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To expect to have direct contact with peripatetic music teacher?

(15 Posts)
semideponent Thu 17-Nov-16 14:55:17

Help me, Mumsnet! Dd has started weekly boarding at a school that, in all other respects, is an absolute winner.

However, I've just tried to get in touch with Dd's instrumental teacher, by sending an email to the music dept asking for contact details. I've been fobbed off - apparently it isn't their policy to give out instrumental teachers' private email addresses (or contact details of any sort) to parents.

I've never come across this before. Have you? As I see it, even if the school plays middleman, I'm still the person paying the teacher! That said, the go-between who responded from the music dept is being prompt, helpful and responsive, judging by two subsequent emails. Nevertheless, it's not something I've encountered at any other school.

Is this the way it is at other schools? Enlighten me, so I don't send off a firecracker email and embarrass myself!

Meanwhile, I have thanked the go-between for her efforts and sent a polite list of questions. The first was about whether there was a scheduled opportunity to meet the teacher. The second was about when I should expect to get direct feedback from her. The third (and subsequent) were direct questions about what Dd was doing/should do.

LIZS Thu 17-Nov-16 15:01:49

Isn't it data protection not to pass on details without express permission. Peri teachers don't usually have school email addresses. Can't your DC ask them to get in touch.

Nanny0gg Thu 17-Nov-16 15:03:40

Surely HOD for music should be contacting you?

elsiemarleysellsthebarley Thu 17-Nov-16 15:10:52

I am a peripatetic music teacher for a music service, but don't work in private schools. We have a work email address that's given out to parents. If a phone call is needed parents give me their number. Some schools pay me to go to parents' evening. Day to day queries are sorted out in pupil music diaries - does yr DD have one of those? I try to have a chat after concerts as well. I agree it would be easier if you could email them directly. The only thing I can think of is that they've had problems in the past with parents over-emailing, taking up a disproportionate amount of a teacher's time, and want to monitor all communications?!

semideponent Thu 17-Nov-16 15:42:26

Thank you for responses…Lizs, yes, Dd has asked but nothing has actually been written down. I don't want to put her in a difficult position.

Nanny, HOD has been out sick, second in command has responded (as I said, promptly, but still as go-between). It would be a million times easier to talk to the teacher herself and I don't understand why - if I'm footing the bill - I can't. I'm not horrid, or rude, or unreasonable (hence my enquiries here about the norm at other schools). Nor are most of the other parents.

Elsie, you may be right…I am hoping they will make an exception in this case smile I know I'll get a chance to give feedback on the running of the school at some point, I just want to give them a chance to fix the problems we encounter before I end up complaining as a last resort!

DanicaJones Thu 17-Nov-16 15:47:31

I asked the school for ds's clarinet teacher's email address last week. Just to sort out when his next lesson would be as ds was off sick. She phoned and then gave me her private mobile number. I notice that she phoned from a private number, so perhaps only gave it out when I seemed ok on the phone! Didn't want to give out her email. Maybe she was worried i might be a nutter who constantly sent lengthy emails. (I'm not. grin)

Tastesjustlikecherrycola85 Thu 17-Nov-16 15:47:57

Does your child have a practice log book? - maybe you could write a note with your number asking for the peri to contact you directly?

Witchend Thu 17-Nov-16 15:56:20

My dc have had various music teachers both in and out of school through primary and secondary.
It varies on the teacher how much contact we've had, but the only one I've had email contact with was... um... unhelpful in her communication to say the least.
I've always sent them with a notebook so things can be written down, and generally that's done.
But once they're at secondary school I rely on them to pass things backward and forward between us anyway.

Rather than ask for the contact details though, I would have probably written an email and asked for it to be forwarded.

golfbuggy Thu 17-Nov-16 15:59:48

We're not allowed to email any teacher at DS's school directly - all have to go through the office. I believe this was because of "some parents" previously taking the direct emailing thing too far.

That said, we send DS's music teacher so many emails, he gave us his email address to contact him directly anyway!

ElizaSchuyler Thu 17-Nov-16 16:53:33

It's not usual in ds's private (day) school or dd's private (boarding) school.

At ds's school the teacher bills me direct, he phones & texts. At dd's school I am billed by the school & the teachers email from their non school but private teaching emails.

Trifleorbust Thu 17-Nov-16 17:46:08

You're not entitled to the teacher's private email address. Who are you actually paying? The teacher or the school? If the school, it isn't a right to meet with an independent contractor who isn't actually an employee of yours, but of theirs. YABU.

ElizaSchuyler Thu 17-Nov-16 18:19:53

I would say that it is a right to meet or communicate with any teacher employed by the school in the same way as you would expect to be able to consult with your child's English or geography teacher. Their availability will of course be much more limited but all peripatetic teachers should at least either have an official school email address or a business email address.

My husband had a local authority one when he was employed directly by them & a private teaching one he used for when he was independently contracted.

Any school that cuts off the line of communication isn't worth it.

Trifleorbust Thu 17-Nov-16 18:27:07

It's not actually a right to meet with your child's teacher. Teachers have a responsibility to communicate with parents but that is very broadly defined. It can mean being in receipt of an annual report on your child's progress. Some schools insist that all communication goes through the office because parents can be so demanding on a teacher's time.

IminaPickle Thu 17-Nov-16 18:30:36

hmm
I wish dc's teacher didn't have my details and reminded him directly when his lesson was and bollocked him directly for missing it They don't have pupil's numbers for data protection/ safeguarding.

JunosRevenge Thu 17-Nov-16 18:59:06

YABU in this instance. Peri instructors work for the school, not for individual parents. A lot of instructors are not given school email addresses.

If you want a direct line to the instructor, you need to organise private lessons directly with an instrumental instructor.

HTH

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