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Telling DS2's headteacher to 'Get a grip'!!

41 replies

sarah573 · 19/06/2007 07:10

DS2 is 6 and in year 1.

Although no angel he is on the whole an easy child who does not cause too much grief.

School have been having some problems with him as he is refusing to come back into the class room after playtime.

They phoned me last week, the first time this happened, and I duly went to the school and walked DS from his the playground back to his class room and went home again! I was absolutely gob smacked that they were unable to resolve this without my help! When I asked the class teacher how they would be sanctioning DS for this, she looked at me blankly. When I suggested maybe he should miss a playtime the following day she agreed, however this didn't happen. What he did receive was a formal warning, which is a letter sent home. If he gets 3 formal warnings then he gets suspended.

The head called me again yesterday to say that DS was refusing to come in from the playground and could I come to the school. I explained to her that I felt someone from the school (nanely her) should have sufficient authority over my son to walk up to him in the playground anf tell him to come into class. If he refused to go then to take his arm and walk him back to the class. I told her that I was very cross they needed to call me over such a minor incident, and that I was uable to come to the school at the moment. When I arrived to collect DS at the end of the day he was back in the classroom and seemed fine. No doubt he will receive another formal warning for this. So if he refuses to come in from play again today he will be suspended!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Am I being unreasonable to think the school should be able to deal with this - he's 6 years old FFS!!!!!!!!!

OP posts:

Anna8888 · 19/06/2007 07:22

The school is being very feeble and showing inadequate ability to exert authority over children.

You should document everything that happens carefully and, if it comes to the crunch (suspension) you should contact your LEA.

Schools should not expect parents to discipline children on basic issues while they are in their care.


saadia · 19/06/2007 07:47

That is just ludicrous, he won't understand a "formal warning", needs to miss playtime like you said. They certainly should be able to deal with this and if they can't handle this how will they handle more serious bad behaviour.


Sobernow · 19/06/2007 07:52

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

hippipotami · 19/06/2007 07:55

Absolutely ridiculous - the school that is.
By sending a formal warning they are effectively passing the buck to you. They are working on the basis that you will deal with this to avoid suspension. But surely it is up to them to sort this. I am gobsmacked that they cannot resolve this minor issue.

You need to take this up with the head/governors asap because the school really needs to look at this. It is so wrong and shows the school to be ineffective in dealing with pupils. What will happen when they come across a very badly behaved 6 year old? They won't cope...


usandnosleep · 19/06/2007 08:04

Why won't he go back to class? Has he told you this?

It does sound a tad ridiculous BUT if he absolutely refuses what can she do? Some children don't fear or respect who is asking them to do something headteacher or not (my nephew is like this, a fab, fab boy but very stubborn).
If she did take him by arm and he shakes her off should she manhandle/carry him in?
He then says she hurt him and a huge can of worms is opened.


OrmIrian · 19/06/2007 08:10

I think that is an issue nosleep. If a child can accuse a teacher of assault if they grab hold of him, they may be wary of physically forcing him back into the classroom. And if he simply refuses to do any other way..


Blandmum · 19/06/2007 08:14

Not quite the same issue, but I was escorting a child away from a classroom 'situation' and she refused to move (this was in secondary, so I know it is not the same thing). I was left standing in the midlle of the yard, with this kid who refused to move. In the end I had to send another child to get another member of staff to relieve me, as I had a class to teach!

If they will not go, it is a very tricky situation.

A head teacher, who restrained a child who was attacking another, was suspended from work.

the kids know this.

What Do you think the school can do that would be helpful sarah? Can you share your 'tricks' to get him into the school with them? (not being snide btw). Would you object if the physically got him into the school?


brimfull · 19/06/2007 08:19

Agree with nosleep and martianbishop.Have you reprimanded your ds so that he knows there are repercussions from you at home if he does this again?


Budababe · 19/06/2007 08:21

Has he said WHY he wouldn't go back? DS is in Yr 1 and there are a couple of boys in that class who there have been issues with but not one of them has defied authority in that way.

Yes - the school needs to be able to handle this. And they do need to "punish" him in some way.

But this needs to be followed through at home. I would be FURIOUS with my DS if he did something like this. I would expect the school to punish and I would punish at home also - no Playstation is my punishment of choice these days. DS's teacher bans football for any issues.


hana · 19/06/2007 08:30

yo ureally really can't force a child to do something they don't want to do, by using force, however gentle. Especially if you're 'in charge;', like a head or teachers

would you have wanted the head to take your child by the hand and drag them into school possibly causing bruising or worse?


bozza · 19/06/2007 08:36

I think I would have personally if my 6yo was behaving like this expected them to be physically brought in. I totally agree that it is a total copout on the part of the school, and also sending a formal warning is punishing the parent rather than the child who should have had some immediate sanction that makes sense to the child. If I had been dragged into school due to a behaviour issue with my chld I would have punished them also that evening.


NoodleStroodle · 19/06/2007 08:41

Quite a ridiculous situation.

If this was my DS then I would suggest to the school that either their is a series of sanctions - no playtime next day etc.

You need to talk to the school. Completely impractical to keep calling in mother - DS's school would have been over run with parents if every time they needed to discipline a child they needed to bring in an andult!

And to echo what everyone else has said - why will he not go back into the classroom?


chopchopbusybusy · 19/06/2007 08:48

Have you spoken to any of the other parents? Have they ever been called to school because their child was not doing what they were told? I think you need to speak to the school and listen to what they have to say. I imagine they have involved you so that you can speak to your son and explain that this behaviour is unacceptable and that if he does not do as he is told there will be a punishment. I would be suggesting that the school do not allow play time for a couple of days and I would also have a punishment at home because I had to be called in eg. no television or similar. School teachers can't be expected to physically move children - they need to know that they have to do as they are told. What did you say to your son when you went to the school? Sorry if this sounds a bit harsh but I think YABU.


BandofMothers · 19/06/2007 08:54

At 6 he should be old enough to understand that he must do as they tell him if you tell him too.
Try a punishment when he gets in if he hasn't, and a reward if he does, or a chart with a reward at the weekend if he does it all week.
yes the school should handle it but obv they aren't.
make the reward/punishment something hewill respond to.


sarah573 · 19/06/2007 09:18

Hi, I punished DS by sending him to his room when he got home and taking £1 from his pocket money. I also spoke to him about why he must do as he is told and how it could be dangerous not to etc.

I have spoke to him about other problems, he seems happy in the class and his teacher agrees with this. He is not the most open of kids but I am as happy (as a parent ever can be) that there is no underlying problem, ie bullying.

I would be more than happy for the school to use force to bring DS in, in fact I expect them to. I can understand what those of you are saying about the problems this may cause, and Im not suggesting the drag him kicking and screaming by him collar. A firm hand on his arm accompanied with 'Come on Ben in you come now' would without doubt have the desired effect.

I think overall the school handle disipline badly. We are lucky enough to live in a 'nice' area and I think very few of the children at the school display challenging bevhavior. The schools disipline system is week and when there is a problem over relies on parents (by the warning and suspension system) to sanction minor things which should be dealt with in school.

OP posts:

DaisyMOO · 19/06/2007 09:24

I thought the law had recently been changed to protect teachers who may need to physically restrain or remove children from dangerous situations from allegations of assault? I think they are being pathetic and I would be seriously worried about how they would deal with other issues - are they going to call you into school every time he doesn't do as he's told? They are giving him the message that he can do whatever he likes with no sanction other than a letter home (whooo, scary stuff) and a day at home. Definitely a meeting with the head is in order, ask to see what policies or procedures they have for dealing with discipline issues and possibly talk to the LEA or OFSTED if you are still concerned.


bozza · 19/06/2007 11:56

I think you have taken the right steps with your DS, but I wonder if you should follow it up with the school regarding their lack of discipline in situations such as this.


DominiConnor · 19/06/2007 12:01

I don't know how far the law protects teachers if the kid is merely being difficult. Even then, there will be a need to use "reasonable" force.

When I was a kid, parents were almost never brought in during the school day, from other threads it does seem to be the fashion now.

We have cover for this sort of thing, but I still don't get how the schools can cope with parents who simply can't come and "deal with" the child.
My guess is that as the OP says, they "get a grip".


2shoes · 19/06/2007 12:02

be careful. i know dd has sn and is at an sn school so a bit different. but she played up in primary. I asked the school to "punish" her(sorry I know that is the wrong word) but they said they couldn't so the behaiviour continued. It was only when she went to secondry that it got sorted.


BrothelSprouts · 19/06/2007 12:07

If it is always the same playtime, is there a particular subject that he is trying to avoid?


sparklesandwine · 19/06/2007 12:08

bless him what an awful thing for you to have to deal with - surely this will affect his view of school from an early age

Unfortunatley this type of incident is more common now as school's do not want to take responsibility for anything incase it comes back on them that they have grabbed his arm, hurt him, forced him to do something etc etc its more for their own legal reasons than lack of control I would imagine

However if you are concerend (which you obviously are) then I would maybe suggest having a formal meeting with the head and his teacher so that you can discuss some kind of future plan for him like a sticker chart in class and if he does well then at the end of the week you buy him a treat - this will also encourage the home/school connection which they all love to harp on about

I think that a formal warning at that age is very harsh. I have 2 children at school and have never come across this

I hope you work something out Sarah


clutteredup · 19/06/2007 12:09

If the school sends every 6 yo child home for not leaving the playground 3 times they will lose every child who works out that they would rather stay home and play everyday than go into the classroom. If the only way of dealing with the situation the school can think of is calling in the mother then they have serious problems with discipline altogether - 6 yos are by nature challenging - not coming in a playtime is hardly the worst of it - how do they deal with other behaviour - I am appauled that they are prepared to suspend a 6yo over such a minor breach. they are also demonstrating to the other children their complete inability to cope with what i would consider a normal challenge by a 6 yo.


Hallgerda · 19/06/2007 12:09

sarah573, have you tried not answering the phone? The school would then have to deal with the matter.


meandmyflyingmachine · 19/06/2007 12:11

The teachers cannot physically move him. Even if you give permission. The new guidelines do not cover this - there is no danger of physical harm in standing in the playground. And they cannot leave him unsupervised outside either.

What does your son say when you ask him why he won't come in?


sparklesandwine · 19/06/2007 12:15

Yes i agree Hallgerda you can do that and my friend did to some sucess but it doesn't really find the route of the problem - of WHY he doesn't want to go back into school

Similar incidents have happend at our school and it all happens far to easily that they phone the parents - but I have noticed that at our school they only phone the SAHM to come and sort it out if the parent works then they manage to deal with it in school

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