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What do I do?

(12 Posts)
Freckle Thu 10-Jul-08 22:57:38

Over 3 years ago, we removed DS1 from his primary school in Y6 because the school failed to deal with bullying. His teacher at the time (Miss W) joined in the bullying and was one of the reasons we finally decided to remove DS1 from the school. However, we left DS2 and DS3 there as they were happy and doing well.

Move forward to this year and DS3 is in Y5. We received a letter a few weeks ago giving information as to which teachers would be teaching which year. Miss W was named as one of the Y6 teachers. I immediately went into the school and made them aware that DH and I were very concerned that Miss W was not allocated to DS3's class because (a) we don't trust her and (b) even now she won't look me in the eye; if she sees me approaching in school, she changes direction or ducks into a classroom.

Needless to say, today, with DS3's excellent school report, we were notified that Miss W has been allocated to DS3's class. I went straight into school and spoke to the deputy head. She claimed to have had no input in the allocation of teachers to classes and was unaware that I had raised our concerns with the school. She said she will speak to the head (who wasn't in school today - she seems to be there very rarely), but I am almost certain the head will not change the classes - she seems to resent parental input and is of the opinion that parents do not dictate what happens in school. I specifically went into the school as soon as I knew Miss W would be a Y6 teacher so that my concerns could be noted before all parents were informed of class allocations. Now, if the school changes the teachers round, all parents will be aware that there has been a change and may object, whereas if Miss W had been allocated to the other class, it would probably just have been accepted without question.

So what do I do? Just accept that DS3 will be taught by someone who contributed to my eldest son suffering from extreme low esteem and considering killing himself because of bullying or change schools for his last year of primary, bearing in mind that he will be taken the 11+ when he goes back to school in September and any upset of that nature will adversely affect his performance? Any teachers with any suggestions as to how to deal with the head positively to achieve what we want? Or any parents had success in getting a school to change arrangements?

LadyMuck Thu 10-Jul-08 23:05:34

Oh dear, how awful!

When you say you went into the school, who exactly did you see?

What is the age gap between ds1 and ds3, and how aware of the situation is ds3? Given the imminent 11+ I would be tempted not to rock the boat; ds3 is a different character with a different class around him, and everything else being equal there is no need to assume that history would repeat itself.

That said I can fully understand your concern, and as a minimum I would expect to have a discussion with whoever you first spoke to.

Freckle Thu 10-Jul-08 23:13:40

I have helped out in the school for years and know the school secretary very well. When I went in, there was no senior staff available so I spoke to the secretary who assured me she would pass on my concerns.

DS3 is 4 years younger than DS1 and is aware of what happened. I think he gets on with Miss W but how can DH and I work with a teacher who won't even look at us. Can you imagine parent/teacher consultations with us having to address the top of her head??

Not only did she join in the bullying, but she later lied about it and tried to lay all the blame on DS1. The then head (now retired) interviewed the children who were there who confirmed DS1's version of events. I cannot trust someone who will act in a certain way and then lie when it suits.

LadyMuck Thu 10-Jul-08 23:20:19

Well I guess in the first instance you need to talk to the secretary again and find out who she spoke to. I guess that there is a risk that the message didn't get passed on, or even if it was it may not have been understood.

Freckle Fri 11-Jul-08 13:56:42


LynetteScavo Fri 11-Jul-08 14:02:56

Would it not be possible to move your DS3 to another y6 class, rather than the teacher?

LynetteScavo Fri 11-Jul-08 14:04:42

There may well be another parent, of a child in a different class, also insisting their child isnt' taught by Miss W.

Freckle Fri 11-Jul-08 14:13:34

But why should he move class away from his friends? The school had the opportunity to allocate the teachers differently in light of my concerns, but have chosen not to. And no one has had the courtesy to contact me about it to explain why. Surely it would have been professional to speak to me about it rather than letting me find out through a general notification to all parents?

QueenMeabhOfConnaught Fri 11-Jul-08 14:35:05

Freckle, that is so difficult. Unfortunately I can't see the school moving teachers around now. I would make an appt with the HT, though, to get your concerns on record (personally I put everything in writing to my dc's school so they can't pretend they didn't know about it).

branflake81 Fri 11-Jul-08 14:49:51

I am tempted to think different child, different year, different situation. Just give it a go.

LynetteScavo Fri 11-Jul-08 15:45:53

You found out some weeks ago that Miss W was going to be one of the year 6 teachers. IMO, you should have immediately made an apointment with the head to discuss the matter, and provided, in writing your reasons for not wanting Miss W to teach your child. You left it to the secretary to verbally pass on your concerns. It was not a life a death matter for the secretary, and it seems as if she forgot to pass on your concerns. sad

It seems a bit late to be this upset now.

And with that, I gracefully leave this thread. hmm

Freckle Fri 11-Jul-08 18:25:40

The secretary did pass on my concerns. It seems they were ignored. They didn't even have the courtesy to call me to explain why.

I don't see why they can't move the teachers round. There doesn't seem to be any pressing reason why each teacher was allocated to each class. DS3 may well be a different child, but this teacher has never asked after DS1. Now if you had a child in your class who was removed from the school because of unchecked bullying and you frequently saw his parent afterwards, wouldn't you at least ask how he was/how he's doing?? The head at the time had the decency to apologise and admit that the school and his teacher had failed him, but the teacher hasn't so much as said good morning to me, despite many opportunities to do so. How can I approach her if I have any concerns/speak to her at parents' evening if she won't even look me in the eye?

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