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Ive been worried about dd at school for a year and finally it sounds like school are too.

(138 Posts)
VivaLeBeaver Wed 06-Nov-13 17:50:38

The head of year has rung and left a message saying she's worried about dd concerning how happy dd is and regarding problems dd is having with other kids.

I'm surprised she's rung to be honest as these problems have been going on for a year and I spoke to the HOY (same teacher) last year who seemed quite dismissive and made me feel I was been all PFB about it.

Dd seems to have a couple of friends who she gets on ok with but apart from that there seems to be quite a few girls who take pleasure in been nasty towards her. Dd was unhappy in Yr 7 a lot of the time, saying she spent quite a bit of time alone, etc. not just that but people were been low key nasty towards her every day, name calling, saying she's a geek, that she's weird, etc.

The constant name calling is getting her down and I worry about how its affecting her confidence. She was crying last week - not even over a specific incident and said she didn't feel safe but couldn't tell me why. I obv talk things over with her, give her little pep talks. I've bought her all the books about girls and friendships, etc.

She came home from school on Monday saying boys had been talking and laughing about her on the bus. Then Tuesday someone shoved a desk into her stomach on purpose and someone else threw a chair at her. This is in lessons, dd says the teacher is oblivious! Then more name calling in the next lesson.

When I speak to the HOY about it what should I be expecting her to say/do to try and sort the situation? Could I ask about counselling for dd as I am quite worried about how down she is. Would this be a CAHMs referral or could they do something in school.

Honestly I read in the news about girls who have committed suicide due to low level bullying like this over years and it frightens me.

mumblechum1 Wed 06-Nov-13 18:40:36

Well in that case I think you're going to have to go all TigerMummy on getting her into the good comp on the other side of town.

It may be a ballache at first to get her there but once she starts making friends it may be possible to organise a carpool or something.
I'd make an appointment with the head of the good comp and basically throw myself at their feet.

Badvoc Wed 06-Nov-13 18:50:15

Yes, but how do the children feel at the shit school?
Do they feel safe?
Are they happy?

WynkenBlynkenandNod Wed 06-Nov-13 18:50:33

I agree with Mumblechum. I'd go with the approach you have been concerned for some time. List incidents and say the school are now concerned however it has got to the stage where your DD feels too unsafe, it's affecting her health, self esteem and school work and you don't think the situation is redeemable.

Worry about the logistics further down the line. Tell your DD they are strict at my DD's school , after school detention straight away if HW not in. But the behaviour in lessons much less disruptive than her Middle school and DD feels a lot safer there.

how shit is really shit?

Less than 40% a-c GCSE? If there is banding, she'll be in with the achievers?

VivaLeBeaver Wed 06-Nov-13 18:54:46

I can't physically get her to the good comp myself. I often start work at7:15am, or I finish work at10pm. Dh commutes 90mins to work so leaves at 6:30am. If there isn't space on the mini bus there's no chance of her going there.

Ill ask about the mini bus and if there's space I'll ring the school.

VivaLeBeaver Wed 06-Nov-13 18:56:54

Shit school got 42% last year. Mprevious years have been between 30 and 36%.

Current school is 62%

Dd seems more upset tonight about the fact she thinks her two friends aren't talking to her than about the bullying. She thinks another not so nice girl has talked them into not liking her.

VivaLeBeaver Wed 06-Nov-13 19:03:41

Dd has just said she doesn't really want to leave her current school but she just wants some friends. sad

GRW Wed 06-Nov-13 19:10:02

Do you think you might have grounds for appeal to the grammar school in view of everything she has had to put up with? She sounds like the sort of girl who would thrive in an environment where it's ok to be clever and a bit geeky. My DD attends an all girl grammar school in Bucks, and they have made extra places available after year 7 where there are girls who need a place there. All the classes now have more than 30 in them. I think the bullying she has gone through will be taken into account on appeal.

VivaLeBeaver Wed 06-Nov-13 19:22:52

We appealed to the grammar once but obv this was before the bullying. They fight any appeal tooth and nail, we went as far as we could. They'd just say that seeing as there's space at the shit school then she could go there to get away from the bullies.

well, you have to fight for her.

DOn't worry about being seen as PFB mum, or pushy.

Go in there and ask (demand) to know all about the bullying policy, ask what they are going to do. Get it in writing. Then follow up with meetings about progress.

Be a pain. Throw your British reserve overboard. It is the only thing to do.

GRW Wed 06-Nov-13 19:35:22

Ok, I know some areas that have grammar schools are more likely to admit pupils after appeals than others. I hope that when you speak to the HOY she will come up with something that might help her to make friends.

cocolepew Wed 06-Nov-13 20:37:51

DDs school results are shittier than a shitty stick but they are trying their best with her. She's getting extra tution so she can do the high teir gcse's. The school usually does only foundation stage. She passed her 11+ but I didn't want her at the graammar school, they are very driven and she suffers with anxiety.
She's happy and content here.

Would it be possible to send DD to the other school in a taxi until there was space on the mini bus?

VivaLeBeaver Wed 06-Nov-13 20:45:09

Yes taxis an idea. Thanks.

Dd wants me to talk to the HOY first and try and sort things out at the school first.

cocolepew Wed 06-Nov-13 20:50:06

I hope you are able to sort something out, good luck smile

HmmAnOxfordComma Wed 06-Nov-13 20:52:41

Viva, we've talked about schools before. I'm in your area and know which school you're talking about.

First of all, year 8 girls can be horrible. It's usually the worst year for bullying. But there's absolutely no excuse for the school not to absolutely sort it out.

If you really do end up moving her, here's what I know. The 'rubbish' school you're talking about has had several of my friends' children through it, one of whom has a first from a RG Uni and whose younger brother is on track for all As at GCSE. Other friends' children are there and are not academic but are very happy.

Another friend has removed her ds from your dd's school for being bullied for his AS.

The 'strict' school you're talking about would probably be a good match for dd but I think the waiting list is probably huge. No harm in asking though.

We talked before about a different grammar (east of the city). Almost definitely places in yr 8 - you would just have to get her to the bus (I know some kids come from near the hospital if that helps?)

And we talked about my ds's school (the independent). Would it be at all doable with a scholarship/fees reduction?

I know someone has just got a place in yr 7 with 50% off even after the start of the year (did first half term at the grammar but wanted better music provision). There may be ways and means for a bright girl such as your dd. Ds is still really happy there and doesn't get picked on at all for his immense geekdom (not that I know how the girls in his year behave).

Hope you can work something out. flowers You've had lots of other little niggles about this school, haven't you (sorry, not exactly been stalking you, but can remember a few threads!)

Goldmandra Wed 06-Nov-13 20:59:22

I agree with your DD. You need to try to get the school to sort this out. Moving her might just be handing her over to a new set of bullies.

I am not saying in any way that the bullying is your DD's fault because it absolutely isn't but have you considered why your DD is seen as so different? Your description of your DD, including your comment about her caring about others, could possibly fit a girl with Asperger's syndrome.

This page explains how girls can hide quite significant difficulties in order to try to blend in socially.

Before anyone goes off on one, I am not diagnosing or labelling anyone. I am pointing a parent in the direction of some information which might be useful to them.

If your DD ends up having severe difficulties coping in her current school and you have good evidence of this, you can appeal to the LA to fund a taxi to take her to a different school. Children taken in taxis usually have statements of SEN but there some who don't.

VivaLeBeaver Wed 06-Nov-13 21:03:01

OxfordComma, thanks for the messages.

I wish we'd taken a gamble on the mini bus for the strict school now as we'd have got in as not all the six spaces for our primary were allocated. The one who took the gamble got on the bus.

Interesting what you say about the "shit" school. I've sent a message to the mum I know who's removed her son from dd's school to that school to see how he's finding it/what she thinks of it so far.

Grammar to the east is out as I can't have dd hanging around from 7am waiting for the bus. Or hanging about until 10pm waiting for me to finish work.

Private school could be doable with a fee reduction. Do I just ring them up and ask if I can have some money off? grin

VivaLeBeaver Wed 06-Nov-13 21:07:13

Goldmandra, thanks for the link. Not something I'd considered before but some of that rings true. She isn't very good at social chit chat or knowing what to say to someone sometimes.

I'll ask her HOY if she thinks its a possibility?? Not sure what they'll do if anything but ill do some more reading myself.

HmmAnOxfordComma Wed 06-Nov-13 21:18:54

Well I really wouldn't want to raise your hopes either about fees reduction or how lovely the school is (we think it is really lovely - and because the year groups are small the boys and girls still mix which also heps to socialise the less 'alpha' children, if you see what I mean),

but here's what I'd do: don't mention it to dd if it would upset her too much before you knew what was and wasn't an option.

Make sure you are clear in what you know about dd's abilities/levels. As with all independent schools, there's always one eye on the results so if dd could add positively to those, that's good. Ring and speak to the registrar and be honest: my dd is of this level of ability, she's unhappy and being bullied at her current school, we want her to be happy and achieve (we've heard excellent reports of the school) and we can't necessarily afford full fees. Is there any conversation to be had? Is it worth us coming to look around?

Many dc move to this school in yr 8 and 9 because of being failed by other schools for either dyslexia, dyspraxia or pastoral support.

Just a thought and maybe a very leftfield one.

Scholarship testing for year 9 is coming up soon (and is officially 25% but unoffically can be higher). Absolutely no harm is asking what options there are now.

VivaLeBeaver Wed 06-Nov-13 21:35:36

Thanks, if I don't get on ok tomorrow ill ring them.

Dd has been in touch with one of her two friends today who says that she does like dd. which I thought would be the case. So dd is happier about that side of things now.

I think because her self confidence is so low she worries everyone will go off her.

HmmAnOxfordComma Wed 06-Nov-13 21:42:32

It's tricky, though, isn't it when children say they like you and are your friend but you don't seem to feel backed up or safe still when the others all gang up.

I guess it's a good sign that the HOY rang you and not the other way round - at least they've been more proactive than last year and at least they won't be being all defensive since they've brought it up (you can only hope).

Good luck for tomorrow.

Btw, am I mistaken in thinking that any children from your village go to either of the two schools very south of the city (you know the ones exactly opposite each other)? Or is there transport to get there?

Goldmandra Wed 06-Nov-13 21:50:42

I'll ask her HOY if she thinks its a possibility?? Not sure what they'll do if anything but ill do some more reading myself.

Unless they've had a reason to have considerable experience of AS the HOY is very unlikely to have the first idea about it. Your own reading will be a much better guide.

The biggest benefits for my DD (16) of getting a diagnosis were better support in school and better understanding of herself and why she felt so different.

Google Tony Attwood. His publications are very well respected but also easy for us non-psychologists to understand.

VivaLeBeaver Wed 06-Nov-13 21:59:43

No, they don't go to those two opposite each other. No transport.

VivaLeBeaver Wed 06-Nov-13 22:01:09

There might be the odd one or two if their parents take them. But hard to get into. I do know one who goes but had to do a dance audition to get in.

HmmAnOxfordComma Wed 06-Nov-13 22:04:27

OP - just been doing a bit of research - and there isn't genuinely a massive difference in terms of results between dd's school and the other one (the 'rubbish' one). If you look at the Ofsted dashboard, dd's school has slightly better English results and the other school has better maths and science results (for its cohort - which is slighter weaker to start with).

Also - you need to be looking at the results for high attainers (your dd). Her school gets 92% 5A-Cs for high attainers, the other school gets 85%. But the other school gets an average grade of grade B per high attainer - dd's school gets a B-. Honestly I don't think there's a lot in it academically. Except for the specialisms, which still characterise these schools I believe, where dd's school's specialism is more 'academic'.

Not that I'm at all writing off your feeling about the other school at all. Tbh, one of the contributory reasons ds isn't at his catchment school (not one mentioned!) was the 'feeling' and quality of staff on show, not Ofsted or results.

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