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If I write an email to a teacher

(18 Posts)
isthereananswer Tue 02-Dec-14 13:25:21

If I write an email to a teacher, about my child, is it standard practice, or indeed acceptable, for the teacher to tell my child that I did so, or to read my child the contents? I (probably stupidly) thought it would be confidential. Am I being precious to think this should have been between me and the teacher?

InfinitySeven Tue 02-Dec-14 13:27:44

Did you ask for it to be confidential? Was it obvious that you wouldn't want the matter sharing?

I'm not sure that schools are supposed to accept email for confidential matters, for similar reasons to that of the NHS etc, so it may be that they thought your method of communication implied that it was not private.

It will depend on what it was about, though, and whether it'd be immediately obvious that it shouldn't be shared.

noblegiraffe Tue 02-Dec-14 13:28:31

Depends on what was in the email. If a parent emailed to say their kid was finding maths hard, or having a hard time at home or something, I'd probably say to the kid 'your mum tells me things aren't easy at the moment' as I'd assume that the kid's own life wasn't confidential to them.

Sometimes parents might write 'please don't let Johnny know I've discussed this with you" so then I wouldn't.

LeBearPolar Tue 02-Dec-14 13:29:21

It depends what it was about and whether you asked for it to be kept confidential.

I sometimes get emails which include something like "X would be very upset if he knew I had emailed you about this..." so I know to approach the matter with some discretion. But otherwise I might discuss your concerns with the child if necessary - it's hard to say without knowing what it's about!

Sparklingbrook Tue 02-Dec-14 13:30:13

I always say not to tell my DS if i don't want them to mention it. I wouldn't assume.

isthereananswer Tue 02-Dec-14 13:30:40

My fault then. Need to label emails "in confidence" in future. I wasnt planning to discuss the matter with child till I had a clear answer from the teacher. But teacher had already discussed before child came home.

EvilTwins Tue 02-Dec-14 19:10:33

Teachers are not supposed to accept "in confidence" really - you would need to be very specific - "in confidence" suggests don't tell anyone. If you don't want it discussed with the child, then say "please don't mention it to..." But then it would depend on what it was.

A parent of a girl in my tutor group emailed me this week and I disucssed it with her and showed her the email. A couple of weeks ago the mother of a different girl emailed and made it clear that she didn't want her daughter to know that she had done so, so I didn't discuss it. This was about tactics to get her DD back into lessons following an illness. If there was anything in the email that needed to be passed on, though, then teachers are not allowed to guarantee confidentiality.

Unexpected Tue 02-Dec-14 21:41:30

I think you needed to make it clear that you did not want the issue discussed with your child, or that you would be discussing it with him/her following your email. Otherwise, it is perfectly reasonable for the teacher to assume that your child knew about the contents.

isthereananswer Wed 03-Dec-14 11:18:37

What I'm not sure about is the teacher reading the email to my child and saying it had been sent without enough thought!

LeBearPolar Wed 03-Dec-14 11:20:05

Well, that's a drip-feed and a half! hmm

isthereananswer Wed 03-Dec-14 11:24:26

Sorry - yes the criticism is a later development. Its all still playing out.......!

InfinitySeven Wed 03-Dec-14 11:28:07

What was the email about to attract that comment?

isthereananswer Wed 03-Dec-14 11:32:55

I asked if the class test results reported to me were in fact correct. It was polite, and I would send it again exactly as it was worded, so I dont think it was ill considered at all. There is something else going on here and I have to get to the bottom of it I think. But I accept that I didnt specify that it was confidential between the teacher and myself, so they can do what they want with it. Will be more careful in future. (PS have name changed as I am easily identifiable, but am v old poster - in every sense!)

fluffling Wed 03-Dec-14 16:36:45

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Bonsoir Wed 03-Dec-14 16:40:31

If I want to say anything confidential that I don't want passed on to anyone to school, I don't write it down.

Make an appointment to see the teacher next time.

<bitter voice of experience>

EvilTwins Wed 03-Dec-14 17:59:44

Were you suggesting that your DS got a lower mark than you thought and that the teacher had wrongly marked it? Without more details it's impossible to know if it was badly thought out.

DontGotoRoehampton Wed 03-Dec-14 18:54:27

When I send an email to DC teachers I copy in the DC. If I wanted it to be confidential then I would explicitly say so.

BackforGood Fri 05-Dec-14 15:34:50

Agree with everyone else. If I've ever needed to contact the school, and want them to not let my dc know I've contacted them, then I would specifically request that in the e-mail. 'In confidence' doesn't really indicate that either - presumably if it's about my dc, then the teacher could assume they knew about it, hence I would specifically ask them not to, if I didn't want them to.

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