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Appeal against decision to hold DD back in yr 1- MAT

(88 Posts)
mummytwobears Sat 01-Jul-17 16:01:14

Hello, has been yrs since I used mumsnet, but I'm stuck and wondered if anyone had experienced this.

My kids go to small village school (55 kids). For last 3 yrs it's been great, couldn't ask for better. Last yr school became part of large MAT, with 8 schools not all locally and the leadership is very very different now.
The classes are divided into 3 classes EYFS/yr 1: yrs2&3: yrs 4-6. This has always been fine.
My DD will be going into class 2/yr 2 in Sept...or so we thought.

Yesterday we were given a letter at end of the day stating that DD is not 'emotionally mature' and will therefore not be transitioning into yr 2.
Never have the school or us raised any concerns before this.
My DD is so excited about going into class 2 with her big friends and was really looking forward to Monday when they have their meet your new teacher/class room day. All her friends are moving up without her.
I'm so appalled they've sent this with absolutely no warning.
My DD has no SEND, is meeting expected targets.

I'm sure the real reason is that they only want to employ 3 teachers and want to reduce some of the class sizes.
The ridiculous thing is and I know this shouldn't matter, but I am a (currently unemployed) teacher and my husband is a children's MH nurse, so we do know what we're talking about!

I'm not going to tell her and have written a letter of complaint and asked for decision to be reversed.

Just wondering if anyone has heard of this before and what people think?

Ta x

BubblesBuddy Sat 01-Jul-17 16:47:41

I would be furious. She should go up with her cohort and friends. It is not acceptable. In fact I have actually never heard of a school doing this to a child progressing normally. If she is a bit immature, she will not become mature being with 4 and 5 years olds, will she? I have occasionally seen SEN children kept down at a local private school but this is highly unusual, I believe. If they will not relent, I really would try and go somewhere else. It is upsetting and demeaning if she is the only one.

ggirl Sat 01-Jul-17 17:02:57

Is she the only child being held back?
I would be upset and angry as well ..will do nothing beneficial for your child at all .

BubblesBuddy Sat 01-Jul-17 17:04:12

I would also argue strongly on the grounds of Equal Opportunity. Look at the school's policy but normally they indicate that a school will promote equal access to the opportunities a school can offer and no child should be denied this. She is being denied this in relation to her cohort. They usually make reference to ensuring equal access to
Opportunities builds up self esteem. Clearly the decision by the school does not do this. She will not gave access to the same resources, school trips, sport etc. Hope this helps.

lougle Sat 01-Jul-17 17:04:47

This makes no sense from a teacher employment perspective, unless they were trying to reduce the school to 2 classes? Otherwise they would still need 3 teachers.

ggirl Sat 01-Jul-17 17:05:12

I didn't realise that schools could hold children back a year? Isn't that why children aren't allowed to start school later , so that they stay with their age group.

PotatoPrint Sat 01-Jul-17 17:06:02

That makes no sense sad

youarenotkiddingme Sat 01-Jul-17 17:12:33

Your poor DD sad

If a child did have social difficulties and emotional difficulties separating them from their peers would be the worst thing to do surely?

My ds does have send (asd) and when he completely fell apart in year 7 and I suggested perhaps a repeat of the year I was basically told it rarely happens - and ds is an end of August baby.

It doesn't surprise me though they are doing this. Ds original secondary was ana academy and they only did Elsa etc stuff after school. So if you had send you couldn't go home at same time as your peers or attend enrichment clubs/ play sports like your peers.

Some of their practices border on illegal

NorthernLurker Sat 01-Jul-17 17:15:41

You need to go in first thing on Monday and speak to the staff. This is terrible. She should have the same new class day as everybody else. I really wonder why some people go in to teaching, they have so little empathy with kids.

mummytwobears Sat 01-Jul-17 17:25:12

Thanks so much, I'm glad you'd also be angry.

BubblesBuddy thanks I'll look through Equal Ops policy. I've gone through their Parent Partnershio agreement which I feel they're breaking as we've not been consulted in this at all.

Lougle yeah they'll still need 3 classes and teachers but the class sizes would vary from 10 in one class and 23 in the others, which to me still isn't tons, so I think they're trying to share it out...but I'm just guessing!

She's not the only one, there are 2 others from her year group of 12 pupils. Both of the others are new to the school and my DD isn't friends with them.

It will devastated and crush her if I tell her. She is a very happy, bright popular girl but she's also shy and suffers with low self esteem mainly because she's been slower to read and write than others. As a teacher and parent I'm not in the least bit concerned about this as she's only 6! But she lives in the shadow of my other DD who is very academically able and outgoing, but 4 yrs older and little one expects herself to be as able.

I don't want to move her as logistically it would be a nightmare, we live way out in the country and it's already a 12 mile journey each day. If it really came to it, I'd home school. But she's very social and I don't want her to move from her friends.

UnaPalomaBlanca Sat 01-Jul-17 17:25:13

Yes- I would be straight in there first thingMonday morning. It is absolutely unacceptable to spring this on you as a fait accompli. If there have been problems serious enough to warrant this, then you should have been informed long ago and called in to discuss strategies and solutions etc to avoid it coming to this. The school really should have given you an opportunity to work with them to address any issues.
Suggests to me that it is not being done to address any real problem- as parents you would have an inkling of this- but for some convenience/ advantage for the school.
Completely unacceptable. Academies are a nightmare. They do what they like and it is very difficult to complain or hold them accountable. They can change school hours, term dates, curriculum, don't have to employ qualified teachers blah blah bla. It's a scandal.

mummytwobears Sat 01-Jul-17 17:28:19

NorthernLurker my plan is to ring school Monday morning and tell them I won't send her in unless she can go into class 2 with the rest of her class. If they refuse I'll keep her home that day. I won't have her humiliated like that in front of her friends.

FlamingoPrincess1212 Sat 01-Jul-17 17:31:06

That's disgusting. If it's really because of emotional wellbeing, what help do they think holding her back will be? And is it holding her back for ever or will she skip class 3? Sounds bonkers, wishing you all the best, flowers .

mummytwobears Sat 01-Jul-17 17:53:48

UnaPalomaBlanca I agree totally. As a parent group we were totally against the MAT taking over but our fantastic head left due to primary ed being what it is now, tests tests tests and the governors decided it was the only way. It's very sad really.
I honestly have no concerns about her, it's definitely being done for their advantage not my child's sad

mummytwobears Sat 01-Jul-17 17:55:10

FlamingoPrincess as for what happens after this yr I don't think they've thought that far ahead!

TooStressyForMyOwnGood Sat 01-Jul-17 17:58:51

I would also be appalled sad. Since it sounds like a large, impersonal MAT, I'm afraid I would also be planning what to do if they insist on holding her back though. flowers Horrible situation.

lougle Sat 01-Jul-17 18:22:49

Does it definitely say she won't be transitioning to year 2 or that she won't be moving to class 2? The distinction is quite important, I think, as one is being held back a year, and the other is 'just' being taught out of cohort. If she is being held back a year, you do need to find out if that will apply to her whole school career going forward, essentially giving her an extra year at school, or if she'll be made to skip a year at some as yet unspecified point in the future.

TwoLeftSocks Sat 01-Jul-17 18:40:03

Can you email over the weekend so it's there waiting on Monday, might be picked up before you can get through by phone. You should be able to find an email for the Headteacher on the school website.

List your reasons why you think this will negatively affect your DD and quote any policies and the parent partnership at them.

Outline also any ways in which you feel this will affect her learning, including there potentially being insufficient challenge in her work and classroom setting.

State what you expect to happen and when. Hope you get it sorted!

mummytwobears Sat 01-Jul-17 19:01:49

it doesn't really say either, theres several paragraphs of BS followed by "based on DDs emotional immaturity she will remain in class 1" it doesn't say for how long, what this means for the future, whether she'd be taught yr 1 curriculum again or taught yr 2 curriculum but in a different class, or whether she'd be sitting yr 2 SATs and how she'd be prepared for that.

youarenotkiddingme Sat 01-Jul-17 19:08:55

The send policy is probably a good one for this. I'm sure it will mention over and over about identifying etc and interventions.
As she's had none identified that you've been told of you'll probably find something useful in here.

I'd also be tempted to ask them what their plans are for specific interventions with smart targets to help DD catch up to her peers and join them in the correct age class.

Ask them if they've applied for an EHCP because DD clearly cannot have her needs net within the resources usually provided because she should have staff input to keep her within her year group not be moved years.

(Obviously you know she doesn't have send but if you dig into how they are providing for the send they deem severe enough to hold her back you'll probably find they'll change their minds!)

Lowdoorinthewal1 Sat 01-Jul-17 19:41:33

What they are saying is that they now have an EYFS/Y1/2 class and a Y2/3 and a Y4/5/6 class so she is not really being 'held back' although she may see it that way. I don't think it's unusual to have this type of overlap in very small schools.

I'm not sure you are going to have much of a leg to stand on given that she is not the only Y2 in the EYFS/Y1/2 class.

mummytwobears Sat 01-Jul-17 19:42:05

Yes good idea. I've already requested evidence of the assessment they've used to make this decision and the criteria ...which I know they've not done. Hubby works with Ed Psych so we'll ask for formal assessment of emotional health, which as you say we already know is fine.

Thanks so much everyone has really helped give me ideas and realise I'm not over reacting!

Will let you know how it goes xxxxx

Pengggwn Sat 01-Jul-17 19:55:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

lougle Sat 01-Jul-17 20:47:53

That's as I thought. You've read it as being held back in year 1, which would be a change you should absolutely be consulted over and is a major decision, but she's actually being held back in Class 1, which is an organisational decision andI don't think you will get far in challenging it.

Many schools split year groups between classes. For bigger schools, this will be in forms of single year groups, but for smaller schools, this will involve decisions about which children are in older classes and which are in younger classes. Parents won't always be happy with those decisions, but the decision rests with the school and, ultimately, the only recourse open to the parent if they disagree and the school won't change it, is to move school (if a school place in a suitable alternative school is available).

TooStressyForMyOwnGood Sat 01-Jul-17 20:52:13

I'm afraid I agree with lougle in that I'm not sure challenging will change anything (although I absolutely think you should challenge). You should have been consulted though and it is a massive metaphorical slap in the face for your poor DD flowers.

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