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WWYD? Very close to removing DD after this(42 Posts)
DD started at secondary two weeks ago. She has fitted in well and made friends with the girls in her form.
For background, she didn't have a great time of primary, she was very badly bullied (actual physical beatings, threats which led the Police to raid the home of one culprit due to their nature).
In year 5, we de-regged both our DC, and DD was home schooled between April and July last year as she was so damaged by school she wouldn't step foot in one for months. Luckily, Year 6 primary school were amazing. Truly miracle workers, caught her up on years worth of maths (she had no knowledge of year 3-5 maths curriculum) and she grew in confidence.
Obviously, we knew there would be nerves joining secondary, but we kept her positive, she went in first day and every day after, big smiles.
Until Friday of last week.
DD after the bullying, wont immediately tell you something is wrong, but its pretty obvious as she goes from smiley kid to coming home and disappearing under a duvet. You have to coax out of her what has happened. By Sunday we found out a child not in her form, but in science, has been off with her. Verbally abusive. They were put in a pair to conduct a practical (to be put in sets) and the child sat and did sod all. DD just got on with it, but at one point the girl knocked a glass out her hand and then told the teacher she deliberately threw it on the floor. When DD denied this, and the teacher didn't tell her off, telling the other girl to shush and get on with her work, she threatened to burn DD with a bunsen burner. DD didn't say anything as she said she doesn't want a rep as a tell tale.
They then had a Clubs Fair, DD wanted to sign up for a few, this same child followed her round, threatening DD if she signed up for any clubs. At one point, DD's friend from primary, who is about 6 foot tall bless her, stuck up for DD and for a bit walked her round. As soon as she had to leave, the child started again, DD then got told off for telling the child to leave her alone as she shouted at her, HOY7 heard and told her off (didn't think to ask what had led DD to shout).
Tuesday, and DD went to her first Gym after school club. The child was there, and punched DD in the back as they changed. DD went to club, tried to ignore it. All through club, child made punching her hand motions to DD, so DD went back to get changed early. Child followed her (seems to be no supervision at all). and punched her again, so DD called her a bitch, which she fully owns up to. Other girl (friend of nasty child) heard and told DD not to be rude to her. DD came home very upset, big bruise on her back. She had also had her lunchbox and homework folder and notebook taken from her bag.
So, I emailed HOY7- school asks you to email rather than call. Told pretty much straight away that it would be dealt with, statements taken, etc etc.
Got a call yesterday that other child says she did punch DD, but DD punched her. Then it was changed later on to DD punched and kicked her. I was told as a result, both girls would be sent to HT and torn strips off, and teachers had been "warned" about the girls!
In the meantime, DD spoken to by other girls who went to other child's primary and told her to be warned that she is a bully, horrible, a known thief who stole money from a classroom assistant, all manner of horrible things.
I asked the HOY7 to allow me to speak with DD as I really didn't believe she would have kicked or punched this child, if anything I had to persuade DD to attend the club. Was told this wasn't possible, even at lunchtime, but I could speak to her after school and email back. She also told me no one else would speak to either girl until this had happened. I again said about the delicate nature of handling this as she had been scapegoated before, was told they fully understood.
DD comes home, girl has been awful all lunch time again. She then said a male teacher- not HOY7, not DepH, not a HT, just a random who she doesn't know, pulled her out of her last period lesson, frogmarched her over to their "calm centre" and asked her again what happened. DD again repeated what she told me, the HOY7 and her class teacher. Random male then reads out a "statement" from a pupil (didn't tell her who) which says DD punched and kicked other child. He then told her the school "doesn't like liars", she needs to "admit it, now, or else you will be in big trouble".
Possibly the worst way someone could speak to her frankly.
I emailed as asked the HOY7, explaining she could speak to two girls who saw what happened, both Friday and at the club, and asking why on earth did this male behave in such an intimidating manner to DD.
Now had email from DepH going on about "asking stakeholders about incidents to get a clear picture" (he actually put in brackets stakeholders are staff and pupils) and other such mumbo jumbo. Both girls are still be taken to HT and told off. Luckily, DD isn't in today, she has worked herself up to a level of upset I've not seen since the worst level of abuse at primary, she wont eat, she didn't sleep last night, so she wont be in, hence why luckily, for this dressing down today.
I don't know where we stand. I'm starting to feel like we are back at primary, where she would go in covered in bruises and cuts and the HT would then blame her for being in the same playground and not being resilient enough. Was meant to go to Open Evening with DS today but I don't even want to send DD back let alone another one of my DCs.
Sorry, know it's long but I'm just so annoyed by this.
I would understand if DD had a record of violent behaviour or lying, but she doesn't. Seems very much that the other child does though which they are ignoring, they wont speak to other's who would back up what DD has said, they haven't even answered about the theft or the male member of staff intimidating her despite my being assured it was dropped until I spoke to DD, it's just fobbing me off.
Feel like I really did pick the wrong environment and now have a child too scared to go to school, again.
Arrange a meeting with HT asap. Find out how they plan on managing the situation going forward.
A question though, what is your plan if you did remove your DD?
I've found from experience that those kids who are targets of awful bullying tend to be so beaten down by the experience that unless the school is very on the ball they are targeted everywhere.. Bullies can sense them from miles off.
I had years of this with AS DC . It only stopped when they moved to a tiny school where the teachers know all the children.
@maz99 It is horrible. Because I really want DD to handle little knocks as they come, I've explained school pecking order and that sometimes words should be ignored and not to get upset in class.
I'm also trying to reassure her that she's not back where she was before with an unhelpful school but very hard when I feel the same way.
I don't know if I can take her out. I don't want her to suffer educationally again, it's impossible to get them school places where we are. DH is also anti moving her, as to his mind we can't move her every time some little shit takes a nasty approach to her. And I do agree it doesn't send the right message to her that in life if someone is awful you just move.
I've answered Mr Stakeholder and am now waiting to see what he has to say, but I just feel like we had so many meetings before with old school which got us nowhere. I also had conversations with the HOY7 and HT before she joined so they were fully aware of her situation, her nature, and good primary sent a cracking write up about her too.
Sending all the love I possibly can. I was bullied and beaten up in primary school, and secondary school was nearly as bad. Are there any other options for school? Could you possibly home school her?
@Dorkdiary that was our fear with her, but the good primary worked so hard, exceptionally and above their remit really, and she was like a different child. She was confident, happy, just really happy to make friends and not bothered by the odd mean word.
She has no interest in being popular, she wants to be somewhere in the middle, little group of mates, not seen as a pain in the arse by teachers, just one of those kids who does their work, is a nice kid. She's not the sort to hit or kick, in fact she cried when she told me she called the girl a bitch as she thought I would be disappointed in her!
But this has set her back and I feel like without the support of the school, and with her getting the same level of telling off as the other child- a known troublemaker- it will mark her out as easy pickings to every little sod in school. As for an adult intimidating her, well, that really is beyond acceptable.
@Snitzelvoncrumb- me too, with secondary school. But I've never told her at all, didn't want her to project my experience onto her own and feel scared that the same would happen to her.
We can't home school her again, it caused so much disruption at home, DH didn't want her missing out on the social aspect of school and said in his view we shouldn't be teaching her as we are not in a position to do so as that is what school's are there for. She didn't respond well to the more relaxed, non school environment either.
School places are like gold dust round here too.
I think we are stuck with the one we are at. I just feel now though that DD has had her card marked, they will see her as trouble like this other child, and she no longer wants to go to clubs either. Its sad really.
I understand that you had a bad experience with the previous school, but don't let it cloud your judgement of the current school.
I think if you can get a meeting with HOY & HT, then you should go in to find out how they actually execute their bullying policy and if you have any - some suggestions on how you would like them to deal with situations like this in the future. Basically, try to build a partnership with the school to ensure these type of situations are dealt with swiftly.
I feel for you & your DD...
I you have not already then take a photograph of the bruise. Ask the head what signs of hitting or kicking the bully has.
Tell them they sort it properly or you will go to the police, and mean it.
I'd ask what the policy is on a male teacher pulling a child out of her education to call her a liar. And was he alone with her? Not saying anything happened just that it's not a good practice.
The school has a duty of care to both your dd and the other children.
The way they have handled the situation has impacted on your dd's health, that is not how a school should run.
She is having property stolen, how is that being handled.
Agree with PP who said bullies can sense victims.
Make sure the school know they are responsible for your dd's care and health while they are in loco parentis.
Gp appointment and referral.to CAMHS immediately..this is
For support and for any evidence you might need to get place in another school. Is there a more nurturing one one that has stronger pastoral care?
Apply to.other school .if full you can use appeals.process .
Given that her previous school was so excellent, is there any possibility that a teacher there could write an email about what went on? I know that it’s a big ask but they might be able to help the new school with the background.
Secondary schools are like Lord of The Flies, supervision is poor and your DD wasn't wrong to call that girl a bitch, just accurate.
I would see what the head is planning but I don't think it's an unreasonable life lesson that you move if mistreated. No adult would be expected to tolerate that from colleagues.
Get gp or practice nurse to see and record the bruise .
Thank you for messages.
I have got a photo of the bruise, and did ask the DepH what if any marks other child supposedly has. Not had a reply yet. We are, ridiculously enough, on the waiting list for CAHMS and have been for two years, we do check every so often but there is a several year wait in our area so not much we can do there. In fact due to this, the HT had said she was going to assign DD a person in the Calm centre to talk to should she need it, doubtful she would want to go there now so totally counter productive.
There was another staff member in the Calm centre but not involved with what was going on with random male teacher but yes agree he has put himself in a very difficult situation. Also the HOY7 for promising to let me talk to DD before she was spoken to again in school then allowing a male teacher to speak to her and pull her from her lesson.
I've actually emailed her DepH at her primary, to explain what's happened. Luckily DS is still there and she had asked him how DD was and he told her something had upset DD so she was about to call me. She said there is nothing on record of DD being aggressive or a liar as it's simply not the case. She is going to give them a ring.
I think after the email I sent back to DepH he will be under no illusions that I will put up with this. I am assertive when needed and DD and what she went through before means I won't stand for it again. I am however not going to let that cloud my judgement, we actually chose this school due to its track record on bullying and down to the Calm Centre. They were far more receptive when we discussed how educationally DD is great but she has had bad experiences in the past and said they catered for all pupils and would work with us to continue the good work of her primary.
So I am trying to keep it in mind.
Apologies if I go a bit quiet, whilst madam is here, I am using the opportunity to have her sort her room out and do a big post summer clothes sort. It's taking her mind off all the crap of the last few days (mainly as tidying up is only a few rungs down from nasty kids at school in things she hates with a passion). That way we aren't dwelling on it and when she does ask I've told her not to worry it's being sorted.
You need to get an email to the school asap to say that they are failing in their duty of care to safeguard her, particularly from this bully who has already repeatedly bullied her (and as part of her bullying tactic is saying that your dd is equally responsible and hitting back at her, and making lies up about what happened.)
I would also emphasise how she has been badly bullied at primary school, to the point that police needed to deal with the perpertrator(s) and was home schooled for months - and that they had been made aware of this and knew that they were supposed to be taking extra care to ensure she was kept safe.
If you use the term safeguarding then they are legally obliged to deal with it (and it gets reported in ofsted and the like apparently) whereas if you just say that they are failing your dd or not dealing with the bullying they can just fob you off (even as a parent you expect them to deal with both complaints in exactly the same way as they appear to be two identical ways of saying the same thing).
Ask for an urgent meeting to discuss the situation, but add in that as an emergency interim measure, you expect them to keep the bully away from your dd, and that if there are any classes where they are in the same class, the teacher needs to be aware of the situation and that your dd should sit away from the bully and not be partnered up with her or in small groups with her. This is particularly important in lessons like science, cookery, sports and DT - anywhere that the environment provides additional means for the bully to hurt dd, as has already happened in a science lesson. Point out that failing to do this will be further evidence of their failure to safeguard your dd. Also copy in the head of year, head of house and form tutor so there can't be anybody that deals with your dd that can say they're not aware of the situation.
It would be worth going to the open evening tonight, with your dd and ds, so you can be with her in school and you can ask some pointed questions about how they deal with bullying and theft in school. Hopefully they will give you some guff - either it is useful and you can use it in this situation - or it's not and you throw it back at them that they say they are supposed to be doing xxx but actually they have not done xxx and worse, they have done yyy.
Ask to speak to the safeguarding officer or email that person. The name should be on the school's website.
If no joy contact LA.
Involve the board of governors.
I was advised to by a retired head teacher when ds had bother and the teachers were frankly crap.
Still go to gp might help push up wait list
Gp record of bruise will count where your photo won't.
Glad you are keeping her busy. Can you take the kids out for tea or for a treat?
And I think she should have tomorrow off as well, make it a long weekend.
You need to make it clear to her that this isn't her fault, the bullies are doing this because they are bad people. Some schools treat the victim like they are the problem which just makes them feel worse and like they brought it on themselves.
Hope she feels better today.
Yes we've been reassuring her that she's not at fault, she genuinely thought we would go mad at her for using the word bitch, I just said it probably wasn't the best word to use but there are worse she could've used and in the circumstances it was rather appropriate. She's also been told several times that if she did push the girl, she can tell us, we would totally understand why she would have but she just got very upset and said again she didn't, so we haven't asked again.
I have emailed a follow up to DepH saying we feel this is a blatant safeguarding failure, that we feel they have disregarded DD and her right to go to school and clubs and be kept safe. I also made it clear that I would be speaking to the governors as I feel the school's attempt to apportion blame to my DD and treat her so badly as to remove her from class and have a teacher intimidate her is never allowed to happen again.
Thing is, as I told HOY7, it's difficult for her to lie to me. Since she spends time online, as most kids her age do, and she has a very basic mobile phone, she has (and DS) given me her logins. I check homework as this is all done online, I also check her online gaming account and her phone regularly. Not down to trust issues, more I don't trust others and know that the net and mobiles are part of her age group but it's very easy to disguise issues. She had text her mate from primary, and said she was really upset, bless her mate though who told her she's "kickass" and nice and that's why she gets picked on as this other child is jealous and to ignore her. It's helped to bolster her up a bit. At the height of the previous bullying and threats, I found a message the bully had sent her online, saying he would get her at school and his dad was going to blow our house up (Hence the police) so know We had can go on online.
I'm still waiting to hear back but would imagine with open evening (school closed at 12.20 to pupils to prepare for it) they're busy.
Will see what she wants to do tomorrow.
Sorry but reading your posts you now seem to have dropped the metaphorical atom bomb on the school by saying that you are going to the governing body, Ofsted etc, when DD has only been at the school two weeks. Reading your posts I am not at all sure that you have spoken directly to anybody in authority at the school (head or deputy head) about what you believe has happened and heard their side of the story.
I am not saying that these incidents have not happened, I am saying that you are only hearing one side of the story when the school is hearing both sides of the alleged stories and is stuck in the middle. You need to contact the school and ask in writing for a meeting with either a deputy head or the head on Monday, so that you can hear what they have to say about the incidents and what they intend to do about the incidents.
Having heard what the school have to say, you need to put in writing your response, which may well be that you find their actions unacceptable and that they are putting your DD in to an unsafe situation by not dealing with the incidents. You need to say this is a formal complaint that the senior leadership of the team have not exercised their duty of care or considered the safeguarding aspects of the incidents and address this to the Chair of Governors. By putting it in writing to the Chair, they will have no alternative to investigate and if you are detailing safeguarding issues to probably ask for advice from outside sources. But you need to go through a process and that entails getting a meeting with senior members of the school as a matter of urgency.
@admission sorry but you need to rtft.
I have spoken first to head of year 7, then deputy head earlier today. I would never just hear DDs side and no one else's, not sure where that's come from.
I heard from DD, reported it to head of year 7, she then looked into it and told me DD had been accused of pushing the other girl. She also said both girls would be spoken to by headteacher and told off. I then asked to speak to DD before this happened as in my view dd has never once hit anyone in school. She assured this was fine and neither girl would be spoken to until I spoke to DD and emailed after school.
Random male teacher then tells DD to leave classroom and go to another area within school, where intentionally or not he intimidated her, calling her a liar and threatening her of the repercussions. This was all reported back to head of year 7. She passed it to deputy head who has fobbed me off, has also said dd punched and pushed girl (so different story again, only one who has repeated the same to me each time she is asked is dd). He didn't comment on random male intimidating her, he didn't explain why head of year 7 lied to me, he won't explain why this child has a track record of bullying and yet she says DD has behaved the same to her and is instantly believed or whether she has proof of supposed assault. No word on the theft of DDs items either
So yes, I have mentioned safeguarding and that unless they can actually give an excuse for why a vulnerable pupil has been attacked, robbed and then intimidated and ignored by staff that I will indeed take it further.
Hope that clears up your "concerns"
Admission is right and knows a great deal about schools and governors. You need to request a meeting with the school with the deputy head or head not just rely on phone calls and emails. This has gone beyond that. It is much easier to put your points across face to face as well. (Especially as you are finding that you are not getting all your points addressed in your emails.)
Find a copy of the bullying policy beforehand and keep refer to it in the meeting, make sure it is being followed or highlight where it isn’t. Also find a copy of the school complaints procedure and follow the complaints procedure to the letter if you wish to make a complaint. It should be on their website. Follow any phone calls and meetings up with an email to confirm e.g. when I spoke to you on x date and y time, you agreed this and this will be actioned by z. This starts a clear paper trail (that hopefully you won’t need.)
Make a polite but persistent fuss and keep following the complaints policy until you are satisfied (really hard when it is your DD and the natural response is Mother lioness.) If you don’t follow the complaints policy then it will just get passed back and you won’t get anywhere. The next step would usually be the head before governors - they will just pass you back to the head if you haven’t followed the correct procedure.
Really sorry about the start that your DD has had to secondary school.
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