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AIBU to think this child shouldn’t be in my son’s class?

(309 Posts)
HicDraconis Sun 18-Feb-18 09:59:16

A boy at DS1’s primary school - P - arrived a couple of years ago having been excluded from several other local schools. He was violent and prone to angry rages if things did not go his way. One break time he jumped on DS1’s back and thumped him around the head. DS1 back kicked him off (he’s a brown tip belt in karate) and was taken to the office for observation (possible head injuries) for the afternoon. P has chased another boy through 5 classrooms and thrown a chair at him, smashed up one of the teachers’ laptops (family had to pay to replace it), that kind of thing.

This year DS1 started a new school (year 7, Intermediate, state school for what it’s worth). He sat an entrance exam which got him into the accelerated extension stream - this is a separate class from the rest of year 7 and maxed at 30 pupils.

Surprisingly, P has also been placed in this class as an extra. He can’t keep up with the standard of work, is disruptive and interferes with the ability of the other students to get on with things. When questioned, the head said he was put in that class for reasons of “strategy” - he didn’t sit the screening test but they think he’ll be easier to handle in this particular set.

The class teacher says they’re aware of his back history, that “strategies are in place and they are monitoring the situation carefully”.

When we accepted DS1’s place it was on the understanding that if he couldn’t keep up with the standard of work he’d be put into a different class.

DS1 is apprehensive about the possibility of being hit again. P has already scribbled over a piece of his artwork so far and we’re only a week into the new term. He’s also disrupted the class with bad behaviour, had various verbal warnings and one strike for verbally abusive behaviour.

AIBU to think that they’re doing P a disservice by putting him in a class where he won’t be able to keep up? Surely he’d be better looked after in one of the standard sets with a 1:1 TA (which he had at primary)? AIBU to think that if they were going to increase the class size to 31, the space should have gone to someone who narrowly missed out on the exam scores?

TheHungryDonkey Sun 18-Feb-18 10:11:09

It’s none of your business what set he’s in. It’s your business if he hurts your child and destroys his work.

Avasarala Sun 18-Feb-18 10:11:54

You need to take this to the school governors. Your son, and all the other students in that class worked hard for their spot and they are there to learn and have the best possible chance. This other student is disrupting the whole class and the time being spent to control him, is time that is being taken away from children who earned their place. This kid needs help, but not in an advanced class and your sons education is going to suffer. Don't let it lie; keep pushing. Call every time something happens. Every time the teacher needs to stop the class to tell this kid off, you make a complaint.

DingDongDenny Sun 18-Feb-18 10:15:52

I wonder if the parents of kids in the other classes have just kicked up more of a fuss

TellsEveryoneRealFacts Sun 18-Feb-18 10:16:51

I have had this when one 'outlier' was placed in my class. I had to keep him away from all the others and give him his level of work which was very difficult as he was 14 but had the emotional intelligence and wit of a 30 year old, and the rest of the class were SEN and vulnerable.

Any actions like this and there were major consequences taken seriously and I actioned them I didn't leave it to a support worker. At the very least this child needs to be seated away from your son due to the history, and the teacher needs additional support just for him. It sounds like mainstream schools are not for him in the first place.

Ifailed Sun 18-Feb-18 10:18:08

You should concern yourself with your son, and your son only, or do you feel a right to decide who can or cannot share a space with your child?

HicDraconis Sun 18-Feb-18 10:22:44

It’s a tricky one. Yes, my main concern is my son. My secondary concerns are the other 30 children in the class (it’s actually at 32 kids this year for various reasons).

I’m sure P has had a shit start in life, have no idea what sort of chaotic home background he has had to cause these angry violent rages. But yes, I do think I have a right to say who shares a space with my son when that child has violently assaulted him less than 6 months ago.

My son has the right to sit and learn without being scared of another attack, he has the right to feel safe at school. With P in his class, he doesn’t.

DingDongDenny Sun 18-Feb-18 10:23:12

For the people saying i't's not your business' and 'you should only be concerned with your son' Of course it's her business and it does concern her son because it's affecting his education and his school experience

This situation isn't fair on anyone - the boy concerned, the other pupils in the class or the teacher.

selftitledalbum Sun 18-Feb-18 10:26:24

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Hoppinggreen Sun 18-Feb-18 10:29:51

I would imagine that OP does “only have concerns for her son”
If this child affects his learning negatively then her concerns are perfectly valid.
I have found that due to lack of resources schools often do what is easiest to manage and to a certain extent I can understand that but it sounds like this class isnt the best option for this child or OP’s

MyNewBearTotoro Sun 18-Feb-18 10:30:22

Yes, YABU to think you know more about this situation than experienced school professionals. I’m sure this is not something that was just randomly decided on a whim, the school staff will have considered P’s academic/ social/ emotional/ behaviour needs, the needs of the year group as a whole and the make-up of each class/ set then decided on where they feel he will be best placed. Perhaps they feel that right now the opportunity to work independently alongside a peer group who can model appropriate and sensible behaviour is more likely to make a positive difference than being sat with a TA amid a potentially more disruptive peer group. It sounds like P needs to learn how to focus on his work and behave in class and this may be the schools priority for him right now. He may have a better chance in your DS’s class than in a standard set. They may also have decided his behaviour will have a less detrimental effect on the learning of a group of academically able and motivated pupils - whichever class they put him it will be with somebody’s precious DS and it just happens that this year it is yours.

Obviously the school know far more about P’s situation and needs than they are able to share with you and will no doubt have plenty of experience of working with troubled and disruptive students. I would trust that they have carefully considered putting P in this class and wouldn’t have done so if they didn’t think it would be a successful strategy.

hmmwhatatodo Sun 18-Feb-18 10:31:03

Sounds like the boy shouldn’t be in mainstream school or should at least be under 1:1 care. I guess he doesn’t have a statement. I’m sure the teacher must be struggling with it and I agree it isn’t fair on any of the children in the class, nor would it be fair on any of the children in others classes he was subsequently moved to. I would just keep kicking up a fuss every time the slightest thing happens (and I never ever suggest kicking up a fuss at school!)

On a side note I have never heard of this kind of accelerated class in state school. Is this the norm,

Willow2017 Sun 18-Feb-18 10:32:03

ifailed
Yes she does if that child is violent and disrupting her sons learning environment.

Those kids got into that class on merit not because it was 'easier to keep an eye on them'. Obviously its not working if he cannot keep up, is disruptive and destroying other kids work. One childs 'rights' do not top the rest of the kids rights to learn in a stimulating and supportive and safe environment.

There is no point in reinforcing to this child that he cannot keep up with the work that does nothing for his self confidence and reinforces the idea he shouldnt even try. He should be in a class he can function in without feeling left behind with the support he needs.
Or if he cannot behave at all in any class there needs to be a reassesment of his needs.
Putting him in the top set is ridiculous and puts pressure on the teacher to be always watching out for his behaviour when she should be teaching the kids that want to learn and the students who will be on eggshells waiting for him to kick off.

LaundryMountain Sun 18-Feb-18 10:36:27

I’m sure P has had a shit start in life, have no idea what sort of chaotic home background he has had to cause these angry violent rages.

Awesome judgement there. You’re quite right, you have No Idea why he is behaving this way but have decided it’s his home life and early childhood. biscuit Have you considered there may be other reasons????

TonTonMacoute Sun 18-Feb-18 10:37:09

YANBU.

It may well be that the boy P needs time in a mainstream school, under proper supervision and control, in order to address whatever problems he has, and to bring his behaviour under control.

However, it seems completely insane to sabotage the accelerated extension class by putting him there, especially when it contains a boy who has already been violently attacked by him. I would share your concerns OP, and would be pretty pissed off.

LaundryMountain Sun 18-Feb-18 10:38:41

His needs are clearly not being met.

MrsElvis Sun 18-Feb-18 10:40:35

Of course he shouldn't be in that class. You are right to not want him around your child and he didn't earn his place in the special class.

You'll have to tread carefully with this or it will look like a hate campaign against a child.

Pengggwn Sun 18-Feb-18 10:40:46

It's understandable that you don't want him in your son's class, but the reality is he has to go in one of the classes, so he will be disrupting the learning of other students if not that of your DS. If this group offers the best chance of managing his behaviour, that's a decision for the school.

Hoppinggreen Sun 18-Feb-18 10:41:10

mynewbear what you say may be true but OP is not P’s Mum and her son is her priority.
Your post talks about what is best for P, maybe putting him in that class will be a “successful strategy” for HIM but what about the other pupils?

Shedmicehugh Sun 18-Feb-18 10:43:11

Why not ask what steps school are taking to ensure the safety of others.

Sounds like this boy has SN’s and needs help and support. Try looking at it from what can be done to support the boy to ensure others are not disrupted etc

FrancisCrawford Sun 18-Feb-18 10:43:27

You absolutely should ask the school for detailed provions on how they are currently ensuring your sons safety, given Ps physical attack on him and his current behaviour that involves destroying your sons work.

If they have no such detailed plans in place for your son in particular (ie not general plans for the whole class), then I think this is a failure of safeguarding and they are being negligent

Concentrate on your son, and his need to be protected from P and the negative impact being in the same class as P is having on his mental health. It may be more convenient for the school to place P in a class of high achievers, but that does not mean it is the best solution for all the other pupils, who deserve to be in an atmosphere where they do not feel threatened.

RidingWindhorses Sun 18-Feb-18 10:45:13

I agree you need to contact the governors.

And you need to keep contacting the school every this boy disrupts the class or behaves violently so they have it on record. They need to understand that this is making your son anxious about going to school.

If there are any other parents who share your concerns, you could contact the governors jointly.

ShawshanksRedemption Sun 18-Feb-18 10:45:55

When talking to the school I would keep the focus on how your son's education and wellbeing is being disrupted. I would not focus in any way on what is best for P or any other pupils in that class,, purely because you don't have access to the info for an informed decision on P's placement or those of the other pupils.

If you son is worrying over whether P will target him in any way then I'd ask what specific steps the school are taking to ensure this will not happen and how they can reassure your son, particularly as P has already scribbled on your son's artwork which is completely unacceptable. Saying "strategies are in place" when things are still disruptive in class and affecting your DS isn't good enough as those strategies don't seem to be working.

As for P, he may well be waiting for a place at a behavioural unit, or may be waiting on assessment etc, but this all takes time/resources that are already overwhelmed in some areas. Therefore P may well be stuck in mainstream and the school trying to manage it the best they can (and no it's not ideal by a long chalk).

BewareOfDragons Sun 18-Feb-18 10:46:22

I don't think you're being unreasonable.

32 children worked hard and earned spots in that cohort, and they are now not getting what they worked so hard for because a child who clearly needs 1:1 constant monitoring has been placed in it ... without a 1:1 monitor. And to top it off, some have been assaulted by him in the past and are afraid of him, and he's already deliberately destroying their work.

Not on.

I think you all need to pull together and make it very clear to the school that this isn't acceptable. He behaved and does the work or he's out. He should have to follow the same rules and be capable of the same work as the other 32 in that cohort, or he shouldn't be there. And if he's actively causing disruption and distraction from teaching, you should go the governing body if the school is allowing that to continue.

BewareOfDragons Sun 18-Feb-18 10:47:46

Frankly, a governing body would be very nervous I would think if their highest achieving cohort of children had parents who were deeply unhappy with a situation like this ... and told them that they were all thinking of looking elsewhere for their education. Schools are judged on their test results ... if all their highest achievers are deeply unhappy, this could turn into a serious problem for the school.

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