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Private Vs State for discipline with a boundary pushing DS

(104 Posts)
jalapeno Fri 08-Feb-13 18:26:03

DS is a bright boy but showing some challenging behaviour. He has been assessed for ASD, ADHD etc but nothing can be diagnosed as he is not displaying "symptoms" of any one particular disorder, he isn't like this with us at home (it is the opposite of the good state of affairs which is challenging at home, angel at school!) and despite us being extremely poor at the moment and mildly opposed to private education I am tempted to look into a private prep school.

For example DS has been spitting on the floor. He spat once on the floor at home about 8 months ago and I dealt with it and nothing at home since. At school, I am mortified to discover that he does it several times a week, they have written him a "social story" to show him why he shouldn't do it. Personally I think they should read him the riot act and he wouldn't do it again. There are other examples of this flowery approach and I think he has sussed it. He is a boundary pusher but responds well to a strict set of rules.

Am I being daft? Are prep schools more disciplined? Or should I just tell school to man up a bit? Would he flounder in a prep school because they would expect perfect behaviour?

jalapeno Wed 01-May-13 09:48:06

Ah ok...thanks musu I did wonder grin

I just had a really good meeting with deputy head who is going to recommend wiping the slate clean with the IEP at start of the next school year for a fresh start with new teacher and agreed that school needs to enforce strict boundaries and not make allowances for him.

She agreed that his behaviour has become self-fulfilling and he will be treated as any other boy his age and only to start the SEN road if re-assessed as needed without the IEP.

I'm happy grin.

musu Wed 01-May-13 07:31:45

jalapeno I wouldn't engage if I were you. Fivecandles is one of those perfect parents that don't actually exist in RL but are surprisingly common on MN grin

jalapeno Wed 01-May-13 07:12:48

fivecandles how could I write about the behaviour log in the OP when it hadn't happened at that point? This thread started in February before I had met with teachers or anything, I merely updated the other day to let the people that helped me then know what was going on. How ridiculous to moan that this is a drip-feed thread because IT IS! It was written as the situation unfolded.

When I wrote the OP I was desperate for help or reassurance, now things have improved. My update about Ofsted was to show that actually an external person has come in and basically told the school what I was telling them in February so whatever you think about me fivecandles, ofsted agree with me!

Of course it is my job to raise my children to behave well. I did that and he behaved well up until this year. I hope your children never do anything unexpected when not in your presence and when you ask for help at a vulnerable time someone says such horrible things. To say that a school shouldn't have to discipline children is just silly and you must surely know that?!

I shan't try and defend myself any more because you will clearly always feel superior to me but take it from me it's just when you think you've done a really good job with your kids that one of the blighters chucks you a curved ball. At that point by your logic you will have to label yourself a crap parent or maybe you'll just want a bit of reassurance on mumsnet.

fivecandles Tue 30-Apr-13 19:34:50

Hmm... seems like this is one of those threads where information is gradually added so that the op turns into something quite different.

I do struggle with the idea that the school is 'allowing' your son 'to misbehave'. You see, I think that HE is responsible for his behaviour and it does sound like you are looking for other people/school to MAKE HIM behave when ultimately, this is something he should be learning for himself with your help.

Certainly I didn't say that you were being dramatic about the spitting on the floors of the school which I think is a really disgusting thing for a child to be doing. What I felt was that that was a dramatic reason to move schools.

Now it emerges that the school tried and failed with their 'social story' to stop the problem but you then you solved it yourself by working with the school which is what I suggested some way up the thread (which is not what was said in the OP where you said he spits several times a week using the present tense). So, if you can resolve this problem by working with the school and assertive parenting maybe that is the way forward with his other behavioural problems?

jalapeno Tue 30-Apr-13 06:47:23

Right, had an early night last night so up and at 'em early to respond on here.

Thanks for everyone's input, especially those who actually read the whole thread! Fivecandles a lot of the stuff you are saying I should have done I did do so not sure what you mean and as for being dramatic about spitting, you have fixated on the spitting, I am upset because my son is being treated as if he is autistic when Paediatricians and OTs agree that he doesn't have any SN. I feel he is misbehaving, they are allowing him to misbehave because they feel he can't help it. I know he can help it because I have effectively disciplined him at home but I am not getting the support from school.

This thread is not really about his behaviour, more about frustration!! Fivecandles I hope you never have to bang your head against the wall of "the system" because it fecking hurts, especially when people tell you that you don't care about your children and it's all your fault anyway. The private question in the title was asked through desperation, we cannot afford it and I want to persevere really.

Thanks Hazyshades, it is comforting to know we are not alone smile. Thanks musu for trying to explain what I have said upthread, much appreciated smile and blimey kissmyheathenass that sounds like a nightmare of a school!!

ipadquietly Mon 29-Apr-13 18:55:14

'It takes a village to raise a child. A good prep school will try to help before throwing in the towel. They will set consistent boundaries and try to encourage him to stick within them. '

No, never happens at state schools. hmm

jalapeno Mon 29-Apr-13 12:43:29

Crikey there have been lots if replies! I will reply fully this evening from home but just wanted to clear up for five candles that since finding out about the spitting I created a behaviour log for teacher to fill in daily. There has been no spitting since now that he knows it is unacceptable at school. I dont think it is schools fault he is spitting on the floor, I think it is their fault that they chose not to make him clear it up and to punish him at the time of the incident.

You clearly don't like what I have said and have picked up on my laid back attitude, up until recently DS has been very well behaved at school and at home and since the behaviour chart he is again. He discovered he was considered special in some way by teachers and ran with it.

Now I don't know if the fidgeting is a red herring, a cause for concern or a result of boring teaching as highlighted by ofsted.

Thanks to all for replies I will look properly tonight. Apologies for typos I'm on my phone!

Hazyshades Mon 29-Apr-13 10:17:11

I see he's 7. The same age as my DS

They are still very little and many children in other countries are only just starting school.

I ended up intervening this year and came up with a points system that his teacher had to sign every day for good behaviour.

It worked well & showed that we were working together (even though secretly in thought she was rubbish wink)

Hazyshades Mon 29-Apr-13 10:13:55

What year is he in?

DS1 is a bit like this. Not bad behaviour but can be disruptive, struggles with concentration, very active.

It's my opinion that private would have been disastrous for him. He's bright but, like many young children, doesn't do well with sitting down etc. I think the pressure of private school would have crushed the skills and talents that he does have (they just need reigning in grin).

In Year1 he had a fantastic teacher who was very strict. She set clear expectations and had no nonsense. He ADORED her. However she also did lots of outdoor learning, they moved around a lot and did more PE than other classes. He flourished under her.

This year he has not done so well as his teacher doesn't command the same authority or respect from her & she is less tolerant if him generally.

The head has been great though and come up with lots of initiatives for boys in particular to motivate them.

I don't think private schools would tailor things in this way.

I would talk to the head. It maybe that the teacher may be better next year, or another state school would be better suited.

kissmyheathenass Sun 28-Apr-13 21:58:16

I have copied and pasted relevant parts of my reply from another thread about state vs private.

Ds went to a local independent school when he started year 7. We recently moved him into a state school because amongst other things, the discipline in the private school was shockingly inadequate

As well as bullying there was a general feeling of poor discipline ie Year 10s leaning out of window and shouting "pussy" at parents (mothers obv) shock. Generally pupils were applauded for sporting success over anything else. So the little fucker who tried to drown my ds and bullied him EVERY DAY for 4 terms got praise, medals, made form captain and featured in the newsletter because he was good at sport (Sport scholarship). Ds had kit nicked frequently, his padlock was broken off his locker several times. The swearing and language was awful - including swearing at teachers. He was called names (he has SEN), he was spat at, pushed off his chair in lessons, had stones thrown at him. It was like Lord of the Flies. sad

Our experience of state secondary so far is that discipline is very strict - immediate detentions are given for bad behaviour. Boundaries are clear and enforced by all the staff. When we looked around the school we saw no bad behaviour (morning break time). Ds enjoys school and is much much happier - he says he isn't scared to go to school any more.

Please don't presume private is better. I wince when I think of the £££ we threw at ds's education only to end up with him being very unhappy.

musu Sun 28-Apr-13 21:45:18

From what the OP wrote she only learned it was going on after some considerable time - At school, I am mortified to discover that he does it several times a week, they have written him a "social story" to show him why he shouldn't do it

It should not have got to the written social story stage without the OP knowing about it. That is my point. How on earth can you do something about a behaviour at school if she did not know it was going on at the time and is not going on at home?

I would expect the school to discipline for behaviour at school and I would expect discipline for behaviour at home.

fivecandles Sun 28-Apr-13 18:15:44

But the teachers HAVE tried to help this child. The OP thinks they should 'read him the riot act' but admits that as a parent she herself is 'laid back' and has 'no routine'. She cannot expect the school to pick up the pieces from her own slack parenting and nor can she expect them to know how she wants them to treat her son (which seems to be at odds with how she treats him) if she doesn't tell them.

LadyMaryQuiteContrary Sun 28-Apr-13 17:59:29

It takes a village to raise a child. wink A good prep school will try to help before throwing in the towel. They will set consistent boundaries and try to encourage him to stick within them. There's no harm in you looking and asking about their behaviour policy whilst you ask about a bursary.

fivecandles Sun 28-Apr-13 17:30:57

And it is odd to suggest that the solution to a very particular action that her child is doing (spitting) is something as dramatic as moving school and sector rather than having a conversation with the teachers and the child and taking some low key but assertive action. It is completely abdicating responsibility in a way that is quite troubling.

That is not to say that there aren't problems with the school but no school makes a child spit on the floor and equally, no school can or should have to solve a child's behavoural problems where the parent can't or won't.

fivecandles Sun 28-Apr-13 17:24:06

'How is she supposed to know he is doing this if the school don't tell her?'

But she DID know so there is no reason why she can't deal with it by working together with the school. What is more the teachers have been trying to deal with it. And just as parents are not capable of being mind readers, neither are teachers so she needs to go and have a conversation with them if they're not dealing with it in a way that's working.

However, I don't care how bad a school is, it is not the school's fault that the child is spitting on the floor; the child and mother have to take responsibility for that particular behaviour before they can deal with it.

musu Sun 28-Apr-13 16:07:21

The OP said she 'discovered' her ds was spitting at school, something he had done once at home and not repeated. How is she supposed to know he is doing this if the school don't tell her? confused

mummytime Sun 28-Apr-13 15:48:32

Fivecandles - do you have kids?

Quite often parents have no idea what their children are getting up to in school. Teachers should be able to deal with day to day bad behaviour. Young children need instant consequences, not ones several hours later once their parents have been told. They quite often would not link their action with the punishment, if they are separated by hours. They could even have forgotten the original "crime" and may think they are being punished for something else, eg. Getting out of line when leaving the classroom.

Most parents I know do care about their children's behaviour. However good teachers are perfectly able to handle children's behaviour, even when they come from "difficult" backgrounds; that is if they are given the help and support, and training they need from the Headteacher. In difficult situations the LA can often supply specialist help and guidance.

If Fivecandles you read the OPs update you will see that her child's school has been criticised by OFSTED. Which is exactly the circumstances when a child's behaviour may be mismanaged.

fivecandles Sun 28-Apr-13 15:37:28

'He is a boundary pusher but responds well to a strict set of rules.'

Well, set them then and go into school and tell them what they are: 'If he spits on the floor again please write a note in his diary and I will ensure he writes a letter of apology/cleans up the floor/pays for cleaning fluid with his pocket money'.

It really isn't surprising that teachers have such a hard time if parents are so lacking in imagination and assertiveness.

fivecandles Sun 28-Apr-13 15:31:34

I find it utterly bizarre to think that any parent would find out her son was spitting on the floor at school and assume this was somehow the school's fault. That's not to say that the school doesn't have problems but honestly, only your child (and you) are responsible for his actions.

fivecandles Sun 28-Apr-13 15:25:20

It's the SAME child whether at school or at home and teachers and parents should be working together. In this scenario the OP has been made aware of the spitting at school so it is up to HER and crucially her son to take responsibility for that behaviour.

Far too many parents expect teachers to be able to get their kids to behave when they won't or can't and that's not desirable and probably not possible. Your child, your responsibility and it's our job as parents to teach our kids to be responsible for themselves and their behaviour. Honestly, I'm absolutely aghast at the attitudes here. Poor teachers!

musu Sun 28-Apr-13 15:17:39

What happens, as in the OP's case, where the child does one instance of bad behaviour at home which is dealt with and not repeated but does many instances of bad behaviour at school and no one tells the parents. I don't know about you but my psychic powers fail me on a regular basis. When ds behaved badly at school I was told specifically not to punish him at home as they were dealing with it at school. Equally I don't expect school to punish him for behaviour he exhibits at home but not at school.

fivecandles Sun 28-Apr-13 15:05:44

'I don't want him to be caned or anything! Just told he can't spit on the floor under any circumstance!'

Am I the only one that thinks that should be YOUR job? I don't really understand why parents abdicate responsibility for how their kids behave once in school. When he is old enough to go out alone whose job will it be then?

I wouldn't care if my kids went to a school where the behaviour of other kids was rubbish and teachers were rubbish I would still expect decent behaviour of them and not just because they would be worried about sanctions but because I have taught them how to behave and they have learnt responsibility for their own behaviour.

Different if he has SN but otherwise it sounds very much like you're trying to find a school that will do your job for you i.e. teach your child how to behave and take over responsibility for his behaviour which should be HIS and your responsibility.

musu Sun 28-Apr-13 14:05:16

Prep schools are primary age not secondary age. Your question related to prep schools, hence my comment.

The competition for scholarships at secondary level is fierce and some schools only award bursaries to those in receipt of scholarships.

What year is he in and what age do the secondaries near you start?

jalapeno Sun 28-Apr-13 06:44:38

musu & mts preps are financially out of the question, I would consider thinking about it for secondary as we have two close by that are reknowned for many boys attending having scolarships and bursaries.

mummytime it was "requires improvement", I agree with you and hope that the next few years will mean a huge improvement.

mummytime Sat 27-Apr-13 19:35:43

How poor is very poor? If it is unsatisfactory, that could be good news for you, as there will be major changes ahead.

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