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Am I asking too much of the school?

(102 Posts)
marmitenot Mon 22-Feb-16 11:05:58

My 17y old has severe and debilitating mental health problems. One manifestation of this is that she has developed overwhelming anxiety around homework and handing it in on time. She is practically paralysed by anxiety to the extent that she won't write it down at school and then lies about having done it.
I can support her to do the homework in a less pressured way but have asked the school to tell me what the homework is each day so that I can support her to make sure it get's done at home.
The school have said they are unable to do this. Am I being unreasonable to ask them?
Her doctor says it is very important for her mental health to remain in school. (She missed a few months of school last year because of her problems). If it makes any difference she is in a private school and although they say they are supporting her, they claim that getting the teachers to tell us the homework is just impossible. She is doing A'levels so there are only a small number of teachers involved.

yorkshapudding Mon 22-Feb-16 11:15:04

Rather than each teacher having to contact you every day with the homework assignment could they not just write the homework down on a scrap of paper and hand it to your DD when they're telling the rest of the class? Then she can pop it in her bag and you can ask her for it when she gets home.

t1mum Mon 22-Feb-16 11:16:18

I would ask for a meeting with the Head of SEN. Emailing you her homework sounds like a reasonable adjustment to me. Does she have a care plan at school?

Twinsareplenty Mon 22-Feb-16 11:21:48

As above - the Sen or support dept should be capable of sorting this - this is exactly why they exist - go direct to them rather than through form tutor etc. Heck, I'd take it to the governors if needed.

BarbarianMum Mon 22-Feb-16 11:23:22

<<Emailing you her homework sounds like a reasonable adjustment to me.>>

To me too. Or they could post assignments on-line, like the secondaries round here, so you could look it up.

Seeline Mon 22-Feb-16 11:27:31

Both my DCs are at private secondaries, and both have their homework posted on line.
I would have thought that at A level, the teachers could organise this. Homeworks tend to be less frequent/more complex/longer lasting don't they? They wouldn't need to do it for every lesson.
In the meantime, does your DD have some understanding friends doing the same courses who could perhaps text you the details?

marmitenot Mon 22-Feb-16 11:28:55

Do all schools have these departments? My daughters school is a highly selective academic school and so its learning support function seems to consist of support for kids with dyslexia and not much else.

MattDillonsPants Mon 22-Feb-16 11:36:36

Get a doctors note and see the SENCO. Yes all UK schools have a SENCO. Highly selective grammar or not.

2016Hopeful Mon 22-Feb-16 11:40:32

I don't think it seems a lot to ask especially as it is a private school.

My son's secondary posts all the homework online so the parents can look if they want and also the children can check it if they didn't write it down properly.

Can't believe they won't help you. I would really push them to email details of homework to you or suggest they turn to an online system for it so everyone benefits.

Mistigri Mon 22-Feb-16 11:44:24

Given that you are a paying customer, it does seem highly unreasonable of the school not to email homework to you. Don't most schools have on-line homework diaries now anyway?

TBH I think they are worried that her exam results might blot their record and they are trying to get you to remove her.

How about talking individually to the teachers concerned? They might be more principled.

elliejjtiny Mon 22-Feb-16 11:46:57

Sounds like a reasonable request to me.

GruntledOne Mon 22-Feb-16 11:50:36

They may not have a SENCO as such, they may call it something like Head of Learning Support. Ask whoever it is to remind the teachers about disability discrimination and their duty to make reasonable adjustments under the Equality Act.

insan1tyscartching Mon 22-Feb-16 11:55:18

My dd's (13) homework is sent directly to me, either through a liaison book or by email so it doesn't seem an unreasonable request to me. Dd can and sometimes does write it down herself but because she doesn't always catch what has been said the teachers do it as well so sometimes I have it in duplicate.

Phalenopsisgirl Mon 22-Feb-16 12:08:13

Gosh, the motto at ds private school is 'the parents are always right' lol. I can see this being an unfair extra workload to place on a state school teacher but you have gone private for a reason, you are paying for the extra help and pastoral care, that's why people turn to the independent sector. I'd be fuming. This is something that would be monitored by his 'academic tutor' who basically oversees his school work and they meet for half an hour weekly, but he also has 2 'house parents' who are my go to people in the event of any issues ( I've never waited more than a couple of hours for a response from them over anything) and failing all of the about there is a learning support team who would be able to take this on. Depending on what is needed to support your dd it may be added to the bill but ultimately I'm sure your main concern is her needs being met. If that results in a couple of hundred pounds on the bill so be it.

TreadSoftlyOnMyDreams Mon 22-Feb-16 12:10:33

Do all schools have these departments? My daughters school is a highly selective academic school and so its learning support function seems to consist of support for kids with dyslexia and not much else.

Not necessarily but it's quite normal for private schools to post homework assignments online now at primary as well as secondary level.

I'd make it clear that you have no intention of removing her and that therefore they need to work with you to address the problem. As you say, it's A levels and not as though you need to liaise with 12+ GCSE teachers.

witsender Mon 22-Feb-16 12:16:12

Can't they write it down in her book for her?

Yanbu, by the way.

MattDillonsPants Mon 22-Feb-16 12:28:41

OP has not said school is private. She said it is a highly selective academic school. So could be a grammar.

MimsyPimsy Mon 22-Feb-16 12:31:44

In the original post "If it makes any difference she is in a private school"

pinkdelight Mon 22-Feb-16 12:35:18

She has said it's private in the first post: "If it makes any difference she is in a private school"

MattDillonsPants Mon 22-Feb-16 12:38:14

Ah...sorry I didn't see that.

manicinsomniac Mon 22-Feb-16 12:38:26

YANBU. It makes a huge difference that the school is private. I'm a teacher in a private school. Within reason, we have to do whatever the parent asks for as they're paying huge amounts of money for that kind of service.

If it was a state school, I'd be on the fence but say you were a bit unreasonable.

I can't believe it's not all online though. At A Level! We have to post every single piece of homework online, instructions and resources, even for our 8 year olds (though obviously they get hard copy too).

MattDillonsPants Mon 22-Feb-16 12:41:21

I don't think OP is unreasonable. I think that if it makes her DD able to complete her work then it should be done...state OR private. It is a minor thing...the teacher only has to email or stick a note in DDs bag.

Yes she's a @big girl@ at seventeen but she needs support.

ProfGrammaticus Mon 22-Feb-16 12:50:30

If it's a highly selective private girls school and they arent used to dealing with over anxious highly achieving girls effectively then they aren't doing their job, tbh.

MattDillonsPants Mon 22-Feb-16 12:51:56

That's a good point Prof you'd imagine they'd be bloody efficient when it came to that.

ProfGrammaticus Mon 22-Feb-16 12:54:20

Quite. (Which is why mine are at a moderately selective mixed private school but that doesn't help the OP.)

I'd be politely very pushy in this situation.

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