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I don't know what to do for the best.

(8 Posts)
DevotionAndDesire Thu 15-Sep-11 11:55:31

My son started school last week, but I have issues with his school.

First they didn't tell me about the open day or parents evening that they had, so i never had chance to meet the teachers and was not given the information pack until two days before he started, when i went into the school to complain talk to them, at which point i was told by the rude receptionist that everyone was 'too busy what with it being the day before the school reopened'.

Since then i have just felt more and more uncomfortable with leaving my son there, this morning i literally had to force myself to go home because i really didn't want to leave him there.

The head and his teacher come across as really unapproachable, i am quite a shy timid person and every time i try to approach one of them i practically get shooed away or just ignored completely.
I have tried to call them, but every time i am told that they will call me back, but they never do, i feel almost frightened to approach them because every time i do they literally make me feel like i am bothering them in the middle of something super important.

They have the wrong address on his file, its not an old address or an address i have any connection to, i have no idea where they have got it from, but every time i tell them, at reception, on the phone or in a letter or note they just ignore it. i had a note in DS's bag yesterday with the same random address on the top of the letter.

In their info pack it tells you that you have to put their lunch money in a sealed marked envelope and send it in the childs bag.
I have done this, the envelope has been opened and then put back into DS's bag (with the money still inside) but they have sent me 3 reminder letters telling me that i owe them money for DS's lunch. letters that they have put into his book bag WITH THE ENVELOPE OF LUNCH MONEY in it.

I know that it is a good school, but i am just having serious issues with all this

I called the only other local school, and they invited me to go for a look around and a chat.
The only problem with it is that that school is miles away from where we live (the current school is only a 20 minute walk away) and it would be quite inconvenient to have to go there, it would be an hour walk just to get there from our house.

I just don't know what to do, all the staff at DS's school seem so unapproachable and intimidating, and their admin staff seem completely incompetent.
But its a good school and DS seems to like it there.

I dont know what to do for the best. I've been sitting here crying all morning trying to figure out what to do.
DH is away with work and i literally feel like i have no one to talk to about all this. sad

Colleger Thu 15-Sep-11 13:28:01

Just send a firm letter stating what you have said here to the receptionist and head teacher about the lunch money and address not being rectified. Mention that you would like to know the appropriate times to speak to a teacher about any issues too. If the teacher then tries to shoo you away you can produce the letter stating that you are allowed to approach teachers between x and y times as they are at their least busiest.

And develop some balls!

IndigoBell Thu 15-Sep-11 13:41:18

Sounds awful sad

Most schools aren't anything like that.

Is there a bus to the school that's further away?

If you can move him, then I would.

If you can't. I don't know. I guess be more assertive sad

gingeroots Thu 15-Sep-11 18:00:40

It's such a stressful time ,starting at a school .

I bet a million pounds that you're not the only mother feeling like this .

Can you spot any others and team up ?

It'll get easier and you'll cope better but it might be worth visiting the other school ,having another think and moving him if you can .
Good luck ,let us know how it goes .

WinkyWinkola Thu 15-Sep-11 18:07:05

You can approach the teacher with your head held high and say you would like to make an appointment for a chat. Suggest two or three days and times you are available after school so that he/she can't avoid it.

When you go to the meeting, make notes beforehand on what you want to discuss so that you don't forget anything. The lunch money thing is bonkers and shouldn't happen. Idiots.

Don't allow people to treat you like this - you are not to be dismissed like an annoying gnat.

Jinx1906 Thu 15-Sep-11 18:15:54

I would make an appointment to see the head and discuss my concerns, try to stay calm, take a partner or a friend if that would help and see how I felt afterwards. If you feel you are getting nowhere perhaps you may wish to consider moving your DC. What ever you decide I think it is important that you carefully look at your options and don't end up thinking what might have been in a few years time. Your DC is going to be at primary for a long time.

Starting school can be stressfull, perhaps more so for the parents than the children.

Goodluck. Would be interesting to hear how you are getting on.

Ps- the lady in our primary's office is a bit like a bull dog that has just swallowed a wasp. Perhaps it is just something about school offices. (but I'm sure there are some nice once out there too)

coccyx Thu 15-Sep-11 18:22:54

Would be a shame to move schools if your son is happy there.
Need to be more assertive, people tend to treat you like this if you let them.
Head up, shoulders back and in you go.

Waltons Thu 15-Sep-11 19:47:51

I am sorry you feel so upset, but if you get this upset over tiny (not serious) issues like this after a single week, you are going to spend the whole of the next 13 years in tears.

It's hard when they start school and harder because your DH is also away but please, for your own sake, grow some balls and see the bigger picture.

Your son is there to receive an education, you haven't had a chance to see the quality of that, and yet you are talking of moving him? You don't mention that he is unhappy at all - just that you feel small and helpless in a new environment. If the admin people are incompetent, that's life. It is the education and quality of care that matters.

The staff are unapproachable because it is the first week of term, they are up to their eyes in it and every parent wants their attention for everything from a missing sock, a problem in the car park, wet knickers, tearful unsettled children, major behavioural issues, etc. Admin comes second to that at this time of year, mistakes happen and they will get sorted out in time. Most schools are hopeless at admin and you will be constantly battling to get things right.

Go in at the end of the school day when the staff have more time to spare. Ask the teacher what you are doing wrong on the lunch money. Probably nothing, but at least you are not accusing her of being in the wrong. Send a formal, polite letter addressed to the Head's PA/School Sec asking for your address to be corrected. That letter will go on his file, where a post-it note will not. Follow up in a month if it is still wrong.

At every approach smile, say "I'm sorry to trouble you when I know you are busy", then be firm but pleasant and always, always say thank you. Do that every time and soon they will defrost and you will be "that nice Mrs DevotionandDesire" for whom nothing will be too much trouble.

Save your approaches to the Head for any really serious issues - repeated bullying, failing academically, failures in the duty of care.

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