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When do you say enough is enough if your daughter is still unhappy at school?

(25 Posts)
EdenRock Wed 09-Jan-19 23:29:57

Can any body here with any experiences throw their thoughts into the ring. My daughter is at a central London secondary school. She is now in the second term of Year 8 and is still unhappy. How long do I give it? Year 9 is quite a natural break and I'm torn between trying to stick it out vs come on every child should be happy.

My child has never been happy at this place. There are 3 classes and the other 2 classes are fine but we got a toxic class. One of they only girls my daughter liked has left as she was bullied really badly. There is absolutely no one in the class that my daughter shares the same values with. She is polite, kind and very sweet natured.

She is bright but a year younger than her peers so I need to move her to somewhere that she would be nurtured. She is only average academically as an August child but holding her own and doing well academically. She is hugely gifted at drama and singing but I just want her to thrive. Nothing seems to ingnite her - it's like she has given up. It is breaking my heart.

OP’s posts: |
StarUtopia Wed 09-Jan-19 23:33:18

I would say enough is enough now.

Visit some new schools.

Does she have friends outside of school? What schools do they go to?

incywincybitofa Wed 09-Jan-19 23:36:15

Is it an independent school? If so you need to give a clear term's notice. IF you hand in your notice after this term has started then one clear term is the end of next term which gives you a clear ride into the start of y9 elsewhere

RedSkyLastNight Thu 10-Jan-19 07:53:04

Does she get on with the DC in the other classes? My DS had the same issue in that he never "clicked" with anyone in his actual class, but he went on and made friends in the other classes, and a "sort of friend" (i.e. a boy that also didn't get on with anyone so at least they could pair up together) in his own class. In Year 9, when they were shuffled for GCSE options, he was much happier.

That said, 3 classes is a very small secondary school, and it may be that there is just too small a pool of potential people she'll get on with. If this is the case, I'd definitely move her.

BubblesBuddy Thu 10-Jan-19 09:26:45

Well she’s not a year younger than everyone! I say that as the mother of an August born DD. 3 classes is small for a state secondary. Is she not set for any subjects? My DD changed friendships once GCSE groups were established. However if there really are not girls like her, I would leave.

If she doesn’t like anyone and isn’t happy, I would go as soon as possible. If it’s private, give notice. Starting somewhere else in y9 is a good time but do your research. Nurturing might be difficult to find in a secondary school! However there are children out there who will be like minded. Finding them is the challenge.

BertrandRussell Thu 10-Jan-19 09:30:20

Does she go to a youth theatre? That’s where my ds found his tribe. He had people to hang around with at school- but his friends were the drama gang.

Mishappening Thu 10-Jan-19 09:37:14

It is a very large chunk of a child's life for her to be unhappy.

I would start researching alternatives; but of course you cannot research which children she might click with in her class.

You have my sympathy. One of my DDs was unhappy at school and nit was a miserable time for everyone in the family.

underneaththeash Thu 10-Jan-19 10:12:57

Do something now. Go and look at some other alternatives and put her name down and move as soon as you have a place. Alternatively, could you ask to move to one of the other classes. I did that at secondary school as I was being bullied by a child and whilst my school still wasn't great (80's comp with no streaming), it was a huge amount better.

Hellohah Thu 10-Jan-19 10:23:42

Talk to her - DS was bullied quite badly in the first half of Year 7 at Secondary, it was heartbreaking, but I asked him if he wanted to move. His situation was that he moved with one group of friends, it was these "friends" that bullied him as he stuck up for another boy. He moved away from this group, but they followed him around causing torment for a good few months. However, he quickly established another friendship group, so he wanted to stick it out and sure enough, the bullies left him alone after he stuck up for himself enough times.
It was right for him to stay - because he worked through it. For your daughter, it seems there is no end in sight, and it doesn't seem she can make it right for her, so I would move in your situation.
I wish you the best of luck, it's awful having an unhappy child, and I hope she can find her place in the world of High School and be happy again.

QGMum Thu 10-Jan-19 12:41:23

So sorry your dd is unhappy.

Have you made the school aware that she is unhappy and sought support from them? If you’ve already tried this and it’s made no difference then I would be looking to move her for start of Year 9 if that’s what she wants to do. You should start looking as other schools now and, if you move to state, be prepared to move quickly as places at sought after schools will be filled quickly and they won’t hold a place for you.

AlmostGrockle Sat 12-Jan-19 23:41:19

Move her ASAP. My parents made me stay at a school where I was completely miserable and I've never forgiven them for it.

sanam2010 Sun 13-Jan-19 11:46:12

Move her asap, why wait? It sounds awful. Have a look at Sylvia Young School or Emanuel? Many schools should be helpful in a case like this.

PettsWoodParadise Sun 13-Jan-19 23:29:35

3 classes sounds very small for a secondary school. DD found her tribe at secondary where there are six classes, there were far fewer at primary and she struggled to find those that she gelled with and we ended up home educating for last term of Y6 she was so miserable. It is horrible seeing your. Hold miserable. I appreciate it can start off as you thinking’s it might be a blip but it sounds like you and your DD have given it a good go and now is the time to consider a move.

I suspect it is a case of luck as to which school has places. Y9 in Independent sector is a natural transition point but most exams for Y9 entry have just taken place. For state sector it depends on places or if you can argue your DD’s case if it takes the school over numbers. Good luck!

CosmicComet Sun 13-Jan-19 23:34:05

I hated school and it destroyed me. I withdrew into my shell and it had lifelong negative effects. 20 years later I still suffer from depression and still have a panic attack if I hear a sound like the alarm clock that used to wake me up for school. If your DD is that unhappy please listen to her and move her somewhere more tolerable. Her interest in drama is best served outside of school by a youth theatre group.

CosmicComet Sun 13-Jan-19 23:35:58

My parents made me stay at a school where I was completely miserable and I've never forgiven them for it

Me too. I’ll never forgive my parents for not protecting me.

WhatHaveIFound Mon 14-Jan-19 09:16:27

I would say now!

My DD was mildly unhappy in Y9 but was convinced things would settle down (she had a few close friends there). They didn't but by the time she was having major problems in Y10, she was stuck with doing her GCSEs at that school and the last 6 months were a nightmare of tears and anxiety.

She's so much happier now she's moved schools for A Levels.

lanalon Tue 22-Jan-19 11:31:21

If you cannot move her to another class, leave now. Do not wait

Celeriacacaca Wed 23-Jan-19 22:41:40

Move sooner rather than later as they'll be choosing their GCSEs soon. This can limit options for moving if left too late.

SingaSong12 Wed 23-Jan-19 22:46:08

Have a look at the other schools with places available to see if the preferable and practical (transport/size of school/any particular subjects). Then have a talk to your daughter about visiting.

Phineyj Thu 24-Jan-19 22:20:43

Oh gosh yes, certainly view a range of other schools and give serious consideration to moving her. Life's too short to be unhappy at somewhere you have to go every day and next year will be too late. If you're in central London there are so many possible alternatives.

mcmen71 Fri 25-Jan-19 09:59:54

My dd was unhappy at school and just moved this year and is like a different child. I had been to school so many times and as a board of management member they where no help.

She is so much happier and able to stick up for herself if anything occurs in new school.
But you have to let your dd choose what school next she needs to know someone there like someone from her drama group as your real friends are normally the ones out of school activities.
Drama groups are normally very close although my dd doesn't hang around in school with drama friends all the time they always catch up at lunch and after school about 3 days a week.
The most important thing is that your child is happy and then us parents are happy.

141mum Fri 25-Jan-19 21:42:16

Move her now. My DD was bullied so much, it led to her being attacked in yr 10, it affects their mental health. We couldn’t get another school so I have her on long term sick cert with a tutor once a week, her grades have gone from level 2 to level 6
God how have kids got to this stage

Oliversmumsarmy Fri 25-Jan-19 21:48:07

If she is into drama then I will second Sylvia Young.

Know a few ex pupils through dc

Oliversmumsarmy Fri 25-Jan-19 22:27:39

I was put in a private school and dm refused to move me.

Don’t think I uttered 2 words to anyone the whole tome I was there.

Hated every minute and ended up being physically ill through stress and still she wouldn’t move me.

I wanted to go to the local secondary modern with my friends.

Dm said I was ungrateful and I should count myself lucky that she was willing to sacrifice everything for me to go to such a good school.

I went nc with my mother about 2 years after I left school.

solittletime Sun 27-Jan-19 13:56:22

I wouldn't hesitate anymore. An unhappy child won't do well academically even in the most high achieving school. What's the point of sending her there everyday. She can't make the decision herself and it's great that she is able to talk to you about it. I was unhappy at school but my parents never knew.
You do know, therefore she's relying on you to make a decision. Good luck. If she is keen to move then it will make it easy for you, as she will approach the move positively, and that's more than half the battle.

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