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DS not settling in Secondary school

(23 Posts)
BWatchWatcher Sat 27-Apr-19 06:50:18

Hi folks,
My DS is not settling well in first form. He’s 12. There has been general bullying as a theme over the year but he told me kids put objects in his hair, including a condom and chant the Scooby Doo theme at him. One kid pinned him to the ground. Another pushed him into the mud.
Parent teacher interviews however were positive and settling well.
I’ve raised the bullying with the school before.
Should I look to move him?

OP’s posts: |
YeOldeTrout Sat 27-Apr-19 06:51:54

Does he want to move? What are the alternative schools like?

BWatchWatcher Sat 27-Apr-19 07:31:12

He would like to move, but the one school he wants to go to would be unlikely to take him as his first term report was not brilliant.
Main alternative would be a single sex school that isn’t as good.

OP’s posts: |
BlueberryFool123 Sat 27-Apr-19 07:35:27

I’d move him. You’ve given the school a good try. Bullying has major impacts on confidence and social esteem going forward. I was bullied at secondary school (nothing major, but always the butt of jokes etc) and my parents went in, but nothing changed. They should have moved me.

Ihopeyourcakeisshit Sat 27-Apr-19 07:37:24

Is it likely that his first term report was not good due to the anxiety of condoms in his hair and all the rest of it?
How does he feel about moving? The only trouble with that is it lets the bloody school off the hook with dealing with the bullies, which happens far too often.

Acis Sat 27-Apr-19 07:38:02

If the school he wants to move to has a vacancy it would have to take your son regardless of reports.

LIZS Sat 27-Apr-19 07:38:52

Are you in UK? If a state school has a space and waiting list they cannot refuse him unless selective. A private school could but worth a try. However don't assume he won't face similar issues again.

Raaaaaah Sat 27-Apr-19 07:39:06

Does he like the school that is not considered as good? If he does then I would move him. It sounds rubbish for him. I had very low key bullying at the ‘excellent’ secondary my parents had picked for me. They moved me to the secondary that was considered a bit rubbish and I loved it. It transformed my teenage years.

LIZS Sat 27-Apr-19 07:40:11

* * * no waiting list

AJPTaylor Sat 27-Apr-19 07:41:12

If you were being treated like that at work, you would resign immediately. You would not put yourself through it. Take him out immediately. Is this private?

ASauvignonADay Sat 27-Apr-19 07:46:42

If the other school has a place they should give it to him, unless his behaviour is so bad that they feel they can't accommodate it, which sounds unlikely from your post.

What steps has the school/you taken the bullying incidents?

SheldonandMama Sat 27-Apr-19 08:02:38

So sorry that your son and you are going through this. We were in the same situation last year. Ds didn't settle and started to come home from school with bruises. I was happy with what the school did. It was tricky as there were different students involved each time (it seemed). There were no spaces anywhere in year 7. Ds really wanted to move and so I phoned another school and asked who the member of staff was that dealt with mid year transfers. I explained what was happening and also outlined my son's strengths (what he could bring). They found him a place. He moved at the start of the summer term in year 7. It was all really stressful. He was so much happier though. He made friends straight away and joined sports teams. It all worked out for a year. More recently he's experienced similar difficulties but he doesn't want to move again. Everyone I've spoken to describes a pattern of 'jostling for position' in year 7. Then hormones kick-in in years 8 and 9. Key stage 3 seems to be a rough time for many children. I also spoke to a secondary Head teacher who is a friend. Two of his sons had a rough time and didn't settle at secondary (not his school). He also said it was a common experience with his friends with boys that age. This helped me as it had felt like it was just my boy! 💐

BWatchWatcher Sat 27-Apr-19 08:22:38

We’re in NI and he’s in the grammar school system so there are criteria to be met.
His performance was poor in term 1 because he was just settling in and the work was new to him. School have advised he is capable of better and we all expect him to do better in his year end exams.
You’re right though, I wouldn’t put up with this at work.

OP’s posts: |
TeenTimesTwo Sat 27-Apr-19 10:09:32

How much are you raising the bullying?
Are they aware of the full list of incidents?
Are you raising each new incident as it happens?
Is anything happening to the bullying?

Just want to check as you OP reads a bit like you've mentioned it a couple of times but not really pushed it.

AJPTaylor Sat 27-Apr-19 10:30:42

Take him out for the time being. Contact other school. Discuss a place and give them his 11 plus score. If asked, say that the bullying has effected his performance this term, but not his underlying ability.
I would also go and visit any other local schools to investigate all options. My dd went to a school in year 7. When I discovred the extent of the bullying I told her she was never going back. As a young adult she has thanked me and said that it taught her she does not have to tolerate being treated in that way, she is worth more.

BWatchWatcher Sat 27-Apr-19 13:25:04

I’ve raised the bullying both with his form tutor and at the parent teacher interview.
DS said he was handling it, but since then he’s been pushed in the mud, been pinned to the ground and then over the holiday he told me kids put stuff in his hair including a condom.
I know the first year of secondary school is meant to be rough but this seems really unpleasant. He is reporting the bullying and the kids are being given detentions. DS has taken to defending two boys in his year who have autism and so this is increasing his exposure to bullies.

The school is meant to have a zero tolerance approach to bullies and yet so many of the kids seem to be allowed to behave like assholes.

OP’s posts: |
DinkyDaisy Sat 27-Apr-19 14:28:29

Sounds very unpleasant. It sounds like the boys with autism having a hard time as well. Not acceptable.
Time to escalate I think...
Email to form tutor detailing everything, copied to Head of year and Head teacher.
Look at their Behaviour Policy. Quote from it if need be.
Make clear you need a response and a plan of action. Expect to have a meeting to discuss plan of action.
Good luck...

ElectricDreamz Sat 27-Apr-19 14:56:27

I would try and move him if at all possible. This isn't normal. My children go to a comprehensive and im sure all sorts of stuff goes on there like fights and disruption, but on the other hand i know they'd be appalled if a classmate was being treated like this but they aren't.

ElectricDreamz Sat 27-Apr-19 14:58:16

Because the school would come down on them like a ton of bricks

Tavannach Sat 27-Apr-19 15:05:11

Time to escalate I think...
Email to form tutor detailing everything, copied to Head of year and Head teacher.
Look at their Behaviour Policy. Quote from it if need be.
Make clear you need a response and a plan of action. Expect to have a meeting to discuss plan of action.


Also keep an eye on the other school and encourage your DS to meet the standards there, but try and sort things at his current school.

areyoubeingserviced Sat 27-Apr-19 15:09:46

Move him asap
My friend has just removed her son from an Outstanding secondary school to a good school because he was bullied.
He has settled at his new school and is extremely happy

areyoubeingserviced Sat 27-Apr-19 15:15:49

The sad reality is that most schools downplay bullying.
For your son’s mental health and physical safety I would remove him immediately.
One cannot underestimate the adverse effects of bullying

ittakes2 Sat 27-Apr-19 21:47:46

I have two children in grammar school - don't write off the school he would like to move to because of his report - I suspect all schools understand there are settling in periods and don't expect amazing results especially if he was being bullied.
I would give an alternative view though - my son was badly bullied in year 4 and 5. My husband was desperate for my son to stand up to the bullies but my son was adamant he did not want to hurt anyone - he didn't want to be that sort of person. Admiral, but it meant the bullying continued.
However, it forced me to find another way. I took my son to therapies such as a play therapist and a therapist who was trained in giving social skills to children with autism. My son is not autistic but he had some traits.
Basically with the help of the school and the support of the therapists my son learnt social skills that helped him develop his confidence around the bullies to the point where he stopped being bullied.
For example he was taught how to give a bully a look which implied the bully was an idiot for what was said - the idea being that it made the bully feel insignificant but because only the bully could see the look he was not publically humilated as being humilated would just trigger the bully more. My son was taught assertive body language etc etc.
I would not wish bulling on anyone but I have to say the therapy transformed my son's live. He gained confidence from being allowed to be who he wanted to be, and yet he became assertive enough in his own way to the point where he not only overcame the bullying but by the end of the year six the worst bully considered my son a friend and invited him to his birthday party.
One of the best things I ever did during this period was also to invest in developing friendships for my son outside of school. It meant his whole world did not fall apart just because of the problems at school and it gave him more confidence in school.
Another thing I did was make sure he left the house happy in the mornings with a smile on his face - I realised he was going to school sad and this was making him vunerable to bullying. I explained to him that a smile is a gift and when other people smile at him they make him feel accepted and happy - by smiling at others he is giving this gift to him.
You need to follow your instincts on what is best for your son. But I always worry when people pin their hopes on changing schools that this does not mean the problems will be resolved.
I realised with my son that there was a chance that if he was not bullied in year 4/5 and he learnt how to handle it - he may have been bullied at an older age.
It's hard to tell - but bullies pick on vunerable children....and I think my son was picked on because he was not feeling confident at the time.
I hope you can resolve this for your son - its terrible to be feeling so vunerable at school when this is where he spends most of his time and so stressful on the family not knowing what to do to make things better. Good luck.

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