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Our daughter has to wear a hat at school, is this right? (No hair)

(178 Posts)
Georgeson Sun 10-Jul-16 23:09:45


I have no idea what I'm doing. I just went to the bottom of the page, found 'Popular Talk Forums' and clicked on here! Please tell me if I'm in the wrong place. I have just signed up.

Our daughter is in Year 2, she attends an Infant School. She has Osteosarcoma, so has been in and out of hospital. There is no need to go through her whole story, but she is currently having chemotherapy. She has already done chemo, for 10 weeks, and had surgery. We are (hopefully, fingers crossed) battling through the final year of treatment. She has spent a lot of time as an inpatient, but will hopefully have most of this chemo while going in as an outpatient, if that makes sense?

She will be moving up to a Junior School in September, but we are deciding to move, just so we can be closer to our preferred hospital (her treatment couldn't be there full-time, due to the distance) so things will just be easier for her, and us! Our son will be starting school then too, so we have found a great Primary School. We had to go in for a meeting (as she was joining the school in one of their not very common entry points (can't think of the word!)) and it was also a good time for us to talk about her needs.

She will be attending school, like any normal child, but will not be in for 2 afternoons, she may also miss an extra day each month (for other regular checks). This lady wasn't happy... I wasn't keen on her attitude, to be honest. Making subtle digs like "we like our attendance to be the best it can be" and "she'll have to leave at lunchtime, so lessons don't get disturbed". She didn't sound happy at all.

To be honest, I didn't even bring up about her hair, assuming it wouldn't be an issue at all. Her Infant School is really understanding and teaches the children, so they understand, etc.

She specifically handed me a sheet of paper with their hair policy on it. I don't know if that was trying to tell me something or what, it was just odd that it was just that on the bit of paper. I then mentioned that she likes to wear headbands, that are colourful. I was going on to explain that I know bright headbands might not be allowed, but she interrupts me and goes on to explain how "a school cap will be sufficient"... I didn't even get a chance to answer to that, as she moves on to talk about other aspects of the school.

I really don't think she handed any of it sensitively. Her class teacher is absolutely lovely though, really sweet.

I'm just wondering if this is something she has to follow? What will happen if she doesn't wear the school hat? These are the school summer caps, by the way. I never in a million years thought this would be an issue. Is there anyway that I can get her excused from these hair rules?

I know this is a bit of a long shot posting here, as I'm not sure how many people will have gone through the same thing, so I might not get any advice... It's worth a try though!

Thank you in advance,


HooseRice Sun 10-Jul-16 23:11:13

Does your DD have to go to that school?

DrownedGirl Sun 10-Jul-16 23:12:57

Is this a state school?

Littlefish Sun 10-Jul-16 23:14:29

The headteacher is being an absolute arse! At my school, your dd would be welcome to wear whatever she likes on her head due to her treatment.

Check the school prospectus and see what it says. Some schools do insist on hair bands and bobbles being in the school colours.

If you think the Head is not going to be understanding, then I would strongly consider looking for another school. You just don't need the extra stress.

DrownedGirl Sun 10-Jul-16 23:15:10

Schools are now required by law to have a medical care policy.

Ask for a meeting 'with the school
Nurse' to discuss support for your child

This might help also

Dairybanrion Sun 10-Jul-16 23:15:29

Zero empathy for a child dealing with so much. So cruel.
I hope your child is receiving the best treatment.
Sorry no help otherwise

yummumto3girls Sun 10-Jul-16 23:15:56

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

DrownedGirl Sun 10-Jul-16 23:16:07

navylily Sun 10-Jul-16 23:17:47

Do all the children have to wear the school cap?

If so, I guess she'll have to too (maybe on top of a nice hair band?)

If not, it's way out of order to suggest that your daughter does just because she has no hairshock Was the woman your spoke with the head? If not, I'd ask to speak to the head.

The class teacher will be the most important person though.

Canvas Sun 10-Jul-16 23:18:25

This was handled really badly by the school.

If it were me, I would email the head, stating what you believe she told you and asking for confirmation. Then her response will either settle your concerns or give you something concrete to rally against.

All the best for your little girl's treatment. I know I don't need to tell you this, but she is so much more important than school rules. Don't let it stress you out too much, but do try to get the right outcome if you can.

ineedamoreadultieradult Sun 10-Jul-16 23:18:43

Did it mention this on the written policy? If not she can presumably wear what she likes as long as it fits normal uniform rules. I would speak to her teacher if you want them to give the class a briefing (for want of a better word) about your DD's condition.

Georgeson Sun 10-Jul-16 23:20:33

Thank you ever so much for all these answers!

She doesn't have to go to this school, but I'm not sure if it's too late to change? Our son will be going there too. The school is really nice, lots of nice facilities, etc. I just never knew the head would be so insensitive.

Yes, it's a state school. Thank you for all the links, I'll have a good read.

No, it's the school's summer cap. It isn't something the children wear day-to-day. Which is why I was so shocked.

nancy75 Sun 10-Jul-16 23:21:46

As a family you have obviously been through enough crap already, give yourself a break and find a school where the people are kind, evening mentioning the attendance at this point is a big warning sign

Mov1ngOn Sun 10-Jul-16 23:22:04

I assume a state school would be more inclusive.

Sorry this happened sad

SalemsLott Sun 10-Jul-16 23:22:32

Christ what a bitch sad

threestars Sun 10-Jul-16 23:22:59

Sorry that the school representative was so shoddy in her treatment. I'm shocked, but not surprised IYSWIM, somebody would moan about attendance records in such a situation. flowers

While I have not been through what your family has, I think that many times it's better not to ask about something you want, as it forces a decision to be made, but rather declare it instead. It sounds as if the school cap comment was off-hand, and if I were you, I'd continue with the headband, in whatever colour the school uniform is. If the topic is brought up again, re. the cap, you could tell them that caps are hot and itchy against her skin and would distract her from learning. Said with authority and confidence, it would take somebody incredibly insensitive to continue to complain.
Good luck.

nancy75 Sun 10-Jul-16 23:23:12

Facilities and a nice building won't make up for a nasty head teacher

Mov1ngOn Sun 10-Jul-16 23:23:18

Oh it is a state school! (cross posted) Ask to speak to the inclusion deputy head /whoever and mention it. That doesnt sound like a thought out response.

bobbinpop Sun 10-Jul-16 23:25:07

I'm so sorry you've had such a negative experience. I would be livid! I would look for a new school for both DC: good facilities mean so little compared with understanding and empathy, which I'm sure you'll find from most other educational professionals elsewhere!

lougle Sun 10-Jul-16 23:27:44

No, it's not normal. My niece had cancer when she was 5 and had chemo, so no hair, for a time. She wore one of about 10 different head coverings depending on her mood of the day, how hot it was and what she fancied.

Can you see if she can have the play staff do some board games with her during treatment, then school could put her absence down as 'educated off site' hmm

Aeroflotgirl Sun 10-Jul-16 23:29:26

How nasty and awful, your poor dd who has been through so much already. She nor ds woukd be going to a school with a nasty headteacher.

Aeroflotgirl Sun 10-Jul-16 23:30:59

I woukd also lodge a complaint about the HT to the givernors, LEA and Ofstead, unacceptable behaviour.

DPotter Sun 10-Jul-16 23:31:16

How awful of the school. Doesn't sound a great primary school to me, if they are belly-aching about a cancer survivor missing lessons for care and treatment. Was the lady you met with the headteacher ? <Attendance to be the best it can be> - I would imagine you would love nothing more in the world than a well child who doesn't need to attend hospital for heavy duty chemotherapy.

As for the hat, I'm torn between informing the school your DD will not be wearing a cap and just turning up cap-free on the first morning. I don't know about the situation with children, but adult friends of mine who have had chemo, sometimes wore soft floppy hats or scarves, not caps which would have rough seams and metal or plastic fittings.

Regarding the attendance 'issue' (which it shouldn't be, but I can't think of a better word), I would be tempted to put in writing the treatment plan of missing 2 afternoons + monthly check-ups and copy it to head, the chair of governors, the LA education dept and her consultant , so that if you do find you get a snotty letter about 'low' attendance, you can say - well I did inform you
I wish your DD and your family all the best for a speedy and complete recovery!

QueenArseClangers Sun 10-Jul-16 23:34:04

Fuck me!
So she basically said that she wanted your beautiful little girl to cover her head up cos she's lost her hair to chemo?!
Would she want a child in a wheelchair to be covered in a valance sheet too?
Def email to clarify what she said 💐

bumsexatthebingo Sun 10-Jul-16 23:35:08

If they insist on school colours for hair accessories then could you get her some pretty headbands made up in the school colours? I can't see how anyone could argue with that?

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