to storm out of school with my daughter this morning?(104 Posts)
(I have posted this in primary education too, hope that's OK)
My 8-year-old daughter is unhappy at school and I don't feel the school are offering the necessary support. After a short meeting with the 'parent liaison officer (PLO)', I said I would take her home as I wasn't happy with how the school were dealing with the situation. I am going in to meet her teacher later and I would like some advice/insight about what I should say/request/expect. I don't like being a difficult parent but I feel I have to do something to help my daughter as she is so unhappy.
Backstory - my daughter has had issues all the way through school and I would describe her as complicated. I have generally gone for the tough love option and pushed her in to school crying/screaming/sobbing on occasion. Last year she had a very unsettled year with 4 supply teachers over the year. Towards the end of the year, we arranged a meeting with the school to discuss how unhappy she was. The school was receptive, and the PLO talked to our daughter twice and moved a boy who was 'annoying' her. She seemed happier and enjoyed her meetings with the PLO. The PLO then stopped the meetings after about 2 weeks, as she thought the situation was resolved and said my daughter should just go knock on her door if she wanted to talk to her again - which I know she will not do, and I told her so. At the start of this term, she has a new teacher, an NQT who seems very nice and my daughter likes her. She was seated next to the boy who annoys her again, which I raised with the PLO, and he has swapped with another boy - who used to call her names (she didn't tell me this last year) and he elbows her to make her work a mess. Now I realise the problem is possibly/probably with my daughter, and she does need to tell her teacher - but how do I get her the support that she needs? What if she won't tell the teacher? What should I expect from the school? What do other schools do? The PLO simply says she has to tell the teacher, but she won't. if she would, I'm sure we wouldn't be in this situation in the first place. I think she is very quiet at school and doesn't like to 'tell' on other people. At home she is not at all quiet, she is often moody and unhappy. She argues constantly with her younger sister who has a completely opposite character. She has friends on our street who she loves to play with and gets on well with them. I admit to finding her difficult to deal with myself, but she can be really lovely, especially when I spend time with her on her own. Any advice would be hugely appreciated.
I've no advice for your situation but at the same age my DD was bullied at school the school did nothing her teacher told her to sort her own problems out! So I removed her home educated her for 5 months then put her in a different school which she loved
Could you ask that she's seated on a desk by herself or do you think that might single her out? Have you asked her what she thinks might make it easiest on her? While I really sympathise, she sounds very sensitive & there are only so much resources to go round, so please be this in mind. Her teacher constantly checking on her takes time away from the rest of the students which isn't fair either. I hope you can find an adequate solution for all.
I think you need to be pushier with the PLO. Meetings stopped?
"DD won't tell the teacher if she's unhappy. What do you suggest?"
"Blah blah waffle waffle."
"I'm not happy with that. How is the school going to support DD?"
And so on and on and on!
Ask for her to be sat beside someone she likes and ask for a weekly conversation for her with the PLO until Christmas.
Don't storm out. That achieves nothing.
Have you tried role playing with her to give some ideas about what to say either to the children or to the teacher?
I would raise the issue of not asking for help with the class teacher. They should have some solutions - having a quick check in with her at the start of break or there might already be a system in class for exactly this. If no joy, escalate to head of year if need be.
Don't storm out.
They will make 'you' the problem then.
If she 'can't' tell the teacher if she is anxious/unhappy then that is not unique.
they should have strategies for dealing with a kid who is unhappy but struggles to verbalise it (lack of vocab/shyness/fear of being bullied re it).
My ds was once given some laminated cards (around the size of a credit card) to slip to his teacher if needed. they said 'can I have a word'.
Ok if the child can they say the issue, not so good if not.
PLO needs to spend more time with her if poss.
2 weeks was clearly working well but stopped too soon.
While not excusing the other stuff, it certainly sounds like your daughter has confidence issues.
Please don't storm out - it would achieve nothing at all for your her. Nor would putting her at a "desk" by herself, though these are all uniformly sized tables in primary schools, and given the size of the average class, there generally isn't the space for one child to have a whole table to him/herself.
I think another meeting is required and one of the things to be discussed should be some practical ideas about how to start improving her confidence and teach her some strategies for being more assertive. And it certainly shouldn't be too much of an ask for the teacher/TA to wander past a couple of times a session to see how things are going.
Ugh this child was me once. Im sure being put next to a misbehaving child is no coincidence. I think some teachers put 'restless' children next to a quiet one to act as some sort of babysitter. And that's not fair.
Maybe that's not what's going on here but it seems strange to me she jsut happens to have been seated next to the troublesome boy again when there are all these other children she could have been put next to.
It sounds easily resolved. Be clear on what you want to happen
Eg dd to sit next to any child except x,y,z.
Weekly meeting with pso.
Storming out never achieved anything
Can you not speak to the teacher at some point? Either make an appointment or catch them at the end of the day. It might help if the teacher has an awareness of how your daughter is feeling. YWBVU to storm out.
What about agreeing a sign that she can give the teacher if she is troubled / worried. Not something obvious but maybe she could put her ruler on her desk or drop a pen on the floor. That way, she is not telling tales in front of other pupils but she can signal her distress.
Has the teacher really got time to be watching out for signals from one child?
What was the first boy doing who was annoying her? Does she have a specific person she would like to sit next too?
A teacher doesn't have time to watch out for a ruler being out on a desk etc.
The teacher is new to teaching and the school, give her a chance, your dd likes her that's positive. Help the teacher to understand how your child can be supported
Thank you for all your advice. Hopefully I didn't exactly storm out - at the end of the meeting I said I would take her home rather than leave her as I wasn't happy with how the situation was being dealt with. The alternative would have been to peel her off me and leave her sobbing. It's quite out of character for me to make a statement like that so it felt like storming out! The class teacher has just called me and then put me on to the headteacher, so hopefully we will make some progress. I feel like they want to help, but they don't have solutions other than 'tell a teacher'. She gets called 'spesh kid' because of her meetings with the PLO by the two boys who she has been seated next to, and I think one of them wrote 'POO' in permanent marker pen in massive letters on the back of her school cardigan, although not 100% sure who did it. I didn't report that at the time. Urgh. I hate having to deal with this. I know schools have limited resources and I don't want to be 'that' parent, but I think I am going to have to be! She is very sensitive, shy and insecure - characteristics which I share to a lesser extent, but I was never so unhappy at school. I am going to try to take her in for the afternoon session, and have a meeting with the class teacher after school. I will take some suggestions from this thread with me, I really appreciate your advice and also just hearing from people who understand. Thanks again
Compile a file of the different incidents you have already reported to the school with dates, etc. This will help to illustrate it has been an ongoing problem.
Since you felt the PLO meetings helped, ask for them to be reinstated with a meeting in one month's time to reassess. Request that the PLO meetings cannot be stopped without your agreement.
If there are only two children who have been unpleasant to her then put in a request that she does not have to sit beside them in class, or be put near them in gym, assemblies, etc. If, alternatively, she has issues with more children then instead identify a child that she would like to sit beside and request that she is partnered with them.
After the meeting send an email/written record outlining the points that you agreed.
I wonder if you are not making enough of what is happening with your dd? I read your op and couldn't really understand why sitting by a couple of slightly annoying boys would be such an issue. Then I read your last post and it's clearly way more than that. I think if you're someone who is quite shy and doesn't like to make a fuss you end up making light of genuine problems. You absolutely should report the name calling and the writing on her Cardi. These boys aren't just annoying, they're picking on her.
If she's a bit shy, then of votes you will need to advocate on her behalf. With time she will gain confidence. She's still very young
She's being bullied. You need to start reporting these incidents of name calling and elbow nudging while she's writing and "annoying" (which is bullying by another name, really) and the destruction of her cardigan as bullying.
It sounds at the moment that the school (and maybe you to a lesser extent) see this as a problem with DD and her confidence/anxiety. Once you reframe it as bullying there's a clear path that the school needs to do down. Ask to see their anti bullying policy.
You were very foolish to storm out of school with your daughter; your words.
Term hasn't been running long, and your daughter has a teacher she likes.
It seems as though your daughter has little tolerance of situations she doesn't like, ie the boy who annoyed her, replaced by another who apparently annoys her as well.
You and your daughter have had your complaints listened to and acted upon promptly; it is time for you both to accept that everything cannot always be to your daughter's liking, and she has to show some tolerance towards others as well; she is also older now.
Listen to the PLO and also the class teacher, who both seem to be taking your daughter's problems seriously. She has to do what they suggest, which is speak to the teacher if they continue. She cannot expect them to divine what is happening, or rely on you to go in and sort everything out for her.
Possibly she needs to be referred to the Educational Psychologist to determine the underlying cause of her behaviour.
Those 2 boys are bullying your daughter, make sure the school are aware of every incident.
Also make sure your daughter can have access to the PLO without the rest of the class knowing.
Calling someone spesh kid and writing that on her clothes isn't on, the school needs to deal with this bullying firmly.
OP you may want to ask MN to change your heading because it doesn't sound as though you did storm out. You took your DD home because she was upset and you didn't have confidence in the school's ability to deal with the situation. It's perfectly fine to act the way that you have.
But whilst the heading is 'storm out' then you are going to get some posters focusing on that rather than the real issue which is that your DD is very unhappy at school, is being bullied and the school haven't dealt with it effectively.
It's not her responsibility to change. It's the school's responsibility to ensure she feels safe and listened to. They have a duty of care.
You seem to be the problem here OP. Maybe you should back off a bit and let the teachers do their jobs properly. If every parent was as over protective as you were, the education system would be in total array.
Honestly you are being ridiculous. Sometimes kids call each other names/annoy each other. Your DD should tell the teacher and they can deal with it. And why does the PLO need to have regular meetings with her? I'm sure she has a job to do as well. Storming out was OTT. If your daughter has SEN then get the school to deal with it. You can except half the staff to spend most of their day attending to your princess.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.