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dispute over which class my ds will be in next week

(64 Posts)
rightrevauntiemackerel Fri 02-Sep-11 08:51:42

hello this is my first post, and I'm wondering if anyone has any advice about how to get my boy into the best class for him. He's 9 and been allocated to a class with two teachers, one of whom is leaving at Xmas to start a headship elsewhere, the other returning from maternity leave. After Xmas there'll be another teacher. Ds is not good at adapting to different teachers and the other class for his year is a single teacher who seems very good. In addition, all his friends, including his best friend are in the other class. School is not listening to my requests to have him in that class. Anyone with experience of negotiating with school for what you want? I feel my ds is being hung out to dry and he's getting v upset about the whole business....

ragged Fri 02-Sep-11 08:54:39

It's a bit late to raise, now?
Do you have an SN card to play?

cjbartlett Fri 02-Sep-11 08:56:29

Well someone has to be in that class!

ragged Fri 02-Sep-11 09:11:45

...And with chop and change teachers it will probably be the less popular class, too, so plenty of people feeling disgruntled like you, OP. You have to make a strong case about why your DS rather than the others should be moved.
Our school had an explicit plan to break up friendship circles the year before last; cue loads of tears when class lists involved.

July just past everybody was put back in with their friends; cue loads of cheering when class lists announced. I am used to "whatever" they might announce, now.

LIZS Fri 02-Sep-11 09:20:39

So it is a job share but one teacher will be consistent throughout ? Are you sure he isn't getting upset because you are making more out it than needs be and fuelling his uncertainty. fwiw the year dd had a job share has been one of the better ones.

hocuspontas Fri 02-Sep-11 09:29:18

After next year he will be in sceondary school and will have lots of teachers. Maybe look on this as a gentle introduction?

Agree that it's a bit late now. Did you ask why your ds was separated from his friends when the classes were announced?

pinkgirlythoughts Fri 02-Sep-11 10:23:31

Having been a jobshare teacher, children usually adapt very well to having two teachers, and, IME, it's actually the parents who worry much more than the kids! As Lizs says, are you sure you aren't unintentionally giving him the message that having more than one teacher is something to be worried or upset about?

Pang Fri 02-Sep-11 10:32:08

Really if you had concerns, this should have been negotiated at the end of last term in private with the Head teacher. Now I think it's too late. Because if your child changes class and other parents know this, they could demand the same treatment and that would cause major problems. A school won't do this. Someone has to go into that class. Sorry, you missed the boat this time.

IndigoBell Fri 02-Sep-11 10:33:51

You don't have the choice of which class your DS is in

You do have the choice of whether or not to send him to school.

If you are really unhappy you need to either move schools or home educate him.

If you're not that unhappy - then you need to leave him there and make the best you can of it.

Itsjustafleshwound Fri 02-Sep-11 10:42:05

I think you need to take a deep breath.

1) Is it just your son who has been split from his friends? Or have they mixed up all the children??
2) Have you been given reasons/rationale by the school when you approached them? Is it valid?? Will your son be better away from his friends??
3) Can this not be an opportunity for your son to et to know others in his year?? It is not like he won't have ANY contact with the children in the other class.
4) Schools can't decide or make teachers stay for the sake of permanence in teaching. I am sure your son will be fine and the school will ensure a duty of care to your son wrt schooling


pozzled Fri 02-Sep-11 10:51:20

If the school have separated your DS from his friends, I suspect that they have a good reason for doing so. Has he had any behaviour issues in the past? What do you mean when you say he is not good at adapting to different teachers? If he does have behavioural issues, then the school are likely to have put a lot of thought into which is the best class for him.

If I am wrong to suspect this, then I do have some sympathy for him, but he will make friends in the new class very quickly, and the different teachers shouldn't prove too much of a problem. Unless he is really painfully shy.

admission Fri 02-Sep-11 11:24:09

The bottom line is that this is an operational matter for which the head teacher is responsible. The school will have made the decisions for what they consider the best reasons and they are very unlikely to change those decisions or they are into total anarchy as parents ask fo allsorts of changes.
I think it would be far preferable for you and your son to accept the class they have been put in. The only other alternative is to find another school, which I would suspect is even more upheaval.

rightrevauntiemackerel Fri 02-Sep-11 11:53:46

Thank you all for replying. To answer your answers
I DID speak to his teacher at the end of last year and she got very defensive and said (and I quote) 'No-one is moving now. So you might as well not ask'
I DID speak to the head, who listened nicely and said he'd review the case at half term. But having thought about it and seen my son's reactions over the summer I think it won't help him.
He has been separated from his best friend and three of the four others in his 'gang'.
One of the friends who was originally in his class was moved over the summer because his mother complained, so it's not impossible.
The two teachers who are taking the class he's assigned to comprise one returning new mother and one teacher who is leaving at Xmas to take on a head ship elsewhere. My feeling is that neither are going to have their minds completely on the job. The other teacher is a career teacher and much more focussed.
My son has expressed how difficult he finds it to understand new teachers and although he is a very bright boy, he says he feels 'stupid'. the one TA who was helping him when he didn't understand is also in the other class.

so I still feel it's unfair on the boy to give him so little support!

jamdonut Fri 02-Sep-11 12:07:24

Usually classes are mixed about because of behavioural issues, not just "splitting up friends". The class will have been thought about long and hard, I can assure you. I will dare bet you one week into the new term aand your DS will have forgotten all about it. Like someone else said....someone has to be in that class! If you are made a special case,that opens the doors for everyone else.Then what can the school be expected to do about it?
Just remind your son to listen carefully to the teachers and to ask if he doesn't understand an instruction.

WoofToYouTooLady Fri 02-Sep-11 12:08:19

perhaps the 'gang's parents have asked for their children to be separated from yours? also I'm not sure that your ratcheting up DS's anxieties is helping him

unfortunate for you to assume that someone returning from maternity leave is not going have their mind on the job and IMO a teacher moving on to a headship post certainly isn't going to be a slacker but I'll let these pass

what troubles does DS have in understanding the teachers/TAs? Is there a language issue?

And finally the HT has said they will review at half term

2BoysTooLoud Fri 02-Sep-11 12:17:29

I feel for you but also believe you won't get very far with changing class at this stage. My ds going into year 2. Think new teacher will be fine [touch wood] but he was in tears when he discovered his 3 good friends in the other class. Also he pointed out a number of children he thought were 'silly' in his new class.
I blanched somewhat when I saw his new class mix. However, spoke to his current teacher who felt ds might 'shine' more in this class mix. We will see.
I have sold the new class hard to ds who seems quite happy with it now.
Hopefully will still play with good friends at break time- we will see.
I will keep eye on his behaviour re 'boisterous' mix!

pozzled Fri 02-Sep-11 12:19:27

Can I ask again whether there have been concerns over your son's behaviour? It sounds to me as though the school feels that separating your son from his friends will help him to concentrate better in class. Why do you think he is struggling to understand the teachers if he is a bright boy? And why is he receiving help from the TA?

If you have spoken to the Head, were they not able to give you any reason for moving your DS?

I can understand your concern but I think the school have their reasons. And I think your assumption that the 'career teacher' will be better than the jobshare is unfair, to say the least. If you have concerns about the quality of teaching once your DS is actually in the class, you can take it further then.

IndigoBell Fri 02-Sep-11 12:21:34

If he struggles with new teachers and needs a lot of help from a TA, can I ask if he is on the SEN register? And if he isn't - should he be?

Maybe putting him on the SEN register will lead to him getting the support you seem to suggest he needs.

pinkgirlythoughts Fri 02-Sep-11 12:24:27

umm, all teachers are 'career' teachers... you don't go through three or four year at university, racking up several thousand pounds of debt, just for the fun of it. To suggest that someone returning from maternity leave, or about to move on to a more senior role, will somehow be slacking, is frankly quite insulting.

PotteringAlong Fri 02-Sep-11 12:32:10

Pinkgirlythoughts - couldn't agree more with your last statement!

I leave at October half term to go on maternity leave. Do you really think I am spending the next 7 weeks drinking tea in the staffroom and then, when I return, simply won't care?! hmm

What if the other teacher has a child who (god forbid) has a serious illness or SN? Just because they are full time are they immune from thinking of other things?!

Your son will be taught by someone who is brilliant enough to be given a headship and someone who could be potentially excellent, don't write them off because they've done well and had a baby.

LIZS Fri 02-Sep-11 12:34:50

agree pinkgirly. I fear you are projecting your anxieties about the teachers. Yes it is a shame when positive friendships are not given consideration but perhaps your ds' issues will be helped among a different mix and his "gang" are in fact a distraction. On what absis did the other parents get theri chidl moved - did a child leave or another child swap ?

Lizcat Fri 02-Sep-11 12:44:46

Often things are not as bad as you think they are going to be. At my DD's school year 2 is a job share between head of department and a part time teacher. In September last year as DD entered year 2 part time teacher went on maternity leave so temporary teacher arrive. A little bit of anxiety about new teacher on my part, who turned out to be marvellous. Come summer half term teacher on maternity leave coming back again a little anxiety is it very late in the year for a change. Actually they had a two week handover period where they both worked before half term and then after half term returning teacher actually found a little spark in my DD that none of the others had seen.
This september class doubles in size and class is split, DD was the focus of bullying by another child last year so has been separated from this child, but also from every single one of her close friends. As I have explained to her it doesn't matter as you don't play together in the classroom, but in the playground where they will be all together.
Really what I am saying is maybe as the head has suggested you should suck it and see - the arrangement may surprise you.

OddBoots Fri 02-Sep-11 12:52:45

By all means keep trying but I think you should focus most of your energy in supporting your ds in the situation he is likely to be in, the 2 teacher class.

Try to help him see the the positives and to practice how to handle things if he doesn't understand something. Do you know if they stay in their class for all lessons or if there are 'sets' in any subjects where he may be with some of the other class.

coccyx Fri 02-Sep-11 15:07:28

Get agrip. Why should he be in the other class. Children soon make new friends. If I was the head I wouldn't move him.

spiderpig8 Fri 02-Sep-11 16:40:16

They can't move all the kids into the other class, so why is your DS more special??

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