What should we do??? Help needed!(26 Posts)
Hi this is a dilemma that we find ourselves in and I wonder what would you all do.
My Dsd (8) is being bullied at school and they are refusing to admit there is a problem! So we have got a dilemma of wether to leave her in this school, find another one locally or home school her. The only school in the area with places available for her to move to has a very poor reputation for bullying in the past. So what would you all do keep her where she is? Move her to bad school? Or homeschool? Let me know please
Bumping this as this is a horrible situation.
Have you exhausted all school routes? ie meetings/ official complaint to chair of governors? Hopefully somebody will come along with some further advice
Yes all routes have been exhausted we are still awaiting a panel of governors meeting concerning other matters about the headmaster but concerning my Dsd all avenues have been tried, local schools social worker has told us she has to leave the school for her own wellbeing. Which would you do homeschool or send to a bad reputation school
I'm sorry to hear that you are in such an unpleasant dilemma. Your child being bullied at schol and not receiving the right kind of action from the school is extremely unpleasant. It's not easy dealing with this.
I'm sure you have done all the below steps I'm about to write but just in case I'll write anyway: I'm sure you have explored the usual routes ie speaking to the teacher, then KS2 leader, and if they were unsatisfactory then the next stage is the headmaster, then the governing body.
There must be a specific governor in charge of child protection and anti bullying, someone DSL (Designated Safeguarding Lead) and you should write to him/her as well as the Chair of Governors.
Please always put everything in writing and create a trail of accountability when you deal with anyone in the school with regards to bullying. After speaking to the teacher, headmaster ..... to whoever, always re-cap what has being said with a letter / email to school.
Obtain the copies of safeguarding/anti bullying/behaviour and complaints policies as well as school's Customer Services policy which outlines how fast complaints will be dealt with, how are they to be dealt with etc. These will be your point of reference.
In some boroughs there are Parent Partnership Service and you can ring them and ask for advice. I heard that they can accompany you to the meetings with the school and it's a good idea to have that extra support in a meeting with the school. Someone on your side and betterstill, familiar with dealing with schools. Having said that, unfortunately not all boroughs have Parent Partnership Service.
Schools are hot on attendance and they are under pressure to achieve certain attendance level. When you talk to the school mention that your child does not want to come to school as a result of the unresolved bullying incident, this will mean compromise in their attendance levels. It should (in theory) alert them but if a school is inefficient in dealing with bullying probably will be inefficient in being proactive with attendance too. However it's worth a try I believe.
If you cannot get the current school sort out the bullying, you should leave an appropriate feedback in Parentview, the Ofsted website about the school.
Local MP might be another avenue to explore if your dealings with the school doesn't resolve the matter, arranging a letter from the local MP to the school, for instance asking for school to follow the correct procedure and policies and asking them to do the right thing, gets logged in your child's file, raises your child's profile which is a good thing.
If all these are unsatisfactory then changing schools would be an option. You mention the alternative school has a bad reputation for bullying, is it on school's Parentview site? Or is it via talking to other parents whose children are at school? How reliable is it? Have you been to the alternative school, talked to the headmaster? How is your gut feeling after visiting the alternative school and speaking to the headmaster?
It sounds like home education is a viable option for you. After exploring the above options you can always opt for home ed.
I would also recommend getting your child to some assertiveness workshop. I highly recommend ZAP
anti bullying workshop for your child :
Best of luck.
I have written a long essay without reading the updates, sorry. You mention the social worker leaves the school for her own safety. Is it the alternative school? If yes, it doesn't sound good.
If home ed is a viable option, i would do that in that case.
Report them to Ofsted. In my experience Schools are very good at denying they have a bullying problem despite all evidence to the contrary.
If you and your SD want to remain at the School I would ask by email for a meeting with the Head and the Governors (copying in the LEA) and insist you want them to take action.
I would apply to a decent school that hasn't got places then appeal. If you have evidence that your son is being bullied and that the current school has failed to take effective action you will have a decent chance of winning the appeal.
Is there a better school you can go on the waiting list for? And then homeschool in the interim?
Bullying is a normal part of childhood and an important learning opportunity. I know that it is miserable to be bullied but if you teach her to stand up for herself they will stop. If you take her out now you will just be teaching her to run away each time things get hard.
Write to the LEA and your MP
But personally I’d homeschool. I don’t but know people who do. Join some local homeschooling Facebook pages and look at what they get up to. Amazing stuff and nice social side.
Sometimes schools don’t know how to effectively deal with bullying so victim blame. Then an ethos of bullying develops within the school. It becomes the norm. Such a whole school ethos is hard to crack and would require outside support (LEA or school involving bullying agencies) or new stronger more thoughtful leadership.
#ttbb we have given her over a year for her to stick it out and stand up to the bullies, when she did she was sent to the headteacher and disciplined for it! Afterwards the bullying has escalated to the point that it is more than one child, but when my SD reports it to a teacher they all deny that they have done it and basically call her a liar or say that she did it to them!
The other school we have been and seen and it looks like any other school, they did talk about its past reputation and as it is under new leadership that has changed. It has a great ofsted report and it has a great semco team which deals with bullied children that come to the school to help them fit in.
We have followed all the correct channels including having her name down for other schools plus appealing to try and get her into them but as there is a place for her in this school they are less inclined to try to open up a space. At the moment we are waiting for a panel of governors meeting about what's been happening and we will continue as far as we need to to get everything resolved for her.
We have informed the school that she is in that we are taking her out of it and homeschooling her as a temporary measure as it is in her best interest to not be bullied. This is on the advice we received today from the local schools social workers.
#darkdarknight they have recently had an ofsted inspection because of the reported bullying and after they consulted with the headteacher and staff plus observed for a couple of days they have come back with a report which stated that there isn't any bullying happening at this school as they don't have any log or reports in writing to contradict what the headteacher has told them. That's how bad it has got, the teaching staff aren't keeping logs of any reports from children about incidents that happen.
In that case probably moving her to the other school is the best course of action. It'll be a fresh start and will be thousands of times better than the current school which looks like destroying her soul slowly but surely.
No need to stick out any longer, it's a torture for a young child who doesn't deserve it.
I believe you should move her to the other school. Surely it cannot be worse than her current school, can it?
Especially if you talk to the SLT specifically explaining the reasons for her move and how unpleasant it had been, also write a note to her class teacher on the first day she starts, asking the teacher to make her feel welcomed and perhaps pairing her with a friendly easy-going child...so that thr school will -hopefully- be on board, and on her side from the beginning.
I think you have nothing to lose.
Bullying is not a learning opportunity. It is horrible. The people who do it need pulling up on it. Schools should deal with it. This is 2017, not 1970.
My DDs have both been bullied at their very large comprehensive - whose catchment includes some very deprived areas and yes, there are some children who are not very pleasant people.
They have always cracked down. They do not tolerate bullying, nor should they.
OP, I hope you find another school for your DSD, she has had enough to put up with.
#pointything I'm sorry to hear that your children are facing the same thing as my SD I agree bullying should be a thing of the past and schools should come down on it hard. We have told the school that as of end of school tomorrow that she will no longer be a pupil and we are homeschooling her as she told my partner this morning she would like someone to break her leg then she wouldn't have to goto school! How wrong is that. I hope your children have the bullying resolved for them asap as you said this is 2017 not the dark ages
Thing is, OP - my DDs were not bullied for long. DD1 took a while reporting it because she believed she would not be taken seriously. When she found out one of her friends was being bullied by the same person, they reported together. The bully was internally excluded the same day, letter home to their parents, and it was made clear that my DD and her friend could report if it ever happened again and the consequences would be severe. With DD2 it was even quicker because a teacher spotted it happening and the boy in question got the tonne of bricks treatment. There are schools that really do zero tolerance. And they all should. I hope your DD is happy home schooled. She needs a period of calm and safety.
Ttbb I am shocked at your comment. Hope you are not a teacher.
I don't think you understand what bullying is Ttbb. Kids occasionally saying unkind things to one another during a fall out is normal, and learning how to navigate those situations is helpful.
However, systematic bullying is neither normal nor acceptable in any sphere of society.
Thank you all for your posts we went for a second tour of the new school today ( last was in the school half term break and with a member of staff) this time with the headteacher. the school is amazing they have a zero tolerance of bullying and she explained how they achieve it. We went into classes largest class size is 23 children with a teacher and a Lsa full time. The kids all looked happy and they told us how the school is too. Been given a start date of January so 5 weeks for her to build her confidence back up. Thank you all
That is brilliant, OP! Gives you time to help her recover from the trauma and get her ready to start at this new school so it's best of both worlds. You are a wonderful mum fighting your DD's corner.
Pointything I'm her step dad lol but thank you and yes we are fighting for her even to the point that her biological father doesn't agree that she's being bullied and we should just leave her to get on with it and has cut contact with us because we didn't leave her to continue in the school!!
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