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sen 8 yr old - school contacted ss - parents horrified - any ideas?

(19 Posts)
atonofwashing Fri 05-Dec-14 12:21:48

hello, just wanted to touch base to see if any bright sparks out there can shed any light on our situation.

Our 8 yr old said something in class the other day, and now school have called in ss. We are horrified. He as been as his school since reception, had the same assistant for 1.5yrs, with no issues other than the usual naughty language and raucous behaviour any 8yr old displays. he has sen for medical issue not learning issue. I have seen on the council website the flowchart of procedures that the teachers must take should the school have concerns, but have also read the action for children website and they state that if the child's parents are known, they should be contacted first to discuss what happened. we were called by the head to be told she has contacted ss and that her hands are tied. No mention of asking us in to discuss.

we have never been involved with the ss before. I am fine with dealing with any ss employee who swings my way, but has anyone been dealt a blow like this before and how did the school deal with it? Did they contact you first or fire off a report to the ss straight away?

any thoughts welcome.
thanks so much.

VivaLeBeaver Fri 05-Dec-14 12:29:07

What was the heads concerns? Why did they contact Ss?

DishwasherDogs Fri 05-Dec-14 12:31:52

What did ds say? Is it a child protection issue?

atonofwashing Fri 05-Dec-14 12:37:54

Hello, my husband called her, but said that she was concerned about what our son said, and that she contacted ss because that was protocol. from what I understand. I haven't spoken with her myself, but my husband made 2 calls to her and felt she was waiting for my husband to do all the talking. He was going to make a 3rd call, but I felt that was not needed.

The class discussion seemed to be about anger. I do wonder if that was a slightly leading conversation within a class?

sorry if that's a bit vague, but I am so shocked by this I can barely speak.

thanks for your reply.

rumbleinthrjungle Fri 05-Dec-14 12:40:11

If it's a rising concern then yes, a discussion would come first, but if a child says something that could be seen as making a disclosure - and sometimes it isn't, its something from telly or what comes out isn't how it sounds at all or the way they meant it - it isn't optional, you can't necessarily discuss it first, the safe guarding training is you report it to the professionals who have the experience to sort 'we don't need to worry about that' from 'yes, we need to look into this'. You tell the parents you have needed to do so, but the report has to be made. Imagine if children suffering abuse who summoned up the courage to make a real disclosure at school then had to be told 'well we'll discuss it with mum and dad and then decide if we take it further'? Abusive adults don't often admit to it and agree to a referral.

From years of working around education I've seen plenty of reports made by the book and where it's been unfounded the 'no need to worry' decision usually comes back very quickly, even if a social worker has asked to visit at home or to ring GP to check they're not missing a child in need. That's all this is about, just not missing a child. It's very stressful for parents but all the SS I've ever worked with have been quite used to plenty of alerts thankfully being false alarms, they just need to make sure.

VivaLeBeaver Fri 05-Dec-14 12:41:56

So if the conversation was about anger has your ds said something about you or your dh getting angry with him? Has he a reason to say something like that?

atonofwashing Fri 05-Dec-14 12:43:32

I asked ds about it and he couldn't really remember what was going on. I did a bit more digging, and he eventually told me but he didn't seem to be aware of what he'd said. probably is a child protection issue, but never having been involved with this sort of thing I really would have rather spoken with the teachers that day.

SunnyBaudelaire Fri 05-Dec-14 12:45:24

One school shot off an report to SS without consulting me first.
The SW came the next day.
We sat in the kitchen going through the list of the school's concerns most of which she dismissed as ridiculous. (eg child seen with fizzy drink, child walking from car to school without a winter coat)
A week later she closed the case without coming to see us again.
so try not to worry, this kind of thing happens all the time.

Heels99 Fri 05-Dec-14 12:46:06

It's tricky for anyone here to comment as we have no idea what your son said. Mum drinks gin all day, yes maybe cause for SS referal. Mum watches coronation street , not cause for referal.

DishwasherDogs Fri 05-Dec-14 12:49:36

So something like (going by discussion about anger), when my dad is angry he hits me? Something along those lines?

tumbletumble Fri 05-Dec-14 12:50:32

OP, I've been on safeguarding training and I agree with rumble. I can imagine that you are very shocked and wish it had been handled differently, but remember these processes are in place to protect a vulnerable child making a genuine disclosure. If there is no cause for concern in your case then I'm sure that will soon be clear to everyone, but there is good reason for things to be done this way.

SunnyBaudelaire Fri 05-Dec-14 12:51:20

or 'my daddy really likes snow, he even puts it up his nose'?
- sorry for being flippant OP really try not to worry.

atonofwashing Fri 05-Dec-14 12:53:40

ds said something like "when mummy gets angry she shouts". I hope this can all be dealt with swiftly because I can't imagine I am the only mummy in the world who shouts when she gets angry. and it's not that often.

this head is new and already seems to be hot on safeguarding issues. So far we've been sent emails regarding dbs checks and no parents allowed to sit in the front office due to safeguarding issues. and now our issue.

his ta seems to have made the first comments about it - so now, how do we have a positive relationship with her when she thinks we are terrible parents? it's not a comfortable position. should the ss give us the all clear, our card has been marked. I keep a low profile at school, I work and am rarely there. it's really shocking.

LakeOfDreams Fri 05-Dec-14 12:57:02

If the school felt your child disclosed something they have to report it to SS they are supposed to inform you but depending on the type of disclosure they don't always need to discuss it with you before hand. They have to make a judgement call about what is in the child's best interests.

SS are not out to ruin peoples lives if I was a misunderstanding or some kind of joke gone wrong they will be able to ascertain this reasonably quickly.

I can only presume since it was a discussion about anger perhaps your DC revealed something that the school felt put him at risk. Without knowing what he said it's hard to know why they didn't discuss it with you but they obviously felt this was the right way to proceed. His safety is their priority, they've done their job now it will be in the hands of SS who may or may not be in touch with you depending on exactly what has happened.

DishwasherDogs Fri 05-Dec-14 12:57:27

Wow, that sounds really OTT. Who doesn't shout when they're cross?
If that's all there is to it I would think that SS won't be too bothered.

Are there any other schools locally?

atonofwashing Fri 05-Dec-14 12:59:42

and no, daddy doesn't hit him. nor do I.
I have also done safeguarding training, so I know exactly what needs to be done. and I get procedure. And yes, daddy loves snow! :-)
This happened on Monday and I've heard nothing yet.

VivaLeBeaver Fri 05-Dec-14 13:07:09

Doesn't sound like you need to worry at all.

Hurr1cane Fri 05-Dec-14 13:28:58

If it happened Monday and you still haven't heard I think you can feel a bit safer now. Although I don't know. I have referred to SS before and all they've done is advise me as a teacher and it was a lot more than 'mummy shouts'

But when I was referred to SS's complex needs team for support for my disabled son he rang the next day and said it is important they see the children within a very small timescale and that's not even for anything concerning just for support (which we never bloody got anyway but that's a whole other thread)

atonofwashing Fri 05-Dec-14 15:44:05

Thanks all for your notes,

sorry I had to run off to work, lost track of time on the computer!
No word at all, but we are city based so they may have a stack of notes to get thru.
TBH I have never liked his school and have tried to get him into another local one, the one I really wanted in the beginning. When I went to this school and had a chat with the head, his opening line was "i hope you realise that ms x and I are great friends so I hope you are not here to complain about her". NOT professional at all, so I didn't move him. However we are off to see a school on Monday and I have asked for an application form for another school. At year 4 there are places available.

Have a lovely weekend.

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