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AIBU?

To be angry at Head of Year - already!

43 replies

HuzzahIndeed · 20/09/2022 09:00

My son started secondary school 2 weeks ago. He wore appropriate school shoes everyday.

He hurt his toe on Tuesday (at school but his own fault). On Wednesday he went in, in his shoes but they caused him a lot of pain so when he was there his HOY said he could wear his black trainers Wednesday and Thursday. On Friday, his shoes still hurt so I gave him a note to wear his trainers again and called the school.

Despite this, he was given a negative point (don't get me started!) and his HOY made him change into too small shoes from lost property.

By the time he got home he was in tears because of the pain. We stayed in for the last three days (missing his hobby) so he didn't have to put anything on his toe.

I really want to kick up a fuss. I won't because he can wear his shoes again and we have 5 years there but AIBU to think the HOY was out of order? I'm so cross!

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?

224 votes. Final results.

POLL
You are being unreasonable
13%
You are NOT being unreasonable
87%
Ein · 20/09/2022 09:07

I would put in a written complaint re this teacher and state that you require a written response.

Forcing an injured child to change into too small shoes is child abuse.

Absolutely kick up a fuss. Imagine how many other children this horrible teacher torments. If you don’t protest than who will?

Nevertouchakoala · 20/09/2022 09:15

I’m a hOY and I would have let him wear trainers, that’s really unfair of the HOY. Call them and speak to them.

johsq20 · 20/09/2022 09:17

Seeing things like this really infuriates me! You want to raise kids who follow the rules etc but in situations like this when it causes them pain it's ridiculous. I would have wished my child would have said no, mum says it's fine to wear trainers please call her if there is an issue!

agree with PP contact them and ask for a written response.

faw2009 · 20/09/2022 09:27

Your poor son. And being reprimanded just beginning secondary school for such an idiotic and potentially harmful situation.

I would say something, email may be best. Sure you have 5 more years, but HOY usually changes.

Mariposista · 20/09/2022 09:30

I usually discourage parents from contacting the school and becoming 'that parent' but this is an exception. You kid had an injury and a medical note, the HOY is either blind or stupid. At the very least he needs to have the negative point taken off his record.

Brefugee · 20/09/2022 09:32

It is inappropriate for them to make him wear shoes that don't fit. Notwithstanding that 2nd hand shoes aren't good for kids. I'd definitely be writing to the HOY and the head with the expectation that it does not happen again and would be requesting a confirmation of that.

Yet again the batshittery surrounding school uniform in the UK never fails to astound me.

AFineBalance · 20/09/2022 09:33

Follow it up. Why did they ignore your written and phone message on Friday?

ittakes2 · 20/09/2022 09:41

I realise that people will think this is an overreaction but if the head thinks this is ok to do to a new kid who is settling in let alone any kid - what sort of school is this I would be considering moving him. My daughters year 7 school made terrible decisions like this and I ended up at the end of the year deciding not to subject her to such a school and moved her.

Currycyrry · 20/09/2022 09:42

Things like this really annoy me. I don't know who on earth some schools/teachers think they are. What on earth is the point in forcing an injured child into shoes too small for them and causing them pain all day?

You should make a complaint 100%. Id be going in, in person!

Currycyrry · 20/09/2022 09:43

Yet again the batshittery surrounding school uniform in the UK never fails to astound me

Agreed. Some take it way too far. It's actually pathetic.

Emelene · 20/09/2022 09:43

I would write a polite but factual email saying he had a note, you called in but despite this was forced to change shoes which caused further injury.
I would ask what else you could have done to communicate his medical needs for a uniform exemption. Explain the resulting pain this weekend. I would ask for a phone call back and his “negative point” to be removed.
I think it is helpful to put it in writing and wait for their response. Totally unacceptable but I couldn’t trust myself to be calm on the phone!

skgnome · 20/09/2022 09:47

Definitely email and complain, ask for a reasonable explanation, escalate it
my DD recently had a toe injury, she got written permission to wear trainers while the toe healed, the school made sure this was communicated to all the teachers with instructions to not query it - I asked her and she said “they didn’t even noticed” of course they did! But they also knew the reason
your poor son! Be that parent!

Vapeyvapevape · 20/09/2022 09:49

This is ridiculous on the school's part and so petty. If a child had to wear trainers for 2 days due to an injury, it's not a stretch for them to need to wear them for a couple of more days if the injury hasn't healed.
And as for making them wear shoes that are too small , I'm appalled.
I would definitely be complaining

Caroffee · 20/09/2022 10:20

Shoes need to be broken in. Grit your teeth and break through the pain barrier.

You sound like a really demanding parent who the school will quickly find tiresome. If you are this wound up over such a small issue, you are going to spend several years being very stressed.

KweenieBeanz · 20/09/2022 10:20

I broadly agree with you this sounds over the top. However.... If your son's toe was still hurting to the extent he could not wear his school shoes, did you take him to the doctor's and check a wound was not infected /toe was not broken? Toes generally heal very quickly.... And I think school maybe would have taken it more seriously if you could evidence a doctor's appointment? I'm struggling to think what he could have done to a toe that would mean he was still in so much pain 2 days later, when I broke mine I could manage ok 48hrs later?
What exactly has he done to it?

EnidSpyton · 20/09/2022 10:23

Is this school part of an academy chain, by any chance?

HOYs in academy chains are usually young, inexperienced and not very bright. (Those with brains tend to want to go down the academic route and become Heads of Department). They will follow rules to the letter with no ability to think with any kind of flexibility. This is why they are promoted to these positions as they will enforce without question the idiotic, rigid rules required by these academy chains to force children into subjugation.

In my experience, HOY posts are also disproportionately taken up by people who enjoy having power and control over children. Lots of strutting about, lots of calling children out of lessons for 'chats' and lots of pointless detention giving.

What can I say - I'm a jaded secondary school teacher with too much experience of working with utter tw*ts who haven't got two brain cells to rub together.

Email in and complain. This is a serious health and safety failure on the behalf of the school and you are absolutely within your rights to make a fuss. The HOY needs to be pulled up on this so make sure you cc in the Head. It might be that the HOY is also new to the post so trying to make an impression - if the Head is in any way decent/has any common sense they'll have serious words to ensure that the HOY focuses more on student wellbeing than throwing their weight around in future.

MrsSkylerWhite · 20/09/2022 10:23

Yes, out of order, sadistic sod.

if it’s still hurting that much after 6 days, you should get it looked at. My mum walked around in pain with a broken toe for over a week before getting it checked out then had to wear a big, boot thing for 6 weeks (which would solve the shoe issue 😁).

hope he feels better soon.

Glittertwins · 20/09/2022 10:25

There are times when common sense should apply and it hasn't here sadly. I'd write in.
DD had really bad blisters from her new shoes, she was the 3rd one into Matron's office that morning. Both Matron and HoY gave permission for her to wear her trainers until we sorted out her shoes.

EnidSpyton · 20/09/2022 10:31

Caroffee · 20/09/2022 10:20

Shoes need to be broken in. Grit your teeth and break through the pain barrier.

You sound like a really demanding parent who the school will quickly find tiresome. If you are this wound up over such a small issue, you are going to spend several years being very stressed.

This is beside the point.

If a parent says a child has an injury and needs an adjustment to the uniform to allow it to heal - however the injury has been caused - it is not up to the school to decide otherwise.

If a parent says there is an issue - then the parent's word goes. Teachers do not have the right to overrule a parent's wishes.

And this is not a small issue. It's actually very worrying because it's symptomatic of deeper problems within the school, I would say. A school that enforces rules to the letter despite them causing a child pain and refusing to follow a parent's instructions to ensure the safety of their child is a school that does not have children's best interests at its heart.

Brefugee · 20/09/2022 10:31

You sound like a really demanding parent who the school will quickly find tiresome. If you are this wound up over such a small issue, you are going to spend several years being very stressed.

are you the idiot HOY? Yes shoes often need to be broken in. This is not the issue here. The issue is that the child had an injury, and it was made first because the school, for reasons known to no rational person, insisted he wear a) shoes that don't belong to him and b) the shoes were too small - which exacerbated an injury.

Why do you think that parental responsibility includes bowing down to this kind of batshittery? I had several issues with my DCs schools over the years - not in UK - and it was handled each time without stress on either part, and with the acknowledgement, usually, that as the parent it was my decision to make over things like if they took part in sport (due to injury, illness) or that their grade was wrong because the teacher's answers were wrong (ad infinitum for English homework). I didn't lose sleep over it.

ittakes2 · 20/09/2022 10:45

As an aside - my son had broken his big toe twice - I am wondering if he is still in pain whether you should take him for an X-ray.

KissMySassyButt · 20/09/2022 10:59

Yet again the batshittery surrounding school uniform in the UK never fails to astound me.

OMG yes! My DD is only at primary school where it’s not too bad at all but my neighbour works at a secondary school and was telling me the kids couldn’t take off their blazers in the hot weather until their HT told them they could, there was no freewill on removing layers.....I mean what the actual fuck. I know that isn’t a unique case either. Utter batshit.

LuaDipa · 20/09/2022 11:44

Caroffee · 20/09/2022 10:20

Shoes need to be broken in. Grit your teeth and break through the pain barrier.

You sound like a really demanding parent who the school will quickly find tiresome. If you are this wound up over such a small issue, you are going to spend several years being very stressed.

Have you even read the op? It’s nothing to do with uncomfortable shoes; the boy hurt his foot. And if your poor kids are having to grit their teeth and break through the pain barrier every time they get new shoes I would suggest that you are a pretty neglectful parent who needs to take more care as this really shouldn’t be the case.

I would totally kick up a fuss about this. Contact them via email asking why your son was forced to wear too small shoes exacerbating an existing injury when you had supplied a note explaining the situation. Ask what measures they are going to take to ensure this sort of grave error of judgement doesn’t happen again. You are the parent and it’s not for some idiot teacher to override you here, particularly when they have caused further suffering and pain to your son with their lack of common sense.

LondonLovie · 20/09/2022 12:22

Phone call. 100% wouldn't be dealing with through an email, I'd request a 'meeting' eg set time to speak on the phone. In my experience some teacher's are very different in their response on email and you get nowhere, on the phone it's always a good outcome

Mamamia7962 · 20/09/2022 12:27

I always supported the school as much as possible when my children were younger but what on earth was the teacher thinking in this case. You shouldn't force children to wear shoes that are too small. Speak to the head of year who thought this was a good idea.

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