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Can you send your daughter to a school you are not happy with?

(24 Posts)
jaded Sun 08-Nov-09 17:46:03

So...can you? My DD seems ok there but I am not happy with the school in general. Some things are good and it isn't the worst, but definitely not the best. I don't get a buzz when I go round the school or in the classrooms, I am concerned about bullying and the way the teachers respond to it, it is a bit disorganised and I feel I don't 'fit in' with the ethos. It's going to be a long seven years! Anyone else felt like this after being in the school for a mere 5 weeks? Does it get better? Or do you just have to 'make do' in the end?

MumNWLondon Sun 08-Nov-09 17:53:33

Yes, it depends why you are not haopy. No school is ever going to be perfect and although I am generally happy with my DC's school, I have concerns on a number of areas, eg slow speed of learning to read, complete disorganisation in school office, DD being bullied in playground, lack discipline for the naughty kids.... as you say 7 years is a long time and best to focus on the positive.

The most important thing is that your DD is happy and she doesn't pick up on your negative vibes. I also think that getting involved with a school (eg PTA) is a good way to fit in.

re: bullying, don't worry about it unless it really becomes a problem - as I alluded to above the school have dealt with the bullying problem, just sad that already by year 1 has been 2 incidents where she is target....

spudmasher Sun 08-Nov-09 18:01:37

Jaded you are obviously an intelligent human being. You obviously know what children are all about. You obviously have some idea of how a competent organisation should look.
You are not happy with what you are seeing. You are the customer. You need to tell the school what you are unhappy about.
Why put up with it?
The school needs to buck up their ideas.
Fed up with substandard schools.

jaded Sun 08-Nov-09 18:04:35

I've got involved with the PTA but still don't feel I 'fit in'. I think the way a school deals with behaviour is extremely important to the happiness and well being of my child which is why I just won't compromise on that. I like the fact the school has a balanced curriculum and doesn't push the children at 4 and 5 but I just didn't get a buzz when I saw the children in the classes. My daughter is ok but not loving school in the way I'd hoped. Thanks for your comments, mumNWLondon..

jaded Sun 08-Nov-09 18:07:29

Spudmasher - you go, girl! Why should we have to put up with mediocre schools? I have raised many issues so far but feel I am getting a bit of a name for myself! I also feel like I'm the only one 'speaking out' which is quite isolating. Don't know how long to give it, really. What's your experience with schools here?

spudmasher Sun 08-Nov-09 18:08:07

Your DD should be enjoying school. Enjoyment is what it is all about. If there is no enjoyment then there is a serious problem.

spudmasher Sun 08-Nov-09 18:09:43

I am a senior leader in an inner London school.See lots of mediocrity

jaded Sun 08-Nov-09 18:29:28

Spudmasher - you must see a whole range of pupils then! I am in London, but in a leafy suburb, so it is surprising that the parents and teachers there do not have a zero tolerance policy when it comes to bullying. When I mentioned to the teacher my daughter was excluded from a game because she wore glasses, the teacher just replied "children pick up on differences and then get on with it". I felt she was condoning the behaviour and didn't even ask me who excluded my daughter. She didn't say she'd keep an eye on things or anything reassuring. When I told her I didn't feel very connected with the school (no communication between parents & staff), she told me 'all the other parents are happy'. When I asked her why reception children use metal adult knives and forks in the home corner, she said it was 'on the curriculum'. I did tell her one boy had poked another child with one of these knives and that's when she sat up and took notice.
What do you think, Spudmasher?

deaddei Sun 08-Nov-09 18:45:51

Interesting jaded that you are in a "leafy suburb"...IME those are the schools who take a very laissez-faire attitude to bullying incidents-"it doesn't happen in Chiswick" or wherever you happen to be. Has the head been there ages....
Go in and make your concerns known.

jaded Sun 08-Nov-09 19:05:40

New head. Under the old head there were many incidents of bullying. The parents of this school are laissez faire (quite hippyish- don't get me wrong, I am liberal in many ways but running a school is totally different). Just want to know for sure that bad behaviour will be dealt with immediately and then I can relax a bit more. I am not draconian and I know that bullying can happen anywhere, it's how it's dealt with that's important. I want high standards at the end of the day!

MumNWLondon Sun 08-Nov-09 19:57:19

I am also in leafy suburb of London. However head has shown me this week they have zero tolerance - she took aside all the year 2 and 3 boys (the culprits) spoke to them sternly, and did an assembly on bullying and fighting and has spoken individually to ring leaders. Couldn't expect much more?

re: the incident I would go to the head teacher because as you say totally unacceptible response from class teacher.

Morosky Sun 08-Nov-09 20:00:23

I am not overly happy with my dd primary school, my dd has come home with bruises and in tears and we get no feedback on her work until parent's evening. She is happy though and it is the local school.

jaded Sun 08-Nov-09 20:19:39

Thanks MumNWLondon - will take it to the Head. Morosky - I would find it completely unacceptable if my daughter was coming home with bruises and in tears. I would remove my child from a school like that if it wasn't dealt with. Everyone is different I suppose but I don't think bullies should get away with it! Children can't learn if they are not happy and being happy means feeling safe, secure and confident. If we let low level bullying to take place in the early years, it will become more serious later on in the school. I heard of one child being bullied from nursery to year 4 which culminated in her being beaten with a tennis racket. The parents took the child away from the school after that.

cherryblossoms Sun 08-Nov-09 20:25:34

Morosky - that's my dd, too.

Jaded - I'm currently in the position of sending my dd off, everyday, to a school i am not happy with.

And what's to say? she's on the waiting list of many others - and will remain on the waiting list ... perhaps until secondary school.

I can't afford a private school, I can't afford to home educate. I am bitterly unhappy.

But there isn't a single thing I can do about it ... .

cherryblossoms Sun 08-Nov-09 20:27:02

Apparently, with dd, it's "rough play", and "nothing to be concerned about.

My "favourite" were the bruises around her neck where a child had strangled her, in class.

She's 6.

cherryblossoms Sun 08-Nov-09 20:27:55

Double post and bad grammar - can you tell I'm upset?

ABetaDad Sun 08-Nov-09 20:32:46

jaded our DSs were at a school like you said. It was private. We stuck it for a year and we just knew it was wrong after a few weeks and it did not get any better.

Start looking elsewhere and work at getting her in somewhere you feel happy with. Get her on every waiting list you can.

deaddei Sun 08-Nov-09 21:07:50

Jaded- antibullying week coming uo week after next.
Has the school got anything special planned??
((and just fishing- is your school opposite a private one?)

bran Sun 08-Nov-09 21:20:20

I pulled DS out of school after autumn half term of reception year. I fully expected the school to take my concerns about his happiness on board and make suggestions about how he could be helped. Instead they took over a week to arrange a meeting with me and at the meeting they told me that a) he was happy, b) he wasn't happy but it was more important to be quiet than happy, c) they way they taught was the right way and there was no need for them to change anything, d) I would need to make him behave and learn or he would "fail" the year.

It was a bit scary because he didn't have another school to go to but I felt it couldn't go on for another week the way it was, let alone another few years. By mid-December he had moved to his current (lovely) school and he's very happy indeed.

If you feel it's wrong, then look around and see if you can find one that feels right. There may be quite a bit of turnover in your local schools, especially between reception and year 1, so get on the waiting list for some schools that you do like.

Morosky Sun 08-Nov-09 22:39:09

She has not come home often like that , it has happened once or twice. I don't think she is entirely innocent either, she is a head strong child who has been put into a different class and is clashing with another vert dominant child. I have asked her if she wants to move schools and she does not want to.

spudmasher Mon 09-Nov-09 19:49:12

All children have run ins and learning to get on with each other is all part of learning.They are learning right from wrong.You expect it to happen. BUT the school should actively be doing something about it. That's teaching and learning. There should be evidence of teaching of social and emotional aspects of learning. There should be evidence of children being rewarded for acts of kindness, maybe a tree of kindness in each class or something.
Children should be taught how to be assertive but not aggressive.
Is there any evidence of that jaded?
How was her day today?

zebramummy Mon 09-Nov-09 20:54:01

i hate my ds' school atm and he has not even got to reception yet - still in the nursery dept! i feel that they are brilliant at sweeping things under the carpet wrt bullying and even if they let something slip in a moment of honesty, they will deny it the next day and once again paper over the cracks.
it is an 'outstanding' london primary btw - i wonder if outstanding can be construed within the context of pop-up theatres i.e putting on a great performance for the inspectors on the day.

RacingSnake Mon 09-Nov-09 21:23:28

Don't take too much notice of ofsted. Much of what they hear is what the school wants them to hear and if they do observe lessons, it's a great show put on for the inspectors. In our school the highest grade was achieved by a teacher who is generally so negative and destructive that several parents moved their children to other schools ....

jaded Tue 10-Nov-09 11:37:56

Cherryblossoms- I'm sorry you don't feel happy either. I can't afford private or I'd have my daughter in a steiner kindergarten. Bruises around your child's neck ! I would take that to the Head. What is going on in these schools?
ABetaDad - Am also on waiting lists but very little movement.
Deaddei - antibullying week - hadn't even heard of it! Will ask if school are doing anything.
Bran - good for you for taking him out. You need to trust your own instincts about these things.
Spudmasher - 'Tree of kindness' sounds like a great idea. Haven't heard of this school doing that. It's ironic as I really opted for this school (well, second choice) because I thought it would be much more caring and inclusive than the other local school. She isn't coming home in floods of tears or anything but is taking a while to adapt and won't talk to any of the teachers or teaching assistants. If someone was horrid, she wouldn't dare tell any adult. I agree, the emotional side at this age is far more important than any formal learning. If children have low self esteem then they can't progress academically. Also this school does not encourage much contact with parents; it's as if we don't exist anymore. I feel this is wrong.

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