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to think DD shouldn't be marked absent when she was in the wrong classroom

(65 Posts)
MissingMySleep Wed 15-Feb-17 11:08:24

I might be wrong, but I noticed an "unauthorised absence" on my daughter's school record, so emailed the school to see what this was.

A few weeks ago she and her friend (they are 11) went to the library at lunchtime, which they are allowed to do. When the bell went, they tried to leave but the supply teacher coming into that room, shouted at them and told them to sit down, as she was convinced they were part of that class. The girls have no idea who this woman is. She would not listen to them when the said they were not part of that class. As year 7s they were not very ocnfident to speak up. After some time she was distracted so they nipped out and ran to their actual lesson.

At this point the pastoral teacher who had been looking for them as they hadn't turned up to registration saw them running to their lesson and throught they were running away from her. She went mad as she had been looking for them and thought they might be missing.

The school hasn't bothered to check with the supply teacher that the girls were telling the truth. They have had had massive negative points (the school uses Go4Schools to give positive and negative points for behaviour) and they were both marked as absent.

I wasn't that bothered about the incident, as I figure I have to leave that to the school, but I did feel sorry for DD, who is very very well behaved at school and always has been.

However I am now annoyed to see an unauthorised absence recorded for a period of time that she was at school, was in their care, and couldn't get to registration due to a numpty supply teacher.

Should I just let it go? Advice gratefully received.

cansu Wed 15-Feb-17 11:14:42

No it should be changed to late. She was on school and therefore was not absent. The whole other shenanigans I would leave to the school but I would politely request that the unauthorised is changed.

EweAreHere Wed 15-Feb-17 11:19:03

I would insist it be changed.

If their supply teachers won't listen, that is not your or your DD's problem. It is a problem for the school to sort out.

MissingMySleep Wed 15-Feb-17 11:20:52

can anyone point me to the right set of rules? I don't want to fall out with the lady who has told me that is imarked as unuathorised absence, she is also the pastoral teacher who will be looking after my DD for the next year and a half so I don't want to ruin the good relationship I built with her over the previous 2 years when she was my DS's pastoral teacher

MissingMySleep Wed 15-Feb-17 11:21:32

What I mean is I would rather go to her saying actually according to this rule it should be marked as XXX, rather than just saying I think you are wrong

BalloonSlayer Wed 15-Feb-17 11:38:01

Find out who deals with attendance.

Email them

Dear xx

I have discovered that my DD has an unauthorised absence on her record for xx time/day. This was due to an incident when she was kept in the Library by a supply teacher who thought she was part of his/her class, and was unable to reach the lesson before the register was taken. She did however, definitely attend the lesson and her teacher should be able to confirm this. Would it be possible please for her code for this lesson to be changed to reflect that she was there? I understand if the code has to say she was late. With many thanks for your help, Missing

Allthebestnamesareused Wed 15-Feb-17 11:39:20

Each school will have its own set of rules so nobody will be able to tell you exactly which rule.

They may have a set on their website (ours does).

Otherwise I would just say do you remember the incident when they were late for class. It appears that she has been marked as absent rather than late. Is it possible for this to be altered please?

kaitlinktm Wed 15-Feb-17 11:39:44

If she turned up for the lesson then how could she be marked absent? She would have been very late but not absent. This doesn't seem very good safeguarding when they don't know where she was.

SuburbanRhonda Wed 15-Feb-17 11:45:27

When the supply teacher took the register for her lesson, surely she would have noticed that she had two students in her class who weren't on her register?

SuburbanRhonda Wed 15-Feb-17 11:47:48

kaitlin, the unauthorised absence code is used when a student comes in after the register closes. It doesn't mean they aren't there, so there's no safeguarding issue.

MissingMySleep Wed 15-Feb-17 11:47:49

She got to her lesson about 20 minutes late.

I asked what the unauthorised absence was, and got this reply from the teacher who is in charge of this

..^Yes, the one unauthorised mark was the afternoon she was truanting lessons with her friend and I spent 20 minutes looking for her. It is marked as 'U' - unauthorised late, after registration has closed^...

Thing is, she swears to me that is not what happened. As I wasn't there, I have to choose to believe her, as it is not what she is like.

BalloonSlayer Wed 15-Feb-17 11:48:05

kaitlinktm All being well the teacher does the register at the start of the class, maybe a minute or two after to allow for stragglers. They can only put present or not present. If students arrive late, which in KS3 they rarely do, they can put a comment on to say they were late. It's usually not a good idea - in teaching terms - to interrupt the lesson flow to amend the register, so most of the time teachers will do it at the end of the lesson. But sometimes they just forget ! That's why I said the teacher would be able to confirm, usually they will say if asked "Oh yeah, sorry I meant to put a comment in"

MissingMySleep Wed 15-Feb-17 11:48:49

I am still not sure how to respond, as the teacher that was looking for her and is convinced she was truanting, is the one who I need to ask to change it.

I am not impressed that they have not asked the supply teacher what happened.

BalloonSlayer Wed 15-Feb-17 11:49:55

Now I have seen your update Missing I think you might have to leave it, sorry. Unauthorised late is probably the best you are going to get. But it won't make much of a difference to DD really.

SuburbanRhonda Wed 15-Feb-17 11:50:01

Actually, my last post should be to the OP too.

In our school, late after register closes is code U, not in school at all with no reason given is code O.

SoupDragon Wed 15-Feb-17 11:50:59

Does it actually matter?

I get that you are annoyed but does one unauthorised absence make any difference at all?

MissingMySleep Wed 15-Feb-17 11:51:48

I have summoned up some bravery and emailed her this

Hi while I think about this, did you or Mr XXX ever follow up with the teacher that wouldn't let them leave the library?

DD was quite upset about this as she and her friend tried to leave the library and the teacher there shouted at them and told them to sit down, which is why, she tells me, they were not able to get to the right lesson

I know that there are always two sides to these things, but I wouldn't be doing my job if I didn't listen to DD when she tells me what she thinks happened, and she was so very distressed when she thought that no one was going to check with this teacher who wouldn't let them go as she thought they were supposed to be in that class, which makes me think she was telling the truth. It isn't like her to be naughty, she hasn't ever been like that at school before or since

I await the response with some trepidation.

Thing is, I like this particular teacher, she is very nice, and I don't want to cause any ructions, but I don't want unauthorised absences on her record when they are not appropriate.

Foxsox Wed 15-Feb-17 11:53:36

It can easily be changed and in honesty if a child has a good reputation and the facts are as clear as you say, then there is no reason why they shouldnt change it.
I would change it.

kaitlinktm Wed 15-Feb-17 11:54:25

Yes I know about the register-taking (taught in secondary for 25 years) and I have been that teacher who didn't get chance to amend the register. I hadn't realised it reverted to unauthorised though - but thinking about it, of course it would do (have been out of secondary for 2 years and it's amazing how quickly you go past your best-before date).

The thing is it would look very odd on the herringbone print-out, so if the Form Tutor gets one of these every so often it would stick out like a sore thumb (especially if there are no behaviour issues) so I don't understand why it hasn't already been spotted as odd, investigated and changed.

Merlin40 Wed 15-Feb-17 11:54:43

It's in the school's best interest to make her as L/present not unauthorised so I would just politely ask for it to be changed.

SuburbanRhonda Wed 15-Feb-17 11:55:01

I think you should have left out the bit about "shouting" OP. You wouldn't believe how many children describe a teacher as shouting when they're just trying to be heard over the general chatter.

alltouchedout Wed 15-Feb-17 11:57:39

Why does every thread like this have someone insinuating that the children are mistaken and that the teacher wouldn't have done what the child says they did? Of course teachers shout, especially in secondary schools. hmm

SuburbanRhonda Wed 15-Feb-17 12:00:48

I didn't say teachers don't shout. But unless the OP was there, she shouldn't have stated that the teacher shouted as if it was an established fact.

It doesn't add anything to the story anyway, unless you're having a dig at the supply teacher generally.

Sundance01 Wed 15-Feb-17 12:01:02

I could understand this if you were being threatened by further action but if not why would an unauthorised absence - warranted or not - on your child's record bother you in the slightest.

Schools have managed to convince parents that late marks and absence marks are important but it in reality it is only to their statistics for their inspections and league tables. They make no difference what so ever to your child or their education.

MissingMySleep Wed 15-Feb-17 12:01:42

I cannot know what happened, as I was not there, I can only recount what my daughter said to me - I have sent it, so let's see

It is just one unuathorised absence, so perhaps I should just forget it, but it seems a little unfair.

They already gave her masses of negatives on the system for it, and detentions, so as far as I am concerned, that is enough.

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