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To ask school staff whether they can share this info re a teacher?

(152 Posts)

MNHQ have commented on this thread.

thenasdo Thu 14-Nov-19 18:38:54

Am hoping there's some posters on here who work in schools and could shed some light on what may be going on.

DD is in Year 10, she has had the same form teacher since she started Year 7. She has always liked said teacher, and teacher makes special effort to get to know each student and support them if they have anything going on. The past few months DD has had a few issues with a group, ostracizing and bullying her.

Said teacher has been a great support to DD, while pastoral care in the school have brushed her off. Pastoral care seems to think that by Year 10 DD should be coping herself and they are still caught up helping the new Year 7's adjust. DD has only been able to cope going into school becuase this teacher offers her a safe space to go to at lunchtimes and talks to her etc.

However since Monday last week the teacher hasn't been in. The form has had a string of subsitutes. Other staff are being shifty about the teacher's absense and there seems to be some deliberate secrecy. She still has her name up on the school's website so it doesn't look as though she's been sacked. I am quite concerned though as this teachher has been DD's only source of support within the school.

If I were to contact the school and ask why she hasn't been in, would I be likely to get an answer?

HavelockVetinari Thu 14-Nov-19 18:39:42

Nope, sorry.

PotteringAlong Thu 14-Nov-19 18:40:24

No, you won’t get an answer. The other staff aren’t being “shifty”, they’re not sharing personal info.

LoopyGremlin Thu 14-Nov-19 18:41:03

What are you expecting then to tell you?! She may be ill or it could be personal. You have no right to know and the school should not tell you.

SignOnTheWindow Thu 14-Nov-19 18:41:13

It might be that she's ill and they don't want to give out too much personal information.

When I had a breakdown, my school was very discreet about it.

SuperSange Thu 14-Nov-19 18:41:36

Hopefully they won't tell you anything because you've got no right to know.

Grasspigeons Thu 14-Nov-19 18:42:09

No you wont get an answer. Its her personal business and schools still have all the same employment laws and teachers the same employment rights as any other business.

PinkPonyPalace Thu 14-Nov-19 18:42:18

Most likely explanation if that the teacher is off sick, but regardless, the reason is absolutely none of your business. You would be out of order to ask, and school won’t tell you.
However, you do have a right to ask what support your DD will get in the teacher’s absence, even if you won’t like the answer.

TheCanterburyWhales Thu 14-Nov-19 18:42:28

No, they won't tell you . They'll also think you're a bit over-invested to have extrapolated so much from an absence of a couple of days!
Maybe she's got flu. Maybe she had a miscarriage. Maybe compassionate leave
In the nicest possible way, not your business.

The only acceptable thing might be to say "oh, dd told me Ms. X has been off for a while, hope she's ok"

But you'd still look nosey tbh

OwlinaTree Thu 14-Nov-19 18:43:00

I doubt they will tell you. She could be ill or it could be a personal issue. Would you want people talking about you and your personal issues in that way?

Puta Thu 14-Nov-19 18:45:19

She’s probably burnt out. What with giving up her lunchbreaks and all that.

SquareAsABlock Thu 14-Nov-19 18:46:48

If she had been off a month I could understand, but a week is nothing. Anything could be wrong from a virus to a family loss. Other teachers are under no obligation (and quite frankly are completely in the right) not to divulge that information.

chickennu Thu 14-Nov-19 18:47:26

I can't believe you think you have any right to know.

MonChatEstMagnifique Thu 14-Nov-19 18:49:57

Knowing the reason why this teacher is not in won't help your daughter. If your daughter needs support then the school should be giving it to her though so you would be right to phone and ask how she can access help. As far as I'm aware pastoral care is there for all year groups and should help your daughter if she is being bullied. I hope your daughter is ok, secondary schools are tough environments.

lookatthebabypenguin Thu 14-Nov-19 18:50:41

Have you not heard of GDPR?

Why would you possibly think this is any of your business?

Witchend Thu 14-Nov-19 18:51:06

The teachers probably don't even know. Not shifty, probably just genuinely with nothing to tell you.
And even if they did know they wouldn't tell you, even if it was a simple and unembarrassing as she's got flu.

Hahaha88 Thu 14-Nov-19 18:51:09

Of course they won't tell you and why on earth would you think they should? What if she's going through a divorce? Or had a miscarriage? Or her parent died? Or for something less drastic but private , what if she has d+v? It's none of your blinking business

testing987654321 Thu 14-Nov-19 18:51:08

It's probably best if you contact the school to see if anyone else can help support your daughter. Or could you request counselling via your doctor if she is struggling?

Aragog Thu 14-Nov-19 18:52:29

I'm afraid you won't be told. The school can't share that kind of information with you, without the teacher's consent - and they just aren't going to ask the teacher for that. The other teacher's aren't conspiring against you. They just can't say. Its not their place to do so and they could be in trouble if they do.

Why would you think she'd been sacked after less than a fortnight's absence???

Most people would assume she was ill, surely? Could be many reasons - illness, recovering from an operation, bereavement, miscarriage, personal family issues, etc - none of which are for you to know.

PurpleDaisies Thu 14-Nov-19 18:52:47

No way. That’s entirely personal information.

Other staff are being shifty about the teacher's absense and there seems to be some deliberate secrecy.

Probably because they are fed up of nosey parents asking nosey questions.

Grasspigeons Thu 14-Nov-19 18:53:09

Yes to contacting school for help and gp. Its tough when support isnt forthcoming.

blue25 Thu 14-Nov-19 18:54:07

No. None of your business. Poor teacher.

ScarlettDarling Thu 14-Nov-19 18:55:43

How very bizarre to think of even asking! I get that your daughter relies on this teacher so you are obviously anxious for her to come back to work, but really, do you think it's appropriate to be asking why she's absent?

churchandstate Thu 14-Nov-19 18:56:09

Maybe she found a new position at a better, more popular school.

Candle1000 Thu 14-Nov-19 18:56:36

Turn it round Op - how would you feel if some random person called your boss and asked about your personal life ?

PollyShelby Thu 14-Nov-19 18:56:58

No not a hope.

RealBecca Thu 14-Nov-19 18:57:42

Surely your concern should be "what other support can the school offer your child in her absence?" rather that asking why she is off.

PurpleDaisies Thu 14-Nov-19 19:00:13

Maybe she found a new position at a better, more popular school.

Ah! Yes I hadn’t thought of that possibility but now I see it.

PortiaCastis Thu 14-Nov-19 19:00:59

She's probably had enough of pushy parents. Whatever reason she has for being off is nothing to do with you

MarziPam Thu 14-Nov-19 19:03:25

You need to talk to her head of year and arrange more support for her, it shouldn't just be one teacher who is helping.

No, of course they won't divulge info regarding sickness.

langdale2016 Thu 14-Nov-19 19:04:20

I am so sorry that your daughter has been experiencing these issues. My daughter has been going through the same thing. She's in Year 11 and it still continues. Her school and teachers are supportive so I am not sure why pastoral care at your daughter's school are not taking your daughter's situation seriously, especially as she is in a very stressful year. I would approach the head of the year/school for support during the form teacher's absence.

Thestrangestthing Thu 14-Nov-19 19:06:09

Well they won't tell you and even if you did know it would make no difference to your dd because the teacher still won't be there. What you need to do is insist the school deals with the situation your dd is in.

Poppinjay Thu 14-Nov-19 19:06:13

Well that's you told, OP!

You need to put your focus on how the school is going to support your DD in this teacher's absence. It's the support she needs, not the person.

I would also question whether this teacher has dealt with the bullying correctly. Helping your DD hide from the bullies isn't necessarily going to help her in the long term. The bullying itself needs to be addressed so that she doesn't fall to pieces as soon as one supportive teacher is unavailable to her.

Pinkflipflop85 Thu 14-Nov-19 19:08:30


I can't even believe that you think this should be any of your business hmm

MinisterforCheekyFuckery Thu 14-Nov-19 19:10:15

there seems to be some deliberate secrecy.

Of course it's "deliberate", the school are making a conscious decision to respect this staff members right to confidentiality. It's not "secrecy" though, that would imply that they're doing something wrong by witholding the information, which they're absolutely not.

cheeseislife8 Thu 14-Nov-19 19:11:43

Of course they won't tell you. "Deliberate secrecy" is them protecting a employees confidentiality. It's the law

Petrichor11 Thu 14-Nov-19 19:12:35

YABVVU to think you have a right to know. Is your mind really jumping to sacked before illness? Seriously?! Far more likely to be illness, bereavement etc than sacked! But it’s none of your business why she’s off.

YWNBU to want the school to support your DD and arrange an alternative while the teacher is off, it also means if the one teacher is busy at lunchtime then DD isn’t left upset and has somewhere else she can go.

Toojudgypants Thu 14-Nov-19 19:15:27

I can’t believe you think you have a right to know! Why do you need to?

PurpleDaisies Thu 14-Nov-19 19:16:50

She must be a very popular teacher to have so many parents asking.

NoSquirrels Thu 14-Nov-19 19:17:33

If I were to contact the school and ask why she hasn't been in, would I be likely to get an answer?


And why would it help anyway?

What your DD needs is not this one person, but support at school. Push harder for pastoral to support her - by all means tell them that her form teacher has been doing this and is now not at school and your DD needs an alternative, but don’t ask for personal details.

It’s completely none of your business, I’m afraid.

saraclara Thu 14-Nov-19 19:21:03

You're making the teacher's absence all about you. Which is bizarre.

As others have said, would you want your employer to give a random your personal information?

Proseccoinamug Thu 14-Nov-19 19:22:24

No way will they tell you, nor should they.

TheReluctantCountess Thu 14-Nov-19 19:23:51

No. You have no right to know.

SirGawain Thu 14-Nov-19 19:24:43

YABU. It what way would knowing why she is away help your daughter?

noblegiraffe Thu 14-Nov-19 19:24:48

Pastoral care seems to think that by Year 10 DD should be coping herself and they are still caught up helping the new Year 7's adjust.

Don’t believe this.

NerrSnerr Thu 14-Nov-19 19:26:20

It's been less than a fortnight. She's probably just poorly and quite rightly they're not sharing her personal information.

Katinski Thu 14-Nov-19 19:30:03

So, would it be OK for the poster's child to send a card to the teacher c/o the school for them to forward, do you think?

PlaymobilPirate Thu 14-Nov-19 19:31:38

Why do you think it's your business?

Straycatstrut Thu 14-Nov-19 19:31:54

Not sure this is serious or not but she could be grieving, had a miscarriage, had any kind of terrible news. I know it's hard on your DD but her teacher may be suffering something terrible right now.

One of my old friends was a primary school teacher and she had a breakdown due to stress of the job and had to leave, disappeared of social media (where she was very active) for over a year.

PurpleDaisies Thu 14-Nov-19 19:32:07

So, would it be OK for the poster's child to send a card to the teacher c/o the school for them to forward, do you think?

They don’t know why she’s off. It could be a bereavement. What would go on the card?

Runbitchrun Thu 14-Nov-19 19:34:50

No, they won’t tell you. And please don’t put this teacher’s colleagues in the awkward position of having to answer your inappropriate questions. I hate being put on the spot by nosey parents asking why their child’s teacher is off.

Teachermaths Thu 14-Nov-19 19:35:19

OP yabsu here.

Why do you think you have any right to know anything about a teachers personal life?

Perhaps she is just ill!!

NK346f2849X127d8bca260 Thu 14-Nov-19 19:35:48

I am a TA in a secondary school, of course they won't tell you why she is not in, would you want your personal info divulged to anyone who rings up? Our examinations officer was off sick long term and we weren't told why until she told us herself.
Also school websites are not undated nightly

Howlovely Thu 14-Nov-19 19:36:55

Good grief. Look past the end of your nose, please.

Clangus00 Thu 14-Nov-19 19:37:34

Eh, no!

SmileEachDay Thu 14-Nov-19 19:38:54

Other staff are being shifty about the teacher's absense and there seems to be some deliberate secrecy

Oh my.

Examples please?

OnlyAGirlsHorse Thu 14-Nov-19 19:41:30


There's no reason for you to know why she's off. It's not relevant.

If your DD needs support, talk to them about that. Otherwise keep your beak out.

CathyTre Thu 14-Nov-19 19:42:50

I was a teacher for 13 years. I’m so glad I don’t have to deal with gossip about my personal life anymore; I love my not teaching life.

Katinski Thu 14-Nov-19 19:43:32

What would go on the card? Well, how about "thinking of you, love from X"?

Inferiorbeing Thu 14-Nov-19 19:44:13

I'm a teacher and had a week and a half off sick this week as I was medically signed off thanks to tonsillitis and glandular fever. I would be furious if a parent took it upon themselves to ask my co workers what was wrong with me. It's no ones business, I'm sure the teacher will be back and I'm sure your DD can talk to someone else.

Letsgowalking Thu 14-Nov-19 19:44:51

This is why I left teaching...Some parents think they own you.

Inferiorbeing Thu 14-Nov-19 19:46:32

Oh and also I came back to 4 students who all needed to share problems with me as I am a mentor to several students. They still were able to wait until I was back!

Bowerbird5 Thu 14-Nov-19 19:49:25

No. They will not tell you and rightly so. Even other staff are not allowed to ask why a member of staff is off. So they may not know.

Candle1000 Thu 14-Nov-19 19:49:40

So, would it be OK for the poster's child to send a card to the teacher c/o the school for them to forward, do you think?

No , leave the poor woman alone .

Daisy7654 Thu 14-Nov-19 19:49:48

She's probably off ill.
Staff can't share details of a colleagues absence with a parent - it'd be grossly unprofessional.
It could be stress, it's an increasingly harsh job - and she sounds nice. 'Nice' is no longer fitting the job description.
It's possible she was asked to leave, which could be for any manner of misdemeanour -taking hot drink to class/ classroom control / not marking correctly / not doing reports correctly / not working 12 hour day.
It's a super difficult job, 1000s leave it every year - they can't recruit quick enough to replace and yet still make it super harsh.
Haven't people noticed that there are hardly any teachers over 30 years old. A postgraduate job so min start age is 22. Teachers last 2 years on average before quitting or being sacked.
Look into it.

MyNewBearTotoro Thu 14-Nov-19 19:50:23

No of course you can’t ask. I wouldn’t expect any of my colleagues to tell parents of students why I was off unwell, I haven’t even always told my colleagues the full details when I’ve been off due to my mental health. Plus she’s only been off a few days, it’s not your business why she’s off.

hobnobsaremyfave Thu 14-Nov-19 19:51:48

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

8Iris8 Thu 14-Nov-19 19:53:06

OP you have shown absolutely no concern about this teacher only how your daughter will be affected. That's pretty off and it must be something pretty serious for the sudden departure.

malfoylovespotter Thu 14-Nov-19 19:53:38

Jeez. Mind your own sodding business!

MaybeitsMaybelline Thu 14-Nov-19 19:54:07

When mine were at school there were rumours going round school that a teacher had been dismissed for having an affair with a pupil.

Turned out the truth was she had had a nervous breakdown and been off months with stress and MH issues.

Poor poor woman. Not OK, keep your nose out.

SquareAsABlock Thu 14-Nov-19 19:55:36

@thenasdo, are you still with us?

user1497207191 Thu 14-Nov-19 19:57:42

People are missing the point. With the absence of teacher x, the OP's child has no support in school to help deal with bullying etc. The OP needs to be escalating the problems through to the school's management and asking what they're going to do about it in teacher x's absence.

Happysummer2020 Thu 14-Nov-19 20:00:14

They absolutely shouldn't tell you and they will be protecting her privacy.

feen Thu 14-Nov-19 20:01:16

I'm sorry your daughter is getting bullied and although the majority of answers have been factually correct, some people have been pretty spiteful to you, given that this is out of concern for your daughter.
'She's probably burnt out, having given up her lunch breaks and all that.'
Hope you're not a teacher.

PurpleDaisies Thu 14-Nov-19 20:01:54

People are missing the point.

Yes, people are missing the point of this thread.

SquareAsABlock Thu 14-Nov-19 20:02:21

People are missing the point

I think most people have caught on to the point by now. Or actually, the lack of it as is usual with these threads.

GrimalkinsCrone Thu 14-Nov-19 20:02:26

OP’s response is par for the course though. No concern for the teacher, focused on the worst possible scenario despite the woman having gone above and beyond for her daughter, using emotive, negative language and all about My Child.

heartsonacake Thu 14-Nov-19 20:03:09

YABVU. This is absolutely none of your business and no, they won’t tell you. You have no right to ask anyone at the school about this teacher.

And your DD needs not to be so reliant upon one person because they’re not always going to be there.

NegroniOnIce Thu 14-Nov-19 20:04:42

Oh goodness no. You won't make yourself at all popular.

GrimalkinsCrone Thu 14-Nov-19 20:05:58

OP needs to talk to the pastoral team and the HOY, rather than Marpling about a teacher.

SquareAsABlock Thu 14-Nov-19 20:06:03

some people have been pretty spiteful to you

I'm sure they'd be worse, but rather not face a ban.

Chattybum Thu 14-Nov-19 20:06:04

What a bloody cheek! It's called privacy. What's more annoying is you clearly don't give a crap about this kindly teacher, just what she can do for your daughter.

FlamingoAndJohn Thu 14-Nov-19 20:06:32

It’s a big lot of none of your business.

Perhaps a parent has died, she’s had a miscarriage, her partner has been diagnosed with a terminal disease? Any one of a hundred reason.

siriusblackthemischieviouscat Thu 14-Nov-19 20:09:17

Its most likely they are sick. Staff are being 'shifty' as they wont share private information. They are unlikely to know if they is suspended or not. As a parent its not for you to know.

Besidesthepoint Thu 14-Nov-19 20:10:02

What do you want to do with the information? Do you want to challenge her why she isn't there and should stop being absent? Because tgere is no reason that you need to know what she is going tgrough at the moment.

If you just want to know if it's a short term or long term thing maybe you can ask that?

Mammatino Thu 14-Nov-19 20:13:26

I hope you can get your poor daughter some support. I also hope its nothing serious and the teacher is back happy and healthy on Monday. If that's the case then the situation with your daughter needs resolving through the correct procedures that you can push for. The poor girl is being bullied sitting on her own with a teacher at lunch is really sad not to mention not helpful in the long run. Good luck.

LolaSmiles Thu 14-Nov-19 20:13:42

Absolutely inappropriate to seek that information.

What I would also query as a colleague is the nature of the relationship where a student is that bothered and upset about staff absence. There's a fine line between a supportive, professional relationship and one that promotes dependency. Personally, this relationship sounds like it crosses boundaries. Part of being a good pastoral support for students is that they can manage without you.

That's pretty off and it must be something pretty serious for the sudden departure.
Nothing off at all.
In the last year I've known people who've left or been off suddenly for the following reasons:
Mental health issues caused by multiple miscarriages
Losing both parents in a short space of time and having to deal with their estates
Hypermesis in pregnancy
Pregnancy related illness
Partner relocation with the forces
Work related stress

But of course, suggest there's something off about it because the world hasn't been informed and the absence been phased in a convenient fashion

Starlight456 Thu 14-Nov-19 20:14:02

I had an issue with a teacher been off sick in primary ( not obviously she wasn’t well enough to work) . He had a teacher from the year before who it really didn’t work .

I wrote bro head asking for support while teacher was off sick. This would work better

Nomorepies Thu 14-Nov-19 20:15:27

Maybe your daughter has sent her off sick with stress.

But seriously, you're ridiculously unreasonable. Beggars belief you think you have a right to know. hmm

HollyGoLoudly1 Thu 14-Nov-19 20:15:36

there seems to be some deliberate secrecy.

I should hope so too! It's absolutely nobodys business why the teacher is off. If you call and question it, you will be the crazy parent we end up talking about in the staff room at lunchtime.

I also find it baffling that you have jumped to wondering if she was sacked.

If you are concerned about support for your daughter then by all means call and explain your concerns. Tbh your daughters wellbeing at school shouldn't hinge on one teacher and the school should help you address this.

Pinkblueberry Thu 14-Nov-19 20:17:13

I am quite concerned though as this teachher has been DD's only source of support within the school.

‘Concerned’ as in nosy you mean? How does knowing why the teacher is off help your daughter? What she has or hasn’t done for you’re daughter is irrelevant, it’s a professional relationship and so it’s absolutely none of your concern why she’s been away. I agree with the PP, you thinking it’s any of your business is totally bizarre - and think other teachers are ‘shifty’ for not gossiping with you about their co-workers absence. Know your place and have some respect.

ActualFemale Thu 14-Nov-19 20:21:14

* So, would it be OK for the poster's child to send a card to the teacher c/o the school for them to forward, do you think?*

I don't think in these circumstances it would be as the pupils don't know why she is absent.

If the teacher on maternity leave a class card saying congratulations is one thing, but if you don't know the reason she's absent then what type of card and with what message could she send without appearing to cross boundaries.

It sounds like OP wants to know why the teacher is off so that her dd can have an idea of when she will return and be less anxious, rather than a "I hope the teacher is ok" type thing.

LolaSmiles Thu 14-Nov-19 20:23:05

I agree actualfemale and also it's another way of blurring boundaries in a relationship that is most likely already beyond a reasonable pastoral relationship with appropriate professional distance.

CanoeDoYouThinkYouAre Thu 14-Nov-19 20:23:30

Can’t think of anything to say that won’t get me banned 🌺 so I’ll just leave this red flower here.

Yes, YABU but you know that don’t you?

Teachermaths Thu 14-Nov-19 20:25:20

I agree with Lola about the nature of the relationship if your dd really can't cope without her being there. That level of dependency is not healthy. Your dd does need to seek out alternative support strategies for precisely this situation.

stoplickingthetelly Thu 14-Nov-19 20:25:49

Goodness OP. I’m sympathetic to your dd having a hard time at the moment and think school should be taking her worries more seriously. However, you really cannot be asking school about this teacher. There could be any number of reasons for the absence. In the past teachers at my school have been off for a huge variety of reasons such as; illness, bereavement, marriage breakdown, mental health issues, seriously ill parents, seriously ill children, miscarriage and the list goes on. I would be absolutely livid if I was off and school gave personal details about my personal circumstances to a parent. It simply isn’t your business. However, your are within your rights to ask for more support from the pastoral team/SLT if you think it’s really necessary.

brighteyeowl17 Thu 14-Nov-19 20:25:55

No and what on earths business is it to do with you?! She could be ill or have had a death in the family. Teachers have a right to privacy.

Turt Thu 14-Nov-19 20:28:05

I've been in your daughters shoes in school and in no way would I or my parents expect to know the reason for my teachers absence. How utterly bizarre of you to think you have a right to know? It will not help support your daughter. Please seek help from the deputy head or headteacher if she is suffering and they will help accordingly.

Brigante9 Thu 14-Nov-19 20:35:39

I was unexpectedly off (major accident) for 3 months. I would not have been pleased to have parents demanding to know what was wrong.

Sotiredofthislife Thu 14-Nov-19 20:35:40

And just when teachers think they have heard it all...

What gives you the right to have personal information about a teacher? Do you not think she has a right to privacy?

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