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Parents Evening Grief

(178 Posts)
NikitaWhoWillNeverKnow Thu 10-Oct-13 18:27:13

Why are school giving me and my DS such a guilt trip because I refuse to go to parents eve?

They haven't even asked me why I won't go.

I'm in the playground twice a day. If there was a problem they could approach me then.

I know, more or less, his levels.

But all this talking doesn't help me or DS.

Why do they want me to go to this meeting?

And why are they guilt tripping my DS?

There are lots of reasons why I won't go. All of them to do with me being very unhappy with the school.

The HT has offered me a meeting but I don't want that either.

Hulababy Mon 14-Oct-13 19:51:21

I work in a school and the expectation is that the class teacher must meet with every parent for parent's evening.
If an appointment isn't made by the parent the teacher is expected to chase this up and get one made, even if it is at a different time/day.
If a parent doesn't show then the teacher is expected to chase this up and make a new appointment.
The HT expects this of the teacher, and for the teacher to do all necessary chasing. If it really is a no go then the HT will take over and chase further.

MrsTruper Mon 14-Oct-13 19:42:58

sounds like a nightmare school you poor are probably tired out from trying......I would skip it all and start fresh in secondary....

nennypops Mon 14-Oct-13 10:15:55

I think you need to tell the school you will attend a meeting if they agree that it will proceed on the basis of your agenda, and send them an agenda listing your concerns with a final item for discussion about what they are going to do about it. You should go with an advocate - possibly a volunteer from the Dyslexia Association or an organisation like SOS SEN, or a paid advocate like Fiona Slomovic - who can take notes and can firmly keep them to the point. Afterwards the advocate should in effect write the minutes and an agreed action plan and send it to the school. That way, you may feel you have achieved something positive from the meeting and the school cannot say that you are not engaging with them. And from that point onwards you can firmly hold them to the action plan.

cory Sun 13-Oct-13 18:44:01

NikitaWhoWillNeverKnow Fri 11-Oct-13 09:54:56

"Cory - I like your attitude. But I'm modelling slightly diff values to you. I'm most certainly modelling how to not give up. We have absolutely not given up with DSs education - we have only given up with communicating with school.

By and large he isn't aware of the interactions between me and school, so no matter how well I handle it I won't be modelling good behaviour to him.

But what I think I'm modelling to him is that someone isn't necessarily right just because they hold a position of authority. That you should think for yourself, do your own research, and that you shouldn't accept people doing the wrong thing, even if they do hold a position of authority.

Diff lessons to you, but those are the ones I can teach and ones that I believe in."

I really don't see why you can't think for yourself and stick to your own values as well as keeping channels of communication going.

How are you going to be in a position to stick up for your own values if you refuse to communicate with other people?

The way I see it, it was precisely because I was thinking for myself, and thinking something different to the school, that I needed to keep on talking to them, otherwise they'd end up thinking their way was the right way- and I wasn't going to have that happen on my watch!

Inclusionist Sat 12-Oct-13 18:19:16

I haven't read the whole thread but have you asked Parent Partnership to support you at a TAC meeting?

You can call one of these with any professionals you want (CAMHS professional who gave your DS is dx, HT, SENCo, Teacher, TA, Parent Partnership and yourself?).

Seems a shame to write off a whole year of school.

TheSherrif Sat 12-Oct-13 15:29:54

Just to say I do have a child with SN. I have been through all the school years, battling as I went. But I still think giving up because 'nothing ever changes' says a lot about your attitude. Sadly, for those of us who have been further than you, it does not get any easier as they get older, it just gets harder & you have to be prepared to fight even harder. Put your child's needs first instead of your 'no one understands me' nonsense.

youarewinning Fri 11-Oct-13 16:45:16

oblomov I was very understanding at the beginning of this thread having been there, and actually empathising with the OP. I even offered her the chance to PM me.
The difficulty in this case is that any suggestions are met with no I don't want to talk to them. I have suggested an email (like grow suggested), I like to then take the email to meeting and scribble on it and re send it with the 'outcome' of each point in a different colour! Where it wasn't discussed I'll type wasn't discussed, you didn't want to discuss this with me, not solved and here's what I'd like you to do to solve it. In fact I've found going with the paper in hand and them knowing I'll do this means they'll listen now!

Nikita have you requested an assessment of his specific needs? Why not contact LA about doing a statutory assessment. Find out what his difficulties are and how he's coping with these - because if he's a 4b he's coping and has found his own strategies. The school (primary or secondary) should be developing the skills he lacks and the coping strategies he has. Not everyone learns the way the education system intends them too.

insanityscratching Fri 11-Oct-13 16:37:42

I think you should attend for your son's sake tbh. If you choose you can take the positives with a pinch of salt but it would be good for your son to hear how they value his effort and contribution.
As the parent of two children with statements believe me I have had times when I have felt totally frustrated with certain individuals but the answer has been to keep lines of communication open for my children's sake.
For me, if my child was there I would want to focus on the positives to be honest so that their self esteem wasn't damaged anyway.
I fear you might be very disappointed when it comes to secondary though as IME communication isn't generally great and they like parents firmly at arm's length rather than questioning their methods and outcomes.

QueenQueenie Fri 11-Oct-13 16:07:50

Your last post doesn't make sense to me op. If it's not secondary school's job to help with reading, only primary school's and your own what will happen when he gets there and still has reading problems (in your firm opinion)??
If secondary school say there is no problem you will accept that?
He will carry on having problems but now you won't expect school to address them?
I do get that you feel very frustrated. I have to say I think you come across as also quite frustrating.
Children don't like to be singled out / different. By resolutely not attending parents' evening when all his peers and their parents will almost certainly go you risk your ds feeling left out / singled out etc. which is a shame.

Growlithe Fri 11-Oct-13 14:40:32

But the broken record technique is rude!

No it isn't. You have made points in an email they haven't answered. So print your email, have a meeting with the HT and read out each issue. Listen to what they say in response, if anything, and take notes. Email back with the points, any agreed actions (by you or by them) and anything you don't feel was addressed (effectively minutes).

If anything is outstanding, arrange another meeting, and go through the process again.

You don't have to be rude about it. You can be perfectly polite and still be assertive.

FantasticDay Fri 11-Oct-13 10:08:12

Does DS want you to go? I don't think a PE with child present is the place to discuss complex issues really. Your ds must have worked hard to progress 2 levels - even if there are still (possible many) issues to address. Do you think dh going and seeing his hard work, and praising him for that, would be a confidence boost for ds?

Pinnheart Fri 11-Oct-13 10:04:24

I will start by saying that i have not read every message so this may have been said already. Also I am not a teacher but I do work with people who are sometimes in very difficult situations that are hard to face. Often I am sure that they would rather not speak to me or my colleagues but they basically have no choice. As a parent you have a responsibility to your child to keep communication open with their school whether you like it or not. If talking to the school makes you anxious you have to learn some coping mechanisms to deal with this. If you have not already, go and see your GP and talk to them about your anxiety. This is a problem you need to deal with so that you can parent your child in the manner he deserves. Also follow all the advice you have been given here about having your child properly assessed. If you have concrete evidence from an educational psychologist maybe this will add more weight to your conversations with the school. When you approach the relevant people at school it might help to have a list of topics you need to discuss, if necessary write down the answers. Try to stay as calm as possible even when they say things you don't like as they may not take you seriously if you start ranting. You need to get to get this sorted for child. As a parent you need to step up and be a strong advocate for your child, He needs to feel that you will stand up for him no matter what.

NikitaWhoWillNeverKnow Fri 11-Oct-13 09:54:56

TT - very good points. But also my expectations of sec school will be different. I don't for a moment expect sec school to teach my DS to read. That's a job for primary school - and me.

Cory - I like your attitude. But I'm modelling slightly diff values to you. I'm most certainly modelling how to not give up. We have absolutely not given up with DSs education - we have only given up with communicating with school.

By and large he isn't aware of the interactions between me and school, so no matter how well I handle it I won't be modelling good behaviour to him.

But what I think I'm modelling to him is that someone isn't necessarily right just because they hold a position of authority. That you should think for yourself, do your own research, and that you shouldn't accept people doing the wrong thing, even if they do hold a position of authority.

Diff lessons to you, but those are the ones I can teach and ones that I believe in.

And yes, I'm also modelling how not to do things. My kids like to tease me about that, and they can learn what not to do from that.

I don't know how to get the best out of people. That's not my strength. So I can't model that to my children. <shrug> They've learnt plenty of other valuable stuff from me.

cory Fri 11-Oct-13 09:08:34

"Only those with SN child, who have had a unsupportive school, could really understand what this feels like."

I had an SN child and a totally unsupportive junior school.

I still felt it was my job to model to dd how you work on communications, how you handle a difficult situation, how you respond to rudeness with firmness and courtesy (ok, didn't always manage that one blush) and how you hang in there.

Because if I wasn't out there showing her those things, then her only model would be the school- and that was hardly going to help her in life.

Dd is still disabled. She has been damaged by the school's bad attitude and suffered a breakdown as a result. In fact, she has had the double whammy of a similar experience from healthcare professionals as well: misdiagnosed and wrongly treated.

But the lessons she has learnt from me still stand: she knows how to negotiate, how to get the best out of people, how to push down defeatist thoughts, how to try again and not give up. And if she ever manages to fulfill her dreams it will be because of that. Not because the school had a sudden epiphany and turned into something different.

DropYourSword Fri 11-Oct-13 08:42:09

I think you're past the point of parents evening having any benefit for any party to be honest. But I don't think your problems will magically resolve in secondary school either.

The further I read through this thread the more sympathy I have for you as you just sounds totally over it all. Having said that it does seem to me that parents expect that schools can wave a magic wand and fix everything. Ok, if you're sons reading is below where it should be, what can the school do that they aren't already doing? You said you're doing as much as your can at home. Can you just accept that your son will have strengths and weaknesses. Or are there things the school could be doing but aren't?

tiggytape Fri 11-Oct-13 08:38:22

But secondary will be a fresh start, without 6 years of problems between us. So it'll be totally different.

Secondary school will be very much the same in many respects.
The staff will have targets for each child. If the child reaches the target they will be happy. If the parent is unhappy despite the child reaching the target they will be perplexed.
If the parent has specific concerns about a medical or learning disability the school will listen. If they think the parent is wrong, they will emphasise the positives to show this is not the case. If the parent disagrees, they will have to patiently and sometimes repeatedly keep going in to discuss it.

MILLYMOLLYMANDYMAX Fri 11-Oct-13 08:24:12

At the end of year 3 ds was completely illiterate. He scored 0 on all his end of year tests. The HT and his form teacher were of little help. They were like broken records that it didn't matter whether ds could not read or write he still had to do the homework set for all the class. Ie write a letter / story etc. They were having no excuses this was the homework, if he did not do it he would be told off and sent to the HT. He was bullied because he couldn't read or write.
I saw the form teacher but part of my issue was because she taught her own son he was always in the classroom and she would not ask him to leave.
I pulled him out of school for 2 years to teach him to read and write and after a long process of going around a lot of different schools he returned to the classroom in the October of year 6 to a school which was according to Ofsed failing. The school I pulled him out of was according to Ofsted outstanding.
There was a new HT at the school and when we went around the school we both felt that this was the school. He settled in straight away. If your child is genuinely unhappy and is not progressing I would have no problem in pulling out of school. Not all schools are the same. Go and see the schools and make up your own mind.

LIZS Fri 11-Oct-13 08:23:23

10 minutes isn't long and you can always stop the conversation and say this is better left to another time. Has he ever had an Ed Psych assessment . tbh use this year to go through the motions with current school and get as much info as possible ready for your next school . btw 5 mins becomes 2 by the time you've sat down , introduced each other and teacher has found right paperwork and you chat. They won't be very forthcoming unless he is at top or bottom and expect to explain the situation to each one time and again.

NikitaWhoWillNeverKnow Fri 11-Oct-13 08:18:35

But the broken record technique is rude!

And one I won't use. I'd rather walk away and have them think I was rude then stay there and be rude.

NikitaWhoWillNeverKnow Fri 11-Oct-13 08:12:34

Queen - I wasn't like this when DS was in reception! We had years of good relationship.

I am like this as a direct result of things this school have mishandled in the past.

So, no, I won't be like this with sec. And as you only get to talk to each teacher for 5 mins a year in sec it'll never deterioate to this point.

Besides the sec I have chosen don't just focus on the positives. It has target grades, and whether you're achieving them etc in the wall. Which I think will help my DS

Growlithe Fri 11-Oct-13 08:08:25

Only those with SN child, who have had a unsupportive school, could really understand what this feels like.

I get this, and I don't know what this feels like. But I do know that what the OP is doing, in refusing to communicate with them is not helpful in any situation where conflict exists. And it is even more frustrating reading when you know that the child is stuck in the middle and needs help.

Use the broken record technique. Repeat the same things every time. Yes it is frustrating and may seem pointless, but it is less pointless than not communicating at all, or being rude.

LIZS Fri 11-Oct-13 08:03:22

I can understand you are tired of hearing same old and have been worn down to an extent with frustration and anger. However I still think you should go , if only to listen and let ds hear what is being said of him. Does it matter if dh entertains what he is being told , it is his choice . At end of 10 minutes ask for a further meeting without ds to review IEP and his secondary transfer. And yes agree with others it is only a fresh start if you can get out of this mindset and feel more proactive, involving other agencies now may help you do so . Not sure you have realistic expectations of a secondary though, you may need to take a step back at that point.

QueenQueenie Fri 11-Oct-13 07:55:20

It won't be totally different op... you will still be the same person with the same attitudes!

Oblomov Fri 11-Oct-13 07:51:34

I think a lot of you are misunderstanding.
And not being very understanding.

I do go to parents evenings. I really enjoy seeing ds1's good work. I praise him and accept compliments.
I go to IEP meetings which are pointless.

I have begged and begged ( and cried) that already his reading is good, it could be better, because his Aspergers, means he has little empathy or prediction skills. As you go through primary, this lack of this particular skills, hinders more and more, every year.
But they have done nothing.

When you have a school, like Op, and I do, that insists all is well.
Even when you hear the good. It is slightly tainted. Because you think to yourself.
'whilst this is good, if you just did what you are supposed to, he could be so much better'

And that taint is very hard to get away from.

Only those with SN child, who have had a unsupportive school, could really understand what this feels like.

englishteacher78 Fri 11-Oct-13 07:47:33

Not if you don't have strategies for working with people you find difficult. It's pretty much guaranteed you won't have a positive relationship with all teachers over the time. There will be some you just don't like.

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