Incident at school advice needed please(42 Posts)
Hi all hope I am posting in the right place.
On Thursday I had a phone call at work to say my 8 year old son had a "collision" he's broken his front teeth and could I collect him. That's all the information I got and I made it to school as fast as I could.
When I got to school my son was standing in the foyer with only two 8 year old girls to comfort him. He was in shock and no adult was present to hand him over to me or explain in further detail of what happened. I had to come back through reception so decided to ask them if they knew to which they said they had no idea then within 10 seconds they said my son had been messing around. At this point I just wanted to get my very upset child out and to the dentist. Luckily I managed to get him seen within a couple of hours. On our way there my son told me than another boy had thrown a plastic ball in his face. My child is very forgiving and said I don't think he did it on purpose. The dentist has temporary fixed the broken tooth and I have to take him back multipul times over the next few months for more perminant dental work to let his tooth heal.
The next morning I went into school as I wanted answers. I asked his class teacher who also did not know so I asked him to find someone who did. I also asked if the boys parents were aware that he had knocked a child's tooth out that day he said no. I then asked for a copy of the accident form so he went to find the first aider who dealt with it.
By this time I wasn't happy at all as I was getting nowhere. I spoke to the first aider, she confirmed a child had thrown something at him but as he had said it was accidental no further action was taken. I asked her for the accident form copy but she said that it was being filled out that day as he had to have dental work??? According to their online policy it states any injury above the neck is classed as a head injury which requires a incident report form filled out, and a copy sent home to the parent. When I questioned her about this she didn't really have an answer. Or an answer to why she left a child in shock with no adult again she just said she was sorry.
I have an appointment with the head teacher tomorrow to discuss it all but want to know , was they right to not fill out an accident form? And only to do so because he had to have outside treatment? Also was they aloud to leave him on his own? Would you want to be told if your child had knocked out another child's tooth, I would especially as it being an adult tooth. I don't want to go in tomorrow firing all these things at them if they was well within their rights as a school to treat him that way.
I don't feel like I should just have to drop this.
Sorry if I have gone on a bit !
Any advise would be appreciated
No advice but this is not acceptable behaviour. Don't let them rob you off and, if necessary, escalate this up the the governors. Keep your cool though.
Wow, that does seem very relaxed about a serious incident. Those safeguarding procedures need tightening up big time.
Sorry, also no advice but I would be fuming. Probably most of all about the fact that my upset child wasn't with an adult. He shouldn't have been left on his own, or with a couple of children. What sort of pastoral care is that?
It sounds like the right thing to speak to the head teacher, surely they should always fill an accident form at the time for something like this?! And it seems heartless and careless to leave your poor boy on his own and not explain things immediately to you. I hope you get an apology and some answers from the head and if not then speaking to the Governors seems sensible, even if they just need to update staff on correct procedures and make sure things like this don't happen again! If you frame it in that way it can seem less confrontational. Hope it goes ok for you...
I don't think this sounds acceptable - or right - at all. I also actually admire your attitude as you seem to have been very reasonable in asking what happened, and you seem to be someone who can accept that accidents do happen in schools - you're not kicking off about that but because of how appallingly it seems to have been handled.
I think it is important that you follow this up for yourself, but also because in the circumstance of a different injury, this kind of management could be even more damaging. How would it be handled if a child was knocked unconscious - even by accident. What about a suspected broken bone? Would they leave a child with a couple of other children in that circumstance?
You are not being at all unreasonable and I hope you can get to the bottom of this. Hope your son is ok too, and the tooth can hopefully be sorted out.
I'd definitely be escalating this. Also it sounds as though they forgot the accident form altogether!!
Wow. This isnt good. I would write to head as well as meeting and cc to governors with an expectation of explanation of chain of events and change in policy with staff training.
I cannot say I know what actions, following an accident, the school is allowed to omit by law.
I do not think, however, that it was all right to leave your son alone waiting after his teeth had been knocked out. His face must have had a very hard knock for that to happen. The ball must have been thrown hard! Quite apart from that, it does not sound as though they looked for the knocked out teeth, in case they could be put back.
He had suffered a head injury. That is potentially dangerous. Aside from that, he is just a small child who had undergone a horrible shock and a very upsetting loss of a part of his body - so on a human level they were unkind and not looking after him.
I think you are right that the school has been thoughtless and possibly negligent.
I too would want to know if my son had thrown a ball so hard he had knocked out another child's teeth, even when it was by accident. YOu should not throw at people's faces.
Perhaps you should get in touch with the head of the School Governors.
I hope your little boy will be all right. You did well to get him seen quickly.
Quite clearly with an accident of that nature, accident forms would have been completed and the Headteacher made aware of what happened, you must have been very shocked to have had that phone call and to then arrive at school to not even have been met by a responsible adult. It does appear that the school have handled this very badly, I would definitely want answers from the Head about it! I hope your sons dental work gets sorted out successfully.
I agree that the school has acted really badly. The only thing that I am not sure about is whether the parents of the other child need to know. If it was really an accident then unless their child is distressed then there is little to gain. It does depend too whether the ball was accidentally thrown at the face - without realising that balls shouldn't be thrown at a face or if like me the ball is possessed as soon as it leaves my hand. The only thing that worked for me in terms of not throwing balls in the wrong direction was not throwing balls.
Hope the dental work goes ok.
Hi all thanks for the replies
Absolutely accidents do happen, and that isn't really the reason for my complaint. However my son has the same ball that was thrown with is basically not much heavier than a bauball in my opinion so my guess is that it was a lot more forceful than it should have been and must have been thrown with some force to knock out a tooth. My idea of the parents being involved is if this child hasn't had a chat to about why you shouldn't throw then who's to say it won't happen again.
It's not because I want him to be in trouble but I would like him to understand the consequences of his actions and prevent any future accidents.
My beef really is with the school for how they have handled the whole situation. I send my child to school and hope he is well looked after but after this just feel they didn't care for his wellbeing on that day.
I also assumed an accident form or logging of it was normal practice. Not to wait until they are asked.
I will go in tomorrow and ask the questions I need answers to.
Thanks for the concern over my son I'm sure he will be fine luckily we have a fantastic dentist who I know will really look after him xxx
I'm going to buck the trend here -
I'd not get het up about the accident form as its just a bit of paper. It's a record of an incident in case something else happens afterwards or there is a pattern of the same thing happening. It's a way of showing parents were informed some times. People put false claims in about accidents that no one else knows about - hence why organisations record them.its good to protect against insurance claims.
I picked my 5 year old up recently with a nasty nearly broken nose and cuts to his face from genuine school accident. He was not sat with a member of staff as they needed to go and teach; he was sat with an older child outside the office. There are no spare teachers to look after the other 29 children. I took 10 mins to get there but others may have taken a lot longer.. There is not always a free member of staff to sit with children for an hour whilst their parent leaves work and gets there. He was safe and there were loads of adults near him.
Harsh as it sounds, DC do have such incidents. Op your child was was not in shock. He may have been shaken but shock is a medical emergency.
I don't know your school set up, but racing to the governors etc seems an over reaction to me
As a HCP and a school governor I would be pretty appalled if my DD's school handled this injury in this way. From a health point of view it is absolutely unacceptable to leave a child who has sustained a head injury in the care of other children. There should always be a first aiders available, this is a legal requirement as is completing an accident report. I would ask the headteacher for a copy of their accident/ first aid policy and then when that shows they didn't follow their own policy I would ask for an explanation and what they are going to do to ensure it doesn't happen again. If by any chance their policy does say it's ok to leave an injured child to be looked after by another child and not to complete an accident report then go straight to the governors.
Just one point, do NOT get involved with the other parents. That is not your role, nor is it your responsibility. Deal with your son only.
Are the teachers absolutely the only adults in a school, nowadays?
I'm sure when I had an accident at school as a child I sat in with the headteacher until my mother came, but schools have secretarial staff too.
As for your definition of shock being a medical emergency, is that even true or has the term been redefined since I was taught to give strong sweet tea for shock?
I'm fuming just reading your OP. Every school has admin staff if they don't have access to a school nurse. It's neglectful for many reasons:
1. Unacceptable care of child with head injury, or if an injured child who would be upset naturally
2. Seriously insufficient documentation of the event. Often these things have time constraints and I would not be surprised if they've failed this one. How can someone recall accurately much later? What if a person dies after the event? It's no good filling in the form afterwards!
3. Failure to launch an investigation to establish whether there is a need for reprimand or to assess whether anything could have prevented this happening
OP you are right to be livid. I'd be taking it to the highest possible level.
I just think the OP needs to find out a bit more about what happened first as it may be that in fact no one actually saw how it happened. There was obviously a first aider available and yes I'd ask why that person then left him and I would expect an adult handover of some form - I just think there are two sides to the story. There must have been an adult around some where when she picked him up. I don't get why the first aider left him but can only assume that he was ok when they left him?
I'd be more worried about how an adult can access the school, collect a child and leave with them without signing them out. That is a concern and the OP should have not dashed of with the child and not found out there and then. You don't know how big the school is or anything.
Atenco. All the primary schools round here are over 600-700 children in so no, a sick child would not be in the HT office. They have incidents every day. Children being collected for any reason, I would expect to be collected from the office foyer.
Shock is a very mis used term. It's a dangerous condition after a serious injury. A child who has lost a tooth will be very upset but not in shock.
Sounds like the school need to review their incident and accident procedures as well as the procedure for collecting any child.
I meant to also add that if a member of staff says 'they were just messing about in the playground' with regard to an incident, such as bump to the head, they often just mean that they weren't fighting or doing something they shouldn't have been. It's actually a good thing not a criticism of the DC. It just means it was an innocent accident.
I have two very accident prone children so have frequent bump notes from school. The staff don't always know exactly what happened if it was in the playground at breaks.
Smellyboot, I think people use "shock" as in more emotional terms rather than medical term, unless they are medically trained?
I would be really annoyed if my ds was left with other 8 years old. Wonder why they weren't left with office staff. That's what happens at my ds' school.
Also, amount of blood comes out from knocked out adult tooth must be quite scary for the child. My ds nearly knocked his tooth out, he was totally freaked out by the sight of his blood, more than a pain from it.
YOu should not throw at people's faces
I cannot think that any of us could aim a ball successfully at someone's face from even a close range.
I'm pretty accurate with a tennis racquet and ball and although I could hit you in the torso with good accuracy, the face would be much harder, plus you have that your ds was probably moving.
It may have been thrown with malice aforethought, but I doubt the child was aiming expressly for the face (and if he was then maybe send the England Cricket squad round to sign him up).
However I'm amazed that the balls they have are heavy enough to do such damage. I'd be asking what they are using-a leather football, yes, but the plastic balls my dc have always been provided with at school wouldn't provide much of a bruise even if thrown at full pelt. Tennis ball hit with a racquet could cause that sort of damage, but not with the average child's throw.
I think I'd be asking for the balls they're using to be reviewed.
Accident reports are filled out on the day of the accident here and either sent home for the parent to sign or given upon collection.
There is not always a free member of staff to sit with children for an hour whilst their parent leaves work and gets there. He was safe and there were loads of adults near him.
Harsh as it sounds, DC do have such incidents. Op your child was was not in shock. He may have been shaken but shock is a medicalemergency.
I don't know your school set up, but racing to the governors etc seems an over reaction to me
Thank God for parents with common sense.
The school have handled this pretty poorly. An 8 year old boy who's had a ball thrown at his face hard enough to knock his teeth out should have an adult with him.
That's a pretty traumatic injury for him, and he has had permanent damage to his body. Of course all the paper work should have been filled out and the parents of the boy who threw it should know, they can decide how to talk to their child, or if to.
There are office staff, head teachers, ta's if absolutely necessary to sit with him, not just teachers. Even if he was just sat in the corner of reception that would be better than 2 8 year olds. With a head injury there is the risk of concussion, which wouldn't necessarily show during the incident. As no incident form was filled in how do you know an adult even saw the incident? Potentially no one saw and then no one knows how great the risk of concussion is.
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