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Please help...In year admissions and more

(58 Posts)
lamoseley Sun 04-Nov-12 10:25:52

I would appreciate any help or advice that you can offer as I am at my wits end.
My daughter is 13 next month. For the last 2 months she has been bullied by another fellow pupil who she used to be friends with.
It started with name calling, rumours, etc and 4 weeks ago my daughter was physically attacked in school time. It was a very vicious fight and it took two teachers to remove the bully off of my daughter. The school suspended the bully for 6 weeks (This is not the first time the bully has been in trouble) and is due back at school tomorrow but will not be put back into mainstream lessons for a further two weeks.
During this period my daughter has received messages/threats/calls from the bully and her associates.
I have been to the school numerous times to keep them informed and to advise that my daughter is fearful and I am worried for her safety.
They have said anything that happens outside school is a police matter although my daughter does not want that in fear of making things worse.
The bully shows no remorse or intention of backing down and even swore and was abusive to myself the other day.
I feel that I am not happy to send my daughter into school and I am sick with worry. My daughter is good at talking with me and I feel she is putting on a brave face to save my worrying but she has now said she wants to move school.
I have spoken to the grammar school where my son attends (Been very pleased with this school) and they have space within her year group but daughter would need to take an entry exam. 50/50 whether she will pass.
Has anybody else been through a similar experience? I do not know which way to turn.

Sparklingbrook Sun 04-Nov-12 10:30:15

Hello lamoseley. I have a DS in Year 9 and I moved him to a new school in June this year.
It has turned out to be the best thing we ever did.

If I were in your position I would let her take the exam. At least you will know then what your options are. If she doesn't pass are there other school options, even looking further afield maybe?

SminkoPinko Sun 04-Nov-12 10:41:43

Your poor daughter.sad I don't take contacting the police lightly but I think I would do so in these circumstances if the school really cannot do any more to help. Do you know the other girl's parents if the girl used to be a friend? It seems astonishing to me that a 6 week suspension hasn't resulted in them coming down on her like a ton of bricks, confiscating phone etc. It's quite a long, serious punishment and surely they would be furious with her?

Are there other non-selective schools you could consider? I would be reluctant to put her through an exam she is not very likely to pass at a point when she is desperate to move schools.

5madthings Sun 04-Nov-12 10:41:47

my ds1 starts a new high school tomorrow. not bullying we were just not happy with the school he was at (numerous things including lots of disruption in lessons)

i would let her take the exam, anyway she can do some practise papers? or some kind of preparation?

re moving schools you will find that the admissions office do not like in year changes of school unless you are miving house. its not up to them tho if the gead teacher at the school.you want her to go to is happy for her to go there thats fine (obv she needs to pass the test)

there us a form to fill in for in year cganges, my lea had it online and i did that and then sent emails plus the head teacher at the new school got in touch with the lea to say there was a place and he could start asap.

you have a very strong case with the bullying for immediate transfer so dont let admissions fob you off (they will suggest she doesnt move till after xmas at the earliest)

let her take the exam, doing some prep would be good and good luck xx

5madthings Sun 04-Nov-12 10:42:33

my ds1 is also in yr 9 btw.

tiggytape Sun 04-Nov-12 10:42:51

This sounds awful. Is there any reason you have not got the police involved? This level of assault and intimidation is not something any adult would tolerate and the assault in school is still a criminal offence even if it did happen in school time.
I appreciate you don't want to make things worse and have been trying to work in partnership with the school but things have gone way too far. If they've openly said they cannot keep her safe, I would want the police involved and this girl prevented from making any threats or direct contact. The fact the school have mentioned the police to you also hints that they too are out of their depth in dealing with this girl and if she breaches police intervention, the school can potentially get rid of her once and for all. Schools don't normally encourage criminal investigation of their pupils!

Do you think a change of schools will help or is the out of school bullying now at the stage where it might continue to upset your DD even if she nolonger sees the bully in school hours?
Given that they've had 6 weeks apart from each other and the bully is still behaving this way, do you think that even if you do move schools, you might still need to take further action to get this girl to leave your DD alone? If so you need to document and keep every text, phonecall and message and log it all for the police to see. It really is the only thing you can do.

If your DD did not manage to pass the test, is there another local school she could go to. Would she be happy with that option? Does she have friends who help her now that she would lose by moving? I guess what I am saying is that if this bully still targets your DD despite not sharing a school for 6 weeks, and if your DD will lose friends by moving, will it be worth changing schools to lose her friends and still not shake this bully off? It depends how attached to her current school your DD is assuming the bullying is sorted out and how likely the bullying will stop after a school move is made.

lamoseley Sun 04-Nov-12 10:49:22

Thank you Sparklingbrook for your reply.
We have another school that is approx 6 miles away (Not a problem for me as I would drive her) but my sons school would be my preferred.
Daughter is higher than average on maths but lower than average on english lit and reading.
We do not know what to do first as it was planned for my daughter to go back to school tomorrow and we than send off the forms (IYCAF) and go from there. But as the situation has got worse over the last week and I can see my daughter is withdrawing from her normal self we do not know whether sending her back is the right decision. We do not want her to end up with no school at all.
Did you DS have to sit an an entry exam? How long did the transition take?
Sorry for the questions..I just do not know anyone else who has been in this position and I am trying to think straight as to what to do but when your heart is breaking for your child and your emotional it hard to keep a clear head!
Thank you again for your support.

Sparklingbrook Sun 04-Nov-12 10:52:40

No. he transferred between 2 High Schools so no entrance exam but they did want to see his school report.

I made an appointment to see the Headteacher, looked round and loved it. DS had a taster day which he loved. He could have started straight away but he had a residential trip booked with the old school so we waited until after that.

The new school is 12 miles away, the old one half a mile away but it had to be done.

lamoseley Sun 04-Nov-12 11:10:10

Just seen all your replies whilst replying myself. Thank you all so much...Such a relief that I have in fact just broken down. Thank you all sincerely.
The only reason we had not got the police involved is due to my DD not wanting us to. (Bully had warned her not to) Bully quite clever. Will call on withheld number or somebody else's and also send messages via other school friends so there has not been too much evidence on paper so to speak although she sent a threat yesterday from her own phone which we have kept.
My daughter is also keeping a journal.
I have been to the parents house and left my number twice now for the parents, who have never returned to me. I do know the family are not strict/bothered and feel that if a return in communication from them is too much trouble I maybe wasting my time talking to them.

My DD is not worried about moving away from her friends and makes new friends easily, I think she is just totally worn down by it all. I am so extremely worried about her and keep giving her lots of cuddles and reassurance.

I advised the school is was seriously considering moving school due to the fact the bully is not remorseful despite her punishment and still sending messages and threats (She even waited outside school for my daughter, who in turn run back into school reception. It was only when I called her as she was late home that I knew of this. I was livid the school did not call me to collect her instead of letting her leave alone 10 minutes later by herself) The deputy remarked my decision "silly".

We have brought some books from WHS to brush up as much as possible.

If in my position would you send back into school? what are the consequences?

I feel I would be sending her into the lions den. The bully will be back tomorrow, not into main classes but in an isolation unit. But she CAN see my daughter before and after. In a further two weeks she will be back in the same lessons.

avivabeaver Sun 04-Nov-12 11:39:20

I would not send her back. I had a situation with my dd when she was 12. She was utterly miserable, being picked on and a whole bunch of other stuff. It was a private school. They called me because she was crying. Were not interested in why she was crying. So I went and collected her, saw her sitting outside waiting for me and I just knew. I put her in the car and told her to waive goodbye because she was never going back.

She changed overnight to the person she used to be. She happily moved back to state, I was willing to have her out for half a term if needs be but luckily a space came up within a week or 2.

lamoseley Sun 04-Nov-12 12:19:05

I have come to a decision, I am not sending her back.
I am doing what I think is best as the bully is part of DDs group of friends and from I can see the situation is getting worse and not resolved. I can not rely on the school to try and resolve this and let my DD be attacked again.
What are my next steps??
I have already spoken to the grammar school my son attends that is the closest school to us. She will sit their exam (Her choice) they have space for her.
Do I also contact another school (I have one in mind that is a comprehensive but is in the next village) to see if they have space as back up in case DD does not pass entry exam?
Do I put both preferences on the IYCAF forms?
What if it works out she can go to neither? Will further away schools out our catchement be willing to accept?
Do I inform current school of my intentions and say she will not be returning ever.
Sorry, so many questions. I feel you have all given me hope at the end of the tunnel xx

kissmyheathenass Sun 04-Nov-12 12:22:42

I have started a thread in SEN section. Am also thinking of changing ds' school (Y8). Sparklingbrook, did your ds cope well with them move? Did he want to leave his old school?

5madthings Sun 04-Nov-12 12:27:49

i would maybe contact the other school to see if they have a place and you can visit.

but to begin with let her take the exam and see how she does, if she passes and you want her to go to that school then just put that on the form, as there is a place and its the school you want her to go to, bonus that she has a sibling there was well smile

good luck, you are doing the right thing, its hard making decisions about their education but your dd has been through enough, xx

tiggytape Sun 04-Nov-12 12:41:38

An assault that warrants a 6 week suspension would be enough to get the police involved even without much paper evidence of the threats. And one threat will be enough (depending what it says) for the police to act on. Your DD is afraid and right in the midst of things and her opinions should be respected but if you feel out of your depth in protecting her from this, and if the school cannot reassure you, you may need to talk to her about what action an adult would take in this situation. It is not acceptable that she is hurt and hounded and afraid.

Can you keep her at home tomorrow whilst you speak to the school about how they will ensure her safety now this other girl is returning? I would want to hear what the school plans to do. They have an obligation to ensure your child's safety and, before your DD returns, you should find out how they are going to make sure she is safe. It may mean you still end up moving your DD if the bully persists and if the school are ineffective but it is worth speaking to them perhaps to see what they plan to do.

lamoseley Sun 04-Nov-12 12:51:53

Can anyone recommend any books or sites that will be useful for my DD that will help with an entry exam (Yr 8)

5madthings: Thank you, I feel one more incident will push my dd over the edge. Something I am not prepared for. You are right, she has been through enough. I need to protect her. Good luck for tomorrow.

avivabeaver: I need to go with my instincts as you did!

Sparklingbrook: Did you incur any problems with the school be 12 miles away (outside of catchement, or if there are spaces available do they dismiss where you live? thank you again.

tiggytape: dd shares same group of friends as bully and they all fear her. I think my dd is willing to sacrifice her remaining friends to have a fresh start. She realises that this maybe the only way, unfair as it seems.

Sminkopinko: I feel if we were to involve the police now the bully may target my dd either more out of school as I do not think the parents give a damn. I like you would be mortified if any of mine behaved in this way and I struggle to get my head round how they have not reined her in! The bully has nothing to fear as she knows her parents let her get away with it and the school keep saying its her last chance until she is permanently removed and then extend the boundaries time after time, whilst everyone bears the consequences.

I would just like to say you have all helped tremendously with your comments, I feel like I have a plan of action to work with and my head does not seem so jumbled!!

lamoseley Sun 04-Nov-12 12:57:44

tiggytape: I think I may talk to my dd again about informing the police. The bully did not get suspended just because of the assault on my dd. It was final nail in the coffin after a long list of events from the bully (Not all towards my daughter but behaviour towards teachers etc)

dd had a message last night that said "Involve the police or get me in trouble for bulling and you will see what happens"

It makes me cry just typing it so god knows what this is doing to dd.

Sparklingbrook Sun 04-Nov-12 13:09:44

Hi kiss. Yes DS1 has coped brilliantly with the move. He wanted to leave his old school for lots of different reasons. It really wasn't the school for him-he didn't 'fit' IYSWIM. He has made loads of likeminded friends now, and is a different boy.

lamoseley I didn't have trouble getting him in. He gets the school bus which we have to pay for but he feels more part of things because of that. I feel like he's a long way away but he feels very safe.

I think you have made the right decision not to send her back. Check out all the possible school options, you have the power to turn this all around and your DD to be happy.

How is the bully contacting your DD? sad

lamoseley Sun 04-Nov-12 13:25:58

bully was sending messages through other people via the dreaded facebook as my dd deleted her hoping that would be enough.

My dd also has a blackberry and blocked her from her bbm but the same happened. At one point last week I said enough is enough I am going to police but my husband pointed out that we did not have any proof due to bully sending messages via others so my daughter unblocked her in the hope of having evidence and thats when she got the message that I put above.

Bully is also finding out who my daughter is with out of school time and calling their number (As they are in in one big broup they all know each others numbers) and asking to talk to my dd or just shouting nasty things down the phone. Its as though dd can not get away from it unless she drops all other friends too.

lamoseley Sun 04-Nov-12 13:29:13

sparklingbrook: dd has a bus pass that we pay £100 a year for that she can use on any bus any time within kent (although she only uses it in our area so we could continue with that if she did not get into first school)
Did you ds move because of bullying?

Badvoc Sun 04-Nov-12 13:35:27

I moved my son from a school where he was being bullied.
Not only a new school in year admission but a school in a different LA!
No problems at all.
If you are concerned as to whether she would pass the exam, could you deregister her from awful school, get her some tuition and if she is accepted start in jan?
Would that be possible?
And this is certainly a matter of the police.
School can corroborate what has happened.

creamteas Sun 04-Nov-12 13:36:15

Where I live the Council have advisers with responsibility for in-year transfers, so it might be worth looking at that. In theory, you should also be able to ask the Education Welfare Officers for support (as the threats could lead to your DD being off school) but they are not always very helpful in my experience.

I would contact the Police, and see what they say. You don't have to make a formal statement less you want to.

Also bear in mind that if you change school, it is possible that the bully could be moved there later on if excluded or at risk of exclusion from their current school. One of my DC has injured by a another child at school, and was moved to the school that I briefly considered as an alternative possibility. So staying put was actually safer in the long term.

Sparklingbrook Sun 04-Nov-12 13:37:43

DS moved because basically he didn't 'fit' the school. He was getting some low grade grief off some of the kids that upset him on a daily basis. He just wanted to get on with his work but that was seen as being 'uncool'.

He then started to say he didn't feel safe at the school with regard to the older children. He has always been a bit of a stickler for rules and regulations and does struggle when other don't share that.

They don't start High School until Year 8 here. I kept saying it would get better but it never did and then we had tears the whole time. He/we struggled on until May. sad

DS gets the actual school bus and that costs a fortune so that bus pass is very good value for your DD.

lamoseley Sun 04-Nov-12 13:59:54

Badvoc: Thats interesting...gives hope that I can maybe look further afield is dd does not pass entry test.

creamteas: I shall have a look into that and see if I can get some extra support...I wont hold my breath though! Hopefully no other school will take bully due to past (she has currently spent 6 weeks in a special behavioural school)

Sparkling: Thats what I want to avoid...I do not want to prolong this. It has effected the whole family to be honest. It is constantly the topic of conversion in our house.

A question to you all: Did you state that bullying was your main reason for moving when asked by the other schools. There have been smaller issues with the school (no homework set, teachers not even setting work within lessons) but bullying is the main reason now. There is a small space on the forms to put my reason for chosen school and I am not sure how to word this in a small paragraph?
xx

Sparklingbrook Sun 04-Nov-12 14:25:49

I didn't fill that part in on the transfer form lamoseley. I also didn't go into major explanations at the old school.

I had a really nice chat with the new Headmaster and explained the problems DS was having. I also had a chat with the old Head and explained I didn't think there was anything the school could do to get him to want to stay.

The terrible bullying your DD has endured is totally different but only you know whether you want to go into detail about it regarding the transfer.

Sparklingbrook Sun 04-Nov-12 14:28:09

I can't imagine the fact that you don't want to send her in and she is going to move schools will come as a huge shock to her existing school though. sad

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