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Do teachers get ANY training in how to talk to parents?

(14 Posts)
tatt Thu 12-May-05 07:15:42

I ask because of a bad experience with my daughter's teacher who was encouraging children to bring peanuts to a school picnic. To my mind this is negligent when there is a severely allergic child present because of the cross contamination risk. I was more than slightly upset when taking him a letter about the actions necessary to protect my child in those high risk conditions. The way in which he defended it made it worse. Therefore I was so angry I told him he was an uncaring teacher and went to see the headteacher (much better discussion).

After our discussion I can understand why some parents assault teachers (not condoning it but I find it more understandable!) Do teachers deliberately provoke parents as a form of defense?

swedishmum Thu 12-May-05 07:21:20

I would have thought every school would have a peanut policy now, especially if there are any known allergies. It's scary who's out there in charge of our children.
On my PGCE many moons ago we had one session of role play about Parents' Evenings - that was it!

Hulababy Thu 12-May-05 08:42:46

As a (noe ex!) teacher I never had any training in dealing with parents at all, either in a formal or informal way.

TBH I also know of no school who has a peanut (or anyother allergy related) policy. It probably would not even cross many people's mind - as they are not directly involved with the allergy, so they are lucky enough not to have too.

I would advice speaking to the Headteacher of Head of Year about it, rather than the class teacher. It is more of a whole school issue - and maybe something the school could address in a forthcoming INSET session.


I don't condone the teacher talking badly to you though - not professional at all. If he/she was unsure of the matter, they should have passed the issue on to someone who would know instead.

Sadly there are poor (or at least uncommunciative (sp??)) teachers around, as there as poor people in all jobs. Sorry you had to meet one of them.

beep Thu 12-May-05 08:46:58

my daughters primary school does have a strict no peanut policy as there are several children with severe nut allergies.seems sensible enough iv'e not heard of any parents having a problem with it.

Hulababy Thu 12-May-05 08:52:14

BTW, I was talking about secondary, not primary.

tatt Thu 12-May-05 08:53:41

no head of year as its a primary school. When we moved here we were told they already had a child at the school who was allergic to nuts. With one is 70 children having nut allergy and more having other allergies I can't understand any large school not having a policy. At our last school there was a policy to ban nuts from the school completely - even before we started. We then had a meeting with the head and school nurse to set up a treatment protocol. I thought that was standard.

I've written to the governors asking for a policy change but I'm interested in why someone I had previously thought of as a reasonable teacher is unable to handle an upset parent. But if there is no training - or a single session - perhaps that is something that needs to be addressed. Is there any training on dealing with difficult children - maybe the problem is that he's trying to apply those techniques to an adult?

Hulababy Thu 12-May-05 09:00:20

There should be some training on dealing with difficult children yes.

I do agree that, as allergies seem much more common now - and sadly more severe - there should be some form of blanket policy for schools. Especially at primary school, where it is easier to manage.

I suspect the problem may be harder to control at secondary where there are several hundreds of children. BUt by involving the pupils in some form of awareness session, something could be achieved maybe.

annierose Thu 12-May-05 09:33:02

Sounds like he was on the defensive because he has been unreasonably attacked on other occasions. Perhaps to be told he was uncaring probably upset him on a bad day - from all reports many new teachers don't even get sufficient preparation to deal with disruptive pupils let alone angry parents.

tatt Thu 12-May-05 09:43:46

have been having a good look at the joint DFES/ Dept Health advice on medical needs of children in schools. The employer is required by Health and Safety legislation to have policies on administering medicines and staff have a duty of care under that legislation. They can't be required to administer medicines but they do seem to have a duty to minimise risk. Individual schools are supposed to have policies and an agreed plan for managing each child with medical needs. So our old school was complying with the guidance and this one isn't.

This isn't a new teacher, he's been teaching for more than 30 years. Maybe he's a worn out one.

I am quite worried about the move to secondary school, although we have deliberately chosen a smaller than average one and the one that seemed most clued up about allergies.

lockets Thu 12-May-05 10:15:03

Message withdrawn

happymerryberries Thu 12-May-05 10:16:17

I would have said taht the best person to have talked to would have been the head or teh deputy head.

As a classroom teacher he wouldn't have had much control over what happened in the playground etc.

I don't know the man, he could well be an iditiot, but he might not have been able to put in the changes that your child so obviously needs. In this case he may he the monekey rather than the organ grinder IYSWIM.

tatt Thu 12-May-05 15:16:06

definitley the monkey in this case or the prating lean-witted pignut It wasn't normal lunch but a picnic arranged to celebrate the end of SATS. To avoid all the children bringing the same food they were told to bring different items. Its bad enough that she has to take in food to share then take her own plate because she won't be able to eat what the others bring in.

He feels aggreived, he told me, because I was angry. Maybe I should just have submitted a formal complaint of negligence. I'd take the kids away if we hadn't just moved here but when my son gets to that year I'll ask if he can be in the other class. Can't get daughter switched as the other teacher is needle phobic.

bobbybob Fri 13-May-05 00:34:15

for you tatt, I have all this to look forward to.

Needle phobic? Really? or just doesn't want the responsibility?

Tell them to shove the plate up their arse. Organising a bring a plate picnic when there is an allergic child in the class - oh, that'll be a bonding experience!

The sooner people start thinking of ways to celebrate without food (and in our case without balloons) the better.

tatt Fri 13-May-05 06:00:39

I think with the other teacher it is genuine. She said she has agreed to adminster an epipen if necessary and had the training. However she went on the school trip and when I tried to get her to practise (as you do )with the needleless pen just to be sure she remembered she couldn't bear to put it against her leg.

I'm afraid you do have to be prepared for this, bobbybob, if you want your child to mix socially at all. Bringing food to share is common and the more fuss you make the less likely it is your child gets invited to parties, or back to other children's homes. I did suggest to her that I'd take her out of school for the afternoon but like most kids she was looking forward to a party.

However the school is in loco parentis and no parent of an allergic child would organise a party and invite other people to bring things that might harm their child. They should be helping to teach other children about caring for the handicapped. We're teaching our daughter to cope with the cross contamination risk but she isn't always reliable about washing hands so an outdoor picnic is more of a risk than usual. She didn't want to take wipes for her hands and I can't yet trust her to use them without prompting. I needed the teacher to remind her

When your child starts at school arrange a joint session with the school nurse and the head, even if they tell you they can cope

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