him and leave me out of it, but I don't think he'd be impressed if she talked to his Granny hmm

Crabbitface Thu 10-Dec-15 16:30:38

I have worked as a youth worker and would not disclose ANYTHING a young person told me to a grandparent... or a parent. I would only break confidence if they or someone else was in a position of danger. These kind of relationships often only work if there is complete trust.

ComposHatComesBack Thu 10-Dec-15 16:41:04

Yes, it was interesting the different agencies interpret confidentiality, it got to the stage where we wouldn't bother phoning youth workers as they'd tell us nothing. It was scary that they'd take client confidentiality so absolutely, in training a number(wrongly) stated that they wouldn't or shouldn't disclose criminal or abusive behaviour if the client asked them not to as it would constitute a breach of trust. It makes the whole situation with the youth worker spilling their guts over the phone very unusual.

By contrast, it was constantly drummed into us that we shouldn't promise confidentiality or agree to keep secrets.

OP did she make it clear she was her Gran and not her mum? If she'd said my name is 'Mrs Smith and I want to talk about Agnes' the youth worker could have just assumed she was her mother. Not great, but would make sense. Anyway, when you say confidential information, can you be a bit more specific?

ghostyslovesheep Thu 10-Dec-15 16:46:35

Totally back up what ComposHat said - like getting blood out of a stone! (also not great record keeping!)

OP - I would challenge this - I'm not sure what was said but information shouldn't be shared - not detailed or personal info anyway

nochocolatevanillaicecream Thu 10-Dec-15 18:14:17

No, she identified herself as gm. I'm in a hard place because my dd really likes him

Could you have a quiet (and stern) word with him, and say you know he has disclosed detailed information to your dd's grandmother, and you are not happy.

Hopefully he will apologise and will learn from this about the importance of confidentiality. If he doesn't seem to take your concerns seriously, though, maybe you will need to take it higher.

cuntycowfacemonkey Thu 10-Dec-15 18:30:57

I understand that your DD likes him but he is in a position of trust and he has massively breached that trust. I really don't think you can let it go.

Maryz Thu 10-Dec-15 18:31:28

Your dd might stop liking him if she knows he's talked to granny hmm

Maryz Thu 10-Dec-15 18:32:11

But pick his brains before you report him.

That way you might find out stuff yourself [voice of bitter experience]]

Topseyt Thu 10-Dec-15 18:38:41

Did your DD perhaps encourage him to speak to granny? Could she have said he could tell her gran stuff?

I don't think I would be happy, though I guess there is a fair bit of back story we aren't hearing. Teenagers are usually very protective of their privacy, and I would expect the youth worker to respect that unless she was laying herself wide open to danger. Then I would expect the parent/legal guardian to be told.

PurpleThermalsNowItsWinter Thu 10-Dec-15 18:50:17

You need to complain, but also check his pov if possible. Was he confirming statements the gm made or being so vague that gm thought he was confirming? I truly hope he didn't offer confidential details off his own back. But please complain. What if it was a parent tracking down a vulnerable child? Btw, school knows not to talk about my DC to their EA gm.

JumpandScore Thu 10-Dec-15 19:01:00

It seems so unlikely, is it possible Granny is stiring?

nochocolatevanillaicecream Thu 10-Dec-15 19:42:32

She is very emotionally manipulative, and this was detailed information about suicide ideation, self harm, gender issues - so not light hearted. It will lead to some form of legal warning for (d)m as this is the last in the long list of ea. just don't know whether to push it with school

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