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Is this acceptable behaviour for a head?

(32 Posts)
Cakeismymaster Fri 12-Dec-14 20:15:28

Year 3 class, so 7 and 8 year olds.
Head goes into year 3 classroom, starts shouting at them in relation to a piece of written work. One of the first (shouted) comments "I'm fed up of parents coming in here telling me that I'm not treating their childrens work well" (note this is recounted by a 7 year old). Then takes a load of them off to the library and made them redo the piece of work twice over. Upon returning to check the work, shouted at the group again, and screwed up the work in front of them and threw it in the bin!
Is it just me that thinks this isn't right? Or am I being sensitive?

JennyBlueWren Fri 12-Dec-14 20:41:30

Wow! There is so much wrong with this. Have you spoken to the teacher or anyone else present? I'm not sure exactly what you should do/ who you should speak to -governors?

Maybe the Head's having a breakdown? Is this usual behaviour for them?

JennyBlueWren Fri 12-Dec-14 20:42:20

PS: School should have complaints proceedure displayed somewhere.

Cakeismymaster Fri 12-Dec-14 21:06:11

Usual practice is to go in and see her, the story's been told by lots of the children in the class so far so varies very slightly depending on how much each child took it to heart! I'm worried about going in to school though after the whole fed up of parents it looks like it would just get taken out on the children? Also ds has made me promise not to go and speak to her as he thinks he will get in trouble for telling me.

HowDoesThatWork Fri 12-Dec-14 21:25:29

This is unacceptable and I think a formal complaint will be required.

I am a primary school governor (reasonably competent, small school, few dramas). If you approached me about this, I would say these are the steps you should take.

1) Talk to the head.

2) If not satisfied, make a formal complaint (get complaint procedure)

3) If not satisfied, talk to the chair of the governors.

4) Not sure, what next.

Cakeismymaster Fri 12-Dec-14 22:27:10

Thanks HowDoes that is useful to have a second opinion from someone with governor experience. I'm also presuming I will be one a few parents who no doubt will be thinking this over the weekend and may or may not end up at the heads office on Monday.

Riverland Fri 12-Dec-14 22:34:25

Totally unacceptable behaviour.

If other parents are around to discuss this with, I'd get together with them and I'd call the head to a meeting with all interested parents and ask to discuss the situation with school governor present.

Itsgoingtoreindeer Fri 12-Dec-14 23:17:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Riverland Fri 12-Dec-14 23:55:16

How do these people get to be in charge of anything at all, honestly.
So sorry, itsgoingtoreindeer, that's excruciating. What an idiot.

Fallenangle Sat 13-Dec-14 00:04:14

I think I would take a different tack and see the class teacher.
Is there a problem with DD's work? Develop conversation from there according to reply. End up asking about the incident with the Head if the conversation doesn't make things clear.

Sunflower123456 Sat 13-Dec-14 00:18:13

That's totally unacceptable behaviour. You should follow the steps suggested by HowDoesThatWork. Maybe the head is over worked, or has personal issues.

Some heads are real bxxxxxs, as they know they can get away with bad behaviour. We had a really bad experience with a private school (NGHS), as the head won't allow our daughter to attend school unless she eats their school lunches, even we gave the head a doctors recommendation letter. On the day we submitted our termination notice, she even made many false accusations against us to the social services. We followed their complaints procedure, but the GDST chairman refused to hold a panel hearing, saying it would not solve anything. It was a total waste of time complaining in our case, but at least it's logged in their records.

Cakeismymaster Sat 13-Dec-14 10:20:41

I would like to speak to the class teacher, but at the school you can't actually do that...the process is you have to ask for an appointment with the teacher at the school office - but the head has to be told about all such requests so all that happens is that you end up with an appt with her instead - she stops parents talking to class teachers (unless you pounce on teacher in playground)

Fuzzymum1 Sat 13-Dec-14 12:06:43

Absolutely inappropriate! If the head is blocking people from speaking to teachers then I would go straight to the governors. I have been a governor for most of the last 15 years and it would have been taken very seriously. I would write directly to the chair of governors and explain everything you have told us. You may find the governors are already aware of her behaviour and need evidence to be able to do anything about it. We have experience of a head behaving inappropriately and needed parents to put their concerns in writing to be able to take it further. Thankfully she has moved on (though I feel sorry for the school she's gone to, she's making teachers' lives hell) and we have a very lovely new head who is working hard to put right the harm the old head did.

Riverland Sat 13-Dec-14 13:37:57

shock stops parents talking to teachers?

You have no choice but to go over her head.

I hope she is usually a good Head?! Because in this thread she's not sounding like it!

Notinaminutenow Sat 13-Dec-14 15:09:04

Parents not allowed to meet with teachers?

As a former parent governor I would suggest that the problem is far greater than the totally unprofessional behaviour you outlined.

It seems you have no choice but to go to the governors. No joy there then escalate to local authority (if school is a community primary).

Try to get support from other parents - the more people who put their complaint in writing the better. Not suggesting a witch-hunt though so stick to specifics.

Good luck.

Fuzzymum1 Sat 13-Dec-14 15:35:47

If all else fails then I would contact ofsted.

Sunflower123456 Sat 13-Dec-14 15:58:02

Unfortunately OFSTD and the DoE would not investigate individual cases, so the complaints ends at the school governors.

Cakeismymaster Sat 13-Dec-14 18:03:36

Thanks all. Have spoke to a few other parents of the other kids involved and some of them are already going in on Monday. When I say we're not allowed to see the teachers - there's nothing written down that it's not allowed, but literally everything goes through the head - so as I mentioned when you go in and ask for an appt, then she gets told first. I agree that the problems are more than just that behaviour, but that would probably need a whole other thread. Staff turnover is very high - at least 5 new staff members every September. There are only 2 others who have been there longer than 5 years, which is unusual for a small primary isn't it. Last year in year 2 ds had 3 different teachers.
My worry about going to the governors is that a) she is one of them and b) they are all scared of her and/or think she's great.

admission Sun 14-Dec-14 12:39:15

You need to get hold of the complaints policy and see what that says. In most schools that would say speak to the teacher and try and resolve etc and then if not resolved then formal written complaint to the head teacher. However when the complaint is around the head teacher then the formal written complaint should be to the Chair of Governors. You should however be initially taking the route of asking the head teacher to explain themselves. Though from your posts that does seem to be a positive experience.
Should any school be expecting this kind of alleged behaviour? NO is the simple answer. The head teacher has completely undermined the class teacher and destroyed any credence the head has with staff, parents and especially pupils.
You will not know what is going on within the school governing body or whether the GB is already in some kind of disciplinary or competency issue with the head teacher. It could also be that the head teacher has personal issues that you are not aware of. It could be the last straw as far as the Gb is concerned or it could be the first time that they have to start questioning the capability of the head teacher but it will be nothing unless there is a formal written complaint.
As a Chair of Governors I would be horrified if I got this kind of complaint and would be having a very difficult but necessary conversation with the head teacher.

rabbitstew Sun 14-Dec-14 20:52:06

Sounds like the headteacher has lost the plot altogether. She clearly lost credibility with staff long ago, hence the high attrition rate, and is now busy losing any semblance of an appearance of being capable of dealing with the stresses of the job in front of children and parents. Failing to behave appropriately in front of the children would, in my view, be the final straw - once you start taking your paranoid bully tendencies out on the children, someone needs to find a way to get rid of you as quickly as possible!

MassaAttack Mon 15-Dec-14 20:55:31

You need to approach the LA. I've known a similarly despotic head, and the governors were either scared or in the head's pocket.

Cakeismymaster Mon 15-Dec-14 21:38:13

I think you may be right. I looked up the complaints procedure - it says all complaints in writing to the head. She then has 7 days to reply. It then says where the complaint is not resolved it is then at the decision of the head (!) whether to then refer it to the governors.
I searched the entire school website and lots of googling etc (and checked prospectus) and I cannot find the names of any of the governors anywhere. So again, she's got the whole thing coming back to her.

MassaAttack Mon 15-Dec-14 21:54:29

At the school I'm thinking of, the head was intercepting mail (email and post) addressed to governors. She's gone now, but it got ugly.

Sunflower123456 Tue 16-Dec-14 22:10:25

There really should be a formal way to review or discipline a badly behaved head, but apparently there isn't. In our case, since the school trust refused to follow their own complaints procedure, we contacted the Independent Schools Inspectorate and the Department of Education. The DoE eventually requested the ISI to review that school's complaints procedure, but the badly behaved head got away with everything she did to us. The DoE said only a new Parliament bill would task them to investigate individual cases. This is very unlikely under the current cutbacks.

Tron123 Tue 16-Dec-14 22:53:50

I think a lot depends on how you view the school. If in general you are happy with the school making a formal complaint is ill advised, suggestions of governors an ofsted is not the way to develop good parent teacher relationships

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