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Advice please on what to do next.

(14 Posts)
spicemum123 Thu 06-Nov-14 10:59:32

To start, sorry this is a long one. I made an official complaint to the Head/Senco as I had had no response or acknowledgement from them for over 2 weeks. My complaint is below.

After this I have included the response from the Head. This was so rude, I and everyone else I have given it to has been shocked. Any feedback to where I go from here would be very much appreciated. Thank You.

Please give details of your complaint.

No acknowledgment or any response to email dated 22.9.14

What action, if any, have you already taken to try and resolve your complaint.

11.9.14 - Meet the teacher for daughter in class 3. Explained to Miss class teacher that I had a report for daughter due and could I have her email address to send it to her and Miss Headteacher (who I was told) had taken over the SENCO role.

22.9.14 - Email sent to Miss class teacher and Miss Headteacher/ senco asking them if it would be okay for us to have a meeting with Betty's specialist dyslexia teacher whom she see's once a week. Email copy enclosed

Dear Miss class teacher and Miss headteacher/senco

I enclose a report written by ** who is a private consultant dyslexia specialist. She has been seeing daughter since February once a week at home. Would it be possible to have a meeting with you both, myself and ** to discuss its findings, any questions, and how best to help Daughter collaboratively in school? ** is free after school on Fridays. I understand that Miss headteacher has currently taken over that role.

Many Thanks.


1.10.14 - Note written in contact book for Miss class teacher, asking her if she and Miss Headteacher/ senco could respond to my email.

2.10.14. - Miss class teacher informed me that her email was no longer working and she has not received the report. She reports that she has spoken to Miss headteacher/ senco and I need to go through her.

2.10.14. - Went to the office and spoke to office and asked her if Miss headteacher / senco could give me a call. I said that my mobile number would be best to reach me.

3.10.14 - Email sent to the office, copy here.

Dear Office.

Please could you print out a copy of this report for Miss class teacher as she does not have a current email address that is working. I am unsure as to whether to go through yourselves for a meeting or whom to ask as I have not had a reply from either person regarding my original email sent on the 22nd of September. Many Thanks.

6.10.14. Went to the office and spoke to office. Explained that I have not received any phone call or email. She replied that she would look into things and would need to speak to colleague .

7.10.14. Went to office and spoke to colleague. She reports that the report I have sent about daughter has all been sent out to Miss class teacher. She states that Miss headteacher/senco has been busy today but that she will remind her to give me a call.

8.10.14. Went to office. Asked if Miss headteacher/ senco was free. I was informed that she was with a parent. I asked how that parent managed to get in to see her? She replied that the parent was called in for the child's behaviour. She reports that she forgot to speak to Miss headteacher/senco yesterday, but she will email her to remind her.

8.10.14. Spoke to Miss class teacher. She reiterated that I need to go through Miss headteacher/senco and that she has not received any report for daughter. She said she would speak to Miss Headteacher / senco.

What actions do you feel might resolve the problem at this stage?

A date for a meeting between parties, or acknowledgment that this is not achievable with current time constraints placed on the Headteacher and a meeting should go ahead without the SENCO .

REPLY

With reference to your formal complaint of ninth of October regarding no acknowledgement or any response to email dated 22nd of September 2014.

Miss class teachers personal email address no longer exist as she was asked to delete it as quite rightly, she realises soon as you had been given this parent should not have request personal accounts. This class teacher informed you of this action therefore she would not have received your email to respond to.
Your same email to myself remind my inbox within the timeframe of 14 days as above. Having read the email but not the attachment is very hard and pointless for all to arrange anything until this is read.
During the 14 days you query at no time you were ignored. I do not need to respond to emails personally, if my office staff are informing you I am busy, that is a fact, I am busy.
You should know that within the timeframe you're complaining about the lack of response, at the start of the school year, there was an inordinate amount of work to do and to hit deadlines. Should you wish to discuss my work load/diary I'm sure I can ask the governor to be available to do this.

At no time have I had the opportunity or luxury to sit at my desk and read, I complete necessary reading for my role in the evenings. A private tutor support around dyslexia does not work me stopping any of the above to read this, I have been and remain generally busy with no capacity flexibility at this stage the schools development. I will read the report when I can. I would imagine there are various recommendations made by the report. These need to fit within the everyday practice of the school to work for the school and Daughter.

I hope you do now appreciate that my office staff are not blocking your request to see me or for response to an email between the complaint period.

As a way forward I suggest you meet with Miss class teacher and miss head of English alongside her role as part of the senior leadership team.

I would very much suggest this is not on a Friday after school being that this is the only evening that my staff leave promptly, unless you could arrange this at 3:30 PM for no longer than half an hour. The next Friday that both are free is 14 November 3:30 PM due to an inset, half term and school disco where staff help.

In the meantime daughter as discussed with teacher, continues to work hard, is on target with both her maths and writing (unusual for a dyslexic child) and only one sub level below for her reading. She is happy, enjoying class and school and all that this office which is great.

Your sincerely Headteacher

My first question is:-
What do you want to achieve?
If it is proper support for your DD then you are going to need to work with the school. So you may need to find a way to work with the school.

I would book an appointment and take it from there. If the teachers are sensible in that meeting then you have a basis to work from. If they are obstructive then you will need to push the matter further. You can't really complain to anyone else at this stage (in my view) because the HT has told you to book an appointment and given you a potential date.

catkind Thu 06-Nov-14 12:49:38

Is that a copy-paste? Is the head teacher's grammar really that bad? That letter is very hard to follow at all. It's also coming over unprofessional and defensive going on about her workload.

She has in fact offered you a meeting on a Friday after school as you requested though. I'd snap that up. I think a simple emailed response ignoring all the waffle -

"Thank you for the offer of a meeting on 14th November at 3.30pm. I will look forward to meeting with Miss X and Miss Y then to discuss the report. Please could you forward the report (attached) to them prior to the meeting."
And maybe put paper copies in personally addressed envelopes and hand to class teacher/English teacher if you can just to make sure.

spicemum123 Thu 06-Nov-14 14:07:00

Thank you so far. Yes, I have made an appointment and politely confirmed this with a follow up email. I decided not to do anything until I have the meeting (14 th Nov as suggested), but wanted the opinion regarding the rudeness and defensiveness. So sad she is in charge of the children. Yes this is copy and pasted !!!

catkind Thu 06-Nov-14 17:42:28

Mindboggling that someone can reach a senior position in a school and not be able to write coherent English. Can't help wondering if this reply was written by the office staff on her behalf. It's really quite odd. Or maybe dictated? But surely everyone writes their own emails these days.

I agree its stroppy and badly drafted. Hang on to a copy just in case you don't get the support you are hoping for as it doesn't show the HT in a good light. It may well be that the teachers you will be speaking to will be more useful to you and your DD than the HT anyway, if they are the ones actually teaching her.

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Thu 06-Nov-14 17:59:20

It's not really good even if it was written by the office staff. Presumably if their job was to write e-mails/letters is part of the essential person spec and should have been checked anyway. I think it's unlikely that anything that defensive could have been written by a 3rd party.

I would ignore it for now and take the meeting they have offered.I would definitely keep a copy of it somewhere safe in case you need to use it.

It does sound like she's maybe overworked and stressed (and not very literate), but that really isn't any excuse for the tone in that e-mail.

cansu Thu 06-Nov-14 18:13:53

It is a very rude response and I can't imagine any of the heads I have worked with sending a reply as rude as this. Keep a copy. I think the main issue is probably that you have asked for the Friday after school meeting to fit in with dyslexia teacher, they will not have liked this although I appreciate you are trying to work round private tutor. It is usual to ask for times when they are available rather than specifying it yourself. This will undoubtedly have annoyed the head and the class teacher. Whilst staff stay late most days planning for next day etc, most staff tend to tidy up and leave earlier on Fridays. I think your second error was going in every single day asking for reply etc. I usually wait a few days before I start trying to chase up a response.

I think how you go forward depends on whether you agree that your dd is happy and doing well at the school. If so and you need to work with this head then I would simply make an appointment to see the head. Perhaps say that you feel there has been a misunderstanding and that you are simply a concerned parent who wants the best for their child. Ask when would be best for a few possible dates and try and arrange meeting. Whilst I completely agree she sounds an unpleasant and rude piece of work, if you have to work with her you may need to try and smooth the way. If you are unhappy then you might want to think about moving to a more responsive and tactful head. She could have rang you and been much more polite and helpful.

addictedtosugar Thu 06-Nov-14 18:30:50

OP: you realise your daughters name is in the message? You might want to ask MNHQ to delete it if the name is indeed your daughters name.

Other than that, I'm confused, and haven't quite followed your post. Will come back later when kids in bed.

hiccupgirl Thu 06-Nov-14 18:33:51

Try I find your whole post very difficult to understand but if the HT has written that response they really need to reread things before they send them as the grammar is shocking.

I would agree to the meeting on 14th Nov and go from there. I do find you asking how another parent go into see the HT rude but I understand why you are getting frustrated with the situation. It sounds like the whole school needs to work on improving their communications with parents.

catkind Thu 06-Nov-14 18:35:32

It's not really good even if it was written by the office staff. Presumably if their job was to write e-mails/letters is part of the essential person spec and should have been checked anyway. I think it's unlikely that anything that defensive could have been written by a 3rd party.

Good points. I think it was the fact that it's also rather defensive of the office staff that made me wonder e.g. "if my office staff are informing you I am busy, that is a fact, I am busy", "I hope you do now appreciate that my office staff are not blocking your request to see me or for response to an email between the complaint period." And the fact that the office staff appear to have lied before in this saga (about forwarding the report to the teacher) as well as forgetting to pass on messages. Probably just my suspicious nature though. I don't like to think a head teacher would write like that.

WipsGlitter Thu 06-Nov-14 19:26:17

I agree you need to pick your battles. Going in to the office every day, sometimes twice a day was maybe overkill. I also gather the views of private assessors are not really respected and her comment about how week your daughter is doing with her writing suggests they may have you down as an anxious parent/seeing a problem where there isn't one (I'm not saying that is the case just what they might think).

Go to the meeting with an open mind.

LIZS Thu 06-Nov-14 20:31:09

Why could you not have printed a copy and taken it onto the office or handed it to the teacher yourself ? Unfortunately your dd is not the only child in the school , nor likely to be the only child with any SEN so you do have to be prepared to wait. If you have the report why is it so essential that the specialist also be there. If you hope to work productively on this to benefit your dd you need to swallow some of the prickliness and handle it on a professional rather than emotional footing, however frustrating it may be.

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Thu 06-Nov-14 20:54:50

I'm not sure the OP is the one that can be accused of being unprofessional and emotional here.

Her initial e-mail is fine and she did wait nearly 10 days after sending it before putting a note in the reading diary. Most of the things that happened after that were due to the OP trying to get an appointment with the HT as instructed by the class teacher.

A lot of this could have been avoided with a simple 2 line response to the initial e-mail acknowledging it and saying that the HT was busy but would get round to reading the attached report. Or by not promising phone calls that are not going to be forthcoming.

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