Advanced search

Here are some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on SN.

Teacher confidentiality issue

(21 Posts)
vjg13 Sat 20-May-17 07:06:28

Overheard a teacher discussing (more ranting about) a child in her class with special needs in a restaurant. She taught at a local school and a quick google now reveals she works in an adjacent LEA.

I didn't hear the name but there was a lot of detail about this child's difficulties etc to the other people at the table who looked like family members and not other teachers.

It made me feel very uncomfortable and unsure if I should contact the school where she now works. I would hope my own daughter with SLD has never been discussed in this manner.

WateryTart Sat 20-May-17 07:12:04

I think you should mind your own business. Why were you eavesdropping on a private conversation?

I can't believe that you googled. Very odd behaviour.

vjg13 Sat 20-May-17 07:17:46


She was fairly loud and the tables were close. My friend was at the bar/toilet so impossible not to hear.

Almahart Sat 20-May-17 07:26:42

I agree that that is really bad behaviour. I had a similair dilemma when I overheard a TA discussing a child at the local swimming pool. I was in the adjacent cubicle. It was obvious which school it was from the uniform and there was every chance that someone listening could have identified the child. I too have a child with SN btw. I didn't report her but I did think about it

HallowedMimic Sat 20-May-17 07:28:50

Well as you say, you didn't hear the name, so there is no issue.

People do talk about their work, and this fashion for 'reporting' or 'logging' every conversation people eavesdrop on won't change that. It's becoming rather sinister actually.

vjg13 Sat 20-May-17 07:36:07

Perhaps my expectations need adjusting, I work within the NHS and whilst I may discuss work on a night out, I would not discuss a particular patient.

Almahart Sat 20-May-17 07:36:50

I agree with you OP

Polter Sat 20-May-17 08:23:36

I agree vjg, it is thoroughly unprofessional behaviour. Our children have a right to confidentiality and to not be the subject of someone's anecdote.

F1ipFlopFrus Sat 20-May-17 14:26:35

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

zzzzz Sat 20-May-17 15:23:59

I hate Hate HATE the casual erosion of our dignity with this kind of crass behaviour. Yes it DOES matter and yes I DO mind.

How fucking DARE they be so dreadful.

And for the person upthread who thinks it's indicative of a prissy over-reporting climate in the uk. It's very simple, treat me and mine with some respect and no one will make you feel uncomfortable for calling you out on your fuckwittage.

enterthedragon Sat 20-May-17 21:43:36

It is never ok to discuss somebody's confidential medical information in public, even if you do not mention their name.

This is what we are reminded of every year as part of our Mandatory Training.

BlackeyedSusan Mon 22-May-17 18:40:04

there are posters all over the hospital where my dad was saying this is a serious issue. it should be the same for sn

BackforGood Mon 22-May-17 18:48:00

the other people at the table who looked like family members and not other teachers

Didn't realise you could tell a teacher just by looking at them.

She taught at a local school and a quick google now reveals she works in an adjacent LEA

That ^ is seriously weird behaviour, and it is YOU that should be taking a look at yourself.

F1ipFlopFrus Tue 23-May-17 07:50:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

zzzzz Tue 23-May-17 08:08:36

I agree that it is a breach of confidentiality and I really don't think it would be any better if the other people found the table were teachers or not.

As for not being able to tell if it was a family event or a group of professionals. confused. If I went out with my parents, siblings and children it would be OBVIOUS not only that half of us aren't teachers but also that we were a family group.

enterthedragon Tue 23-May-17 09:02:50

It is obvious from the op that vjg13 knew that the woman(?) was a teacher at a local school, googling to find out her current school in order to report it to the school is not weird.

Discussing a child's SEND in a public place is a serious breach of CONFIDENTIALITY and can be a sackable offence regardless of whether or not the child is identified during that discussion, it could also be regarded as a serious breach of security which can also be a sackable offence regardless of whether or not the child was identified.

A child's right to CONFIDENTIALITY at school does not end at the school gates when staff leave for the day.

1nsanityscatching Tue 23-May-17 10:22:34

It is wholly inappropriate and a breech of confidentiality. A TA (not dd's TA) at dd's school was subject to disciplinary procedures after identifying my daughter and her needs during an evening class at our local tertiary college.
Unfortunately for her my dd's friend was also attending that class and told me after raising it with the TA and the tutor as it put her in a very difficult position.
Both dd's school and the college took it very seriously after all that breech of confidentiality could have led to a safeguarding issue as the TA would not have known of any circumstances (had they existed) as to why dd's whereabouts should not be identified.
The TA had a very uncomfortable period as she was disciplined by the school and had to attend meetings with college safeguarding team as well. The college now have measures in place to ensure that all students know of confidentiality requirements and the disciplinary procedure should they be breeched.
Each TA that works with dd (there is an agreed team) knows full well that dd or her needs are not to be discussed inside or outside of school even anonymously with anyone other than the teachers and TAs directly supporting her as confidentiality (along with communication) requirements is made explicitly clear at recruitment.

vjg13 Wed 24-May-17 07:07:04

I recognised the teacher from when she taught another child of mine at the local school. I googled her hoping she did work at a school further away, rather than the one (where I knew she had worked) a short walk from the restaurant.

Had she not been behaving as she was, I would have had no interest in knowing if she still worked locally.

CountessYgritte Wed 24-May-17 07:17:26

I totally agree with you OP. Sadly I think our children are often gossip fodder along the lines of "you wouldn't believe what an awful kid I have in my class"

Ekorre Thu 25-May-17 09:51:13

Data Protection isn't just about whether you say someone's name. You can still be in breach if you provide enough info for them to be identified and specifics of someone's condition/behaviour/support package can be very identifying.

NoTimeToDillyDally Mon 29-May-17 01:47:12

Yes, I would. Confidentiality and professionalism are undermined. I'd have found it difficult not to have interrupted her conversation with a short, sharp telling off. That may well have made her think twice about behaving so.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: