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What more can we do when school won't acknowledge bullying

(7 Posts)
Stanky Fri 18-Mar-16 17:25:48

Ds is in year 3. Everything was fine up until last week, when 5 children ganged up on him, and a boy put his hands around his throat. I wasn't called, and ds didn't give a statement at the time. I was still trying to get that incident dealt with, when he was pushed over in the playground on Monday. He told a teacher, but nothing seemed to have been done, and the boy didn't apologise. I was trying to speak to someone about that incident, and the school never called me back, when there was another incident today. Ds didn't even want to talk to me about it, but when he finally did, the same boy who put his hands round his throat before, pushed him down onto a bench, held him down and put his hands round his throat again. Ds told a dinner lady, but it wasn't investigated further.

I saw his head of year this evening, and she would not accept this as bullying. She said that it was just a series of separate incidents. It was all minimised as a non - issue, and felt a little bit victim blamey, as my ds couldn't remember the name of all the children involved, or the dinner lady's name he spoke to.

How can I take this further when the school are not interested? What can I do to get them to listen and take some action? They promised a call back this evening, but they haven't called back. I'm not surprised, but I'm so upset, as I didn't expect a battle to get a school to take bullying seriously. How bad does it have to get before they acknowledge it?

Sallyhasleftthebuilding Sun 20-Mar-16 17:42:00

You need the anti bully policy complaints procedure and the behaviour policy.

You need to email the school - more effective than talking as they have to take it seriously -

You need to quote above policies - you need dates and incidents and what you expect to happen now - how are they keeping him safe etc

You then include I expect a reply by X date usually 5 working days

Then if your infinite or fobbed off - email the Govenors

LineyReborn Sun 20-Mar-16 17:47:12

My DS was in Year 3 when I moved him to a different school because the Headteacher, frankly, couldn't have given a shit.

I'm not the sensitive hysterical type.

I don't regret it.

middleeasternpromise Sun 20-Mar-16 17:47:41

As Sally says don't have verbal discussions, put things in writing - be clear of the incidents your child describes and ask for explanations - keep talking to your child and keep reassuring him that you believe him. If he thinks adults don't care he wont trust them to tell. The school will want to normalise and minimise as they deal with disputes between children all the time however if its having an adverse effect on a child it needs dealing with differently and you need to insist it is escalated. Above all keep records.

Stanky Sun 20-Mar-16 19:48:48

Thanks for your help. I will try writing to them next.

Lineyreborn, same here. I am going to see if we can get any placements in a better school, for lots of reasons. This is just the latest example of the school not giving a shit in general.

Tamarandave Sun 15-May-16 16:28:16

Schools vary tremendously as regards bullying, but far too many act slowly or too mildly to make any difference. Often teachers have a blind spot as regards bullying and schools take too long to address issues when they arise. So well done in grabbing the nettle and getting stuck in at this early stage. Your son depends on you for protection and to ensure he is not harmed or damaged and that his life is as good as possible. I normally recommend changing school but perhaps things are a little early for that. See how things work out over the next few weeks but certainly look around for alternatives.

Make sure you talk to your son regularly and find out if the bullying is continuing. The level of violence is a concern and you must not be fobbed off by the school as there may be some danger to your son from these other boys.
Keep a diary of bullying or other incidents with your son together. This will give him confidence that you are fighting his corner and will also serve to show as evidence.

Stanky Sun 15-May-16 17:38:14

Thanks. smile I applied to another school, but unfortunately they didn't have any placements. In the mean time, we did go for another meeting after I wrote a snotty letter. The teacher we spoke to this time took the matter very seriously, and she responded by speaking to the boy's parents, setting up adult led meetings with ds and the bullies, so that it could all be resolved properly, and they kept a closer eye on things at play times. This seems to have been effective, and we haven't had any bullying problems since. Thanks for all of the helpful advice. smile

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