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Are you allowed to speak to teachers?

(30 Posts)
onetwoflea Fri 13-Nov-15 16:50:13

Just had an odd conversation with my child's Junior school teacher. I missed parents evening because I was working that particular day (they only do times until 6pm - I don't get home from work until 6pm) and I don't have a partner at home to go instead of me. I asked if I could see the teacher about my child's work at another time, even just for 5 minutes, at a time to suit her. She immediately got very defensive and said no, that it was against school policy. If you can't attend parents evening then that's the only time allocated. I mentioned I couldn't attend because of work, but she said that if she arranged that for me she'd have to arrange it for all the other parents who missed parents evenings.

So please correct me if I am wrong, but I would have thought that if you asked for an appointment to discuss your child's work at any time, you should be able to make one with the teacher? And if anyone knows if there is a government policy for this, I would love a link so I can prove this to the headmaster and actually see my child's teacher.

Now, firstly I do understand that teachers have a lot of work to do and that constantly seeing parents would deprive them of work / home time. However, I would have thought that seeing a child's parent once a term for a few minutes was part of their job, as we are meant to have a 'home - school' contract where we support their work. And if there are not enough slots for parents in the two evenings they hold for parents (which are appointment only in 10 minute slots given by the teachers, so it's not as if she would be sitting there wasting time waiting for parents to drop in, she can go home when she's finished her appointments).

At the moment I am faced with not being allowed to talk to her, although she has offered to email me his report (which shocked me that I wouldn't have been able to see this if I hadn't asked). I would have thought being able to talk to the parent would also help them understand the background of the child and help them teach the child, too.


amysmummy12345 Fri 13-Nov-15 16:58:37

I'm a teacher and I think my head would probably roast me if I treated a parent in this manner! I have an open door policy and even said to parents at parents evening that they don't have to wait until next parents evening if they have any questions, out would like to catch up with me about their child's learning. I'd possibly ask management of this really is the school's stance?

amysmummy12345 Fri 13-Nov-15 16:59:22


Lozza1990 Fri 13-Nov-15 17:08:21

She was being petty and stupid. Of course you are entitled to talk to your child's teacher! I would go up to her after school one day (choose a day you have off or aren't at work for whatever reason) and just say hi do you have 5 minutes I'm coming to talk about how my child is getting on, that's a pretty normal thing to do anyway, isn't it?! if she still refuses I would make a formal complaint about this idiot teacher.

LegoClone Fri 13-Nov-15 17:12:04

I wrote a note to my son's teacher about some concerns I had a few weeks into the start of this academic year. She looked for me at pick up time - spoke to me about the minor issues straight away and arranged a time to speak to me in the classroom (rather than playground) later that week. She is usually available for a quick word before and after school and seems happy to arrange to talk to parents in private too. Friends of mine whose children attend different schools have had similar experiences to mine.

I teach at secondary level and have always made arrangements to meet parents who can't make parents' evening or who have concerns (although not as late as parents' evening appointments often are) or will phone the parent to talk. The idea of a school policy that doesn't allow this is bizarre! confused

MajesticSeaFlapFlap Fri 13-Nov-15 17:12:39

Before school you can go in and chat to the teacher and ta's
After school you have to wait till all the pupils are gone.

I'd be pissed if I was treated in such a crappy manner

BackforGood Fri 13-Nov-15 17:31:24

Are you around at the end of school time on other days, or expecting her to see you after 6 ?

crispytruffle Fri 13-Nov-15 17:39:40

If she refused to see me I'd request a meeting with the Head and I'd see how she liked that. Appalling petty behaviour of which I wouldn't stand for.

MyNewBearTotoro Fri 13-Nov-15 17:51:12

I'm a teacher and I also have an open-door policy. I would always be happy to arrange a convenient time to meet with a parent for a face-to-face chat or a phone call.

I think it's very strange of this teacher not to agree to meet with you, especially considering you missed parent's evening.

Http Fri 13-Nov-15 17:57:34

It's open door policy at our school too. I would ask management what the deal is with this.

IoraRua Fri 13-Nov-15 17:58:58

That's very odd - I'd think she'd have a right to refuse a 6pm meeting for example but you've agreed to fit into her schedule so it can't be that.

irvine101 Fri 13-Nov-15 18:01:23

shock angry

TheTroubleWithAngels Fri 13-Nov-15 18:06:05

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

megletthesecond Fri 13-Nov-15 18:08:57

Yes. They're available most days after school (plus open classroom for infants) or we can call for a chat or make an appointment to come in.

KittyandTeal Fri 13-Nov-15 18:14:18

I thought this was about talking to the teacher just before or just after school without making an appointment.

Bloody hell! I cannot imagine ever saying that to a parent. I'm sure we have a legal responsibility to report progress etc to parents, which is what parents evening is supposed to be.

That's crazy. She wants to come to our school where parents skip parents evening appointments or 'need' to move them so they don't miss Corrie.

MrsKCastle Fri 13-Nov-15 18:19:42

Madness. I teach and often see parents for 'parents evening' appointments outside of the official time. I also make a point of saying to each and every parent- "please do not hesitate to contact me with any concerns. I am happy to see you at any time." I also try to make myself visible before/after school so I'm easy to catch for a quick chat.

Clutterbugsmum Fri 13-Nov-15 18:43:35

Yes they are in the playground morning and afternoon. They even wear orange fluorescent jacket so you can not miss them grin.

I would make an appointment to see your dc key stage head/head teacher to discuss both how your child is getting on and how the teacher spoke to you and her refusal to see you.

spanieleyes Fri 13-Nov-15 19:04:45

I have conducted several parents "evening" meetings at 7.30 in the morning and the same at night ( although this was a "one -off"!) There is no way I could refuse to see a parent!!

JenniferYellowHat1980 Fri 13-Nov-15 19:06:07

Last year I worked in a secondary in which teachers and parents only came into contact on parents evening. We weren't to make phone calls home (the SLT were in complete denial a out horrendous behaviour and I think they were buying the problem). It was bizarre. Maybe it's a similar situation.

onetwoflea Fri 13-Nov-15 20:10:36

Hi thanks everyone, I thought this might be a junior school policy as everything seems to get so strict in junior school. I've never had problems with the infant and nursery schools, or with some of my other children's teachers. This teacher I'm talking about is the deputy head, so if she say's it's policy then I'm pretty sure it is, and the head teacher will back her up. We're not allowed to talk to teachers in the junior school before school, and they dislike talking to parents when we collect children after school. I am around for drop off / pick ups on Mondays and Fridays and I can arrange time off work for school appointments, I just couldn't on this particular week. I'm quite cross that with this policy I could potentially go through school without speaking to a teacher if I can't make the parents evenings, it does seem a bit barmy that they can't even make 5 minutes for a parent once a term. I'm wondering if its worth a letter to the governors!

Http Fri 13-Nov-15 20:56:39

So basically they don't like you talking to them before or even after school?

Do they do appointments for parents. Could you wait a couple of weeks and then make an appt about your son's progress etc but not really mentioning it as a parents evening type appt iyswim.

HannahHobbins Fri 13-Nov-15 21:03:50

I too would be bollocked if I said this to a parent. I would probably write to the head, an email might do? Very odd attitude though IMO.

Clutterbugsmum Fri 13-Nov-15 21:52:55

I'd move my child to a better school then, where the teachers care about the children they are teaching.

onetwoflea Sat 14-Nov-15 13:15:33

thanks for your replies...yep I've just checked through the school policies and it says 'parents have the opportunity to speak to teachers twice a year at parents evenings, otherwise teachers are available via email. Parents can see their children's work twice per year during open afternoons.' So that's it! Thanks for replying, and for your support, I'm glad to hear other teachers think this is a rubbish policy, I think I'll be writing to the governors / head teacher / ofsted as it doesn't seem adequate to me.
I can't move schools as it's the only one in town but I will be very pleased when they leave for secondary school!!

Billben Sat 14-Nov-15 15:17:35

Our school had a policy similar to yours when we had our old Headteacher. Never used to be like that, so came as a shock. Turned out, the school was going under and he was just trying to keep the parents away whilst burying his head in the sand. He got the sack, new headteacher came in and we lost 80% of our teachers and TA's. That was a year ago. We have an open policy now, brand new staff and we are welcomed with open arms. I'd be very wary if I could only contact my daughters' teachers through email.

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