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Genuine mistake by form tutor or does she really believe this?

(158 Posts)
MyballsareSandy2015 Wed 20-Apr-16 18:03:24

DD(15) has anxiety issues relating to sickness and other illnesses resulting in her being off school quite a lot. Her attendance is approx 89%, but things are slowly improving. I do my very best to get her into school but at the moment I feel her mental health is more important than school.

I've always kept school informed by phone, but recently received a letter saying that her attendance is unacceptable and they need to get the Educational welfare officer involved. They also mentioned that any further absences would be recorded as an 'unauthorised absence' even if I rang in, which I obv always do.

So I thought it was time to create a record of my explanations to school, in case they are needed in the future with the EWO. I wrote to DDs form tutor, copying in HoY explaining in detail DDs anxiety issues, emetophobia etc and assuring then I was doing my utmost to get her into school as often as possible.

Opened up a reply email from form tutor, it was rather brief:

"Mum making excuses" shock

Followed a few minutes later by another email apologising profusely, saying she had several emails open at once and that reply was meant to go to another teacher regarding a mother whose child hadn't been attending revision sessions.

Thoughts please. I haven't replied yet.

HalfwayUpALadder Wed 20-Apr-16 18:05:53

Blatantly about you

Cakescakescakes Wed 20-Apr-16 18:06:23

I would think she meant forward your email on to someone else but accidentally hit reply instead. She is now trying to cover herself.

noblegiraffe Wed 20-Apr-16 18:07:05

The best thing to do for a positive working relationship would be to act like you believe it was a genuine error and continue as you have been.

EWO will be involved because of the attendance rate regardless of the reasons. You just need to keep documenting everything, and trying to get your DD into school as regularly as possible.

enchantedfairytale Wed 20-Apr-16 18:07:16

It was about you, but I am cringing on the teachers behalf.

RaeSkywalker Wed 20-Apr-16 18:09:18

I think you should ask to meet with the school ASAP to ensure that they are taking your DD's anxiety seriously. The email, along with the unauthorised absence communication would make me concerned about their attitude- though obviously the email may have been about another parent (how unprofessional of the teacher regardless!)

Are you able to get a letter from your DD's GP explaining the problems she's facing? I really hope she starts to feel better soon.

corythatwas Wed 20-Apr-16 18:09:40

That is completely shocking and unprofessional. Am assuming that is her forwarding your email to her colleagues/the head but pressing the reply button instead of the forwarding button. I would be inclined to forward it to the HT and say you are very worried in case this is a sign that you have not managed to communicate your dd's problems clearly to the school. I would also get in contact with EWO myself to explain the problem and try to get her on your side.

(speaking as somebody who has been there)

fiorentina Wed 20-Apr-16 18:09:53

She has sent that to you rather than forwarding. However I think for the sake of future relations I would pretend you believe her. Perhaps she will be more amenable if she's worried she may have upset you. Hope your daughter can manage her anxiety going forward. Poor her.

corythatwas Wed 20-Apr-16 18:11:38

actually, the gentler approach, as recommended by other posters, is probably the best: faux anxious and pretending that of course you believe her because you are sure she wants to do her best for a pupil with genuine anxiety problems

Decanter Wed 20-Apr-16 18:12:03

blush Ouch. Definitely about you. And whilst you can't prove otherwise, I wouldn't go out of your way to make out you believe it was a genuine error. It was a sloppy mistake on their part but you've had a peek at their cards. Keep this up your sleeve and keep on at them. I hope things improve for your DD. I sympathise with you both. flowers

WellErrr Wed 20-Apr-16 18:12:30

Agree she meant to forward it.

I'd call her out on it.

I had emetophobia as a child and missed a lot of school. They were understanding. It's crap. Sorry for your daughter flowers

redexpat Wed 20-Apr-16 18:14:42

Buttock clenchingly embarrassing for the teacher. And rightly so.

Was anyone else copied in?

At least you know where you stand now. She doesn't believe you. So count her out as an ally.

MunchMunch Wed 20-Apr-16 18:15:00

I don't really do confrontation but I think I'd have to email back "teacher making excuses" I would refuse to believe her piss poor excuse and let her know it's not an excuse but a valid reason and you won't be made to feel as though you are trying to fob people off.

Witchend Wed 20-Apr-16 18:15:01

Thing is when the attendance officer views her record then they'll ask for evidence. Mum making excuses ( even if they're true) will not cut the ice. Has she had this anxiety documented by a doctor? In which case you need to get them to write.
It's not necessarily them not believing you as much as they cannot use your word as evidence for attendance.
I've been through this with ds and any evidence from a professional, even appointment letters, are what they need. I know they believed me, but they said that for the attendance officer they needed more.

corythatwas Wed 20-Apr-16 18:16:41

Witchend has a good point: this is where you need to amass the paperwork. DD's school did not believe her- but with the paperwork we eventually got everybody else on her side.

Pseudo341 Wed 20-Apr-16 18:20:50

I too think it was about you but you can't possibly prove it. I'd be tempted to not reply at all and let her stew for a bit. Horrible as this is at least now you know what you're up against. Time to start documenting absolutely everything and making sure you keep pushing them to take you seriously. I'd have thought EWO involvement would actually be rather beneficial so hopefully this will work to your advantage.

IthinkIamsinking Wed 20-Apr-16 18:21:00

You need to get medical evidence or you will be referred to the EWO once they start logging any absence as unauthorised. You may also find yourself being issued with a fixed penalty notice. You need a letter from your GP stating the medical problems and any diagnosis and treatment. Calling in is not enough.

ModernContinental Wed 20-Apr-16 18:23:51

Have you considered home education or flexi schooling for your daughter? Some children thrive much better when not subjected to teachers like that, in schools like that... grin

I personally would not pretend to believe the teachers explanation behind the e-mail.

purplevase Wed 20-Apr-16 18:23:55

I don't think it matters who that email was about, it was very unprofessional even if it was about revision sessions and someone else. The teacher concerned needs a lesson in the obligations under the Data Protection Act. If someone made a subject access request they'd be very interested in those sorts of emails. I didn't think professionals were stupid enough to send them.

You could reply and say you understand it was an error but you found it deeply distressing in any event as you feel your daughter's mental health issues are not understood etc etc.

VimFuego101 Wed 20-Apr-16 18:28:18

She's probably crapping herself now, I wouldn't reply to anything to today, let her worry about what you're going to do next! And as a previous poster said, even if it was intended for someone else it wasn't she needs to be more careful, so that she doesn't inadvertently forward personal information about a pupil to another family.

Kariana Wed 20-Apr-16 18:31:46

It's obviously an excuse rather than a genuine mistake but for now I might be inclined to not make too much fuss. I would reply saying that you don't see how it could have been a mistake but that you are prepared to give the benefit of the doubt as you are sure it's obvious that you would not be making excuses about such a serious issue as your daughter's health. Insist on a meeting with her and HoY straight away to explain the issues more fully. She might be more receptive once she knows she's made a terrible and embarrassing mistake. I would also want a meeting with the school's equivalent of a learning mentor in order to talk about what provision they are making for your DD's health issues in school and how this will effect her school work.

Smartiepants79 Wed 20-Apr-16 18:32:29

None of you know for definite that this was about the op! It might have been but....

getyourfingeroutyournose Wed 20-Apr-16 18:32:56

There's no way that email was appropriate regardless of which mum it was about. It is fair as well for you to assume she meant to forward your email with that sentence to someone else and accidentally sent it back to you.
This needs addressing for the sake of your daughters mental health. They clearly don't understand what she is going through and need to realise what they are doing wrong.

IthinkIamsinking Wed 20-Apr-16 18:50:03

She's probably crapping herself now, I wouldn't reply to anything to today, let her worry about what you're going to do next!

Oh FFS.... and what would that achieve exactly?? hmm
Clearly the teacher involved has messed up..... who hasn't!!!!!!
These things happen from time to time..... no, of course nobody wants to see something like that but where email is concerned there is always the risk that someone somewhere is going to end up being copied into an email in error.

corythatwas Wed 20-Apr-16 18:59:37

IthinkIamsinking Wed 20-Apr-16 18:50:03

"She's probably crapping herself now, I wouldn't reply to anything to today, let her worry about what you're going to do next!

Oh FFS.... and what would that achieve exactly?? hmm
Clearly the teacher involved has messed up..... who hasn't!!!!!!
These things happen from time to time..... no, of course nobody wants to see something like that but where email is concerned there is always the risk that someone somewhere is going to end up being copied into an email in error."

No, they do not. In that kind of job you do not express yourself in such an unprofessional manner in an email. You just don't. Can't imagine my line manager reading an email like this from me without hitting the ceiling, and that's without it going astray. I never write of a student or colleague in such a disrespectful way, regardless of what I may think privately.

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