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DD given a Prefect role on a 'probationary' basis - singled out for not complying with school rules, which is news to us

(194 Posts)
hmcAsWas Sat 25-Mar-17 09:02:25

Parents evening a few weeks ago. All favourable - dd works hard in class is meeting expected targets etc. No negative feedback.

Pupils were recently asked to apply if they wanted a prefect role. All those who applied were given prefect roles - with dd and one of her friends held back and spoken to separately. They were both told that they were on probation for half a term and their prefect roles would only be made substantive if they could prove themselves. Apparently they are not complying with school rules.

DD was aghast - apparently she rolls up her skirt too high. She has been told about this by her form teacher and she rolls it back down again when asked and has been complying without being asked recently. She and every other girl who has been selected as Prefects all do this - including the head girl, and dd is adamant she is no worse than anyone else. DD has complained to me previously that her Form teacher does not like her (or her friend) and is harder on her (and her friend) than on her peers and does not appear to be consistent or fair minded. She has given me a couple of recent examples.

It seems that dd now has this sword of Damocles over her and is sure her role wont be made substantive when the half term is up because she thinks her Form teacher will be looking to find fault

What to do?

RiverdaleJughead Sat 25-Mar-17 09:13:57

Tell her to stop playing the victim and just not roll her skirt up for the probationary period if she really wants to be a prefect?

Emphasise Sat 25-Mar-17 09:16:50

I think the school's been very generous giving her a chance. Why would they want to appoint a prefect who blatantly flours school rules? If she stops doing it she'll pass the probation.

Also stop assuming eveything dd tells you is true!

Bensyster Sat 25-Mar-17 09:19:41

I think you will always come across people who don't rate you and you have to decide how you are going to deal with these people. Moaning is one way or you could just roll your sleeves up (rather than your skirt wink) and prove them wrong.

TheColonelAdoresPuffins Sat 25-Mar-17 09:26:19

If it's just the skirt rolling that's a problem it should be very easy for her to prove herself worthy by not rolling up her skirt.

lljkk Sat 25-Mar-17 09:36:43

You weren't there. You only heard her side of the story.
I might check if that's the full sum of what she needs to do, because she may not have full picture on what she needs to do different, too.

SallyInSweden Sat 25-Mar-17 09:40:05

"Sword of Damocles", a bit OTT? She just has to knuckle down and do it.

hmcAsWas Sat 25-Mar-17 09:46:38

The point is that dd has been complying recently (and also that there hasn't been consistency with the other girls not given the same 'punishment'). It's only reasonable surely that all the girls have the same probationary period as they have all transgressed on the skirt thing

Dd is singled out by this teacher. She and her friend were told to go outside by the Form teacher one lunch time this week. They duly went outside but after a few minutes decided to go back inside and read in the school library as it was cold outside. It is entirely permitted in school rules to read quietly in the library or to do private study during break times. Whilst they were in there the Deputy Head wandered in to turn up the radiators and smiled at dd and her friend and the other students sat in there. However 5 minutes before the end of lunch time the Form teacher marches in and declares "I told you to go outside" and makes dd and her friend stand outside the staff room for the last few minutes of lunch. The other girl sat with dd and her friend was not sanctioned and neither was the boy sat a few seats away.

We received positive if not glowing feedback regarding dd from her teachers at Parents evening three weeks ago. It just appears to be this teacher who has an issue with her

SoulAccount Sat 25-Mar-17 09:47:30

Have you ever met a school aged teen before? grin

hmcAsWas Sat 25-Mar-17 09:49:05

So essentially I don't think it's just a case of dd rolling down her skirt and knuckling down - dd feels that she gets told off when she has done nothing wrong (the library issue)

hmcAsWas Sat 25-Mar-17 09:50:20

Was that a question to me Soul? Erm yes - I have two school age teens of my own confused

CherieBabySpliffUp Sat 25-Mar-17 09:50:30

She can stop rolling her skirt up for a start.
If it gets taken away from her then would be the time to question why?

BoneyBackJefferson Sat 25-Mar-17 09:55:58

So its not just the skirt thing.

She did something and was told to wait outside and then disappeared to the library.

the probationary prefect sounds fine to me.

hmcAsWas Sat 25-Mar-17 09:59:34

I am thinking of going in and speaking to the Deputy Head (she is the pastoral lead) and - in a non confrontational and neutral way - asking her to walk me through what the issues are and to ask that if dd is on probation in this role for half a term that she gets weekly review meetings (with another teacher present - not just the Form teacher) to give immediate feedback on whether she has transgressed that week. This should prevent the possibility of the Form teacher just declaring at the end of the probationary period that she hasn't met the standard - without having to substantiate what she says

Emphasise Sat 25-Mar-17 09:59:55

I'm afraid your daughter sounds like one of those girls who is constantly pushing to see what she can get away with and you're encouraging her. She knew she shouldn't be in the library, the DH didnt

TheFallenMadonna Sat 25-Mar-17 10:00:59

Who appoints prefects? Is it the Form teacher or a more senior teacher? Who told her she was of probation?

hmcAsWas Sat 25-Mar-17 10:05:09

Seriously Boney? - she went back in to the library to read which is well within the school rules and is not an issue but you think it's fine to punish her (and not the other students using the library). You really think that is reasonable? - I must admit I am surprised.

Another teacher asked dd why she was standing outside the staff room and dd told her. The teacher remarked incredulously 'really?' and perhaps not entirely professionally said 'that's a bit harsh'

hippyhippyshake Sat 25-Mar-17 10:05:53

Really her form teacher shouldn't have to keep asking her to roll her skirt down! Yes, she rolls it down when asked but it shouldn't get to that stage! As a prefect does she think the rules don't apply to her? And the fact that others 'get away with it' is annoying but she's been told specifically and is ignoring it. Doesn't sound like prefect material to me.

hmcAsWas Sat 25-Mar-17 10:07:21

The Deputy Head appoints Prefects and told Dd that she was obliged to put her on probation because of the Form teachers feedback. No other teachers fed back any issues

hmcAsWas Sat 25-Mar-17 10:09:05

The others have been told specifically and are ignoring it hippy....whereas in fact dd has complied without being asked over the past few weeks

Emphasise Sat 25-Mar-17 10:13:34

It might be within the rules to read in the library under usual circumstances, but dd had been asked to go outside, she was deliberately disobedient.

I'd be amazed if the "that's harsh" thing actually happened, so on that basis dd's version of all the other events needs to be taken with a pinch of salt. But of course, if you think she's being singled out unfairly you should speak to the school. If you go in all guns blazing be prepared to come out with egg on your face though.

In your situation I'd be telling dd to behave

Bensyster Sat 25-Mar-17 10:14:59

What age is your dd - 16? Can your dd should go to her form teacher and explain that she really wants to pass probation and be a prefect, acknowledge that in the past she has flouted the uniform rules and explain that she has learnt her lesson, she should enquire if there was anything else the teacher had in mind when she suggested that you dd was not complying with school rules.

tiggytape Sat 25-Mar-17 10:16:07

Seriously Boney? - she went back in to the library to read which is well within the school rules and is not an issue but you think it's fine to punish her (and not the other students using the library). You really think that is reasonable? - I must admit I am surprised.
The other pupils weren't punished because they had not been told specifically to stand somewhere else, ignored that instruction and gone to the library.
Yes children are allowed in the library
But no, they are not allowed in the library when they have been specifically told to go elsewhere.

The Deputy Head smiled at the girls in the library because she didn't know they had been told to wait elsewhere and were disobeying.

Complying with the skirt policy means not rolling it up in the first place not rolling it down again when asked.

I appreciate you don't think any of these things are too bad (and they aren't really) but from the school's point of view DD is pushing against the rules and requests which is the reason for their policy.

Form teachers have more daily contact with students (especially regarding uniform) than Deputy Heads so I suspect this is why the Form Teacher seems to be on DD's case a lot more than other teachers are.

If DD gets demoted. And if you genuinely think it is for no good reason then by all means raise it. But I don't think you will get terribly far (or are doing DD any favours) by asking other staff to monitor DD as some sort of second opinion on whether she's meeting the behavioural standard or not (with your implication being that she is and that the Form Teacher is just mean).

zozozoo Sat 25-Mar-17 10:16:19

Why was she asked to go outside?

hippyhippyshake Sat 25-Mar-17 10:17:24

I think I'd have to have a non-confrontational meeting with the form teacher. Say dd is confused and can you get the criteria straight once and for all.

As an aside, I bloody hate secondary school skirts. They either need to be floor length or have trousers as part of the uniform. It would stop the roll-up rule immediately. It's no fun for teachers having to constantly remind 100s of girls each week.

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