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Is this a breach in confidentiality?

(18 Posts)
MaddestMother Wed 17-Oct-12 06:41:34

Or am I over reacting?

DD has had a pretty miserable start at secondary, she's had lots of issues with other children teasing her and we have been talking to the school to try and help her with this. One of the early issues was that the main ringleader was sat next to DD (seating plan) in science so the teacher was asked to make some alterations so she could sit next to a girl she liked.

In the last couple of weeks, DD and this girl have got friendlier and DD has seemed a bit happier. However yesterday she came home late having been kept in by the science teacher for talking in class with her new friend. The teacher was apparently really cross saying that they'll never learn anything (in the same lesson they had been given their levels, DD is level 6C in a mixed ability class) and she feels let down by DD after she had gone to the effort of moving her to stop X (bully) from picking on her!

DD was really upset about this as it was said in front of her new friend and the other children had been given a different reason for the seating move.
I feel upset for DD that this has happened, she's had such an awful few weeks and feels like she can't trust this teacher anymore.

Should I raise this with the school? I'm a nurse and know we have rules about confidentiality, should teacher be discussing pupils problems in front of other pupils?

TubbyDuffs Wed 17-Oct-12 06:52:33

I would be cross at the teacher saying this in front of another pupil.

I'm not sure what I would do. Have there been any repercussions, has it got back to the bully via this girl?

HecateLarpo Wed 17-Oct-12 07:01:14

You would have thought that she'd have been pleased that after a bad start, she'd made a friend! Yes, chatting in class must be stopped, and she could have done that in a better way. She feels let down by a child talking? After she did, well, her job basically! by taking action to stop bullying happening.

I honestly don't know what I'd do. Teachers should not be discussing pupils' problems in front of other pupils, that's true. Perhaps rather than complaining, you could speak to the teacher and say that you are concerned that since she disclosed that, it could get back to the bully and make things bad for your daughter again and you'd really appreciate her keeping an eye on it just to be sure. And that you obviously agree that your daughter shouldn't be talking in class to the extent that it is causing disruption and you've told her off about that, but you are such the teacher agrees that after such a bad start, it's heartening to see her developing friendships.

HecateLarpo Wed 17-Oct-12 07:01:59

sure the teacher agrees, not such grin

EdithWeston Wed 17-Oct-12 07:03:34

Yes, poor show from the teacher.

But why was your DD misbehaving by talking in a lesson? If you go in, be prepared in case there is a different/fuller version events to that as given by your DD.

adeucalione Wed 17-Oct-12 08:41:49

Thoughtless teacher.

My DS had something similar - teacher shouted at DS's bully and said 'I've already had DS's parents on the 'phone about you, and now I'll have another set of parents complaining'. Nobody knew that we had complained about this child - DS was called 'snitch' by everyone for weeks.

I don't know what you can do realistically. I didn't do anything. My view was that we have all spoken in haste, and the teacher was probably frustrated with your DD for disrupting a class after being allowed to sit next to a friend.

schoolnurse Wed 17-Oct-12 08:45:16

What an interesting question for a change!
Teachers in my extensive experience are not as concerned about confidentiality as nurses and I don't believe bound by a code which insists on confidentiality. Having said this I suspect the comment although wrong was made in anger frustration etc. as a nurse you will understand that we've all been there and should hopefully understand the need to not to make too much of a fuss and the implications if you do! Was the comment made this clearly or was it implied and your DD knowing the situation put 2 and 2 together? I think its worth mentioning it to the teacher tactfully. IME most children will have forgotten about the comment, if they even heard it or understood it, in a couple of days moving onto to the next interesting event in their lives. Reassure you DD and tell her to put it behind her.

HappyTurquoise Wed 17-Oct-12 08:52:30

Yes, raise it with the school. Some schools have introduced confidentiality policies in recent years, with staff training on onset days, letters home and so on. It sounds as though you could recommend this, and offer to help with wording if needed (borrowed from your nursing experience, and other schools). Perhaps find another school with such a policy and show it to the head of your dd's school.

tiggytape Wed 17-Oct-12 08:57:38

I don't know about confidentiality as such but I do think it was very poor of the teacher to do this. The main obstacle parents and teachers face to tackling bullying and nipping it in the bed is the fact children are scared to tell. They are scared that telling will make it worse.

The damage here potentially is that this message is now reinforced. The teacher handled it so insensitively that the whole class now know that if they 'snitch' they risk a very public outing which may (hopefully) in this case all blow over in a day or two but in other cases may lead to the bullying increasing or the rest of the class turning on the person who has told. If they cannot trust a teacher to bite her tongue when frustrated and not disclose something that can cause a lot of trouble for a child then they too won't report problems. That's not a good culture to be part of.

tiggytape Wed 17-Oct-12 08:57:57

nipping in the bud not bed!

Knowsabitabouteducation Wed 17-Oct-12 17:49:16

The talking must have been pretty bad if your DD was kept behind.

MaddestMother Wed 17-Oct-12 20:34:30

I've quizzed DD again this evening to try & find out what she was doing so badly wrong. Her friend was helping her do up her watch strap (DD has hurt her hand) and they were talking but quietly. The teacher was explaining the task for the second time to a couple of DC who didn't understand. Teacher then screamed at DD & friend & told them to stay behind. Apparently she had also told her off last week for asking to borrow a ruler when they were drawing graphs.
DD knows how she should behave and has never been in trouble like this before, I've told her she has to be honest with me on this as if I go to school I need to know the full story. I don't really see why the teacher is being like this, apparently she glared at DD in the corridor today.
I emailed DD's tutor asking him to call me yesterday but haven't heard anything.

aroomofherown Wed 17-Oct-12 21:34:22

I would be at least as concerned as to why your daughter was talking enough for the teacher to bother keeping her in.

It sounds a bit thoughtless but don't let that distract you from your daughter's behaviour.

Knowsabitabouteducation Thu 18-Oct-12 01:15:28

Oh no, teacher looked at her the wrong way!

socharlotte Thu 18-Oct-12 13:46:59

I'd get some corroboration first if I were you, befor you go in with all guns blazing!

bossboggle Thu 18-Oct-12 17:56:26

Find out all you can first and then go and have a word with the school. Regarding the remark ' Oh no, the teacher looked at her the wrong way' - some children are sensitive to many things. I did not need to shout at my DS when he was small - I only had to look at him!! I did not shout at any of my other Dc's either - my DS started senior school and a teacher was continually shouting!! I politely went to the school and told them to stop shouting at my DS - his confidence was going through the floor! He had always done everything we had asked of him and more, without the shouting or ranting!! I told them that I did not shout at my son so they had no right to what so ever!! The shouting stopped.

radicalsubstitution Thu 18-Oct-12 18:35:07

Never underestimate the potential sources of injury in a secondary school science lab.

Have you ever seen what happens when someone ignites a gas tap without a bunsen burner attached? Have you ever heated a spirit thermometer directly in a bunsen flame? Have you what happens when a student tries to put out a burning pot of magnesium powder by blowing on it? Have you ever watched a year 7 student try to carry, wtih tongs, an evaporating basin that they have just heated over a roaring flame. They insinctively hold their hands underneath it in case they drop it.

A science teacher is, usually singlehandedly, responsible for the safety and wellbeing of up to 30 students - many of whom have never been allowed to boil a kettle at home let alone switch on a gas hob.

I may come across as a witch with my year 7 classes, but I take a very dim view of students not listening when they should be. It normally prevents me having to fill out too many accident forms. I lighten up significantly once the students 'know the score' enough to be able to be trusted to carry out instructions without every detail spelled out 50 times.

At least I can be reassured it's not me - I'm not teaching year 7 this year!

Dominodonkey Thu 18-Oct-12 23:20:22

OP - the teacher shouldn't have mentioned the bullying thing though if I had moved a child to sit next to her friend (which she did not have to do, she only had to move your child away from the bully) I would have been very annoyed that she was then chatting and would have commented that she had chosen to sit there so had to behave.

Bossboggle You sounds like an absolute nightmare. Surely you understand that you speaking to your one child with all the sanctions in the world at your disposal is very different to a teacher trying to keep discipline with over 30 pupils. If he didn't like the teacher shouting he just to behave in a way which meant she didn't need to. Teachers very rarely shout for no reason.

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