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 Post subject: Problem with the school
PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 2:47 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 27, 2010 2:21 pm
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Hello!

I have a DC in year 5, starting to prepare for grammar exams and I have been lurking on this site for a while. I am so upset and angry at the moment, I am not sure I can be coherent, and apologies if this turns into a rant, but I would really appreciate your advice or opinion.

Here is the story. A teacher at the school, I'll call this person X, did something inexplicable and inexcusable in my eyes, in my and my DC's presence. At the time I was so stunned and speechless with shock and not wanting to upset my child further, left without saying anything. My DC, who has Asperger's and a very grown-up view of the world, wanted an explanation of why X behaved like that. I didn't want to lie and I just tried to give the impression that it was all OK. However, it is not easy to pull the wool over DC's eyes, as the questions were so probing, and I could not come up with any sensible explanation but to say that teachers, just like any other person, are not perfect and do not always do the right thing. I try to teach my DC that if you do something wrong you have to face the consequences, and as it became very clear to me that DC was deeply hurt by X's actions, I made a complaint to the HT. The HT's response after "investigating" was that X had denied what happened and that the HT had no reason not to believe X, as there were no witnesses, according to them. Basically, their position is that it's my word against X's and I can't prove anything. The HT has not even bothered to speak to my DC, even though my DC was a witness, so to them my DC's word clearly means nothing! The HT said if I'm not happy to make a complaint to the governors, but as the school's position is that I can't prove anything, I don't know what good it will do.

Meanwhile, it is clear that my DC is very traumatised by this whole thing, talks negatively of not only X, but the whole school, refuses to participate in any school activities, because X might be somehow involved. DC is very high-performing academically, top set in all subjects. I fear that feeling so negative about the school at the moment will affect DC's performace at school, and is in year 5, which is critical, just before grammar exams! But worst of all is that on some occasions when I have accidently mentioned something that my DC somehow associates with the incident with X, my DC has gone into a shock-like state, freezing like a human statue and eyes rolling back like in a fit. This is something related to the ASD and triggered by the thought of what X did. It is frightening. I think my DC needs councelling, possibly therapy, or an assessment by a psychiatrist. I don't know what to do, but we can't go on like that. I feel the school is responsible for this. What can I do? Do I have any legal rights and can I hold them responsible and ask them to take any kind of action? :cry:

Unfortunately, changing the school is not an option for us. DC has a statement, the school's Senco is very good, and this school is considered the best in our area.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 2:53 pm 
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Joined: Sun Feb 08, 2009 11:09 am
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Sorry I can't be of much help, but have you tried talking to the SENCO about it. Do you think she will be more willing to take it seriously, as she might see how it has effected your DS.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 3:05 pm 
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The Senco is aware of the situation, but my impression is that she is under an instruction not to do or say anything that would be considered admission of responsibility from the school. If the HT wants to sweep the matter under the carpet, what can the Senco do? My child's reaction started when it became clear that X was going to get away with it. Before that DC and I thought that X was going to have to face consequences, just like any other person should, and we could talk rationally about it. As DC has a statement, there is already support for ASD and a visit by an ASD specialist once per term, but I feel now DC requires a completely different level of support, which is not allowed for by the statement.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 3:11 pm 
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DesperateK wrote:
The HT said if I'm not happy to make a complaint to the governors, but as the school's position is that I can't prove anything, I don't know what good it will do.


The next step should be a formal complaint to the Chair of Governors. Especially if you were also a witness to the incident. The governors are duty-bound to follow this up, and the HT must know this.

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Marylou


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 3:11 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 29, 2007 9:16 pm
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Hi DesperakeK

This all sounds awful. Well done for going to the HT that must have been difficult, I think in your presence the HT will always back his teachers, what has been said afterwards you will probably never know. If you feel that it is something that the teacher should not have done/said then you should go to the governers, it is their role to look into any issues raised by parents if the school cannot sort it out (I think). At least you would know that you did all you can to rectify the problem. As SSM says it may be worth talking to the Senco as she knows your son and may have a different view on the incident, also the senco may be able to speak to your son and help with the issues this incident has caused.

Good luck with it, I would say don't let it be swept under the carpet if you feel stronly about it.

(sorry, have posted at the same time as others)


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 3:15 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 29, 2007 9:16 pm
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Just re-read your post, it will do some good going to the chair of governers as they will then be aware of the situation and will have to investigate. I would write explaining the situation and ask for a reply when the matter has been investigated.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 4:02 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2007 8:31 pm
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IMHO... Formal complaint to the Chair of Governors.

Be very clear in your statement over what happened and consider, but not write down, what outcome you think would be acceptable. An apology from X, X getting sacked,... etc. Obviously the more severe the outcome the harder it will be to reach a conclusion.

And don't feel guilty.... why should other children potentially have to suffer such treatment from X...

Regards
SVE

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 4:19 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 27, 2010 2:21 pm
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Thank you for your replies.

I should have mentioned that the 'incident' was aimed at me, not my child, but witnessed by my child. Then X denying it completely crushed my DC and any respect for X, the school, the HT, etc. If I make a complaint to the governors, I can't prove anything unless I call my DC as a witness, but I can't inflict this on my child, it will be devastating :cry: I don't see what else I can achieve by making a complaint to the governors, except to see X lie to their faces and get away with it.

At the moment I am focusing on trying to make things better for DC, but how do I explain that a teacher can be so dishonest?! I don't even know how what I say will affect my child. I feel DC needs councelling from a professional, but I can't afford to do it privately.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 4:19 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 21, 2007 4:20 pm
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OOOOOH, I'm so angry on your behalf!!!!


Don't let the HT get away with this, she's probably relying on your ignorance of not knowing which path to take next to sweep the matter under the carpet.

I should write to the Chair of Governors and also cc her into it. The Governors are duty bound to investigate this matter.

Let us know what you decide to do and the outcome please.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 4:29 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 05, 2009 9:26 am
Posts: 284
Unfortunately, people don't always get their cumuppance but unless you take this matter to the governers and know that you have done everything you possibly can to see this through, I think you will regret it. Also, I think your DC needs to know that that you have followed through on this. Dealing with it, even if you don't get the outcome you want, is the first step in getting over it - for both of you.

Good luck and best wishes
Plum


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