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Aarrgghh. Third time DS has come out of school in shitty pants!

(178 Posts)
Kyrptonite Tue 24-Sep-13 16:21:33

Please tell me if I'm over reacting as I had a baby 2 weeks ago and my brain hasn't fully returned to full capacity.

I've posted before about DS (4) and his toileting issues. He had been doing so much better lately and then today for the third time since starting school came out covered in shit. I could smell him as soon as I picked him up. When I asked him why he hadn't asked someone to help him (teacher and 2 TAs in class) he said something about missing playtime or losing golden time if he's naughty.

I'm not brave enough for AIBU but WIBU to compose an email to school asking what they are doing to support him and why no one noticed? He bloody stank and had obviously been like it a while.

I had a meeting before he started where I explained he has a problem. I let the teacher know last week he was on medication and may have an accident.

I don't want him to be bullied. He's waiting for a paediatrician referral for suspected encopresis. He's managed the toilet 4 times last week and I really thought we were getting somewhere.

StressedandFrazzled Thu 03-Oct-13 09:54:33

Why can't you write an email saying you'd like an appointment after school pick up, to talk to teacher, that's what we do.

mrz Thu 03-Oct-13 07:15:21

As teacherwith2kids says most primary schools would struggle to function if it wasn't for the goodwill of teachers doing over and beyond what they are legally required in their contracts. Personally I don't know any teachers who refuse to do the 17 tasks laid out in workforce reform ... so talking about "working to rule" is insulting.

teacherwith2kids Wed 02-Oct-13 21:26:23

Glad to be of service.

If it helps at all, no classes in my school have full-time TAs (though some full-time TAs are assigned to statemented pupils exclusively). TAs with particular experise join us for certain lessons each week.

And the school secretary - who also runs finance and has oversight of facilities - also works much longer than her contracted hours, and juggles many, many tasks within them. She runs minor injuries during break times, but sadly has little available time to give elsewhere.

ancientelm Wed 02-Oct-13 21:19:28

Nobody, I repeat nobody, I know in school in RL has worked to rule at all. So there is no link because there is no working to rule...

Thank you for clearing that up.

teacherwith2kids Wed 02-Oct-13 21:14:58

[Wonders how many times I will need to repeat this. Resources only go as far as they do because every member of staff is so deperate to do the best by every child in their care. In many more normal workplaces, the lack of resource would have had the organisation creaking at the seams long ago - it is simply that as resources are depleted through decreasing budgets, what there is becaomes more and more overstretched. That is not teachers' fault - it is the Government's]

teacherwith2kids Wed 02-Oct-13 21:12:31

Nobody, I repeat nobody, I know in school in RL has worked to rule at all. So there is no link because there is no working to rule...

ancientelm Wed 02-Oct-13 21:03:44

But is is linked. No slack means more is required. Working to rule means no more is given.

Not saying this is fact the opposite.

teacherwith2kids Wed 02-Oct-13 21:03:04

I do not know of any teachers who would need to be 'compelled' to change a child. I know of very many who would worry about the safety and progress of 29 other chuldren while they are out of the classroom doing so - and in an environment where there are no support staff to 'compel' instead, that is what teachers do.

teacherwith2kids Wed 02-Oct-13 21:00:09

I did not say they are statemented. Statemented children have their own support staff as detailed in their statement and these are never used elsewhere. Which of curse increases the pressure on the (relatively few) 'generalised' TAs.

You may have missed the point where I stated that i worked in a junior school - no Reception children, but similar resourcing issues around medical / self care issues. It is not simply an 'EYFS thing', it is simply that in a school - primary purpose education - every adult is utilised to the full, all day every day. Medical issues, soiling, self care needs, but also pastoral needs, the kind of sub-social servises but still acute care needs for many children all clamour for our attention with the educational needs of children.

None of this is IN ANY WAY linked to work to rule. It is simply a symptom of a system with no slack in it even when everyone is working to their maximum.

If you were to argue that the primary curriculum is too full, and the emphasis on testing and inspecting schools and pupils puts additional preassure on teachers which competes with their very human wish to do the best by all their pupils in every sort of 'human' way, I might agree with you. But to link this with work to rule is simply insulting.

ancientelm Wed 02-Oct-13 20:55:11

*Add message | Report | Message poster tethersend Sun 29-Sep-13 13:16:45
Take this NUT guidance to the meeting, which clearly states that teachers cannot be compelled to change children, but that support staff can.*

Is this not working to rule? This means support staff are required.

ancientelm Wed 02-Oct-13 20:51:48

Ironically, those children who have TA time reduced through their transfer to care tasks ARE on the SEN register....)

Yes this is worrying and possibly illegal if talking away a child's individual Statemented support.

This is why I think there needs to be a rethink at a governmental policy level regarding Early Years Education, soiling is common, there should be resources to meet this need. Perhaps some of the educational requirements, the EYFS scoring for example, should be pared down to recoup more time to spend on meeting the needs of this agegroup.

teacherwith2kids Wed 02-Oct-13 20:43:15

Insofar as I have ever read the 'work to rule' documents, I don't seem to remember that there was any impact whatever on resourcing for teachers carrying out their normal tasks in the classroom during normal hours - and for teachers of young children or those with medical issues, changing wet / soiled pupils is a normal task during normal hours. How would work to rule affect this???

teacherwith2kids Wed 02-Oct-13 20:41:03

I don't quite know what you mean by 'higher priority'. When a medical / salf care emergency occurs, I lose my TA (at the moment, this can be in every one of the 8 lessons a week I have her for). As a school, we prioritise those 'health / care / personal care' needs over the learning needs of other children (and i should point out that I work in a junior school so we are not talking about very young children).

Of course, as a school, we have frequent discussions as to what priority we - as a school, with a primary purpose to provide an education 'suitable for every child's interests and aptitudes' - should place on these two facets of our work. For example, whether we remove a TA (someone who has a rare skill set in terms of making SEN and low ability make progress) from the classroom in order to devote more time to health / care / personal care needs. Wedo not have any 'non high skills' TAs - so there is no-one who could do the 'care' work whose removal would have a lower impact on learning. We cannot employ more TAs, in fact over time we are anyway employing fewer. How to square that circle so neither children's 'care' needs nor educational needs go unmet is a constant discussion.

(On the SEN point, none of the children for whom medical / care attention is needed day to day are on the SEN register. Ironically, those children who have TA time reduced through their transfer to care tasks ARE on the SEN register....)

ancientelm Wed 02-Oct-13 20:37:14

I just highlighted a possible link between working to rule and resourcing issues and what the implications of this could be.

mrz Wed 02-Oct-13 20:32:47

Your big assumption is your insistence that teachers are "working to rule" your next assumption was that all teachers have TAs to support them your next was that all schools have full time secretaries who can be called upon to change soiled pants and that's without your assumptions about "short illnesses"

ancientelm Wed 02-Oct-13 20:32:01

Maybe by engaging is discussions such as this will mean this kind of issue is given higher priority.

teacherwith2kids Wed 02-Oct-13 20:29:22

Ancient, sorry X-posts. Since nobody I know in my school - or my previous school - has ever 'worked to rule', the constraints I mention are simply those that exist when a limited number of adults work with a large number of children, nothing to do with industrial action of any kind.

ancientelm Wed 02-Oct-13 20:29:18

What assumptions have I admitted in particular? Everybody makes assumptions obviously, you cannot begin to have theories, or spot a possible pattern, or draw conclusions without them.

It is an emotive subject but an important one which requires examination if you are deciding whether to agree to work to rule.

teacherwith2kids Wed 02-Oct-13 20:27:10


Of course school should have provision in place, and the parent should not be required to go in. I don't think that anyone who actually works with children has suggested anything other on this thread.

However, there are practical realities - in Reception classes with no TA (not common, but not that rare) changing a soiled / wet child leaves the remainder of the class unsupervised OR means that a member of staff fully utilised elsewhere (e.g. a nursery nurse or TA) needs to be pulled away from their normal work.

I have this situation at the moment - I have a TA in my class for some lessons, who has a specific expertise and works with a couple of children who make much better progress as a result of that experitise. I plan to use her for every minute of every lesson she is with me, because her expertise is rare and valuable to the children she works with. However, at the moment she is also called upon multiple times per day because of issues - not specifically toileting ones, but similar self-care / medical type issues - around other children in the school. There is no funding for an additional TA to carry out this other work, but as a result the children in my class she works with are making markedly less progress than they otherwise would.

All such utilisation of school staff involves weighing up benefits and disbenefits. Yes, of course school staff should fulfil their duty of care. But yes, it has an impact on other children towards whom we have an equal duty of care. No child should sit soiled for any time BUT if a child refuses to be helped, in a scenario where all staff are fulfilling their duty of care towards other children at that precise moment, the level of care that we deliver in practice may be less than perfect - and we always regret those moments. In the same way as my TA cannot sinply 'lurk', waiting for a self care / medical issue to arise, teacher and TA cannot necessarily lurk behind a child who might soile / wet waiting for an accident. Almost by definition, all school staff are fully used, all the time. No TA or teacher would ever avoid clearing up an accident once they detect it - but we may not always detect it as rapidly as a parent will 1 to 1.

mrz Wed 02-Oct-13 20:24:31

unpleasant and based entirely on your assumptions as you have admitted

ancientelm Wed 02-Oct-13 20:22:32

They are unpleasant, I know. No one wants to think of industrial action having a detrimental effect on the most vulnerable. However I think it does and have given of one example how.

If you do not think this is ever the case you can say so. However there does see to be some misconceptions regarding schools' responsibilities.

mrz Wed 02-Oct-13 20:18:59

Very unpleasant indeed

ancientelm Wed 02-Oct-13 20:17:58

Also working to rule requires additional staff which costs extra hence the discussion regarding the justification of additional funding, which in turn crosses over in to a discussion of what can be expected as the norm and SN. The picking apart of my arguments may have resulted in an emphasis of this rather than my initial point which was to do with how working to rule results in resourcing issues.

mrz Wed 02-Oct-13 20:15:40

As I first said ancientelm I object to the sweeping remarks you made in your first post on the thread ...and now you are repeating those unpleasant statements

ancientelm Wed 02-Oct-13 20:10:05

? SEN is associated with additional funding and Statements that have funding or resource attached. I think I am missing your point.

Do you agree or disagree with what I have said? That is working to rule can add a degree of inflexibility into Early Years education which is not conducive to the needs of this group of children, in terms of self care skills.

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