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Advice please; managing a violent situation at Recepetion year and onwards

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Chilicosrenegade Mon 20-Jun-16 10:19:15


This could be an emotive subject. I understand. However I am looking for constructive comment to managing a complicated ongoing situation please.

My DD is presently in Reception. Its been a rough year. She entered via its Nursery. We had a great year then. No issues with anything. In reception children entered from outside. New to the school, the rules and each other. Naively (now) we didnt think much of this.

One child, a boy, turned out to be quite volatile. My dd was hit regularly for 3 weeks before sobbing to me in the car about how scared she was to go in. Id genuinely had no idea. And dd had thought this was normal til she couldnt cope any longer. This coincided with a parents evening. Naturally I raised it. Our perfectly nice new teacher didn't have the ability to answer anything. She is recently qualified (inside 5yrs) and sadly kept saying she could listen but couldn't answer questions for fear of breaking confidentiality. She took our concerns on board. Nothing changed for a week. He hit my Dd again. I went to the HoY, notified our teacher I was doing so for fairness. Basically said I need information as to whats happening and how to protect my child. By this stage she was hating school. She was bitten, kicked, scratched, thumped, hair pulled, pushed over, tripped over, had pencils thrown at her, writing paper thrown at her, paint thrown at her, (this is extremely painful to write) he yanked her backwards by her pony tail so hard hair was removed from her head.

We called a meeting with the Head. We were advised no information could be given about X. We had copied the school policies and highlighted where infractions were occurring against the policies. We were advised that as they were under EYFS these policies didn't apply. We were advised they were monitoring and dealing with the situation. We could not be told how. Advice was being sought, by who we could not know. We asked if this was happening to other children, we could not be told. We were told that some children didnt attend any kind of school environment so were taking a while to settle. That it would improve.

3 weeks later my DD refused to go in. She loves school. Shes a keen kid, I make no apology for being lucky at present. I know this. We called another meeting. We had a book which went between school and home and recorded incidences and equated her happiness on a "Happy face" chart. Things improved it appeared in her appreciation but not in the rate of attacks.

Between Jan and feb half term we had two further meetings after attacks. She was punched in the eye and stood on and he fell on her knocking her over and hitting her head on a desk. These were again attributed to 'accidents'. Everything is an accident. She has to understand. She should move away from him. She should change play area. She should move away. She should understand him and his ability or lack of whichever applicable. They are both 5. To be honest the language used makes me sick. Its like domestic violence. For me, they are asking her to alter her behaviour to accommodate another and explain it by "he wanted it, so I left it" "he didnt mean to hurt me, it was an accident when he hurt me".

Ive since obviously found out from other parents that other children are experiencing similar. Its hinted that theres SEN, but thats not confirmed or denied and leaves us unable to understand anything or feel any confidence.

We have just found out they are not mixing classes this coming year for Year 1. So she has another year of this. Its been hinted that it would be traumatic for him. But the attacks are lesser bi weekly approximately. Now we have alternate issues. Now he regards DD as a friend, hes pushed over 3 children seperately for playing with her makiing them cry. Playmates shes had since nursery are not necessarily playing with her if he comes near. Shes upset. Shes been asked to be his lunch buddy but he scares her but as the school rule is "We are nice to everyone" shes been forced to assist him, swallow her fear of being hurt for fear of breaking a school rule. Shes 5.

For us it feels we are handling smoke. The issue runs through our fingers and theres nothing to grasp to discuss as we are not allowed to know anything. Our comments are "taken on board" but we cannot know what happens. And we wait, til something happens again. And we sign accident books where every item is an accident, he didnt mean it.

Every parent that complains is taken as a seperate issue not an accumlative one. Its not necessarily the school - part of me feels this is more systemic than specific. Im not entirely sure. Clearly, theres 'inclusivity' boxes that can be ticked happily in supporting him, but not in regards to supporting anyone else in the class.

Does anyone with any knowledge of education know anything that I can do to support my DD? And / or enable better discussion with our school? Are there supportive places I can get information? Can I complain any more? Who to? So far Ive gone as far as the Head Mistress. I dont want to leave the school. I want the violence to cease. If that ceased I dont see a reason to change much else. Ideally he moved classes, but thats probably a pipe dream. I am suspicious they would move her, thus compounding the "she must alter herself to keep him calm" attitude they seem to lazily adopt.

Any thoughts please? I feel at a loss... Ive always been able to solve things so far. And I cant. I need help. Please be kind.

SecretSpy Mon 20-Jun-16 10:27:24

I think you're trying too hard to be nice.

They are not safeguarding your child appropriately.

Of course they can't give you info about the other child, we get that. But they still need to ensure that your child is safe.

Stop being nice. The safeguarding and bullying policies will apply throughout the school not just the older sections.

Make a formal complaint in regard to safeguarding, stating info about the recurrent injuries and asking for an immediate meeting to establish a plan.

My next step would be to speak informally to the safeguarding /education people at the LA for advice.

Lonnysera Mon 20-Jun-16 10:33:59

That sounds very hard. And I know this isn't the ideal solution but at 5, I'd move her.

Chilicosrenegade Mon 20-Jun-16 10:36:57

We have been told as its EYFS no policy applies. Up to and including safe guarding as nothing is diagnosed and he will not be labelled at this time. I cant find out if this is correct or not. I do have a meeting planned to meet the new HoY as she enters year one (its a different person), so Im hoping to get them to specify there if school rules apply day one minute one in september, or if the child has to turn 6.

It is extremely hard to argue with no information. Its a blank wall. They are being supportive, inclusive, every bingo buzz word, in their own view. Its incredibly frustrating.

Chilicosrenegade Mon 20-Jun-16 10:41:14

I have been wondering whether moving is right. Had nursery not been so lovely we may have done. I know the school is good so thats not helping. Our confidence in education is a bit knocked.

Lonnysera Mon 20-Jun-16 10:42:12

I'm not sure I understand - they have a duty of care outside any school policy, to ensure your child is safe. In a way it's irrelevant that it's all involving one child as this is about protecting her, rather than managing him, IYSWIM.

Is there an alternative school available?

Lonnysera Mon 20-Jun-16 10:43:48

"I know the school is good" - it's only as good as your own experience of it, and with her being so little, if you're going to move her, the sooner the better.

It's not looking anything will change in the way that the school are handing things.

Lonnysera Mon 20-Jun-16 10:47:42

When you say about will "rules apply" from the start of year 1, which rules do you mean?

SecretSpy Mon 20-Jun-16 10:50:37

Their obligations to keep your child safe apply from day 1. They seem to be bullshitting you.

Chilicosrenegade Mon 20-Jun-16 10:54:17

So I move her, rip her away from the friends she has, the environment she knows, the teachers she does love, and drop her in a new environment will I be improving her lot or making a bad situation worse?

Part of me feels these bloody people have completed degrees, profess to be professionals and should be made to be accountable. And I should know how to force them to be. There should be some method of complaint and there appears to be nothing....? This cant be right can it?

starry0ne Mon 20-Jun-16 10:55:31

Ask for the policy that does apply to EYFS children.....All childcare settings have to have a safeguarding policy. I think you are been misled... I would escalate the complaint and ask how they plan to safeguard your child.

You say the school is good...I am of the belief a happy and secure child learns.. No matter how good educationally the school is she is not in an environment where she can concentrate on learning.

Also be aware at this age kids love a new child..Really easy to move them at this age. I think you need to esculate and unless anything significant changes you will regret leaving her there for so long

StickTheDMWhereTheSunDontShine Mon 20-Jun-16 10:55:47

The school doesn't sound good. It sounds shit. Your dad and other kids are not being kept safe and they are making constant excuses about policies, labels etc and I can almost guarantee that boy's needs are not being met.

BarbarianMum Mon 20-Jun-16 10:56:25

School doesn't sound any good at all.

Stop focusing on 'what is going on' with the other child. That's not your concern and it is totally incidental. What you need to know is what the school is doing to safeguard your dd - in class, at break times, at lunchtime. She can hardly avoid this child if she's being asked to be his buddy.

In your situation I'd ask for a class move for your dd, or I'd change her school. Neither of these would be necessary in a decent school but frankly, yours isn't one.

whiteDragon Mon 20-Jun-16 10:58:45

I'd look into moving schools if at all possible.

It is extremely hard to argue with no information. Its a blank wall.

Not sure I understand this.

Surely you go in with a list of incidents:
On x day - my DD was hurt by z
On y day - my DD had such and such happened.

Just because they treat each incident as separate doesn't mean you can't take in a log of incidents and show it is a pattern that is impacting on your child - the focus has to be on your child.

There have been n number of incidents this year when my DD has been hurt. This has had ..... impact on her and now she no longer wants to come into school.

What are you doing to keep our DD safe - what steps are being taken. Pin them down - and make sure the adults are taking steps not expecting the 5 year old to modify her behaviour and it being made her responsibility to keep herself safe.

Keep the entire focus on your child and what they are doing to keep your child safe and happy. The other child's may well have problems but they are not your child problems, shouldn't be made so and you rightly won't be given any information about the other child.

The school bullying policies should be applicable - go through them and if they have not been followed ask why. Also put thing in writing tend to get a better response - even e-mailing what they've said back to them in meetings.

Chilicosrenegade Mon 20-Jun-16 10:58:59

I mean the school policies. We printed off every policy the school held, code of conduct, bullying, safeguarding, you name it. We Highlighted every infraction within every policy. Apparently (I cannot corroborate this anywhere) in EYFS , (and within London certainly), which Reception year is part of because the children are under five or just turning five - and therefore legal school age, the school policies do not apply.

They do apply from Year 1. So Im hoping I will be able to hold them accountable in ways frankly we havent thus far. Yes I know it sounds ridiculous. But where can we can prove it is otherwise? I cant find anywhere.

Solasum Mon 20-Jun-16 10:59:57

In your shoes I would be very tempted to take it straight to the LA, and/or the local paper. Your poor DD💐

PerspicaciaTick Mon 20-Jun-16 11:01:08

Get a copy if the complaints procedure.
I imagine the next step is to write to the HT and Governors.
The school are not good, they are failing miserably. An absence of policy doesn't mean they are allowed to do nothing, they should be protecting your child and creating a policy that enables them to do so.

DiggersRest Mon 20-Jun-16 11:03:59

That is horrendous. Your dd is being abused daily! I would tell the school you'll be reporting to the police if they dont start protecting your dd.

But frankly I'd being pulling her out of a clearly very shit school.

Your poor dd.

whiteDragon Mon 20-Jun-16 11:04:41

So I move her, rip her away from the friends she has, the environment she knows, the teachers she does love, and drop her in a new environment will I be improving her lot or making a bad situation worse?

Children are surprisingly adaptable - and school moves are common.

I worried for years about the impact on our DC about a move we were going to have to make - relocation. Been fantastic for the children overall - within weeks it was normal and they made new friends and got use to new systems very quickly.

It will I think have less of a long term impact that having to go to a school everyday and face being hurt, bullied and isolated will.

You could wait and see if next year teacher has a better handle on the situation - but it doesn't sound like a supportive management team if that proves to be not the case.

ImperialBlether Mon 20-Jun-16 11:04:52

This sounds horrendous! I would be looking for a meeting with the LA immediately, given the school's complete lack of interest in keeping your daughter safe. And it's not a good school - they might do well in SATs but that means nothing if your child is too frightened to go to school.

hazeyjane Mon 20-Jun-16 11:05:46

All Early Years have to adhere to a safeguarding policy, which includes keeping your child safe from harm from other children

There is no policy that will allow you to know what is going on with the other child though - whether they have a diagnosis or not, their needs don't sound like they are being supported (school may be in the process of getting funding to put extra support in place - although they should have put emergency support in place while this long process is happening)

As others have said you need to keep the focus on what the school is doing to keep your child safe?

Chilicosrenegade Mon 20-Jun-16 11:05:59

Ive been in with lists of incidences. With portions of policies highlighted. The other child is always referred to. Usually followed by "we cannot discuss". Ive lost count of conversations where they just sit and say we cannot discuss him, lets discuss her and then revert back to him again. Its some god awful loop of mis direction and focus management purely desigend to not have to do much. And its nigh on impossible to navigate without ending up the opposite of every buzz word used. They are inclusive, so we are not. They are supportive so clearly we are not as if we were we wouldnt be raising an issue we would obviously be congratulating them. Its a bloody nightmare.

needanewjob Mon 20-Jun-16 11:06:04

They have a duty of care to your child and this is physical abuse. I would be threatening involving LA as this is completely unacceptable.

Chilicosrenegade Mon 20-Jun-16 11:08:26


So, If I called a meeting tomorrow to say we will not put up with this further. What do we say?

- Confirm the school rules now apply
- Move her class (How do I argue that without mentioning why?)
- What else?

Vickster99 Mon 20-Jun-16 11:10:55

We had something similar happen. My Dd is in reception and her and some of her friends were being picked on at lunchtimes and breaks by a boy in year 1. Also quite violent. I brought it up with the teachers and went in together with one of the other parents. It was hinted the bully had SEN.

First they asked the lunchtime supervisors to keep more of an eye. They spoke to all the children concerned. They asked the "nice" older kids to make sure the little ones were ok. Finally the bully was given 1:1. There's been no problems since - this all happened in autumn term.The school dealt with it and stamped it out.

My point is - a good school CAN deal with something like. Yours clearly isn't doing that. You need to escalate it to the governors and LA, it's not good enough.

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