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Reception child "missing" at school

(25 Posts)
GhoulWithADragonTattoo Thu 11-Jul-13 11:54:44

To be honest it does sound like an honest mistake and they did contact you quickly and rectified it quickly. I would say you were worried and they need to ensure it doesn't happen again but I think it's just a question of human error.

Presumably the school office does a cross check between the children who have been marked as absent against the parents who have notified their child's absence. They then text the parents who haven't notified. I suppose they could double check those children weren't in school but to be honest that is probably a big cumbersome everyday when the parents can quickly say if they are actually supposed to be there.

Worrying for you of course but still probably the most straightforward way to manage things.

josiejay Thu 11-Jul-13 11:16:07

I think it depends whether it was a clerical error ( ie teacher knew the child was there but ticked the wrong name or something) or they were actually unaware that your child was in school.

A clerical error that caused you to panic unnecessarily is unfortunate, not knowing whether your child is there or not is dangerous. So I would want to know exactly what happened here if I were you.

McFluffy Thu 11-Jul-13 11:12:00

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Euphemia Thu 11-Jul-13 11:07:45

I got the standard text from DD's school on the first day back after Christmas: your child is absent from school today, please call and tell us why blah blah blah.

I picked up the text at lunchtime, in the hospital, where DD was having a long and very scary operation. An operation I had written to her teacher about before Christmas to tell her DD would not be in on the first few days back. angry

Apart from the anger and annoyance the text caused me, what had the school done between 9.45am when they sent the text and 12.30pm when I picked it up? Nothing. What if she had been genuinely missing? Had they phoned any of the family contact numbers? No.

I tore them a new one for that, I can tell you. angry

ThingummyBob Thu 11-Jul-13 11:04:49

There was a teacher in dds school last year who marked them absent if they didn't respond 'correctly'.
At one point I was convinced dd was bunking off or not getting into school on time(yr7) as the school insisted this type of thing does not happen hmm yet each time I got a text, I called school who would then call me back half an hour or so later to say she was in class.

It stopped after one parent went ballistic and missed a business flight because of the text from school to say child was absent (incorrectly). DD says the parent didn't want to leave it to the gps to sort out if his son was 'missing' and so went to school after texting his son.

They have a new form teacher now and I assume they took this woman off registration duties of any type, although she still teaches them.

Registration, especially in primary schools, is a big deal imho.

missbopeep Thu 11-Jul-13 10:59:35

It's poor classroom management, and I speak as someone who was in education for a long time.

A teacher should try to ensure that all the children are in their sight before they take the register. And that the classroom is quiet and orderly enough so they can see who is there and who isn't.

It's also rather odd that the other children didn't tell the teacher that your child was there all the time!

This includes checking the 'loos and Wendy house' or asking a TA to do so. If they don't then dozens of parents would be getting phone calls like you , every day, because what guarantee is there that all children will be on the mat or at their desks when they register is taken?

In the time that teacher took to inform the office, and for the office to call you, then your child should have been found- before they needed to make the call, is my point.

Threewindmills Thu 11-Jul-13 10:52:14

I think establishing whether there is any risk here is the important thing - i.e. was this just a genuine admin error, or is there a risk that a child could wander off (e.g. are there gates open onto roads etc.) If it is the first, then I would accept that we are all human and errors happen, however, I would speak to the school to make them think before acting. If the second, then clearly this needs to be highlighted.

bluegiraffe Thu 11-Jul-13 00:03:47

this happened to me, difference being that I got a phone call to ask who was picking DD up, me or after school minibus. I was at work and it was a usual day for her to go to AS. They hadn't seen her leave, with either, and they "couldn't find her" ... I had to wait while they hung up to try and get in touch with driver of bus to check if she was indeed with them! What was probably not even 5 mins seemed like forever, before they rang back to say all ok, she had gone on bus ..
I was just so relieved I didn't have any other emotions until the adrenalin subsided and then I felt angry and needed answers ..
I couldn't speak to teachers until the next afternoon, but when I saw the state of her teacher and how it had obviously affected her, I just gently checked that the new/more rigorous checks they'd immediately instigated were sufficient, and then I let it go.

morethanpotatoprints Wed 10-Jul-13 23:32:47

I totally agree with BackforGood

You need to know that it won't happen to anybody else and it may make them look at future procedures, like checking all areas before calling parents.
I don't think you need to get a grip, any caring parent would have been worried sick. 15 mins is a long time to go through not knowing where your child is.

FleeBee Wed 10-Jul-13 23:24:56

The CM walks her into the playground where each class waits in their appropriate line. The class teacher at the front of the line walks them into the classroom when the bell rings.
The parent/CM doesn't take them into building. They sit on the carpet and class teacher calls the register. They have to respond "good morning Mrs xxxx" my child claims she responded to the morning registration call and then even carried the registration folder to the school office with another child. (A task taken in turns each week)

I genuinely thought she had gone missing which is why I was worried. Anyway, she hadn't which was good news

ihearsounds Wed 10-Jul-13 23:20:25

Say something.
My ds was unnaccounted for at one point. I got a call at 11 am asking where he was. I was panicing, and got a call back 20 minutes later saying oops sorry... No its not oops sorry. It is neglectful. Anything could have happened. Say is there was an emergency situation in the school, noone would be looking.. I thought it was an isolated incident, then I found out its was a regular occurence ffs.. If I had 'got a grip' and said nothing, I would not have known it was a regular fuck up by the same teacher.. Even when pupils in her class was saying but miss, xxx is in.

I was worried out of my mind. Who wouldnt? Your child is essentially missing.. Ypu drop ypur child off to school and them missing. What made it worse was knowing there are several exits, that at that point were all in use. The building is used by more than just the school and lots of outsiders had easy access. Then there is pool.

Floggingmolly Wed 10-Jul-13 23:18:05

Unless your reception aged child takes herself to school you knew she was there, didn't you? At what point did you imagine she could have gone missing?

lborolass Wed 10-Jul-13 23:16:46

I think you're entitled to be concerned, I would have thought most people would be very worried to get such a message.

I'd ask the school in a nice way if they could please double check whether your child is there before calling you in the future. I can see that in a large school this might be a bit onerous but a mistake coupled with the fact that you couldn't speak to anyone straight away isn't great

simpson Wed 10-Jul-13 23:13:14

How do the kids go into the classroom anyway?

My DD is in reception and the parents drop them off at the door and see them physically go into the building.

simpson Wed 10-Jul-13 23:11:18

I don't think getting a grip is the point here confused but yes a quick chat with the teacher to say how worried you were etc and to find out what happened should be enough.

clam Wed 10-Jul-13 23:09:54

So, how would you like them to ensure that? I think "worried out of your mind" is a slight over-reaction, but as I said, they have a system in place that they followed. What would you have preferred?

FleeBee Wed 10-Jul-13 23:04:24

Do you?

Confuseddd Wed 10-Jul-13 23:03:26

I think you need to get a grip.

FleeBee Wed 10-Jul-13 22:57:29

I rang school after the text, no answer so left a message for someone to ring.
I received a phone call about 10 minutes later to say it had been a mistake. She was in fact in school & just marked absent in error.

No formal complaint. But perhaps a chat on how to ensure I'm not worried out of mind again by a similar mistake.

clam Wed 10-Jul-13 22:55:27

Why would you complain? They followed procedure - child appeared not to be there and the "alarm" was raised. As you would hope. The error was that she was, in fact, there all along but could have been in the loo or the Wendy house or whatever. As soon as they realised that, they informed you.

What do you think should have happened?

BackforGood Wed 10-Jul-13 22:33:51

I think I would phone, or pop in to the office, to calmly explain that your stomach was in your boots for the time you thought your child was missing, and, obviously you'd hate for any other parent to go through this. Emphasise the positive - that they are doing first day calls for any apparent absence, and that they found her so quickly, but you just wanted to say it was a horrific (15mins ?) for you and you wanted to know if they had found out what went wrong yet so they can make sure it doesn't happen to anyone else.
I don't see what's to be gained by a formal complaint.

simpson Wed 10-Jul-13 22:28:37

I would not be happy and want and explanation as to what happened.

But I probably would not push it any further than that tbh...

Your child could have been in the toilet or getting a drink of water or something...

domesticslattern Wed 10-Jul-13 22:25:04

How quickly did they let you know they'd found her from when you rang in to say that you'd have a text? If they prioritised it and rang you back pretty much straight away I would let it go. If they left you hanging and worried sick for a period of time, I might complain.

Poor you though. Sounds worrying.

Mintyy Wed 10-Jul-13 22:22:52

My advice is to let it go. They made a small mistake. It could happen anywhere or to anyone.

FleeBee Wed 10-Jul-13 22:21:25

I received a text this morning to say my (Reception) child had been noted absent, and could I inform school as to her whereabouts.
She was in school just not marked in the register.

School says it's a mistake. I was worried sick until I got the call to say she had been located in the classroom. Where she had been all the time.

Want to make a complaint for the worry that she had disappeared but not sure what to do

Any advice please?

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