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New teacher ( VP) blaming children on lack of progress

(30 Posts)
RonaldMcDonald Tue 15-Mar-16 08:22:24

My daughter's class have been being taught by the new VP
He came in in November and since then there has been a distinct lack of work or movement in their learning.
He teaches them until lunch time each day and then has a series of cover teachers look after the class as he does VP work.

The parental interviews are upcoming.

Yesterday he told the class that if their parents were unhappy it would be because they are such a badly mannered class they can't learn anything.

My daughter is in floods of tears. She is very well mannered and conscientious ( no, really )

What should I say to him. It feels utterly unfair

Tiggeryoubastard Tue 15-Mar-16 08:30:13

What's a VP?

Thelwell Tue 15-Mar-16 08:34:06

Vice principal?

SpeakNoWords Tue 15-Mar-16 08:46:59

Are you in the UK?

MrsSteptoe Tue 15-Mar-16 08:49:47

How old is your daughter, OP?

RonaldMcDonald Tue 15-Mar-16 09:32:22

Vice principal and just turned 9 yo. I am in the UK.

RonaldMcDonald Tue 15-Mar-16 09:36:32

He has also told them that he spoke to other teachers in the school and it is well known that they are an impossible class.

It feels rubbish that this blanket answer covers everything and everyone.
She has always been an excellent quiet well mannered pupil but the class has a few challenging pupils

MrsSteptoe Tue 15-Mar-16 09:36:56

Seems unlikely that a whole class of 9 year olds are so bad mannered that he can't teach. I know the conclusion I'd draw.
You'll get much wiser comments from other parents, but I wonder if you can ask if they will permanently be taught by cover teachers in the afternoons? How many different cover teachers - meaning, how well will they individually get to know the kids? Will this be the arrangement when they move up a year as well? Will he continue o teach them next year?
The reason I ask is because we had a bad experience with both the Year 2 and the Year 3 teachers, but it didn't seem to make too much difference in the greater scheme of things, and I wonder if he'll only be teaching them till the end of the summer term, in which case perhaps it's a question of patience and it'll be better next year.
But as I say, you will get more helpful comments from other parents, I think.
It does sound like he isn't really a very good teacher, tbh.

Believeitornot Tue 15-Mar-16 09:39:05

My sons teacher tried to say the whole class was "behind" and difficult to teach hmm

After getting to know her it turns out she was inexperienced in teaching in a mainstream primary with the larger class sizes (she told me this) so I deduced that actually it was her methods which were the issue.

I would take it up with the governors. Ask for the email address of the chair of governors and send a note of your concerns.

RonaldMcDonald Tue 15-Mar-16 09:40:47

They have had 36 different teachers during 5 yrs at school.
This is a nice primary school. There is a terminally bad teacher illness problem resulting in endless sub teachers

I am upset for my daughter but also fed up with this constant blame placing on the children

MrsSteptoe Tue 15-Mar-16 09:40:52

OK just saw your next post. I don't really understand how a teacher can think that it's acceptable to think he can get compliance from a group of nine-year-olds by telling them all that everyone thinks they are impossible. Seems idiotic to me.
I seem to remember the Head Teacher telling me that DS's class were also considered to be unusually challenging. Is this just something that teachers say to every class in the daft hope that it'll bring them into line?

My other thought would be to ask either him or the head: OK, so what do you plan to do about it? Because, you know, you are the school. You are the experts. If the problem is the class, interrogate them for facts as to how this class is so unteachable, and if they therefore plan to do, what? Abandon them? sorry, I'm getting annoyed now! (Not at you, OP!)

RonaldMcDonald Tue 15-Mar-16 09:42:04

The VP told the kids he has been teaching for 15 years and so the problem isn't his 9 year olds?!

RonaldMcDonald Tue 15-Mar-16 09:43:27

I do agree that I think they say it to each class to an extent but ...maybe I'm just being overly sensitive

MrsSteptoe Tue 15-Mar-16 09:45:41

I'm sorry, this bloke sounds like an absolute twerp. I think I'm probably out of useful suggestions, but know that I am tutting around crossly on your behalf, OP. Do you reckon you'll get him in the autumn as well?

Believeitornot Tue 15-Mar-16 09:48:00

Bad teacher illness problem.... Are you sure you don't have a school with problems retaining people which results in stress and people signed off with sick?

Go to the governors.

MrsSteptoe Tue 15-Mar-16 09:53:42

Yes, I don't quite buy the bad teacher illness problem either. They've got a teacher retention problem, and that's never a good sign.
I'm not suggesting that you would necessarily want to, but would you be in a position to change schools if you wanted to?

Witchend Tue 15-Mar-16 11:59:04

Is it possible that actually they are a difficult class which is resulting in teachers leaving at any excuse rather than stay and work with them?

At primary the class below me had about half the children were what would have regarded as "low ability and difficult". They would do silly things like throw paint pots across the classroom in year 5... year 5 teacher being exceedingly experienced, very good on discipline etc. He was probably the most successful with them.
Thing was by year 1 you saw teachers moving rather than have them (one form entry, so you knew who'd you had)
They did all sorts of things to try and help. In fact our form, who was known to be generally good often missed out because any treats that were both classes together they needed the extra teacher for that class, so we'd be told we weren't doing it as they needed our teacher. I don't recall them every being stopped from doing something due to behaviour in advance. they were stopped on a few occasions part way through, though usually it was taking named children out and those who were generally well behaved stayed if possible.

However, although the teachers were honest with the parents that the class was difficult-and it would have effected learning, they never said it was their fault. They worked very much to try and encourage the good behaviour as well as clamp down on the bad.

Interestingly though, looking back with modern eyes, my dsis' form a few years above had 42 in the class at the smallest and never had fewer than about 5 children who nowadays we would immediately recognise as having substantial behavioural issues and other special needs too, but this form was never an issue as much as this one.

FanSpamTastic Tue 15-Mar-16 12:12:10

Even if they were a class with a number of challenging issues, a professional teacher should not be remarking on this in front of them. If he has behaviour issues in his class then he should be identifying the causes and working to address those issues. He sounds like a bully. But your parents evening is for you and your child. I would keep your focus on that for the parents evening. If you want to pursue the comments he is making then I would request a meeting with the head and address it separately from your parents evening.

Happymummy007 Tue 15-Mar-16 12:21:49

I'd go to the governors. Even if the class is "challenging" - so what? Any experienced teacher should have any number of strategies up their sleeve to deal with any issues. What is the saying - "a poor workman always blames his tools" (apologies if I'm paraphrasing it). My immediate reaction would be that he's trying to cover up his inadequacies and blaming the children.

RonaldMcDonald Tue 15-Mar-16 12:28:28

The school have ishoos with a number of teachers. Repeated start the year - then go off sick and return at the end of the school year - year after year
The school are, of course, unable to do anything about it

Since we have been at the school there has already been a change of head - he was clear that he found the staffing situation impossible and jumped ship - he felt utterly unsupported by governors and the teachers

As parents we are stuffed with whatever happens and we only find out from the children after the fact...there is little or no communication from the school. When we highlighted the number of actual teachers that the children had had the school said no - as temps aren't actual subs and so don't count in the stats???

I think the many, many teachers haven't helped the situation. I know that they have a problem group of boys and a problem group of girls. In total this is between 6-10 children in all in a class of 32.

I don't know what he can do and I don't know what to do but she isn't learning anything and is miserable to be landed with this

thanks for all your answers

FanSpamTastic Tue 15-Mar-16 12:41:28

Also before you speak to head, take a look at the schools bullying policy and behaviour policy. In ours it talks about things like - children's development is best supported where they feel valued. It talks about encouraging and rewarding good behaviour. It says that everyone should be polite. It specifically states that staff will not stigmatise the child and will avoid whole group consequences that punish the innocent as well as the guilty.

Arneb Tue 15-Mar-16 12:42:18

They have had 36 different teachers during 5 yrs at school.

That is a massive teacher retention problem and I'd be very worried by that alone.

It's possible that it's a very usual class that everyone is trying to avoid - but why is the school not throwing resources at this rather than blaming an entire class of children or at least finding triggers and ways to manage the challenging behaviours.

Low level disruption is a concern - and you could say that your child is finding it hard to concentrate in class and ask how this can be changed?

Otherwise at parent evening I would focus on your child - work out what progress has been made where more is needed.

You could ask if she has any behavioural issues in class ? If not ask why she being lumped in with rest of class and being told that she is part of an impossible group as it's demoralising.

If told yes ask how you can help your child over come them or what they plan to do to help her overcome them.

It's not impossible as children can behave differently in school mine are better so much so they teachers refuse to believe they can be challenging at times. Though they usually find quite early on with our son that who they sit him next to has a massive impact on how he behaves to a startling extent. With one of our daughters they get told to manage their distractions as the impact on her behaviour doesn't become another class management issue like sons can.

Arneb Tue 15-Mar-16 12:44:16

I take it moving schools isn't an option?

I'd be looking to move way from entire problem but I realise that can be easier said than done.

FanSpamTastic Tue 15-Mar-16 12:48:07

As a parent you do have options - you could ask for a meeting with the governor's. If a few parents ask then they should respond to that.

There should be a complaints procedure which explains how the school should respond to parents concerns. Follow the procedure and make a complaint.

You can complete a ParentView questionnaire on Ofsted. If enough parents complete it then the data will become public information. You can log a concern with Ofsted.

RonaldMcDonald Tue 15-Mar-16 12:49:54

She's very nerdy and conscientious. She has always had very glowy reports and scores miles ahead of the rest of her year group
she is simply a child who likes to learn and does so at any opportunity - my other children are not like is not a stealth boast situation

the teacher movement is due to the endless temps that they take on for a week or a few weeks and are then offered contracts elsewhere
i can go with the that year is particularly bad scenario except the same teachers have the same illness problems year after year

her cousins are at a catholic school nearby and they are doing entirely different work and it is really worrying her as she can't do the things that they are doing now. They are nerdy enough that they do work together without prompting <this is weird I know>

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