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AIBU?

To wonder what has happened to my Son's school

989 replies

k2493 · 07/01/2024 11:09

Just posting for thoughts

Both my kids have gone through the same secondary school. When my daughter started, the school was lovely and new with around 750 kids.

Fast forward to 2024 and there is now 1500 kids and it's become like a dictatorship.

Due to the number of kids, the school has put lines either side of the hallway that they have to walk within otherwise they get detention.

Every hallway is a one way system.

The minute they arrive in school, they have to remove their coats or it's detention even with no heating in the middle of winter. The other day my son arrived back to school to find that there were long queues outside while they did two uniform checks at the door. By the time he got in, he was frozen. Immediately he got shouted at for still having his coat on even though he had just stepped in from the cold.

He then went around the corner and got shouted at again even though he tried to explain it's really difficult to be expected to stay warm, keep moving and remove your coat all at the same time. Nope. Threaten with detention again.

AIBU to wonder what has happened to our education system? I'm lucky in that my son is quite strong minded and just brushes it off but what about the kids who's mental health this is impacting? Surely we want our kids to remember school as being enjoyable for their education and friendships rather than for being shouted at every two minutes for not walking between lines or not taking their coats off the minute they arrive in school?

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?

1813 votes. Final results.

POLL
You are being unreasonable
23%
You are NOT being unreasonable
77%
PurpleChrayne · 07/01/2024 11:11

Is there a new Head trying to swing his dick? Or female equivalent?

Frederica145 · 07/01/2024 11:14

Most likely an attempt to instill discipline. Many schools are taking this approach instead of letting disruptive behaviour get out of hand.

cakeorwine · 07/01/2024 11:15

Trying to emulate the strictest Headteacher?

That sounds very depressing.

SellFridges · 07/01/2024 11:17

I’ve heard of some really bonkers stuff in some schools recently. The removing coats immediately thing seems widespread, as does the one way. I can kind of see some logic in those. I cannot see any need whatsoever for family style lunches with set discussion topics, affirmation chanting, and the 3,2.1 slant nonsense. It’s like a cult. Or the demon headmaster.

HugoDarracott · 07/01/2024 11:19

Absolutely standard practice these days. I bet the senior staff are all ex PE teachers wearing navy suits and tan shoes.

LarkspurLane · 07/01/2024 11:20

Mine have had to remove coats and have had a one way system for years. My kids have managed to avoid getting into trouble, they are fairly good boys.
However, this school year has been a nightmare, they are pulled up for every minor thing and this is unfortunately has led to them being unhappy at school and then getting into more trouble.
Whatever the school is doing to address behaviour might be working for the majority but not for my kids. I can't wait for them to leave.

Nudgethatjudge · 07/01/2024 11:23

I have noticed a change in secondary schools.
I think it's a few things;
Number of students increasing
Staff retention harder
Trust/Academies having to follow same policies not taking into account the individuality of the school.
Behaviour a nightmare.

HelpIcantfindaname · 07/01/2024 11:25

In my DDs school coats must be taken off & put in bags before entering the building. They can't even carry coats inside. So they have to remove coats while they queue to go in. She carries so many books in her bag her coat doesn't fit in it. So she doesn't take one. That means she's wearing the same clothes on a freezing winters day as on a hot summer day. Luckily she gets dropped off & picked up most days so only has a 10min walk to the car park. But she has no coat for lunchtimes. Their dress code is crazy. Lots of detentions for boys with hair past their collars, girls with hair not tied back tightly enough. I agree with uniforms, but I think the coat rule is ridiculous. The staff are all dressed warmly. And there seems to be new rules each year.

Rycbar · 07/01/2024 11:25

A one way system is sensible in a school that size. The amount of injuries I had and saw from my days in high school from the crushes at the bottom of the stairs and in corridors was ridiculous! However everything else sounds a bit mental. Has behaviour got worse at the school since the numbers have grown? It sounds like the headteacher is trying to clamp down on it but probably going the wrong way about it!

Holidayhell22 · 07/01/2024 11:26

Yep dd’s school was similar. Measuring the gap between her trousers and ankles stating there had to be a such and such gap.
Threatening detention because pupils wore shoes they could walk in the snow to get to school. I wear walking shoes to walk to work in. The difference is I have my own office where I keep shoes and a jacket I can change into. DD’s school did not even offer lockers so very difficult to walk and carry a change of shoes plus your entire workload.
On the flip side when I attended secondary there wasn’t a uniform. School was great, discipline was strict but for things which actually mattered like bullying. My school produced a lot of ‘arty’ types. Several became actors. I’m still quite creative and I put it partly down to the liberated attitude it took to clothes/hairstyles.

Holidayhell22 · 07/01/2024 11:27

Also I don’t care what colour or hairstyle my dcs teachers have. I would much rather they had a great teacher with pink hair than a crap teacher with brown hair.

greaj · 07/01/2024 11:27

HugoDarracott · 07/01/2024 11:19

Absolutely standard practice these days. I bet the senior staff are all ex PE teachers wearing navy suits and tan shoes.

What do you mean by this? Genuinely curious.

BananaSplitsss · 07/01/2024 11:28

HugoDarracott · 07/01/2024 11:19

Absolutely standard practice these days. I bet the senior staff are all ex PE teachers wearing navy suits and tan shoes.

Yes!!! Fuck yes - eldest son is in Y8. He hates it. We hate it. SLT are all male pricks in Navy suits and tan shoes . Horrible men. Horrible school.

We are desperate to move him . Says a lot but it’s the best school in the area. It is horrible.

Echobelly · 07/01/2024 11:29

I don't think there's anything wrong with one-way systems in themselves, but I think some schools have gone over-the-top for discipline in various ways. We didn't apply for a well-reputed secondary when the kids showing us round were just listing endless rules that they didn't even know why they were required. I've heard of quite a few 'good' kids ending up with extreme anxiety at schools like this and I'm not sure how much good it does for those with challenging behaviour.

EveraGM · 07/01/2024 11:30

Is it an Academy? Has the school, joined a multi Academy trust?

Having to follow central trust agreed policies can bring about huge change.

BoohooWoohoo · 07/01/2024 11:31

Our school has the coat rule too because presumably some kids will take the piss with the rule and wear their coat as long as possible.

Discipline is a serious problem in schools. My youngest is in y13 but since he started secondary, things have deteriorated fast with year 7s vaping etc.

I’d expect one way systems to be common post pandemic. Hallways are super crowded and the smaller kids are probably bumped into quite a lot if corridors are two way. My kids spoke about having to walk down corridors defensively in year 7 because people would shoulder barge etc

As for the shouting, is it because there’s so many kids that you have to raise your voice to be heard? Teens are known for trying to get away with not following rules and pretending not to hear adults. I’m not saying that your children are like that but not all teachers know all the kids.

I do agree with the general idea that uniform rules in school can be petty and other countries cope with kids who wear trainers or boots to school.

CHIRIBAYA · 07/01/2024 11:31

& how many adults would put up with this in their workplace? It sounds like an army barracks, desinged to instill fear not somewhere that is meant to nurture and enhance development. I feel for every child in that environment, they will be in survival mode. YANBU.

Comedycook · 07/01/2024 11:32

When my ds started secondary school he was really enthusiastic...but they started straight away on the detentions for things such as a tie being too short or not having two pencils in the pencil case etc etc. Its difficult...on the one hand I understand they're trying to be strict with low level stuff to hopefully deter really bad behaviour...on the other hand I feel like it creates a very negative atmosphere where kids feel like they're being got at constantly

Goldbar · 07/01/2024 11:32

We're increasingly losing our way in how we deal with children in this country. Underfunding in the early years combined with inadequate support for families has resulted in so many young children with unmet needs which often manifest themselves in undesirable behaviour. Primary schools do their best to nurture and to address the situation but they don't have the resources. I guess by the time the kids get to secondary school and the "problem", as it were, is bigger, scarier and more challenging to manage, it's harder for schools to nurture and easier just to crowd control and punish. Such a shame that children spend their formative years in these places.

WhateverMate · 07/01/2024 11:33

The coat thing is ridiculous.

The one way system is sensible and very common in most schools. What's your problem with this?

Pandajane · 07/01/2024 11:37

They've lost control in secondary schools and seem to think that breaking the pupils is easier for crowd control than treating them with respect. It isn't working - every time these arbitrary rules and 'punishments' are introduced it escalates poor behaviour. It's absolutely unacceptable to teach a young person that adults are allowed to shout at and berate them publicly and that they have to accept that and keep quiet but this is what's happening. On the other hand, parents are often teaching their children that being disrespectful (parents being rude and aggressive to retail staff in front of their children is an example) and intolerant (parents shouting slurs at people in the street or calling LGBTQ+ people disgusting names in front of their children) towards other people is acceptable. They teach them that breaking the rules is fine and that rules can be ignored if you think you can get away with it (parents parking directly on zigzags outside the school even when they are repeatedly asked not to is one example). I don't know what the full answer is but this country needs a new government and proper investment in education and social care as a starting point. I can absolutely guarantee that halving the class sizes in most schools and upping staffing levels would make an enormous difference immediately.

HugoDarracott · 07/01/2024 11:39

HelpIcantfindaname · 07/01/2024 11:25

In my DDs school coats must be taken off & put in bags before entering the building. They can't even carry coats inside. So they have to remove coats while they queue to go in. She carries so many books in her bag her coat doesn't fit in it. So she doesn't take one. That means she's wearing the same clothes on a freezing winters day as on a hot summer day. Luckily she gets dropped off & picked up most days so only has a 10min walk to the car park. But she has no coat for lunchtimes. Their dress code is crazy. Lots of detentions for boys with hair past their collars, girls with hair not tied back tightly enough. I agree with uniforms, but I think the coat rule is ridiculous. The staff are all dressed warmly. And there seems to be new rules each year.

These rules have spread to staff. Teachers must all wear blazers while on corridors etc. We're allowed to take them off if we're hot when teaching. But they must be worn on corridors unless whole school permission has been given to go without because it's so hot.

Perhapsanorhertimewouldbebetter · 07/01/2024 11:42

There are probably several issues, but in simple terms, having more pupils generally means a higher chance of more rules/strictness due to sheer number of people in the building.

AllIsWellish · 07/01/2024 11:42

Ours is the same, although the no coat in school has been going about 15 years now

YouJustDoYou · 07/01/2024 11:44

There are teachers at my children's school like this. Look at them wrong and they shout at you, breathe wrong and they shout, move to quickly/too slowly and you get reprimanded etc. Take your jacket off too slowly and reprimanded. It's always the same female teachers though, and they ALWAYS do it to only boys.

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