Wednesday 25 January 2012

Is It Just Me: Who is Still Scared of Head Teachers?

Littlest is ill again. 

Yes, that's not big news, as he's often quite unwell, just in differing degrees, ranging from "a bit poorly" to "quick, phone 999".

At the moment, both the Bratling's are unwell- Mini had all last week off and was given antibiotics for a rotten chest infection. Most of her class were off last week, so it's obviously being spread between each child. Suffice to say, it was obvious that Littlest would catch it and be back on his steroid and off nursery again.

I have to admit his attendance isn't the best. However, with a child like Littlest, you just can never tell when they will be unwell again, its a waiting game really.

We finally received an answer to the complaint to end all complaints about his pre and post birth care. I made the complaint back in August, and believed that, as it was taking months to receive a reply, they must be properly looking into it. 

Hell. No.

We got, surprise surprise, fobbed off. The most the Trust is going to do is "have a talk with staff about their attitude to worried parents". They did, however, admit that mistakes where made when I was pregnant, and a high risk pregnancy such as mine should have been handled very differently to how it was. Not much consolation as its a bit late now, and, as its been over 3 years I have no right to claim any compensation.

Anyway, I digress.

I walked Mini to school as usual this morning, and, on walking to the school gate, the Head, Mrs S, stopped me.

Now, I keep the school updated as to what is going on with Littlest, or about anything else they may need to know. As soon as I know about it, they know about it. Up until now, that's been fine.

This morning though, I got the feeling the school aren't happy. I've been asked to make an appointment for an "official review".


I did kind of tell her that she knows the latest, and what with Christmas and New Year, not much has changed. What annoys me slightly though is the school's attitude to attendance. They say, unless a child has a sickness bug, they should be in school. That's reason 1 that Mini has had such a bad chest infection as everyone is coughing and spluttering, including the teachers.

Reason 2 is something that has annoyed quite a few parents. The fact that the teacher brings all the class to play in an outside area, on climbing frames and with water troughs of freezing cold water, all afternoon, come rain, freezing cold temperatures and the rest. In the summer, that would be great- its warm, let's take them outside. But 4 hours a day outdoors with no roof in winter? Seems a bit much. They both often come home with their jumpers and coats soaking wet with freezing cold water.

Reason 3 is that, added to this hours on end in the cold, if they can't do their own coat up (this is 3 and 4 year olds in Nursery and FS2, so affects both The Bratlings), the teacher wont do it up. They let them out with no coat, or coats undone, with no scarves, hats or gloves on whether they have them or not. Even in yesterdays rain, which was pretty heavy, they were outdoors. 

I asked a week and a half back that Littlest be kept indoors. The nursery staff know he has problems with his health. They said they couldn't. Its ridiculous.

So, now, do I tell the Head that I feel they are partly responsible for the time off? Well, that's the problem. Head teachers still make me feel as if I'm in uniform myself being told off for running in the corridors.

I'm lost, and really worried that they may inform the Education Welfare people- they are famous for doing so apparently. That's the issue with moving to an area, as you don't get to know the reputations of school, GPs and the like in advance.

What do I do guys? What are my rights? Is it fair to moan about Littlest's attendance but then refuse to keep him indoors? Do they have to tread carefully due to Littlest being ill?

Let me know what you think.


  1. No, it's not just you ... I'm still terrified of head teachers - one stern look in the playground and I'm jelly, though I try to hide it! And I think it's crackers that they're letting children get wet through at playtime - amazing there's still anyone well enough to go to school. I think they sometimes forget that schools are run for children, not for the convenience of teachers and heads!

    1. Thank Goodness sits not just me on both points! I honestly started to think I may be being unreasonable on the whole outdoor bit, and actually wondered if Mini was exaggerating. But then I spoke to other parent's who had all been told the same thing.
      I think I'm going to have to tackle it head on.

  2. OMG! Reading this, I'm actually pretty shocked, not to mention disgusted at the school's attitude towards the pupils in their care. My first thoughts were "is there another school you could move your kids to?"

    To think they are letting them play out in bad winter weather with opened coats, no gloves, no hats etc, is bordering on child abuse - extreme maybe, but would their parents let them do the same? Children's hands get cold very quickly.

    I'd bring this matter to the attention of the head immediately. I wouldn't go in guns blazing that it's their fault he's been ill though, because a bug can be caught from anywhere. But the fact children are playing outside in such conditions is a whole different issue in itself.

    Keep us posted, flower.
    CJ x


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