school is failing my son and boys(82 Posts)
Hi I am new to this, but after doing a search thought mumsnet may be helpful - I have a bit of an ongoing issue with my sons primary school (he is yr 4)..
I moved him to this school last Feb following 4 years of bullying at his old school, this led to low self esteem, aggressiveness and my son was under cahms and thenwhen school was changed he was discharged as the problems went away.
Behaviour changed again in autumn last year to something very similar but also he began making comments about hating hislife, wanting to die and went so far as to attempt to burn his hair off (he is strawberry blonde but gets called for it) schhol initially would not listen and placed him on school action plan and his IEP said he had to refrain from shouting out answers in the class, lying about his peers. I (single mam) and my mother (ex social worker) met with the head and she finally began to listen and investigate, it was found he was not nbeing bullied as such but that inhis year group there was a group of boys (of which he was part) who all wanted o be the leader of the gang so to speak and therefore play and such was very rough (they were alowed to play dodge ball in the yard etc) she would keep an eye on it!
Things seemed to settle down and he became established within the group of boys, made a best friend and behaviour at home setled down again and he actually wanted to go to school. I recevived numerous positive reports about him, he even won pupil of the week, is top table maths and science and second top for literacy/comprehension. In his parents review his teacher kept referring to him as a 3 point child and all was very positive.
Then I witnessed an incident in the yard one mornoing where these boys (inc son) were getting very rough with one another, one child had my sons arms behind his back another child had hold of another child by the ears and this child was on the floor - one parent shouted at their child to stop i just went over and removed my son from the situation and took him to the teaching assistant who was on morning yard duty. I explained what had hapened and was confronted with "have you told your mother what you did yesterday" znd from that thigs escalated. my son became very upset and annoyed and was taken into school. When i called later i was advised by the acting head (who is also my sons class teacher mon - wed) that my son had been removed from the class because of his actions that morning in the yard - I asked what she meant and she informed me he had (in front of me) dragged another child across the yard and had injured the childs back! I advised her i witnessed the events and that had in no way occurred also other parents had witnessed it and wouold support me - she said I was his mother therefore would defend him. THings escalated again and i did lose my temper and threatended to remove him there and then from school she threatened me with the EWO and social services! so i contacted the EWO and schhol nurse myself, they set up a meeting with the acting head, me, son and themselves for the following week - the meeting was very positive but the acting hea took no notes at all, the ewo and nurse didand the conclusion was that the school was not cping with this group of boys very well and instead of looking at the bigger picture were singling out my son as he was owning up to any of the fighting etc that was happening, however whn he would then deny having involvement in other incidents they said he was ying and as it had been him before it was hi now! The EWO remedy was to involve an outside behaviour person who would work with the group of boys! I since found out that the acting head wil only allow her to work with my son as he is the instigator apparently!
On friday i received a call from her at 3.25 asking me to come straight to school and collect my son as she was not allowing him to atend the after school cricket club - i asked why and she said beacause she was unable to supervise it and she felt after an incident at lunch time my son was a danger to the children at the club. I got very defensive and demanded reason as to why and she said he had kneed another child in the privates at kunch time, and then in afternoon break another child had ran at my son and to stop him my son had raised his knee again and had caught the child in the thiogh but it was obviously meant for the privates, and great injury had happened. She said she woild be discussin exclusion with the head on monday.
My immediate reaction was to collect hima nd shout at her!
When i had collected him i asked what had happened and he said theother child had kicked him in the shin (showed me huge bruise) so he kneed him back, he said the later incident was not intentioanl but the boy was running at him so he raised his leg to brace himself for the impact!
I fell like the school ( inparticular the acting head) is using my son as a scape goat - I am at a loss as to what to do - the princiapal head is a very scary lady and is retiring hence she is only working mon - wed. I amvery concerned about what to do with my son tomorrow - send himin or keep him at home!
Also where do i stand with this - as my son has an IEP still (he was taken off but then placed onit gain wheni contacted the EWO) surely they cannot exclude him as although he has not got a statement isn't an IEP an indication he has special needs? or are IEP's a way to get an outstanding ofsted report ( school recently got this awarded after only being a god school before but teaching side was still only satisfactory) the ofsted report also points outh they are not catering for boys's needs. I am really at a loss!!!
Sorry for the waffle but am new to this and will gte used to the abbreviations I should be using!!!
thanks to anyone who can help in advance!!
That's quite a long post. Basically there is a very rowdy group of boys all fighting to be top-dog and your DS sometimes behaves badly but other times acts to defend himself yet the school only seem to be blaming him for all the incidents and think that the only intervention needed is for your son not for the group as a whole?
What is his IEP for? What additional help or support does he get?
If you have exhausted all options with the Head Teacher and other agencies, have you written formally to the Governors to complain and to investigate this. They will have to take into account the EWO and Nurse's evidence too if that is in writing.
You cannot leave things like this but little seems to be changing which is why you probably need a more formal approach and to get the Governors involved. In the meantime record EVERYTHING. Keep a written journal of every incident, communicate with the school by email or letter so it creates a paper trail and take photographs of your son's injuries.
Hi thanks for responding - my DS (getting the abbreviations now) is no angel at all, and yeah, sometimes is the instigator and sometimes defending himself, of the group of boys he is the only one from single parent home (have DS of 3 too) prob not relevant but at this point i am feeling things personally!
The IEP was for shouting out in class and not raising his hand which they termed disruptive and for lying about his peers (accusing them of bullying him) it was later found that the lying was in fact not lying at all!! There are no other agencies actually involved which is why I am confuswed - the EWO said that the school would benefit as a whole with behavioural management for the group of boys as a whole! he related this in the meeting and arranged for soemone to contact the school to sort it as yet nothinghas been put inplace but i have been told that the school will only allow the person to work with my DS.
It is confusing also as the school has 2 heads - mrs W mon - wed (principal head but on a phased out retirement) and the Mrs S thurs and Fri - Mrs S is the class teacher mon - wed and deputy head mon to wed. SO my understanding is any complaint re the Head goes direct to the governors, or will it go the principal head first?
Also mrs S has said some very nasty things to my son such as "we need a break from you L" "you need to be watched carefully L as you are a danger to othes" irony is when out at a local park last weekend with Gran, my DS bunped into Mrs S who stood for over 30 mins discussing DS with his gran!! LEtting DS (the danger to others) entertain her own 3 year old!
I have taken pictures of the brusises but will they even look at them?
sorry but missed out another point - on friday Mrs S had kept Ds from his lessons and made him sit outside her office, she only decided he could not attend cricket club at 3.20 and only contacted me at 3.25!! Also it was only that morning that she was positively praising him to me and advsiing me how bright he was a nd a joy to have in her class! I did raise an issue of concern with her that morning about the rough play in the yard and it feels as if every time i raise an issue she finds one to raise back! like tit for tat!
It sounds that the school are not coping well with the disruptive behaviour from a group of boys and are therefore taking last minute or ill thought out action instead of getting a proper plan in place. That is why I think you need to log all of these things and go to the Governors.
The chain of command (and the order in which you should complain) goes Class Teacher, then Head Teacher and if you still get no joy it should be a written formal complaint to the Chair of Governors.
The reason for this is, the Governors are "above" the Head Teacher in this respect and any written complaint will need to be properly addresses instead of all this knee-jerk business of last minute punishments and exclusions. Whoever is right or wrong, they need to follow process and do things formally not gossip in the park about it and bombard you with phonecalls all day and threats. They need a proper strategy and that is where a complaint to the Governors will hopefully help. It is not just you saying this is needed, it is the EWO too and that should carry some weight.
The reason for logging all conversations and incidents and photographing injuries is that you feel the school is scarpgoating your son. You fear he may be excluded. You need to be in a position to appeal this if it happens. You need to prove the school had no proper policy, they ignored the EWO advice to get proper intervention and that your DS is not just the bully but often the victim as well (hence photographing his injuries and logging all letters and phonecalls to the school to prove you made them aware of this).
It sounds like the whole thing has got out of control to be honest but you need to do the right thing, follow the right procedures and keep evidence in case the school take further action.
Thanks again - I am going to get back in touch with the EWO fisrt thing tomorrow but am inclined to keep DS off school, his attendance is at 93.5% so a day shouldn't matter and they are threatening exclusion so he would lose time anyway.. I will write to the governors and see where that gets me, but will also approach the principal head as she is in mon till wed so she may be able to sort this. Things only occur on a thrusday and friday tbh when Mrs S is head so it mayb e Mrs W has no idea what is going on
thanks and I will update when i get any repsonses
From a school-workers point of view the "We all need a break from you" comment sounds like everyone is at the end of their tether with the behaviour.
We have some children like this at school. They absolutely wear you down with their antics. And yet you feel guilty for feeling like that, because there are always mitigating circumstances. However, it helps if parents work with you rather than against you all the time.
What he probably has is an IBP (Individual Behaviour Plan) as opposed to an IEP (Individual Education Plan), although both are usually overseen by the SenCo.
I do caution you about trying to keep control of your temper. Ionia it is very hard not to get angry but nothing gets sorted in the heat of the moment or shouting. It really can undermine the relationshipwith the teacher if you are doing this infront of your child, this may explain why Thursdays and Fridays are worse? I know that isn't the only reason but it really doesn't help. At the core the S
School (which it may not feel like) and you both want the best for you child. Personally I would be pointing out to ds that after being kicked in the shins he should have told someone (so they would have got in trouble) as it is extremely dangerous to knee someone between the legs. If there have been a number of violent events involving your son then an ebp should be in place and if it continues then exclusion would be considered. I would arrange to see the mon head tomorrow if possible, without ds present to put an ebp in place and discussa way forward rationally.
Obviously I meant ibp not ebp! Yawn, I should be a sleep!
The boys should all join a junior boxing club and fight it out there. School is for learning in not fighting in.
You are giving your son a terrible example by shouting at the teacher/head.
Stop being defensive and stop trying to find fault in other children - your son is going feral and keeps hitting/fighting/disrupting classes. Let the school and other parents deal with other kids. You should listen to what the school is telling you: your son is unruly and needs discipline, otherwise he is becoming a danger to others. Maybe focus on that instead of shooting the messenger?
Teach him how to resolve conflicts peacefully, or at least how to walk away from it.
It is very unfortunate that you keep threatening to remove your son. What good will come of that? His behaviour needs to change. That is what I would be working to address.
By the way, the school "failing boys" seems to be an Ofsted 'catch all' at the moment. Same was said of our school. So in a few years when we have refocussed on boys and all is well with them, I immagine the new thing will be "Girls are being failed" . Again.
What are you doing to correct your son's behaviour? He is clearly no angel (and I have one of those myself!) and needs to be taught how to play without all the fighting.
Obviously all of the boys need to have the fighting and roughness cracked down on but you can only deal with your own child.
At 4 years old?
No 4 year old should be behaving like this.
Excluding your DS from cricket as a punishment seems an odd idea - it sounds as though these boys needed more sport, not less.
SchoolsNightmare has offered some sensible advice.
OP, try to keep cool when you are dealing with the head, etc. Shouting and threatening won't help.
I do think you need to work on your sons behaviour and the school needs to tackle all the 'gang' behaviour. He is year 4 not reception
Al0uise, the OP's son is in Year 4- so about 8 or 9.
OP, I think there are various things you should be doing.
First of all, make it clear to your son that if he misbehaves you won't be interested in whether the other boys are behaving in the same way: you expect better from him. (I have an 11yo and it is relentless work- but necessary)
Secondly, make it clear to him that he must ask for help immediately if he is bullied. Never retaliate, always get an adult.
Thirdly, try to re-establish your relationship with the school. Like it or not, you need to get them to take you seriously as an adult. Start by assuring them that you do take your ds' behaviour very seriously and are committed to making sure that he behaves. Only then start talking about the bullying and ask them for help in sorting it out.
Fourth, as Nightmare says, keep a log of all incidents.
My ds is in Yr 4 and there is a group of boys in his class who can be out of control. It has led to some quite awful instances of bullying aimed at my son and another child and yet he still wants to be part of this group.
The main rule for ds when there is trouble is to run and tell the head or his class teacher - not a playground supervisor. All of the teachers are on board with this. We discourage lashing out or hitting back (unless necessary to defend himself - I do not want him to be a victim). The school have also worked with this group of boys and the head has sat down with them and talked about how they all feel and why they think things end up the way they do.
It helped a little. However, I am aware that for ds's sake we also need to look at why he is always the one singled out and try and address the behaviours he has which make the others turn on him. He has to be able to survive and wants so much to fit in with this group. We have spent a long time going over what might have gone wrong in various situations and how he could have acted differently.
Finally, I have always approached the school in the spirit of cooperation "thanks for what you have done so far - how can I help - is there anything else we can do" and I generally have a good relationship with the head.
I suppose it depends on what you say to him, but isn't it difficult to stop a young boy fighting by talking to him, especially if there are lots of other boys who want to fight? I think there really needs to be some sort of sanction. I'm not sure what merely talking will achieve and there's a real chance that the boy has heard it all before, anyway.
Goosey, I suspect that he's always singled out because he's most often right in the thick of it, swinging and pulling and punching. (Of course it's never his fault.)
Massive sweeping generalisation there, learnandsay - you can't possibly know that from what GooseyLoosey has posted.
Feenie, I'm not a betting woman, but I'd have a crisp tenner out on this one.
Learnandsay, you are out of order. You are maligning someone else's child on a hunch?
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