Advanced search

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?

Shalom23 Fri 15-Nov-19 22:10:02

You actually don't care about this teacher. Your only concern is yourself and your daughter. Back off and mind your own business.

LolaSmiles Fri 15-Nov-19 20:16:10

As a teacher you should know yourself that it's not a healthy pastoral relationship to nurture a relationship with a student (especially a vulnerable one) where they become dependent.
If a member of staff being off is causing this many issues for a student then it's fairly reasonable to suggest that theres probably some error of judgement, however well intentioned.

As I said, we all develop pastoral relationships. We often will click with students and them with us. But we shouldn't be putting ourselves and children in a position where they are dependent on us like it appears in the OP. It's not good for the students.

brighteyeowl17 Fri 15-Nov-19 20:11:39

Jesus Christ. As a teacher myself some of the things I am reading are utter garbage and as usual somehow turning a supportive member of staff into the bad guy. Post was about teacher being off sick and parent not being happy and all of a sudden the teacher is ‘blurring the boundaries’. Clearly some people have never been in this position. Sometimes it’s a case of being the teacher with the time, at that time. Sometimes it’s for whatever reason a child decides to trust you.

Firstawake Fri 15-Nov-19 20:09:57

If your DD is struggling at school that is your only issue.
Air your concerns at school , ask for advice.

SmileEachDay Fri 15-Nov-19 18:46:15

This is such an issue that the OP has been on the website looking at the staff lists and wants to know if they can ask for information

Yeah, I don’t think it’s the staff member who has the issue here.

LolaSmiles Fri 15-Nov-19 18:23:22

Cant believe some posters are having a go at the teacher saying being supportive is ‘inappropriate’.
Because there are such things as professional boundaries and part of being a professional is maintaining those boundaries for the good of the child.

The problem of having a student having one very close relationship with one member of staff is that those boundaries are easily blurred and it also limits the child's ability to work through their issuesz develop strategies and a solution.

So in this case, the OP's child seems distressed that "their" member of staff has been off less than a week. This is such an issue that the OP has been on the website looking at the staff lists and wants to know if they can ask for information.
That's not the sign of a healthy pastoral relationship.
1. A relationship with a staff member shouldn't be so intense that a few days absence has this sort of response from parent and child
2. Spending most breaks/lunches with the member of staff has caused 1 to happen as the member of staff has become an emotional crutch
3. The member of staff should know better than to nurture and maintain a relationship of dependency because of the emotional risk to the child.
4. This sort of very insular too much social time with the member of staff means the student is losing time they could be spending developing positive relationships with their peers or being steered into enrichment opportunities for like-minded people
5. The teacher is leaving themselves wide open to blurring the boundaries between teacher and friend
6. The student finds it harder to develop coping strategies to use independently because their strategy is to find that one member of staff

Nobody is saying that students can't get on with one teacher more than others, that's normal. Nobody is saying teachers shouldn't support and mentor students because we do (e.g. I'm working really closely with a few students at the moment, but I know they'll be fine when I have the baby because they aren't emotionally dependent on me).

They're just saying the teacher, however well intentioned, is showing a lack of professional judgement

brighteyeowl17 Fri 15-Nov-19 18:09:28

Cant believe some posters are having a go at the teacher saying being supportive is ‘inappropriate’. Often students get on with one person and so end up being supported by them for various reasons. For all you know the pastoral system has discussed this with the teacher and the support she is offering is the plan.

LIZS Fri 15-Nov-19 16:24:21

Not sure how knowing would be of benefit to you or your dd. Poor teacher, is she not entitled to be off sick, bereaved or have a personal problem without it being shared with all and sundry. No staff will be able to discuss her absence with you under gdpr, even assuming they know.

In the meantime this is an opportunity for your dd to forge a bond with another member of the pastoral team. Could you ask her hoy or head of pastoral care to facilitate this.

BlueDinosaur Fri 15-Nov-19 16:09:30

Wow you are nosey. I can’t believe you even need to ask this! How would you feel if someone rang your boss wanting to know details of your absence?

ChloeDecker Fri 15-Nov-19 16:06:50

I can’t quite comprehend how the OP has the nerve to even consider that they may have a right to this knowledge. Disgusting.

bluegreygreen Fri 15-Nov-19 15:58:38

You would not be unreasonable to call the school and ask about their plans to support your daughter.

You would be very unreasonable to call the school and ask for any details of her teacher's absence.

I must admit, as a professional who deals with young people and so has some knowledge of safeguarding, I am uncomfortable with the idea that a teacher has put herself in a position where she appears to be the only support for a child, and is offering daily meetings.

At the very least, it can result in situations like this, where difficulty is created when the teacher is absent. When regular meetings like this are outside the usual pastoral framework, there is also little support for the teacher and a risk of transference or dependency issues. There is also a risk of accusations of inappropriate behaviour.

(Not a teacher)

Interestedwoman Fri 15-Nov-19 12:33:34

YABU. Maybe it's mental health or something and that's why they're keeping quiet, to protect the staff member's privacy.

ultrablue Fri 15-Nov-19 11:40:25


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.**

Pastoral care is for every child of every age. If school are telling you this I would seriously be questioning it. They have a duty of care to your daughter

HaudYerWheeshtYaWeeBellend Fri 15-Nov-19 08:13:39

It’s got absolute nothing to do with you as to why a teacher is off absent hmm

titnomatani Fri 15-Nov-19 08:08:01

Only if you'd be happy for your work colleagues to share with your clients how you'd gone out to a fancy restaurant last night and had got the shits so weren't able to come to work in the morning. It's none of your business OP why the other teacher isn't at work. And, your daughter could do with some resilience training- ask the school.

pinkstripeycat Fri 15-Nov-19 06:55:11


Have you not heard of GDPR

This is not GDPR. DP is to do with data and contact details. OP still hasn’t any right to know teachers reason why she’s off

OhWhatFuckeryIsThisNow Fri 15-Nov-19 06:27:26

When I cover lessons first thing kids say "where's mr X?" My response is always - not here. There is always one who then takes it a bit further, my response then, none of your business. See where the attitude comes from. Teachers are not your employees.

DowntownAbby Thu 14-Nov-19 23:16:04

This can't be for real, surely?!


Cohle Thu 14-Nov-19 23:08:29

OP I doubt you're coming back, but I think you need to separate:

A) the fact that without this teacher your child has no support and what the school intend to do about that over whatever time frame is necessary; and

B) wanting further details about the causes for and duration of the absence, which is nothing to do with you and not something that should be shared with you.

FlamingoAndJohn Thu 14-Nov-19 23:04:35

A colleague of mine has been off for the last 4 weeks. I don’t know why because it’s nothing to do with me and if she wanted me to know she would tell me.

ShinyGiratina Thu 14-Nov-19 22:40:13

I used to do long term supply. I often didn't know from one week to the next how long I would be employed even for posts that lasted a long time and had a long history of absence, it was just going from one sick note to the next.

Absence information is private and even collegues often don't know much more than a brief headline even in long term absences.

MrsJoshNavidi Thu 14-Nov-19 22:38:37

I bet she comes back as a man grin

MsJaneAusten Thu 14-Nov-19 22:38:23

Bloody hell. It’s November. She’s probably got a cold. Or flu.

MitziK Thu 14-Nov-19 22:31:18

The other staff probably don't know a bean.

If somebody is off sick, they don't know this, all they know (unless they have been told by the staff member themselves or they're her line manager) is that she's off. And even if they do know, they can't say - certainly not to children or their parents.

If they're dealing with a bereavement, they might not know, as it's not something schools are in the habit of sharing at the weekly staff meeting. When my brother died, the head asked me if he could tell my manager. Nobody else knew until I told one person (and said I didn't mind her telling others, I just didn't want to have to say the words myself).

And if she's on gardening leave/suspended, nobody knows.

Effectively, until/unless the teacher herself comes back and tells the kids the reason why she was off, you will never know - and even then, it's what she decides to tell your DC.

LolaSmiles Thu 14-Nov-19 22:29:29

Phew! smile
I thought it was poor form to think there was something off about someone being absent without notice.

What's really sad is I've encountered that attitude more often than is reasonable in schools. Some parents really do complain about things like that. One of my former colleagues had a complaint made because they "couldn't be bothered" to attend revision sessions. They'd been out of school for a funeral!

Join the discussion

Registering is free, quick, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Get started »