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Would you be bothered by poor punctuation in school newsletters?

(50 Posts)
Ladymuck Mon 12-Dec-16 11:29:56

This is a sort of AIBU I guess. I'm a governor at a school where the head has a poor grasp of punctuation, in particular the use of commas and apostrophes. So it isn't a one-off issue, or the odd typo. This week's examples include "the enjoyment of music in it's many forms" and "Please avoid disturbing the student's."

The school has a fabulous English department. Whilst the school has a lot of disadvantaged families, I'm fairly sure that the majority of the pupils could spot the errors. Personally I cringe when I read through the documents I'm sent and see the number of errors.

I feel incredibly petty raising it if no one else has. Equally I'm concerned that as the head is also determining the standards required from staff, then if their English isn't up to GCSE standard, there's a risk that their assessment of their colleagues might be questionable?

slug Mon 12-Dec-16 12:10:27

Hell yes. I have been known to send school newsletters back with the errors circled with my big red teacher's pen.

golfbuggy Mon 12-Dec-16 12:41:45

Yes, I think this is extremely sloppy and would suggest (to me) lack of care elsewhere. If the head's punctuation is poor ,then someone else should be proof reading it.

AgentProvocateur Mon 12-Dec-16 12:53:25

Yes, I'd be worried about the level of education my children were receiving.

user1475253854 Mon 12-Dec-16 13:00:58

Yes that's terrible.

SpringSpringSpring Mon 12-Dec-16 13:16:46

Yes - needs bringing to their attention so they can read a basic punctuation guide. I think many people have no idea because no-one has pointed out they make mistakes and/or has said it is actually important.

iseenodust Mon 12-Dec-16 13:22:48

Yes. Leadership comes from the top. If you can't spell then use a spellchecker or ask a colleague to proofread.

BratFarrarsPony Mon 12-Dec-16 13:27:31

Yes it would really annoy me.
If the headteacher is not 100 per cent literate that's fine, I am sure they have other skills. Still, they could show some awareness and use a proofreader.

DaughterDrowningInJunk Mon 12-Dec-16 13:35:26

Be careful. I once raised this issue with a school and it really didn't go down well.

SheSparkles Mon 12-Dec-16 13:39:10

drowninginjunk what happened?

I'm another one who sent back letters with mistakes circled-nothing came of it but it made me feel better!

Ladymuck Mon 12-Dec-16 13:41:45

Thanks. Useful to have an external view. First headship in a reasonably challenging environment, so whilst it has bugged me, it hasn't been the first priority.

Of course, having said nothing so far, it will be more challenging to raise it now!

Toofewshoes Mon 12-Dec-16 13:43:18

My Dad walked around DDs Christmas Fair on Saturday pointing out spelling mistakes all the time. This was a PTA event but even so he was appalled. I told him to email the head. He won't but like to mention it to me.

misscph1973 Mon 12-Dec-16 13:48:41

I work as a translator and proofreader, so I can't help it, but it would seriously wind me up and I would not be able to leave it alone.

Could you talk to the head of English discreetly? Perhaps offer to proofread? As you are a governor, I think you should do something about it. It is important that letters from the school are not full or errors.

Waggamamma Mon 12-Dec-16 14:00:30

Our school newsletters are littered with errors, usually grammar. It's embarrassing, DP says i can't raise it with school and be 'that parent.'

If i sent out a public facing document at work with this level of errors it would certainly be raised with me and action taken. We have proof reading and approval guidelines, before sending anything external to avoid this sort of thing. I don't see why schools should be any different.

creamycrackers Mon 12-Dec-16 14:11:04

Yes it does bother me but at the same time I have used it as a way to show my Dc that everyone makes mistakes so they are less defensive with theirs.

Bobochic Mon 12-Dec-16 14:13:18

I hate receiving semi-literate letters from schools!

eddiemairswife Mon 12-Dec-16 14:55:20

This used to happen regularly when I was teaching. I'd send my class's letters back to the office with a note, and the secretary would then rush round the school collecting all the other letters in, so she could issue correct ones. I gave up eventually, and made the children make the alterations in class. The head went right off me!

Trifleorbust Mon 12-Dec-16 16:53:14

This isn't great, but I think it's an example of making a mountain out of a molehill. The Head doesn't have a perfect grasp of punctuation. It isn't impressive, but it has little true impact on how he does his job.

senua Mon 12-Dec-16 18:07:52

Yes, I would be bothered. Those examples you gave are fairly basic.shock

Can you raise it as "several parents have mentioned ..."? The Head won't know that they are MNers.grin

It does give a poor impression. Firstly that the Head has a poor grasp of grammar but secondly, and more worryingly, that there is no system in place to mitigate against this. What other systems of double-checking are also missing?

AndNoneForGretchenWieners Mon 12-Dec-16 18:10:27

slug I've done that too, and written "must try harder". Apparently that's passive aggressive, but when you have raised it on many occasions and nothing changes or they blame the administration staff it gets very irritating.

titchy Mon 12-Dec-16 18:16:39

Honestly that's KS2 SATS stuff - is it really the Head, or their PA? Either way it's pretty shocking.

senua Mon 12-Dec-16 18:17:29

Yes, watch out for that one. I've seen threads on here where teachers blame admin, and admin blame teachers.
It doesn't matter whose fault it is: it makes the whole school look a laughing stock.

Hulababy Mon 12-Dec-16 18:20:11

I wouldn't like it but probably wouldn't necessarily comment personally. If I did comment I would just email and say that I had noticed a number of SPAG errors on the last few newsletters, wanted to let them know in advance of the next newsletters coming out.

I certainly wouldn't be sending back a re circles or highlighted newsletter - I am not into passive aggressive acts like that. Would come across incredibly rude and in no way help solve the issue!

Shallishanti Mon 12-Dec-16 18:21:26

yes, it would bother me massively
as PP said I would wonder what else has been done badly.

Ladymuck Mon 12-Dec-16 18:26:20

In an ideal world I would have hoped that the PA would jump in to correct the errors on public documents. In fairness, I don't know much about her own grammar, or whether she would dare to correct the head (previous head was an English teacher, so it probably didn't arise). I'm fairly sure that the grammar errors belong to the head though, as they also come through on direct emails.

It is an awkward issue to raise. The head can be a bit prickly. But I am conscious that I'm making judgements as I read the newsletters, so parents must be doing likewise.

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