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to be thinking of moving DS from his school because of the parents of children there?

(54 Posts)
Kupugani Sun 07-Dec-08 22:23:05

OK am at risk of flaming on multiple points here (private education, judging people yaddayadda, I see it coming) but bear with me.

DS goes to private school because DH and I were both failed by the state system and we want better for him than we had.

He goes to a very small school at which it is a one class per year set up. We love the school.

The class he has joined has some parents in it who are very volatile. These people are quite brash with their cash, very flashy, typical Boyz Done Well with their WAGs IYSWIM. There have already been rows and bitchiness with some of the mums which resulted in two departures from the class by people either involved or put off by the events surrounding these arguments. I have kept well out of these arguments.

On Friday we parents' Christmas drinks - it was a whole school event in a public set up, so there were other companies there also having Christmas drinks too.

At one point in the evening, for reasons that I am not aware of, some of the dads in our year kicked off and started throwing punches at each other. I don't know what else happened because I left at this point.

Since then DH and I have been having conversations about how we feel about the school and whilst we are both seriously impressed with the school itself we are questioning whether we are happy for our child to stay in a class with all this unrest going on. Neither of us want him to go on playdates to houses where dad is happy to use his fists in an argument (note: this does NOT mean that we think that these guys would ever be violent in front of children, it's just that we're uncomfortable with their approach to things IYSWIM). Both of us feel that this and the previous rows that some of the parents have had have been rather crass and vulgar (I know that sounds horribly up our own arses but I don't know how else to phrase it).

DS is close friends with one of the boys whose parents are on the periphery of all this, in that they are very good mates with the main trouble makers but don't actually participate.

DS is 5.

So is taking him out an OTT response?

fishie Sun 07-Dec-08 22:26:30

all the usual stuff about parents making the school community apply to you.

and, not judging, but i am amazed you would send a 5yo to that sort of place. what on earth is the state school like?

scrooged Sun 07-Dec-08 22:27:13

sounds like ds's old school! Are you in the East Midlands? grin

If your child is happy there then I would not move him because of this. You don't have to hang with the parents. Small school's do have this problem, ds's last school were a mixed bunch between the downright snotty and the down to earth bunch.

fishie Sun 07-Dec-08 22:27:14


stitch Sun 07-Dec-08 22:29:51

this isnt a state versus primary question though is it. it is this particular school.
i think you should look at what your other options in the area would be. because it may well be a case of out of the frying pan into the fire.

potoftea Sun 07-Dec-08 22:30:06

I'd be more worried if it was secondary school, as your friendships then really shape you more, I think.
The school is good, and you've no problems yet with the children, so I would wait if I were you and see how you feel in a year or two.
No matter where your child goes to school you will find some parents who you don't approve of, so unless your ds is actually being affected in some way, I wouldn't move him.

myredcardigan Sun 07-Dec-08 22:30:14

Not OTT at all. They sound like a bunch of tossers! I'd be worried about who my DS was mixing with. I mean we use the indie sector too but no way would I want my kids only associating with kids from crass mouthy monied yobs. Sorry.

Kupugani Sun 07-Dec-08 22:42:43

LOL at "crass mouthy monied yobs". That is a bit how it is , yes. Sadly they are very much in the majority in this class though so keeping clear is a bit tough and I think that they think I'm a snotty cow because I'm not out with them dancing round handbags every Thursday night at the local karaoke joint.

zenandtheartofbaking Sun 07-Dec-08 22:45:58

I think you should look at the others schools on offer - state and private, if only to help you think all the way round this.
The visiting-the-homes-of-volatile-parents is a real worry. Thing is, there's often that sort of issue. Or, you can find out something disturbing much later on. The difference here is that you know.
It's such a shame if the school is good.
They do sound really volatile if they can't keep a lid on it at a parent event.

Kupugani Sun 07-Dec-08 22:53:40

The other schools option isn't a problem per se, apart from availability of spaces. But there's the whole upheaval of it and DS does like it at this school so I'm a bit loathe to upset the apple cart.

Is there anything we could suggest to the current school that they could do about it perhaps? Last time they kicked off there was a pretty harsh email that went round about parent behaviours and that the school takes a very dim view of anything that could be detrimental to the school (i.e. people leaving or, as in this case, people at a public school event opening brawling). I'm guessing that they would exclude the children of these parents as I can't see what else they could do, but that does seem rather harsh.

scrooged Sun 07-Dec-08 22:59:45

I don't think they would exclude children based on their parents behaviour. At the end of the day, the school needs those children because of the income they generate. It's worth having a chat though, it doesn't give the school a very good reputation.

It is a sad fact that if a parent can pay, some don't ask too many questions.

Are you in the East Midlands?

StewieGriffinsMom Sun 07-Dec-08 23:01:30

Message withdrawn

Kupugani Sun 07-Dec-08 23:01:58

No not East Midlands but not too far from it though.

ClausImWorthIt Sun 07-Dec-08 23:02:28

The state system may have failed you and your dh, but did you even bother exploring it for your children?

There is such a huge assumption implicit in your OP that going private would be 'better' - and it quite patently isn't. Having money to pay for education does not mean that you get to mix with decent people or get a better education.

I suggest that you explore all the options available to you - including your local state schools.

onebatmotherofgoditschilly Sun 07-Dec-08 23:02:57

Are you, erm, east of London grin?

scrooged Sun 07-Dec-08 23:03:52


There's more to a school than the parents though but generally speaking, the larger the school the less contact parents have with each other. It can be a blessing sometimes.

carolthechristmasfairy Sun 07-Dec-08 23:07:57

I would move your DC asap TBH.sad They sound like wankers - why pay when you can get this for free.grin

Idrankthechristmasspirits Sun 07-Dec-08 23:09:28

I moved dd at the end of reception year because of issues with parents. She was absolutely fine, has settle in really well, is now in yr 4 and excelling with a good group of friends.

I have to say though, the issues i had were pretty extreme. One of the childrens fathers took a liking to me and managed to obtain my number from the school secretary. shock

After i spurned his advances he then became rather nasty, took to calling me at all hours, photographing dd and i at weekends if we left the house and spreading very nasty rumours amongst the other parents. The police had to be called in and i decided to move schools also.

I think in your case if you are already feeling uncomfortable then i would look seriously at moving.

Kupugani Sun 07-Dec-08 23:11:43

CIWI - state isn't something we'd rule out - as someone below said though this is not about state vs private although our experience of state was not good hence our decision so far.

What I'm trying to work out is whether WABU in thinking removal to either another private or a state is an appropriate response to the situation we find ourselves in with regard to these peoples' behaviour.

However what I do want to do before it comes to that is also explore other possible alternatives and solutions to avoid possible upheaval for DS, not least of all because he likes it there and we are happy with the school itself. We like the fact that it is small, the school has very traditional values, the results are good etc etc.

onebatmotherofgoditschilly Sun 07-Dec-08 23:12:31

Sorry, x-posts - and also that sounded bloody rude, sorry.

Re: your actual question. I think it would be very difficult to be in any school where you actively disliked the outlook of the vast majority of the parents.

Were you to become disliked by them, because they perceive you as standoffish or another reason, things could become quite difficult for you all, and esp for ds, since parents like this would tend not to have any qualms about passing on their own feelings to their dcs, who could in turn behave badly towards your ds. At which point you'd want to move him anyway, but at a later point when it will be more difficult for him.

Also, even though it's more critical at secondary level, children's world views begin to be shaped at this age (or at least, over the next five years or so) and your ds may absorb some of these values along the way..

God, that's very scare-mongery, isn't it? Sorry, it's almost impossible to make these decisions bcs so much is conjecture.

Kupugani Sun 07-Dec-08 23:14:27

onebatmother... you've really freaked me with that post now. And what with Idrankthechristmasspirits stalker I think a chat with the head teacher is def in order.

duchesse Sun 07-Dec-08 23:26:03

Any school is a community of teachers, parents and children. Ultimately we choose a school on the basis of the community we are choosing for our children to spend their days in, whether in the state or private sector. If the parents cannot behave themselves (and blimey, but they sound an interesting case study bunch), what hope for their children in a couple of years' time? I would move your son asap and find something that fits with your idea of the right community for him.

onebatmotherofgoditschilly Sun 07-Dec-08 23:28:38

oh god, sorry, sorry.
I was really just thinking through the 'don't want to disrupt him' thing and thinking that since you don't really know what might happen in the future anyway, you should do what your heart tells you now. Which, if you think about it, is always the case in any situation.

Really sorry to have freaked you out.

LilyMayPlumpington Sun 07-Dec-08 23:33:45

In the circumstances a move sounds prudent

zenandtheartofbaking Sun 07-Dec-08 23:34:56

I do think that moving him at this stage won't be long-term awful. Not brilliant, but not awful.
Do go and have a look at a lot of schools.
Your confidence will have been knocked a bit by this and you should look at as many schools as possible to get a really good sense of where your "community" is.
There are loads of really, really great state and private schools, with really great parents.

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