To Question a School Meeting request in the Holidays?

(24 Posts)
NoobThebrave Thu 28-Jul-16 10:23:29

(After a term of trying to resolve bullying issues at my DS's school without much success) I have just been invited to meet the head in the holidays to discuss a (serious) incident. Before I accept.... I can't decide if this a busy head making time for DS and hoping he returns feeling it is important and being resolved OR does having a meeting in the holidays somehow drop it below official and therefore no record has to be kept? Feeling cynical but seems a bit odd! 🤔

TheFallenMadonna Thu 28-Jul-16 10:24:49

It doesn't make it unofficial.

Haggisfish Thu 28-Jul-16 10:25:31

I would go.

Blu Thu 28-Jul-16 10:28:05

The Head is always the Head, and many teachers and Heads work out of school term time.
It is presumably a working week / day for the Head.

EskSmith Thu 28-Jul-16 10:28:06

Remember the head is giving up their holiday for this. Almost certainly as they feel it is too important trait 6 weeks and want the children to return in September with strategies and a robust plan in place. The meeting will be official - it being holiday time doesn't get rid of this requirement but if you are concerned I strongly suggest that you take notes and confirm in writing.

Cutecat78 Thu 28-Jul-16 10:30:09

Sounds like a good head to me.

ShipwreckedAndComatose Thu 28-Jul-16 10:32:14

A Head would still be working in the holidays. It's legit and definitely worth doing to help a good start next term

Longlost10 Thu 28-Jul-16 10:35:07

does having a meeting in the holidays somehow drop it below official and therefore no record has to be kept?

What a bizarre reaction. School holidays means that most children have no compulsory lessons, it doesn't mean the school stops functioning or that staff stop working.

EveOnline2016 Thu 28-Jul-16 10:35:54

I would go. Perhaps your DC will start enjoying the holidays instead of dreading every day going back to school.

It will be official as many teachers are still working

TheFallenMadonna Thu 28-Jul-16 10:37:44

SLT in schools (Heads, deputies, assistant heads) don't have the same holidays as teachers.

AliceTheCamelHasNoHumps Thu 28-Jul-16 10:39:10

How soon before the end of term was the serious incident? If it was quite close then I Would take it as a good sign - schools get pretty manic towards the end of the year and there may not have been adequate opportunity to address it. If the Head is willing to give up some of the school holidays to meet with you I definitely think you should go.

NoobThebrave Thu 28-Jul-16 10:40:14

Thanks for replies, I know SMT work throughout and hope it is a good head thing...and will of course go as the last year has been quite hidious (and we are close to moving DS) Just testing my cynical radar as head has history of ineffectiveness in many areas

M0nstersinthecl0set Thu 28-Jul-16 10:41:36

It would be official. But I'd be concerned that a meeting about a serious incident was held more than a day (or two) after the event. They've not placed a priority on it.

NoobThebrave Thu 28-Jul-16 10:45:36

Long lost - it was the wording I think of the email that made it sound odd. There is much history but am aware that many teachers, head of years, SMT etc keep working. Can't really share email but it mentioned 'informal' too many times and just had an odd feel.

cricketballs Thu 28-Jul-16 10:50:12

M0nster "It would be official. But I'd be concerned that a meeting about a serious incident was held more than a day (or two) after the event. They've not placed a priority on it." or the head/SLT had already booked a holiday for the first week and this was the first time they could deal with the incident

ShipwreckedAndComatose Thu 28-Jul-16 10:55:59

Umm, your concerns come from prior experience of the SLT and wording of the email rather than the timing of the meeting. That seems more understandable to me

LoreleiGilmoreIsMyBFF Thu 28-Jul-16 10:56:15

Could you take someone with you? I understand your concern over the use of the word 'informal' especially as it was repeated, and it would make me slightly paranoid, but it might also refer to the fact that they won't be able to have other staff attending/taking notes etc.

youarenotkiddingme Thu 28-Jul-16 11:12:14

Take pen and paper. Before talking ask for HT email so you can email to confirm the things discussed and agreed so your able to ensure you are all singing from same hymn sheet and able to support DS better.

That makes it clear you see this as something needing sorting rather than just an informal chat over an upset DS.

What I will say thoigh is if you think the school is ineffective in bullying and considering moving then id follow your instincts. Ive also spent a year trying to get recognition for my DS - have taken a lot of words and no action from school. When the child pulled a knife on DS they were worse than useless and protected themselves not DS. There comes a point you have to realise sometimes others won't do what's right and all the meetings in the world won't make them.

Schwabischeweihnachtskanne Thu 28-Jul-16 11:21:11

The word informal might be the worry, rather than it being in the holidays.

From another angle when I was a teacher and requested a formal meeting with the head of my secondary to request reducing my hours to part time when returning after maternity leave he said all the right things about valuing me as a teacher, supporting a work life balance and female teachers returning to work etc. and doing all they could to come to a mutually beneficial arrangement. Then he called me over in the corridor later the same day and told me "just informally and unofficially" that he disapproved of part timers as they are not fully focussed on the job and the school and it is a time tabling headache. He went on to elaborate that his teacher wife had given up work to bring up their children (and his prize statement was "I know it can be hard to lose the income, I had to give up buying pipe tobacco, but it was the right thing")

Informal meetings can be undocumented without witnesses and a chance to say things which do not follow official policies...

However as you have been invited by email you have written evidence the meeting is taking place, so it is an official informal meeting grin - cover your back by taking somebody else along too who brings out a note pad to "informally record key points so we don't forget anything", and then email a summary back to the head after the meeting, and you should be able to keep the "informal" meeting official rather than some off the record bullying.

WilliamScottsOrange Thu 28-Jul-16 11:29:44

Write notes. Tell him that what you are doing and explain it's so that you have a record of whats said. You can always email a copy of the notes to him to formalise things

LoreleiGilmoreIsMyBFF Thu 28-Jul-16 11:39:15

schwab ( now that's a username, and possibly why I flunked my German GCSE!). I agree - it's the semantics of informal/unofficial that would concern me. I would definitely suggest taking someone else (personally, I'd be inclined to take a tape recorder, but can also see it might be regarded as a bit OTT!)

GoblinLittleOwl Thu 28-Jul-16 11:50:49

It means that the Head, and possibly other staff, will give up time from their holidays to discuss matters concerning your son, without fear of interruption or timetable restrictions that occur within a normal busy school day. I find your attitude astonishing.

youshouldcancelthecheque Thu 28-Jul-16 11:54:24

Just go to the meeting. See what they have to say.

Our friend is a deputy head and is in work a lot over the summer.

JudyCoolibar Thu 28-Jul-16 12:09:51

I think it's a welcome development: having the meeting out of termtime should mean that it' not too rushed and there's little danger of interruption by any crisis. However, I would strongly suggest that you take someone with you who can take notes, and that you type them up afterwards and send a copy to the head. Also I would suggest going there with an Agenda which should include on it precisely what the plan is for next term to keep your child safe. Also it could make sense to ask him to pencil in another meeting around two or three weeks after the beginning of term so that you can all review how it's going.

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