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AIBU to think school should not be giving DD detention when she is off sick?

(28 Posts)
DeadZed Wed 08-Feb-17 20:51:20

We have had issues with school and their poor admin system last year. I have two dd's at high school. Last year one dd was given extra detention for missing a lunchtime detention. Except she had been to the lunchtime detention. We complained, eventually received a kind of apology but little explanation as to why. A couple of other similar incidences, again regarding both dd's being given unwarranted detentions. Another complaint, another apology, things seem to have been okay for the last three months.

Until yesterday. DD1 has been off school Mon, Tue and Wed due to illness this week. Each morning I leave a message on the "absence line" reporting her absence and the reason. Tuesday I get a text asking me where dd is. I reply explaining I had left a message as normal. Later the same day I receive another text stating that DD has an after school detention. No reason given. So I phone school, speak to the receptionist. She has a look on the system and says the detention is for not handing in maths homework yesterday. I explain that DD is not in school and do they know that. She wasn't sure?? But made a note regarding dd's absence and that she won't be attending detention.

I email the head of year and explain, ask him to please find out where the problem is. DD shows me her school diary, no homework is missing, and the pieces she has at home are due in later this week.

This morning HoY phones me and says all he can find out is that the detention was given regarding some outstanding homework. It was on the system but had been removed this morning before he could investigate any further.

It just seems like their admin system is rubbish. AIBU to expect better? It is confusing at best and unfair at worst. DD2 has sat through undeserved detentions last year with no apology to her or even a real explanation.

When we had our last meeting with the Head he seemed to imply that in a school mistakes will be made and we should just suck it up. I wonder how many mistakes do we have to go through?

TheresABluebirdOnMyShoulder Wed 08-Feb-17 20:53:21

I'd be more concerned with the fact that they don't seem to know where all the students are at any given time. Suppose somebody went missing on their way to school, would they know?

LilacPeony Wed 08-Feb-17 20:56:47

Sounds a bit crap. What were the other unwarranted/undeserved detentions you mentioned for?

DeadZed Wed 08-Feb-17 21:02:13

The other detentions were for being late. For a period of three months there was some roadworks on the bus route which caused tail backs. We agreed with school that as it was not my DD's fault they should not be penalised for being late as long as I let school know. I think they had three detentions and on the opposite end I have had texts informing me that dd has detention when she hadn't too!

Tbh I just wanted to get a measure of how much leeway we allow for mistakes in the admin system and whether other people have similar experiences or it is just this school being a bit crap.

idgafwhatyouthink Wed 08-Feb-17 21:04:23

imo yanbu, the school admin system sounds shit. As the second poster put Suppose somebody went missing on their way to school, would they know?

LilacPeony Wed 08-Feb-17 21:08:51

No I've not heard of this at dd's comp. They do give out detentions of course but for things where they'd know to expect them like hwk not done etc, not accidental ones due to an admin error or ones for things that are beyond their control.

DeadZed Wed 08-Feb-17 22:03:35

I don't whether to complain properly again or leave it for now. It is scary when they can't even get a basic thing right like the attendance register.

buttercup54321 Wed 08-Feb-17 22:14:29

I would complain to the board of governors!!

happyvalley4 Wed 08-Feb-17 22:25:51

That sounds terrible, OP! In all admin jobs, schools and otherwise, the job has to be done right. If they keep cocking it up you must keep complaining. It sounds like whoever does their admin needs sacking!

Boiing Wed 08-Feb-17 22:41:31

Definitely take it further - to the governors if head isn't sorting it and to Ofsted if governors are rubbish. It is not acceptable - or safe - for the school to have no idea where its pupils are.

Also, the school is legally obliged to give you 24 hrs written notice of detention - education act 1997, section 5. They are also obliged to ensure that the detention is reasonable.

diamondsforapril Wed 08-Feb-17 22:43:46

Boiing that isn't the case any more.

I'm not saying I agree with it but I don't think that's the case since 2012

Detention for one missed homework is so petty anyway.

LilacPeony Wed 08-Feb-17 22:46:37

I've got a feeling the law on that has changed now boiing. Could be wrong, thought I'd read it had on mumsnet.

noblegiraffe Wed 08-Feb-17 22:47:13

No, schools aren't required to give 24 hours notice any more, not since 2012.

I'm guessing a maths teacher went down his markbook, went on the detention system and issued a detention for every kid who had missing homework. Later they realised they'd ballsed up and not checked absences, then went back and changed it. That's a minor issue and now all sorted.

DeadZed Thu 09-Feb-17 06:56:04

Noble I get that it is a mistake and all sorted now. But my issue is that we seem to have suffered more than our fair share of mistakes. One incident did lead to us complaining to the board of governors because we felt that school (and the head in particular ) was not listening.

Trifleorbust Thu 09-Feb-17 07:10:42

noblegiraffe: I think that is exactly what has happened. Simple error. All the daughter needs to do is speak to the teacher.

Gileswithachainsaw Thu 09-Feb-17 07:19:29

They sound very trigger happy with detentions.

I'm sure it's not the case however it all seems a bit...well... as if they keep seeking her out to give detentions too.

It's all appalling hey have no idea where kids are at any time and that they care more about handing out detentions than actually finding out anything

noblegiraffe Thu 09-Feb-17 07:26:59

But you're complaining about a 'poor admin system.' A teacher issuing detentions for missing homework isn't part of an admin system, it's just an individual who made a mistake and these things happen. Unless it's the exact same person who issued the incorrect detentions previously for lateness, and the other incorrect detentions, then there is really no point in kicking off as the teacher will just think you're overreacting to a simple mistake which has been fixed.

Girlwiththearabstrap Thu 09-Feb-17 07:31:31

In my school all teachers complete electronic registers. Parents receive a text or call asking about absence if the absence is marked without reason. Sounds like either the office staff haven't updated the absence as self certified, or a teacher hasn't completed the register so it's showing up as a question mark. I think it's fair enough to complain about attendance being recorded wrongly, but as far as the rest of it goes... I don't know. How old is your daughter? I'm maybe being unreasonable here but I probably wouldn't be phoning the school every 5 minutes about detentions for a secondary school child. They're generally capable of speaking to a teacher or head of year themselves.

diamondsforapril Thu 09-Feb-17 07:54:24

But giraffe, you'd tell the child she had a detention first and then it would be a frantic squawk of 'but Sir, I wasn't iiiiin!'

sashh Thu 09-Feb-17 07:56:51

It just seems like their admin system is rubbish. AIBU to expect better?

Depends on the system (SIMS is hated by anyone who has used it) and the detention.

Some schools have 'work detention' where students are expected to complete missing homework but the subject teacher is expected to be there to help.

If dd has missed something and a couple of students are going to have some teaching on the subject in the detention then it's quite a good idea for dd to attend, not because she deserves a detention but because the teacher is going over something she missed.

ADayGivingMeHope Thu 09-Feb-17 08:29:01

In a school mistakes will be made ...
WTAF, does the head seriously think it's ok to think that let alone say it?

There's so many examples here that I'm not even going to launch into it. But I would be fuming here! You don't make mistakes with my children, especially not careless mistakes!

I'd be insisting that my DC don't have any more detentions and tell them not to attend any and if there is an issue then the school are to phone you and discuss it since they seem pretty incapable and incompetent.

noblegiraffe Thu 09-Feb-17 08:44:36

You don't make mistakes with my children, especially not careless mistakes!

Get a grip. Seriously.

I used to work in the pharmaceutical industry in clinical trials that involved entering vast amounts of patient data onto databases. It was allowed to have up to 10% errors in non-critical data (critical data had to be 100% clean), because it was accepted that people are human and errors are made. And that was on a system where data was blind-double entered.

So to demand that the school makes zero errors ever when entering detention data is ridiculous. Mistakes will happen.

noblegiraffe Thu 09-Feb-17 09:02:02

That should be 5% errors in a 10% sample, btw, I made a mistake because I was so annoyed wink

Why is this student sitting through detentions that she shouldn't have anyway? The usual failsafe is the kid going 'hang on, I wasn't in/had a note/whatever'.

DeadZed Thu 09-Feb-17 09:28:52

noble I think my dd's had tried to explain but because the system had them down as needing to go to detention then they were expected to. I think my girls are too polite to continue to argue with a teacher.

Tbh I am not expecting perfection here. I just want to know what is reasonable in regards to what is acceptable and I wondered how other parents and schools performed. I am not going to pursue this mistake any further but DD has gone in late today so I am wondering what will happen.

DH is more angry than I am - he is talking about changing schools. This is the last thing we want to do but it is an uncomfortable feeling when you are doubting your child is safe and being looked after.

Trifleorbust Thu 09-Feb-17 09:29:00

You don't make mistakes with my children, especially not careless mistakes!

We do, though.

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