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Problems in dc's year 6 class-I need some advice/opinions please

(21 Posts)
Katie172 Sun 21-Apr-13 07:16:31

Hi...I would really appreciate any views/opinions on our worries about dc's year 6 class. The teacher had to take sick leave two days after term started in September and hasn't been back since. Until January they have had 17 supply teachers and since January they have had 1 supply teacher. The class rep called a meeting in January with the ht prepared to answer questions. Every parent attended and heard the ht admit when asked that at least 60% of the curriculum had not been covered and the promise was that they would make this up by April . I was not quite sure how this would be achieved but was really pleased to hear that they had secured a teacher available until July. There have been lots of concerns about the teacher and I have been in to see the ht to register my concerns about maths in particular. Other parents have apparently done the same but I am not in the playground much at pick up and so I don't tend to hear what's going on. This week I have been told that they have not been able to catch up with the topics missed before Christmas and worse still more work was missed up until Easter. Term started on Monday and dc has been complaining about headaches all week and on Friday I found out why...all week the have been working their way every day through sats revision books on a random basis. This is the only work they have been doing. The teacher tells them to do any pages they want and there is no class discussion or marking. The teacher doesn't check that they have understood the subject that they have been working on and homework is not marked properly. I am not a teacher but from my point of view I think that this teacher, a young nqt is either out of their depth or disorganised/lazy. For anyone still reading (sorry this is so long) I would like to know if a ht has a duty to check what the supply teacher is doing in class ie lesson plans etc? I now know that parents have been going in to see the teacher and ht this week but although the problems have been acknowledged again no one seems too convinced that anything can be done to rectify the situation to some degree. I want to go in and see the ht with a view to asking a school governor to sit in and see if something can be done to improve things but dh thinks that nothing will be done and it is a waste of time. I have only spoken to three other parents about this but they seem to think the same way-that it is dire but there is no point complaining again. All complaints/concerns have been heard but nothing has been done.Any opinions would be appreciated. Many thanks Katie

bigTillyMint Sun 21-Apr-13 07:30:33

This is terrible.

And I am quite astounded that the HT would have a Y6 class covered by a number of short-term supply teachers and then an incompetent long-term supply, given the importance placed on SAT's and league tables and the pressure that they will be under as the HT from the LA, etc.

It makes me wonder if the HT is incompetent. Has he/she been there long? Have they got a good track record with SATs results? Have you ever had other concerns about the school?

exoticfruits Sun 21-Apr-13 07:50:40

It is the most appalling situation.
Filling in random pages of revision books with no preparation and no feedback is useless.
Why have they had 17 supply teachers in less than 4 months? There are plenty of teachers wanting work. Is it the sort of class/ school where a supply teacher goes once and refuses to go back?
What was the one teacher doing from January to April?
It is too late to take DCs away. I would band together with other parents and A&E waves-big ones. Contact the LEA - Ofsted- if you get no joy with the HT or governors.

exoticfruits Sun 21-Apr-13 07:51:27

Sorry iPad - make and not A&E!

lljkk Sun 21-Apr-13 10:18:28

Katie, do you live in London?
Trying to think where the teacher shortage could be so bad as to cause this mess.
Of course every teacher is accountable to HT.
I think there isn't much you can do now, although a juicy letter to Ofsted wouldn't be inappropriate.

It is throwing NQT to the crocodiles to put them in charge of y6, I feel sure the directives on how to prepare them for SATs (lots of workbooks and little else) must have come from on high. But no marking for pupils or feedback, either? Can that be true? confused

Is the HT generally pants?

spanieleyes Sun 21-Apr-13 10:36:16

As a Year 6 teacher I'm afraid this term is rather too much revision and practice test papers, but this is follows four terms of TEACHING to ensure they have covered everything they need to know. In addition, marking and feedback is essential, otherwise all the children are doing is practising making the same mistakes!

Katie172 Sun 21-Apr-13 11:07:49

Thank you for all your replies. We are in Kent and the Ht is new. Parents have been told that it is really hard to get long term supply teacher. The ht talks a good talk but nothing gets done. Problem is that after a parent complains or expresses a concern you have to be reasonable and allow a few weeks for changes to be made don't you. Our meeting in January seemed to address all the issues of concern so parents agreed to wait until Easter to see changes. There have been no problems with the school before the new ht came in but three ks2 teachers left at in March which was quite a shock. I phoned ofsted and they said that you have to go down a long complaints route before they can get involved. Does anyone know if a supply teacher has to provide proof of lesson plans/strategies etc to the ht to show that the curriculum is being followed ? Surely supply teachers,especially NQT's are not permitted to just get on with it with little supervision? Once again thanks for all your thoughts

titchy Sun 21-Apr-13 11:31:05

When we had a problem with a year 6 teacher on long term sick leave the year 5 teacher tool over the class as she knew them all, and year 5 got the supply cover. A much better solution that putting a supply into year 6 which is madness.

spanieleyes Sun 21-Apr-13 11:36:15

ALL teachers in my school have to send lesson plans to the HT, however long you have been teaching! It is certainly the Head's responsibility to ensure that the curriculum is covered and to ensure that the children are as well prepared for SATs as they can be, the grading for the school depends on it! It is actually quite easy to get a long term supply so that excuse won't wash!
Personally, I think you have been more than reasonable. This isn't about the SATS results, they don't affect the children ( only the school!) long term, but it is about doing what is best for the children and this clearly isn't. I think it's now time for a strong word. If things are this lackadaisical before SATs, goodness knows what it will be like after!

longingforsomesleep Sun 21-Apr-13 13:47:54

Write to the Chair of Governors setting out what you say in your OP. Explain that you've given the HT ample time to respond to your concerns - and those of other parents - but the situation hasn't improved. Say that Ofsted have advised you that you should raise your concerns with the governing body and the local authority before they are able to carry out an inspection but that you plan to take this route until the situation is resolved.

exoticfruits Sun 21-Apr-13 14:01:18

Do you mean that 3teachers left in March of this year? If so it rings alarm bells about the new Head. I have known a new Head clear a school of experienced long term teachers- if they don't like working conditions they vote with their feet and find other jobs.
A long term supply teacher would have to work like the teacher and provide plans, a good Head would be helping them. However a very short term one would not be there long enough. It sounds to me as if the management is at fault. As a supply teacher, coming in at short notice, I would expect someone in the staff or the Head to work closely with me to get 'up to speed' quickly. If I was just thrown in the deep end to cope I would leave and not go back.
Supply teachers can just be left to get on with it and not asked what they did - you would be surprised. I always left the teacher a letter explaining what I had done, any problems etc- but I didn't have to. If you do a good job you get asked back. You also don't have to go back and I would never return with an unfriendly, unhelpful staff.
Just from your posts I would say that the new HT is the problem and unfortunately it is too late to do anything for your child- but you could try for future pupils.

bigTillyMint Sun 21-Apr-13 14:06:20

THe new HT sounds out of their depth/incompetent.

Do what longing said.

domoarigato Sun 21-Apr-13 14:13:45

Why do you think its an nqt??

clam Sun 21-Apr-13 14:20:00

Wow. Just wow. What a mess.
Practically speaking, for your dc's benefit, I think I would be doing things at home to fill the gaps - not so much because of SAT results/league tables (that's the school's lookout, frankly, and your child is leaving after all), but she might feel more comfortable sitting the tests if she's better prepared. She also needs to start at secondary school with a good grounding.
But yes, keep on complaining. This is not good enough.

secretscwirrels Sun 21-Apr-13 15:01:07

It's not good but it may not be as bad as you fear.
First of all if things were okay before then most of the primary curriculum could have been covered by the end of year five. Year six is revision, revision and more revision.
Is your child going to a reasonable secondary school? One of the junior schools in our catchment is performing very badly at the moment but when they get in to year 7 all stops are pulled out to help those DC catch up.

Katie172 Sun 21-Apr-13 16:44:00

Thank you-this is really helpful. Domoarigato- the ht confirmed that the teacher from January onwards was a nqt.

exoticfruits Sun 21-Apr-13 17:16:59

It really isn't fair to give a class that has had 17 supply teachers in 3 months to an NQT, part way through the year-if the HT had no choice then they needed a lot of support. A class with that amount of disruption is hard for any teacher-however experienced.

Ehhn Mon 22-Apr-13 08:26:33

You are absolutely right to be concerned about maths. Other subjects are not so important but maths has key building blocks which will be required for senior school. I know someone who missed the end of year 6 and start of year 7 due to illness and she really struggled at senior school until she had extra help...
If I were you, I'd get a maths tutor in to assess the level independently and do some work with your dc. If you explain the situation honestly to your Dc, I'm sure she will get on board.

NewFerry Mon 22-Apr-13 08:34:46

Op-replied to your original post in secondary education, as did another poster, so please keep checking there as well.
Mind you, I didn't say anything that other posters here haven't also said/suggested!

bk1981 Mon 22-Apr-13 17:28:14

Katie- yes the HT should be scrutinisng lesson plans, observing the teachers, looking at the quality of marking etc. An NQT should also be well supported by the school to ensure they are planning and teaching good quality lessons. The rapid turnover of supply suggests that support is not forthcoming from the HT.

Katie172 Mon 22-Apr-13 23:22:25

Thank you everyone for your replies. I have a meeting booked with the ht on Wednesday. I will let you know how it goes x

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