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Lots of little things bother me about DCs primary school

(26 Posts)
BoftheP Fri 05-Dec-14 10:05:22

Nothing big enough to constitute making a complaint but I don't know if I'm just being picky or it's like this at all primaries. For example;
Requests for craft items, clothing etc made less than a week before required.
Same with requests for money.
Communication from the school seems to be contradictory sometimes, e.g. School start times were totally different in the various places they were shown. Some information is given multiple times via various methods, email, letter in school bag, written on notice board outside classroom, termly newsletter with no relevance given to how important the information is.
Sometimes I feel like I'm being continuously spammed by the school emailing me about cake sales and other crap

The teacher seems nice enough but he seems to be unable to ( or unwilling to) engage with my dd when she is clinging onto me refusing to go into class in the morning. TA on the other hand is brilliant.
I could go on.......

The school is rated "good" by of ofsted. Its just expanded from one to three form entry and dd is in reception. Am I just being precious?

MilkRunningOutAgain Fri 05-Dec-14 10:15:48

My DC's school is just as bad at communication. Dd came home last week with a trumpet and a demand for £50 for lessons! This was the first I'd heard of it! I think many schools struggle with good communication, and most seem to ask for money, cakes, dress up costumes, help for events continuously.

Re the teacher, well, many have problems like this, at least the TA is good. Why not arrange a meeting to try to come up with a way to minimise, solve your poor dd's start to the day?

I wouldn't complain, I don't think there is enough to complain about but does your school have a way of letting parents make comments? Ours has a comments box and I frequently moan about communication problems through it, though tbh it hasn't been resolved at all!

FelixTitling Fri 05-Dec-14 10:30:37

I would second that primary schools struggle to communicate effectively with parents. I think it's something you just get used to, and you learn to predict some things. I have had 3 days notice to produce a fairy costume this week, plus other demands of cakes, wrapping paper, to volunteer at the fair, plus contradictory dates for a music concert that I will need to get a day off for.

Keep a big calendar in the kitchen with a noticeboard or box for things that need dealing with. Feel free to write copious notes to school checking things out. Put them is a teachers hand though, or take them to the office. Check book bags every night and deal with stuff straight away. It really helps if you're as organized as you can be from your end. Also, remember that a request for something is only that, a request. You dont have to do it. I never make cakes for the fair, or send them in, as they get to many anyway.

With regards to your dd getting upset in the morning. If the TA has it all in hand, the teacher will have 29 other kids to attend to. If you're not happy with the way the TA is dealing with it or would like input from the teacher catch him at the end of the day or arrange a meeting.

Good luck.

tumbletumble Fri 05-Dec-14 10:35:30

My DC's school is actually pretty good at things like this thanks to a couple of very efficient women working in the office. I think what you describe is not unusual though. As long as your DD is happy and learning something then I would try to see past a bit of disorganisation.

TywysogesGymraeg Fri 05-Dec-14 10:37:33

It sounds about right to me too - and beware, it gets worse when the kids get to secondary school, when the parent communication with the school is much reduced and school relies on kids handing over letters. I have got used to checking what's in the bottom of DDs' bags at least a couple of times a week. The amounts requested for trips, donations etc gets bigger too angry.

It would probably be worth a constructive chat with the head, with suggestions of how things could be done better (perhaps a facebook site for each class, or a twitter account, or just an email to parents). They'll either thank you for the suggestion and do nothing about it, or make a change.

Is this something you could offer to help with? (eg run a FB page for your class). If you work, your employer might let you do this in worktime as a volunteering/citizenship activity (most companies are big on this these days).

BoftheP Fri 05-Dec-14 12:22:04

Thanks all. Ok so it's not just our school then < lowers standards emoticon>

Tywysoges what you've said is interesting. My previous job (before SAHM) was doing exactly that, making sure my employer communicated effectively with it's customers. Perhaps this is why it pisses me off so much?

Meita Fri 05-Dec-14 13:46:56

Poor communication really annoys me too. I think it is because school emphasises wherever they can that it is a 'learning partnership' and that parents need to be involved and that we need to support our children's learning at home... how on earth are we supposed to do that on zero information?!

And it isn't even that teachers assume our children will tell us. No, they know that the children tend not to be very forthcoming with information at home.

I think it is mainly that teachers/school staff live their lives in the school environment and totally don't realise how much of what they do is implicit knowledge that people who don't spend their days in a school environment simply don't have. They don't communicate much because they don't realise that there is much to communicate! Because 'you just know those things' so why bother telling people? Except you only 'just know' those things if you have lots of experience with schools.

BoftheP Fri 05-Dec-14 14:58:23

meita yes, communication is very one sided. So far this term, we've had one brief conversation with the teacher at parents eve about how dd is getting on. This has been our only opportunity to have a two way conversation.

redskybynight Fri 05-Dec-14 15:34:29

Yes awful communication here too. It drives me totally nuts!! Mainly because as a result of poor communication I can see the office staff are actually giving themselves MORE work to do.

pollypocket123 Fri 05-Dec-14 21:24:37

Schools can't win re communication. Complaints range from not enough info to too many emails. Many parents don't read paper letters OR emails. Reminders are sent out about letters that have been sent out! Some parents misread things at times and forget dates. Schools are busier than ever and there are 100s of pupils. It is poor planning on the school's part if little notice for costumes etc is given, however, and late requests for money is unreasonable.

bearwithspecs Fri 05-Dec-14 23:21:37

All the schools in our area are good or outstanding and this is common in all 4 as I know parents in all. It's true too that ...Some parents register all info first time and complain if reminded. Others miss everything even though reminded by text email and letter. I have seen this myself in our school in the last month. Some say too much. Others miss the lot!!

bearwithspecs Fri 05-Dec-14 23:24:33

I must add that I am a parent not staff. In same group of parents some say they are swamped with info and some have no idea what is going on ... Uuum

clam Sat 06-Dec-14 11:12:18

However well a school communicates with the parents, there will always be a group of complainers who say it's not good enough. Usually, they're people who are hopelessly organised themselves . Not saying that's you, OP, and I don't doubt that a fair few schools could improve, but my school is pretty hot on it, and we still get complaints.

Quangle Sat 06-Dec-14 11:29:17

Ours is a bit rubbish too. Different term dates on website to newsletter ( which is sent out once a term!).

But they do try - I don't think it's anyone's actual job iyswim. I think it's a lower standards and get to know the mums who know situation. We have a parent who is class rep and she who emails the whole class with bits and bobs we might have missed - it's really helpful

TheFirstOfHerName Sat 06-Dec-14 11:38:17

*Requests for craft items, clothing etc made less than a week before required.
Same with requests for money.*

Completely normal.

TheFirstOfHerName Sat 06-Dec-14 11:39:09

Styling fail! What happened there?

Frikadellen Sat 06-Dec-14 12:50:54

Actually I think the schools my children are in are pretty good about this. However the primary school has only recently got better on it.

They have moved onto a Friday only message system. So on Fridays you get EVERYTHING. 3-6 emails and one of those newsletter. It does however mean you know to check on Fridays.

WE have a facebook group for parents and carers to add stuff and someone always sends a reminder a day or so before that helps a lot too. Could you suggest the school sets this up?

The secondary schools I have never had any issue with. They send it all via email unless you request otherwise so I actually feel both 2ndary schools I have children in are great about communication it is easy to follow.

RustyBear Sat 06-Dec-14 12:58:48

Styling fail! What happened there?

Using <return> in the middle of a bold emphasis buggers it up!

katese11 Sat 06-Dec-14 13:40:46

Just to say I think schools pair up TAs and teachers in a good cop/bad cop way. Ds is in yr1 and his teacher is excellent but not warm at all. ... It's the TA that does all the coat - finding/listening to rambling anecdotes etc As long as there's one touchy feely type in the classroom I think that's OK

clam Sat 06-Dec-14 13:51:55

Yeah, that's exactly how they do it. hmm

katese11 Sat 06-Dec-14 14:16:05

No need to be arsey about it. ...In my mind it makes perfect sense to pair a strict teacher with a "nice" TA. But what do I know?

Ferguson Sat 06-Dec-14 19:01:06

I think the duplication of information via letter and blackboard outside school is for the benefit of parents who haven't (don't) read the letters. Obviously, times and dates etc should be the same, or if there is a late change that should be indicated as such.

misssmapp Sat 06-Dec-14 19:25:50

11- As a deputy head- you are not far off with some of our pairings!!

bearwithspecs Sat 06-Dec-14 23:28:33

In our school teachers do the strict bit and TAs do the cuddles

AmazonGrace Sun 07-Dec-14 01:22:24

I think DS school is quite good with communication.

We have a newsletter emailed once a week and it details any letters which will be coming home in book bags. It also has a second page of upcoming events to remind you.

I really like this approach although speaking to another parent she felt swamped with the weekly newsletter. At DS old school there was a newsletter once a month.

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