AIBU to expect school to agree(14 Posts)
My dd has just been subjected to a second bout of bullying by same girl in her tutor group, she is in Y7. It was very serious in my eyes as she got several over pupils involved in the bullying and it was caught on cctv and witnessed by a teacher. The girl received sanctions and her parents were informed. Guidance manager also said they had concerns about the girl, I don't know if I was meant to be told that!
I want dd moved to another group, but school refuses saying that IF any more bullying happens senior management will deal with the girl.
Bit of background, dd was diagnosed with PTSD two years ago after witnessing attempted suicide of her father.
This has left her with anxiety and depression, she has received lots of counselling.
My dd is very anxious about going in as nobody in the class is speaking to her, including two of her closest friends.
I have kept her off school since last Thursday as she is crying about going in and I am not prepared to force her.
I had meeting with assistant head on Tuesday where my request for tutor move was refused. He also said dd was too sensitive and I felt that he was implying that she had the problem and that the bullying was all dealt with and she needs to go back in and get on with it.
Last night dd ended up in bed with me at 3am in a very upset state. She had bad insomnia for many months after witnessing the suicide attempt and I am now concerned that is kicking off again.
School have informed me that the will not authorise her a sense.
She is working at home with work some of her teachers have sent us.
I have a meeting with the head tomorrow, but I have a bad feeling it won't go as I want it too.
Will not authorise absence from school
Spoke to doctor on Monday to ask for one, but she said the issue was between the school and me and wouldn't do one.
Did the doctor see your DD and talk to her alone? If not, take her back and encourage her to talk about what is going on - maybe seeing a different doctor.
Get a copy of the bullying policy and go through it step by step asking the school what they have done to comply with it, and to keep your dd safe. Emphasise that crossing fingers and hoping it won't happen again is not an option, and that anyway your dd shouldn't have to encounter the bullies all day every day.
Get a copy of the school's anti-bullying policy and also their complaints policy.
I know it's really hard to stay calm and not get overly emotional in meetings about these issues but I find that having a plan of what you want to cover in the meeting and an idea of possible acceptable outcomes helps to keep you in control of them. I'd write a plan something along the lines of:
Aim- to identify actions to be taken so that DD is happy to return to school, to minimise the likelihood that bulling will take place and to ensure that DD knows how it will be managed if it does.
Items to discuss:
1. School's steps so far- Headteacher to explain exactly how the anti-bullying policy has been implemented (eg what has been done so far, how they have monitored the effectiveness of what they have done etc).
2. Remind school of DD's PTSD- explain what this means and why it might make her more anxious than other children. This is not her being 'oversensitive' or needing to 'toughen up' but a medical reason why she will find bullying even more traumatic than other children and needs to be treated sensitively.
3. My request for DD to move tutor groups- why this has been suggested and school to explain why this is not possible. Even if the school believe that this is not necessary if it would make DD feel better why can it not be arranged?
4. School's suggested solution to getting DD happily back in to class.
5. Next steps- These should be steps that you are happy with to get DD back to class and deal with the bully and an agreed time for school to review how this is working. Need to reference this to the anti-bullying policy. If you don't agree with the next steps you need to refer to the complaints policy to take this up with the next level of governance (usually school governors).
I would go to the meeting with the plan and a note book- notes you make will be useful if you need to complain to the next level. The plan will also help avoid the head taking the meeting off on a tangent (eg focussing on whether you should have kept DD off school), as well as making it clear that you mean business.
Good luck. And remember however frustrating this gets try to keep calm. I have had to get rather 'firm' in discussions with schools and am convinced that I got what I wanted using a business like approach when others with similar grievances that screamed and shouted were easy to dismiss as unreasonable parents.
Good stock phrases are:
what are the options? (usually theyve already decided whats best)
I'm not happy with that.
DO they know that she has PTSD? Do they know what that means and how it affects her in her daily life?
Get a written record of everything - even if just an email exchanged afterwards to 'just confirm what we discussed'.
Ignore the unauthorised absence nonsense. Short term worst case scenario is the education welfare officer becomes involved and they can be your ally.
Oh and if you have a formal medical diagnosis of PTSD ask the school adjustment is being made for her (and why a tutor group move is not considered a reasonable adjustment).
And ask how you would go about contacting the chair of governors.
dammit I type faster than I think (or vice versa) - meant to say ask what reasonable adjustment is being made for the PTSD
Could also ask how the schools safeguarding policy was being applied in this instance.
Thank you all for your help.
I have downloaded schools anti bully policy and will be doing some prep tonight.
In my view not unauthorised it's sickness. Just like adults can be off sick from work with mental health issues, so can children.
She has a serious medical history of ptsd, depression and anxiety, plus insomnia. These are currently being made worse by bullying and by the schools failure to address it.
Regardless of whether school thinks it's necessary, if it will make your daughter happier to go to school and give her s fresh start then they should seriously consider her moving tutor groups. They're letting her down at the moment.
I'm surprised at the doc being unsupportive. I'm shocked at how the school aren't helping your DD.
Others have given great advice, I hope the school see sense. If they don't, is moving school an option?
The tutor group I want her to go into is one where there are three friends from her primary school, these girls were very supportive at the time of her father's illness.
The assistant heads refusal was because:
he felt she might become dependant on them.
The group is already girl heavy.
The tutor is a PE teacher and not always in his classroom apart from tutor time!
I am going to try to get a doctors appointment, but trying to get one with who I would like to see as he is usually very understanding is difficult ( at least 2 week wait)
Have phoned other schools but they all had 15 plus on waiting lists.
I am so upset that they won't move her, she is very hardworking and never been in trouble. I just want her to enjoy school and not be in fear of it.
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