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To think school should deal with this

(120 Posts)
Chickencuddle Thu 03-Dec-20 16:59:00

We go to the park most days. A little girl from the reception class (who is either 4 or 5 depending on when her birthday is) is always picked up from school by her mum. She then goes to the park on her own while her mum sits at home. Her mum lives close to the park but not so close you could see.
The little girl has kind of latched onto us. Asks me to push her on the swing and plays with my ds. She is often just in a tshirt and thin hoody even though it's very cold atm. This is relevant because the last few days we have started walking back to our car and she often walks home at the same time. But the last few days the door was locked and she was knocking but no answer. So she was locked out in the cold.
Also a few times she has run off somewhere with another little boy. Her mum cant know where she is.
When she was locked out the other day she tagged along with us to pick up my dd at a different time. Her mum is often at school picking up her brother at the same time so i hoped we would see her there. She wasbt there so i informed a teacher and said i didnt want to leave her on her own. The mother eventually turned up and all fine.
I brought it up again with teacher today because she was on her own again. Teacher said I should speak to the mother about it.

OP’s posts: |
AryaStarkWolf Thu 03-Dec-20 17:00:40

I think the school have a responsibility to deal with it yeah, poor kid

HugeAckmansWife Thu 03-Dec-20 17:01:41

It's a safeguarding issue and the school can be in breach of its duty if they do not investigate a concern raised. Take it to the Head, formally, in writing.

flumposie Thu 03-Dec-20 17:02:59

It's difficult because once the child is out of school and at the park it's not their issue to deal with. Poor child.

SoupDragon Thu 03-Dec-20 17:03:03

As the school aren't interested, I would report it to whoever you're meant to report this kind of thing to - social services?

GreyishDays Thu 03-Dec-20 17:03:12

I’d also speak to the head.

Mookie81 Thu 03-Dec-20 17:03:43

Why can't you report it, seeing as it is happening outside school and you are supposed to be a responsible adult? 🤨

SnoozyBoozy Thu 03-Dec-20 17:04:31

If the mother picks the girl up from school though, is it their jurisdiction so to speak after that? Obviously from a moral point of view, you would like to hope they might speak to the mother or inform the relevant authorities, but I'm just wondering whether legally they have to do anything? (Although telling you to talk to the mother is ridiculous!)

year5teacher Thu 03-Dec-20 17:05:25

Yes the school need to deal with it. Say to them you are informing them of a safeguarding incident. Read their policy - I know mine says that you should chase referrals if not dealt with as it’s our responsibility - they have to deal with it. Or at the very least record it formally on something like CPOMS or whatever they use

flumposie Thu 03-Dec-20 17:05:35

Is the park close to the school ?

MillieEpple Thu 03-Dec-20 17:05:37

The NSPCC gives good advice on this sort of thing.

IggyAce Thu 03-Dec-20 17:06:13

It’s definitely a safe guarding issue and I would expect the school to deal with it. It’s possible that they are and due to data protection don’t want to say anything. However the teacher shouldn’t have told you to speak with the other parent.

FurForksSake Thu 03-Dec-20 17:06:38 school should do something, but you can and should report it in the meantime. NSPCC has a phone line you can also call for advice.

SmileEachDay Thu 03-Dec-20 17:06:46

What exactly did you say when you brought it up with the teacher?

Does the teacher think you know the mum, as you’d brought the little girl to the school without her mum?

Scrunchcake Thu 03-Dec-20 17:06:59

I would have a look on the school's website to check who the safeguarding lead is, and speak to them. It sounds like something they would usually act on, but if not they should advise you on who else to speak to. I can't imagine that speaking to the mum would go well.

HugeAckmansWife Thu 03-Dec-20 17:08:25

I'm a teacher. Yes it is a matter for the school. They have a duty of care to look out for the welfare of their students and are often the first line of defence against neglect or abuse. They will have a safeguarding officer who will either speak to the parent or involve the Social Services. They are in breach of guidance if they don't.

Buzzer3555 Thu 03-Dec-20 17:08:41

I would email head teacher and cc in designated safeguarding leaď (name should be on school website)

lobsteroll Thu 03-Dec-20 17:08:49

That is so sad, poor kid. I think the above advice is good - safeguarding lead at school and id put it in email/writing too so that there is a record of it.

flumposie Thu 03-Dec-20 17:08:51

Sorry sent too soon. I would hope the school speak to her, but if the school is not near the park then social services would be better to speak to. I can't see how school would be responsible if for example the park is 10 or 15 minutes away .

MargotLovedTom1 Thu 03-Dec-20 17:09:31

Flumposie of course it's their issue. If a child was being starved/beaten/abused at home, do you really think a school would say it's nothing to do with them because it's not happening at school?

It sounds neglectful - locking a very young child out alone in the cold - and you could take it to the school safeguarding lead. You should be able to find this info on the school website. The teacher was absolutely wrong to tell you to deal with it by talking to the parent.

Chickencuddle Thu 03-Dec-20 17:09:35

The little girl makes her way to the school with us and is on school grounds and she herself went and told the teacher she was without her mum and couldnt get in. I then spoke to the teacher.
I have considered speaking to ss. But wondered whether talking to the school first could help. Also what do I do when I know she is locked out. Feel like I cant just leave her there.

OP’s posts: |
LynetteScavo Thu 03-Dec-20 17:09:47

You need to formally speak to a safeguarding lead at the school.

But also, if I met a 4yo alone in the park I'd either take her home or contact the police. Maybe you live in different type of place to me confused

MargotLovedTom1 Thu 03-Dec-20 17:10:14

X-post with others saying the same!

QueenofLouisiana Thu 03-Dec-20 17:11:11

Contact your customer first line for your county council and report a safeguarding concern (Google “customer first CountyName”). If a school report what someone has said, it can be considered hearsay, but not if it is reported directly to the safeguarding team.
It will help to build a wider view rather than just “school says”.

TheBumbleNums Thu 03-Dec-20 17:11:31

Goodness me call the police! Next time she’s at the park on her own or can’t get into her house. The police will do a welfare check and will do referrals to SS and the school. This poor child needs some help and support and you need to step up to help her.

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