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How do you get to talk to anyone once your DC are at secondary school?

(14 Posts)
OrmIrian Fri 05-Jun-09 16:44:01

Because it seems to be too much to ask? DS#1 has got in a stew over his music lessons. He started off doing drumming -we paid £60 for all the lessons for a term. He missed a few due to being a numpty and forgetting hmm but also a few due to the teacher being ill. So I assume we are due some lessons to cover those that DS missed due to teh teacher's illness but i don't know for sure. At the end of last term DS decided he wanted to learn guitar instead so I asked him to speak to his music teacher - who apparently knows nothing. Then we got an invoice for anotehr 60 for the summer term when he hasn't had a single lesson. Now it may be that we owe the money anyway as we had put his name down (bloody hope not!) for the whole year but I don't think so.

Anyway whatever is going on I need to have it clarified. I have rung twice to ask for help and each time I've been told that a message would get to the organiser and she's ring me. She hasn't. Surely, it isn't too much to ask for her to spare me a few minutes after school if she can't manage it during school hours?

And if it is how the hell do you get in touch with anyone at the school? Do I seriously have to make an appointment to go on and see them?

After primary is all seems so impenetrable and awkward.

magentadreamer Fri 05-Jun-09 17:00:58

When my DD did guitar lessons in primary school it was actually run by an outside organisation could this be the case with your DS lessons? I also remember we had to give notice of DD stopping them. If it's not an outside organisation then I'd ask to speak to the head of the music dept or your DS head of year to find out who it is you need to speak to and when might be the best time to ring. I'm lucky in that at DD's school the head of communities don't have a teaching timetable and the twice I've rang I'm been put throw straight away.

BellaBear Fri 05-Jun-09 17:02:40

My secondary school is pretty sorted for emailing teachers - have you checked that out? Should be contact email addresses on the website

Libra Fri 05-Jun-09 17:05:41

In our secondary school each child has a guidance teacher and everything goes through them.

I've found ours very helpful and they are obviously given time in the timetable to deal with parents' queries because she will ring me during the day.

OrmIrian Fri 05-Jun-09 18:18:50

I have to admit that I'm not aware of any surefire method of getting hold of anyone. I think it's yet another point to raise with is tutor.

aprilflowers Fri 05-Jun-09 21:23:14

It may be the local authority music service running the tution - as with my dc. You will have to contact them. The nos should be on the top of the invoice - good luck

OrmIrian Sat 06-Jun-09 08:00:02

Thanks april. No the invoice was from the school and there were no contact details on it at all. So difficult to sort anything out.

scienceteacher Sat 06-Jun-09 08:31:21

If you can't find out who organises the peri lessons, then contact the bursar. You should be able to get through to him/her, and they will be able to help you.

It sounds like your son is not playing fair, though, and I would imagine that you will be responsible for the bills. Lessons lost through teacher illness are usually made up.

LaineyW Sat 06-Jun-09 11:59:00

Is there a tutor group system at the school OrmIrian? Our school operates like this, and if you're not getting a response from the music person direct it might be worth going through your son's tutor?

Our school also abandoned their outside agency for music lessons when they started demanding a whole year's tuition fees up front...

OrmIrian Sat 06-Jun-09 19:07:26

I suspect you are right scienceteacher. But I am not sure that I would have signed up to a whole years worth of lessons for something he had never tried before hmm I've been caught that way before!

And I don't think DS isn't 'playing fair'. He hasn't had the lessons and no more have been made available. I simply want to know what is going on before I sign another cheque.

lainey - we have a tutor group. I left a message for him to ring me last term about anther matter and it never happened.

This lack of communication is the only think I don;t like. Otherwise we are really happy with the school.

LaineyW Mon 08-Jun-09 15:01:25

How frustrating for you. The communication at our school was also pretty patchy a few years ago, but after the head set up a 'Parent Focus Group' and we all raised the subject, they put each teacher's e-mail address upon the school website and almost all communications is done via e-mail now.

Perhaps it would be worth writing to the head (since you've clearly tried going through the normal channels and received zero response) and letting him/her know you're dissatisfied with the situation?

mumblechum Tue 09-Jun-09 14:19:25

I always email and generally it works well. We had exactly the same thing re. drumming lessons, it was £13.50 a week and the teacher was forever not turning up/changing the time without telling ds etc. Felt like we were being ripped off tbh and still had to give a full terms notice.

I'd email if I were you.

OrmIrian Wed 10-Jun-09 15:55:38

Thanks mumble. I don't actually have an e-mail address for the school hmm But I will have a look on their website to see if there are any more contact details on there.

OrmIrian Mon 06-Jul-09 14:16:41

Update on this. I got another letter about the fees. So I decided to write but had a last attempt to call someone first. Got through the the right woman straight away. Miracle! She was fine. She confirmed that DS was never on the list for lessons this term so couldn't possible have gone to any. I am to ignore the invoice and speak to her when we have decided what DS actually wants to do next term. Hurrah! Can't afford to pay for lessons he hasn't had atm.

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