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If school is not sticking to what it says on its behavioural policy, what are the consequences for them? Who should I inform, if the school are not helping to resolve this issue?
Also what does all reasonable adjustments mean? I can only find it on the disability discrimination document. How does this connect with Ofsted?
You can report to governors, OFSTED and/or LA.
I'm not sure what you mean by your second question. Do you understand what a reasonable adjustment is?
It might be easier to help if you described your (or a similar) problem and what you want to achieve.
DS has been bullied for 3 months now. Persistent. Daily. Started with picking on his disability, now is more general - just to get a reaction.
School are not taking him seriously. Despite him becoming emotionally volatile. It is very evident. I was there this week with the teachers after school and we all witnessed him behave in a way he would never have done prior to this bullying. It was very upsetting and disturbing.
A friend today mentioned the reasonable adjustments clause that school are supposed to stick to with disabled children. She was giving me so much information at the time that this bit passed me by a bit. I'm just not sure what reasonable adjustments refers to.
In the disability discrimination document on IPSEA it says this:
Failure to provide a reasonable adjustment for a disabled child
The school has a duty to take reasonable steps to avoid disadvantage experienced by disabled pupils ...Discrimination occurs when a school has not complied with its duty to take positive steps to ensure that a disabled pupil can fully participate in the education and other services which the school provides.
The bully child started the school this year. The school have made the bully and DS not play with each other and now not speak to each other either.
The bully wants always to play where my son is playing and often my son does not get to play with his friends as a result.
School say that its fair because whoever is playing with the friends first gets to stay playing with them and the invading child must be removed by a teacher.
It is all such a mess. There's no one organising or monitoring the situation.
My son is becoming more and more enraged and that is what the bully is intending, but because he is new, school are seeing him as the victim.
Plus the SENCO keeps saying that she feels sorry for the other boys, DS's friends because they just want to be able to play with everyone and they feel their play is being stopped because of the problems between bully and DS. She is making it sound like its DS's fault.
I want them to stop the bullying completely.
I want them to be firmer with the bully and give proper consequences for his bad behaviour.
I want DS to be recognised as vulnerable and believed.
I would like the bully to be moved to a different class - there are 3 other classes he could go to in the same year.
Ideally I would like the bully to be monitored at playtimes and lunch times so that DS can play with his friends. They can all then play together, but an adult would be there when the bullying happens to deal with it. But school say there is not funding for this. So at the moment its all based on telling tales and hearsay.
I think asking them to move him is unreasonable, but asking them to protect your child from assault (be it verbal or physical) sounds very reasonable to me. I would write and say that you expect them to protect your child and that they have a duty of care to him. Assuming you have met with school and they really aren't doing anything, I would phone the non urgent police line and ask their advice as your child is being targeted because for his disability.
The school are doing things - like putting the rule in place that they musn't talk to each other or play with each other ...
But its causing more problems and not solving the original ones.
Neither of the kids can speak to one another. So now its a sort of invisible fight over friends. New boy is jumping in on everything DS does every day and getting teachers to remove DS so that DS has no one to play with - or cannot do the activity ie football that he wants to do.
It is difficult to explain. But I don't think its something police to sort out.
Its become a clever way of isolating DS and either school can't see it or for whatever reason won't.
This boy is also under the wing of the SENCO. It seems he was made to leave his old school for similar reasons. I think this is what is complicating things.
If school insist on keeping them apart then id say they have to find a fair way to include both equally.
Be that a timetable or arranging a break/lunch club for the one who is not playing that time.
Chances are that the bully does have some Sen. Certainly behaviour / social difficulties. So the school will have to treat him equally as well and also ensure they are teaching him the skills needed for successful communication.
There does IMO have to be consequences for bullying - removing from group - but ATM they are avoiding the problem rather than adressing it.
I'd start with emailing the school to ask a) how they are protecting DS from bullying and b) how they are doing this without it disadvantaging DS.
I do think that it reads that you feel your ds has more rights to friends and accommodations than the other child because "he was here first". You may not mean that but it does come across that way in your post. Have you considered that the other child may not be able to modify his behaviour?
I think speculation as to why the other child had to leave his precious school is probably unhelpful at best and really very unfair to him. There may be very understandable reasons why he is possessive of friendships and why he find your child impossible to engage with.
For example when my eldest child was younger she had an extremely controlling friend. Things got massively out of hand with the other child writing timetables of when dd could and couldn't talk to other children and who she could be friends with and what she could play etc etc. Dd was totally incapable of managing it and school where of the opinion it was minor silliness. It was actually emotional abuse. I was able to meet the parents and it was very obvious where the child got her difficulties from and why it was happening. Quite soon afterwards things resolved for the other child and it got better. In the meantime separation and careful supervision worked well.
It's physical bullying. Was v aggressive at first, pulling to the floor, pushing over, targeting DS's CP. It then became pinching, elbowing, shouting in his face every day. Since the no talking to each other some of that continues but now it's a silent battle to isolate DS.
There has been provocation in class witnessed by other children and teachers. Other kids are provoked physically and verbally more randomly.
DS is v anxious about all of this, refusing to go to school, stomach aches, very upsetting stuff coming out in his writing, words and play ie " I don't feel safe at school in or out of the classroom"
Over 4 months school have not once said that DS has instigated a thing, but there has been so so much evidence that this other boy has.
So school are admitting the other child is the instigator and are admitting the other child bullies DS and that yiur DS is totally the innocent party?
School are admitting by their silence to our emails and in our meetings to the other boy being a bully.
I tend to talk too much and not ask enough direct questions. I've started to ask and am realising that they're in denial about the bullying and about it having anything to do with DS's cerebral palsy. Or at leas they seem to want to pretend its not happening for some reason. I've made the disability element of the bullying clear in emails and they've written it down when I've told them in meetings.
They seem to be using the fact that they have not seen or heard anything as a way to not protect DS. Stuff has been seen by teachers - the physical stuff. The pulling to the floor and pushing incident which was very big at the beginning was told to me by DS's teacher. Lots of smaller things have been seen. Provocation in class. Elbowing, shouting in the face etc The headteacher saw the boy grab DS by the shoulders and then punch him in the stomach. She made him walk round the playground with her holding her hand afterwards, she said.
They have never said that they've seen DS do anything. DS has never said he's done anything. His friends parents know about it all - and talk of the other boy as being a bully. The other children talk of the other boy as being a bully. When DS's friends come round the talk about the boy calling DS weak etc
I have written to the school several times saying that I am worried about DS's safety and mental health. I've listed the things that are being done to him and the fact that he is becoming increasingly anxious.
Why are the school being so feeble about this?
I agree they are failing both boys massively.
Sometimes you can make an impact and make them sit up and listen by keeping DS off school. Emailing to say he's so anxious about attending due to bullying and you are keeping him off until you've had a meeting about how they are going to safeguard DS well being.
My DS was hiffically bullied in year 6. He had lunchtime club which was for children with social and emotional difficulties. (My DS has ASD).
When DS felt confident to go into playground this lad was vile to him.
HT said "well DS can use lunch club".
I simply said lunch club was DS to use as a reasonable adjustment for his disability - it wasn't a place to hide him from bullies.
I then suggested that if DS chose to play out they used lunch club for the bully and took the opportunity to teach him social skills whilst he was there - as obviously he had unmet needs if he felt the need to torment a vunerable child.
school weren't impressed but the bullying got a bit better off the back of it.
I'm not sure you all characterising him as a bully is helpful AT ALL
Have the other parents raised concerns?
Yes two other parents that I know, for sure, have raised concerns with the school. I don't see many of the others. Many talk about it to each other. But I don't know whether they've gone to school about it.
Do you not think this sounds like bullying zzzzz?
Sorry, maybe it wasn't good to call the new boy - the bully. But it was short hand. Obviously I would usually use his name.
I do think of him as a bully though. Because for 4 months now he has been relentlessly picking on my son because he has a disability. This boy calls my son weak all the time. Smacks his hand that is unable to move because of the CP. Says you're the slowest runner etc when DS can't run very well at all because of his CP.
Going back to a previous post of yours. Maybe the new boy can't moderate his behaviour. But what about the child that is being affected by his behaviour. That child - DS - needs protecting doesn't he?
I didn't suggest that your son didn't need support in this situation
It doesn't sound like a situation that I would describe as bullying (but obviously I'm not there!!) to me it sounds like a child who is not coping and shows that by being violent is not getting the support he needs.
If your child showed his anxiety in this way he would be no less in need.
My child is showing his anxiety in the way though. The aggression of the new child is making DS anxious and now he is getting in trouble for exploding and shouting at teachers. Something that has never happened before.
I understand you saying that the new child needs support. But school seem to only see him as needing support. Not mine.
Ok. But realistically you don't know what level of support the other child does need, what funding has been secured to provide it or what the professionals who ARE aware of his needs have recommended.
What you DO know is your child's needs, his behaviour changes and what might help him. So rather than focusing on how new he is, or how horrid, or how lots of other people think he's a bully, or how much help he gets, or how much easier you feel his life is, I would suggest you focus entirely on your own child.
No you're right. We know nothing about the other child.
The school keeps talking about what other people think, and how (they say) none of the other kids are being affected. And you're right it is a distraction.
We are meeting with the school tomorrow, so will focus entirely on DS in our dialogue with them.
Have you looked at the school's bullying policy? It might be worth checking whether they complied with it. I'm not sure that just walking the bully around the playground after a physical bullying incident would necessarily have complied with the policy, for instance.
It does sound as if there are disability discrimination issues here if the other child is picking on yours because of his disability, and I think it would definitely be worth pointing that out to the school. You need to ask them precisely what they are going to do to keep you child safe, and that means protecting his mental health as well as physical protection. Not having money for a TA isn't an excuse for failure to comply with disability discrimination and safeguarding duties.
I took the bullying policy into the meeting today. It was very helpful in highlighting their failure to manage the situation.
I repeatedly asked how they were protecting DS and keeping him safe. They couldn't give an answer and kept steering away from the question.
I talked about DS's mental health deteriorating.
And asked if they could mix the classes up - when they said they could not move the new boy. They said they wouldn't do that for 'just' two children. It was the wording of the head teacher's reply that I found upsetting. To me 'just two children' encapsulates her lack of concern for the situation.
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