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Meeting with headmistress - how would you handle this?

(140 Posts)
donteatyourteawithnoknickerson Sun 25-Sep-11 20:08:41

I have a meet tomorrow morning with my daughter's head to discuss an issue the other week. DD (7) was left in the playground at homeitme, alone, with no supervision and without any teacher making sure she was safe.

I was running late from an appointment with DD2's eye consultant and he was telling me all about surgery DD2 is due to have. I got to school maybe 5-10 mins late and all the time I was on my way I was trying to ring school to let them know but the line was busy. When I got there DD1 was alone, crying, in the playground. I was later told that teachers had not checked all children were safe, and had gone back to classroom.

I went straight into office for an explanation. DD1's teacher came out and said DD1 should not have left her (which I have spoken to DD about) and it was DDs fault for not going back to classroom. I refused to accept this and wanted teacher to accept responsibility as the safeguarder of my child. Teacher started to quote policy at me - I responded by saying that you can deviate from policy if the course of action is justified and safer. I said to teacher that i needed to make sure she was safe. Teacher started to cry hmm.

I said that I accepted her apology (which she did do eventually) and would leave it at that. However, DDs other teacher (they have a job share situation) has started to make DD1 hold her hand every time she goes out of school and has actively said to her "so you don't get lost again". I feel this is unreasonable especially since it has only started more than a week after the event. Teacher is asking for DD (according to DD) in front of the whole class and (in my opinion) making a target of her.

I have a mmeting in the morning - how would you handle this?

gladders Sun 25-Sep-11 20:17:22

personally? I'd try and stay calm and rational. Your dd is at this school for several years yet.

tbh, your reaction to date sounds rather disproportionate? your dd is 7 and you were 5-10 minutes late? so surely there were other parents and kids still around? you then managed to make her teacher cry and refused to accept that school policy had been followed.

and now you are unhappy because they are taking extra care of her?

what do you want them to do? I'm rather confused. You don't seem happy with school policy, and you don't seem happy with them taking extra care?

DownbytheRiverside Sun 25-Sep-11 20:19:23

Is it school policy that the child is released into the custody of the parent, line of sight established?
Are the children let out into the playground and told to come back if the parent is not there?
The first case is what happens with our KS1, the second with our KS2.
So you need to be clear about what had happened, as opposed to what should have happened. If the teacher was following policy and you are not happy about that, then changing the policy is the discussion you should be having with the HT. Not ranting at a staff member.
'I responded by saying that you can deviate from policy if the course of action is justified and safer'
Can you? Safegarding involves following policy.
Why did your DD not return to the classroom, instead of crying in the playground? She's 7, not 4.

DownbytheRiverside Sun 25-Sep-11 20:21:10

So yes, I think you are now considered a challenging and aggressive parent and the teachers are being very upfront about ensuring that your particular wishes are being carried out.

SouthGoingZax Sun 25-Sep-11 20:24:00

I think you are overreacting.

You were late. More than 10 minutes late (there is no way the playground would clear within 10 mins of home time bell) and you didn't ring the school to inform them.

Your DD is 7, as another poster said, not 3, 4 or 5. She should have gone back to the classroom.

And now you are cross because in order to avoid a similar situation (ie you ranting to the teacher to the point of her crying) the teachers are taking extra care.

Gawd, glad your DD is not in my class.

DownbytheRiverside Sun 25-Sep-11 20:27:59

By saying 'so you don't get lost again' in front of the class, the teacher also has witnesses as to what was said.
So if your DD is in the playground and crying again, there will be 30 children able to say what she was told to do.

donteatyourteawithnoknickerson Sun 25-Sep-11 20:30:22

I maybe should point out that school policy is that the child (KS1 & 2) is only released into the collecting parents hands. And I didn't manage to make th teacher cry - she got upset - I was calm and rational and wanted to know why my daughter had been left alone sad when they didn't know how long it would be before anyone collected her.

Not sure why you thought I ranted? At no point did I rant.

And yes, you can deviate from policy if you are justified in doing so. I know that, really I do.

DD1 does have some specific learning needs and probably wouldn't think of following them back to classroom. Yes she's seven, I get that. I also remember being lost at that age (without learning needs btw) and not having them calm approach of an adult - simply being alone.

donteatyourteawithnoknickerson Sun 25-Sep-11 20:32:39

I was less than 10 mins late. I tried to ring (as I said originally) but their line was busy.

Thanks.

Oh again, I didn't rant. I'm not a ranty person smile

Bellavita Sun 25-Sep-11 20:32:43

You are over reacting.

She is not a baby, she is 7 and old enough to go back into the school office to say you are not there.

It is your fault you were late, whether you were at an eye appt for your other DC or not. It is your duty to be on time.

DownbytheRiverside Sun 25-Sep-11 20:35:18

She was in the playground, how lost could she be?
Except you didn't mention SLD in your first post.
So yes, the teachers will keep your DD very safe from now on.
Get the policy changed, or get it written into her IEP that she needs additional safeguarding.

Malcontentinthemiddle Sun 25-Sep-11 20:48:30

Your daughter was crying in playground because you were late to pick her up - sorry, but that's your fault and no-one elses. It's a bit pathetic to flail about looking for someone else to blame, I think.

wantadvice Sun 25-Sep-11 20:49:04

You were only 5 minutes late yet your dd was crying and not moving from the playground?? Old enough not to cry at this and to take herself back inside if she was worried.

DownbytheRiverside Sun 25-Sep-11 20:50:50

Not if she has SLD, she may have panicked and forgotten what to do next.

wantadvice Sun 25-Sep-11 20:53:34

Ah, adding in the important bit about special needs several posts in so of course we all look unreasonable. hmm Still even with sen, she should be okay to go back into school or if her sen is that bad then she needs far more care which is what she seems to be getting.

Malcontentinthemiddle Sun 25-Sep-11 20:55:02

If it's that bad, you shouldn't have been late!. Jeez! Sorry, but you fucked up, stop trying to make it everyone else's fault!

donteatyourteawithnoknickerson Sun 25-Sep-11 20:55:19

Malcontent so you are saying that if you were in an appointment discussing your child's surgery options (that was also running an hour late) that you would get up and leave? I'm sorry, I don't think you would. Especially if you'd waited 18 months to get to that stage and it was then or never.

I have never, ever been late to pick my DD's up before. In fact, I am usually there too early.

lljkk Sun 25-Sep-11 20:55:19

tbh, I think it is reasonable of the teacher to hold her hand and speak lightly of it, it sounds like what she needs.

donteatyourteawithnoknickerson Sun 25-Sep-11 20:56:43

want advice you think too highly of it. I simply assumed no-one would want their child unsupervised after school, no matter what the situation.

wantadvice Sun 25-Sep-11 20:57:34

Your dd wandered off when she shouldnt have and then didnt come back when she should have. I can understand why the teacher is being cautious especially as she has specific learning difficulties.

donteatyourteawithnoknickerson Sun 25-Sep-11 20:58:30

anyway - I wasn't after a flaming - so don't all get upset. I had no ulterior motives here, just a worried parent confused

Malcontentinthemiddle Sun 25-Sep-11 20:59:26

No, I probably would have been late - that bit is quite understandable - but it's still your fault, not anyone else's! However understandable and valid your reasons, you were late!

Bellavita Sun 25-Sep-11 21:00:36

Perhaps if your appt was running over an hour late, it may have been pertinent of you to ring the school in the afternoon to say you would not be there at door opening time. You would have known in plenty of time you were going to be late.

You are looking for excuses.

donteatyourteawithnoknickerson Sun 25-Sep-11 21:00:42

And as I said originally - I was looking for advice on how to handle the meeting, not about the original event.

wantadvice Sun 25-Sep-11 21:01:32

I can understand you being late too and being annoyed that dd wasnt being supervised. However you cant really moan now that they have put a plan into place to ensure it doesnt happen again. As you say your dd is unable to make her way back into school and has already wandered off once.

catsareevil Sun 25-Sep-11 21:01:44

Who requested the meeting - is it at your request or did the school call it?

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