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Enforcing bullying policy?

(5 Posts)
valhala Sun 13-Sep-09 01:16:46

Mines a long story but in a nutshell, DD2 (12 years old) has been bullied and she and I felt her complaints were ignored. It got to a stage last term where she retaliated and was punished for doing so. Meetings between head of year, assistant principal and deputy headteacher and I ensued and we agreed that if DD had a minor complaint - e.g. name-calling, swearing etc - she would report to HoY and/or deputy asap and if it was more serious - e.g. physical/spitting etc, she would tell the nearest teacher immediately so that they in turn could inform DD's HoY and deputy. I got this latter in writing from the assistant principal who also stated that he would inform staff to take DDs complaints seriously and to report them to him, the deputy and the HoY.

The first day back from summer hols DD was spat at in the face by a boy in her class. She told the teacher, who said "Don't worry about it" and told her to sit down. Nothing appears to have been done at the time.

I fired off an angry email to the deputy who had been in the aforementioned meeting. He said that he was (understandably) unaware of the situation but would consult the HoY and ask the HoY to report back to him - not to ME, the mum who is dealing with the distraught, spat-upon child, note!

The deputy added that I should reinforce to DD the message that he had "repeatedly" given to DD - that she should report incidents of this kind to him or the HoY.... yet our agreement, which as I have said, I have in writing, is that she reports more serious matters to the NEAREST teacher asap. If this deputy had been listening when he was in the meeting where we all agreed this and not playing with his mobile and flicking through paperwork irrelevant to the situation he would have remembered this!

DD is in a real state and hasn't been sleeping, so much so that she asked to go to the doctors about it - a VERY unusual step for her. It came out in the doctors meeting that she feels that she is not sleeping because of the bullying.

During last term's meeting it was suggested that staff do craft work in lunchtimes and after school club with DD to get her talking as her responses to the (in her opinion un-dealt with) bullying were becoming so verbally and physically aggresive as to create a problem, and that they refer her to Ed Psych. That was about 6 weeks before the end of term but despite several emails to the deputy on the matter, which I know he has received, nothing has been done and my questions as to when they will implement these things remain unanswered.

I have booked an appointment with the SENCO (who has been involved and was at a previous meeting) for Friday, asking for the answers to those questions and attaching these emails but although I have the meeting arranged have not yet been given any reply as to what assessments SENCO carried out when she wrote a report on DD, what will be done henceforth, when the promises of Ed Psych and 1-to-1 craft activities for a "chat" about how DD feels about the bullying are to be held and so on, although of course I may at last get an answer before I meet with the SENCO next week.

I feel that not only are the school not doing as they said they would, a promise which they made in writing, and which I have repeatedly asked them to keep, but they are also rollocking DD for following the procedure which they also agreed in writing.

In this Mum's terms, FFS, they punished DD for retaliating because they ignored her cries for help, they told her how to do it properly and offered her assistance, yet when she did it the way they told her to do in a letter they not only still ignore her they tell her off for reporting it as we all agreed and although I have repeatedly asked them to give the help they said they would they have both failed to do so AND repeatedly failed to answer any of my written requests for information as to when they will give this help, what SEN tests they have carried out, what conclusion they have come to and what, if any, other assessments they intend to make.

Given that they are ignoring this 40-something parent, I can understand why DD is scared, confused and distressed that they are also ignoring her reports of bullying and that she feels that she needs to retaliate although I definately do NOT condone it.

Additionally the school appear to me to not be keeping to the terms of any bullying policy. Theirs is nothing remarkable, just the usual stuff about them not tolerating it, dealing with it and so on, but I feel that they are not complying with it in DDs case.

My question is this - given that I don't feel that the bullying policy is being followed in DDs case, does that really mean anything? Does the bullying policy carry any weight and can I (if I have to, although I hope to goodness it will be unnecessary and DD will finally get help without me having to jump up and down) take steps to ensure that the terms of the bullying policy are upheld?

Or is a school's bullying policy a load of tosh and not worth the paper it is written on?

I really believe that if I don't get the answers to the questions I have posed in the several emails I have sent since March this year I will need to take further action but I don't want to waste even more time waffling on about how the school is not upholding it's bullying policy if I am flogging a dead horse because a bullying policy is just a guideline.

thesunshinesbrightly Mon 21-Sep-09 22:45:11

bullying policy what a crock of shit that is, no such thing. Schools always punish the victim -fact.

take a written to the LED detailing all the things that have happened to your child and quote that the school is not doing their duty as a school to look after you child. good luck.

sayithowitis Sat 26-Sep-09 18:35:40

Hi Valhalla, I hoe the situation has been resolved by now, however,if not I would suggest the following:
1. Write a letter, detailing what has happened, in roughly chronological order if possible.
2. Remind the school of the agreed procedures, sending a hard copy of any e-mails or other letters as evidence.
3. Be very clear about where they have failed to follow their own anti bullying policy. Quote examples where possible.
4. Ask whether the Ed Psych. has seen DD yet and what was the result of any assessments carried out. ( The Ed.Psych. should have sent a copy of the report to you at least, if not met with you to discuss it. Also, you should have signed a consent form for them to see your DD. If you did not, the school and ED. Psych have breached regulations)

5. decide whether you want a further meeting with the school about this, or whether you want their reply in writing. I would go for the meeting and contact local authority to get in touch with Parents in Partnership, who will attend meetings with you and help you by acting as a 'knowledgeable friend'.

Once you have written your letter, i would send it to the Head teacher, the Chairman Of Governors, the Local Education Authority and a copy to your local MP. Make sure that all names are CC'd at the bottom of the letter to the headteacher.

Hopefully that will get them moving.

If all else fails, should you wish to change schools and need to go to appeal in order to do so, this will all be compelling evidence in your favour in front of the appeals panel.

valhala Sun 04-Oct-09 12:10:42

THANK YOU!

I have written just such a letter - had it on my desk since last week but keep struggling with unpredictable software to alter it in order to keep it relevent. I WILL sort the flaming thing out today and slam it onto the school's office desk tomorrow morning.

I'm very grateful especially to be advised to cc the Chair of Governors, LEA and MP... I was wondering if I should but the school's complaints policy says that any problems must be put to Principal first (having gone through class teacher, head of year etc) and only moved on to the Chair of Governors if the Principal's reply is unsatisfactory.

I have no problem with peeing the school off and ignoring this advice, I was just concerned that I would be shooting myself in the foot in some way by ignoring these instructions.

Again, thank you so very much.

sayithowitis Fri 09-Oct-09 16:53:39

Hi Valhalla, any response tou your letter yet?

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