Am I Going Mad?

Any issues with what nappies to buy, home schooling etc. In fact if you have kids or are planning to this is the section for you.
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Re: Am I Going Mad?

Post: #232227 red
Tue May 17, 2011 3:22 pm

sounds a good start :icon_smile:
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Re: Am I Going Mad?

Post: #232228 Mabu
Tue May 17, 2011 3:24 pm

viewtopic.php?f=30&t=22779 Maybe this thread could be of some use? :wink:

The headmistress hid behind her desk when she heard you were coming, well done for going down there!

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Re: Am I Going Mad?

Post: #232229 bonniethomas06
Tue May 17, 2011 3:29 pm

Grrr Keanie, I am fuming now as well! :angryfire: :angryfire: :angryfire: :banghead: :banghead:

A bit late to add my twopenceworth, as you have already spoken to the school, and I wish you all the best. It sounds like you are being more than reasonable.

But I really hope it is not too late in that the seed of consumerist doubt has been planted in your daughters head - children hate to be 'different' and I understand what you say in that they are very unlikely to be assertive enough at that age to challenge the wisdom of a teacher. For that reason I would ask the teacher to explain to her personally, either that they made a mistake or some other face-saving retraction (or that they are just a total pillock :banghead: ) so that your daughter doesn't feel second rate in anything lovingly handmade, again.

Grrr - how disgusting. Especially to think that it wouldn't have happened if you had bought it at stupid Te$co, when in all liklihood it would have been produced by someone the same age as your daughter...bet the teacher didn't think of that!

Good luck and sorry for the rant. Loving your blog btw.

P.s, look on the brightside, way to eat Creme Eggs without putting on weight!!
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Re: Am I Going Mad?

Post: #232231 Nomada
Tue May 17, 2011 3:54 pm

I'm angry on your behalf and you're absolutely right, if there was a problem then it should never have gone through a 6 year old first. That's downright cruel. The dress looks superb and your daughter looks so sweet in it.
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Re: Am I Going Mad?

Post: #232232 Susie
Tue May 17, 2011 3:58 pm

I think you should tell that teacher that whatever she wears isn't good enough because it isn't Chanel couture. I am fuming on your behalf and your daughter looks lovely. Also what Bonnie said about sweatshops!

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Re: Am I Going Mad?

Post: #232235 Lilyfae
Tue May 17, 2011 4:13 pm

Well done, glad to hear that the management have some professionalism.
However I would be prepared for a carefully worded response considering she didn't come ANC talk it through.parent complaints are serious, I have had a teacher come to cover my class so i could answer an irate parent who came in screaming for my neck because her son got a detention (he swore at me and 'squared' up to me because I asked him to sit in his seat not on my windowsill-so I think I was fair in giving him a detention!) the only times I've been allowed to avoid a patent is when it is obvious they are just out for a moan & the office protect us in those cases

By the teacher not coming to see you it smacks a little of brush-off especially as she was only with another member of staff ( if it was a parent I could understand- but she only had to break her meeting for 15mins tops) this is because it gives her time for the office to calm you down and her to diffuse any initial reactions & responsibility when defending herself to the head.I would hope she was too mortified to greet you but considering you live in London I fear not ( most London teachers tend to be a different breed).
I would make sure this isn't dismissed but please for keeping the peace sake I would avoid matching humiliation with humiliation by making her apologise to your daughter as you will probably get an enemy for life (remember how it felt to be made to apologise when you didn't feel you were in the wrong- she's handing over her authority with this action & may fear losing respect from the children) however if she offers then that's fine and accept the offer.

However considering its may & summers nearly here, once you've dealt with this, find out who your daughter will get next year & grab a chat at the end of a day if possible to chat about your life philosophy (most teachers are open if we are told & some would jump at the chance for you to come in and talk to the kids when it fit the curriculum- living science/textiles etc)

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Re: Am I Going Mad?

Post: #232271 Milims
Tue May 17, 2011 8:43 pm

You have every right to be furious! You have provided your child with a beautiful, well made, uniform compliant dress - where it came from is no business whatsoever of any teacher! Sadly some teachers can be incredibly ignorant. My daughter once came home most upset because a teacher had asked her why she was eating bird food - I'd given her a mix of seeds and nuts in her packed lunch, which until that point she had loved to eat!
I do hope that the head takes this seriously and draws to the attention of every teacher in the school, that such behavious is completely unacceptable!
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Re: Am I Going Mad?

Post: #232282 Thomzo
Tue May 17, 2011 9:19 pm

Have you EVER made clothes for someone else and been paid for it? Even if it was just a contribution to the cost of the material? If so, you can honestly tell the teacher that you are (or used to be) a professional dress maker. The teacher should be impressed that one of her pupils wears bespoke, hand made clothes. That dress clearly doesn't look cheap or badly made.

I once had a headmaster tell me, in front of the whole school at assembly, that I shouldn't be wearing such a thick, hand-knitted jumper. It completely complied with school uniform regulations and my mother had knitted it especially as I was sat in a draughty old class room and kept getting colds because of it. I was really embarrassed, hated him for ever and it totally put me off school. You are completely right not to want to pick too big an argument with the teacher, you don't want your daughter to hate her teacher or the school the way I did.

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Re: Am I Going Mad?

Post: #232285 MKG
Tue May 17, 2011 9:52 pm

Lilyfae wrote:Well done, glad to hear that the management have some professionalism.


Lilyfae, I truly wish that most members of today's teaching profession had your attitude. I really do. Sadly ... oh never mind. In this case, I think you're wrong. That response was far from professional (in ANY walk of life). The head knew what the situation was about and knew that a parent was concerned enough to walk into the school and complain (OK - I appreciate that a number of parents walk into school and complain if someone breathes through the wrong nostril, but I feel this case to be somewhat different). The head ducked out - pure and simple - and that is irresponsible in the extreme. It remains to be seen if said head can redeem her/himself.

In most workplace situations, expressing personal opinions as official company policy would be a big no-no. In most workplace situations, abusing clients or client attitudes would be a big no-no. In most workplace situations involving customer-facing functions, this particular member of staff would have had very difficult questions to answer regarding his/her reasons for manufacturing company policy out of thin air. The same member of staff is either sadly under-informed or terribly arrogant. I don't know which, but that state of affairs demands rapid and visible action.

We shall see.

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Re: Am I Going Mad?

Post: #232309 Keaniebean
Wed May 18, 2011 9:28 am

Ok yesterdays hurt has now given way to anger.
I think MKG is right and I have been given nothing more than the brush off. I had no phone call from the Headmistress yesterday, and she walked past me twice this morning in the playground without so much as making eye contact. Emily's tacher did not acknoledge me either although If I was a betting girl I would swear she flinched as Emily walked passed her to go into the classroom so I suspect the subject has been raised with the woman already.

I shall continue to be reasonable BUT she only has until the end of the day. Tomorrow morning I shall be adorning my warpaint, slipping (make that squeezing) on my Lara Croft outfit and I shall be committing words to paper. They cannot and WILL NOT ignore a letter, especially as I shall make it perfectly clear that if I do not recieve a satisfactory response I shall be taking it further and involving the board of goveners.

How does that sound? Fair, or like mumma bear just watched someone steal baby bears honey :wink: :angryfire: :angryfire: :angryfire:

I'd like to say thank you again to you all, I would not have faced this at all if it weren't for your kind words and sage advice.
Sarah.x

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Re: Am I Going Mad?

Post: #232310 Mrs H
Wed May 18, 2011 9:31 am

Sounds very fair to me! I was telling my hubby about it last night and showed him the pic, he thinks she looks fab in her wee dress and said u wouldn't even know it was homemade! Xx

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Re: Am I Going Mad?

Post: #232314 Lilyfae
Wed May 18, 2011 9:57 am

Sadly Sarah I am not surprised to hear that (see my post above I did predict a brush-off when teacher didn't bother to come see you) - I would guess the teacher went into teaching straight out of uni thought it would do for a couple of years and is not really made of the stuff that makes a great teacher especially in a city context. The 'flinching' also doesn't surprise me as honestly I have panicked on classroom arrival of a kid whose mum slagged me off to senior management hopefully she will have the guts to drop it and move on as I have.

It doesn't take much to say sorry when you (as teacher) are wrong, I've done it ( and in front of a whole class too) and my students have respected me for it, and are more open with me about their mistakes. Sadly most teachers are too proud/afraid of losing face.
but I can attest that if she or the school think you (Sarah) are wrong they will close the gates and form siege mentality to defend themselves- often it's right but I hope they don't use it with you.

As I said get your apology and start making an ally of next years teacher.

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Re: Am I Going Mad?

Post: #232316 Green Aura
Wed May 18, 2011 10:20 am

I think you're doing brilliantly Sarah. Well done. :hugish: Now, on to the next phase then!

Before putting pen to paper I would get clear in your head what you want the outcome to be. I (as always :roll: ) have a couple of suggestions.
1) You want a full explanation of the circumstances in which your gal was told about her dress i.e. quietly or in front of the whole class, as this dictates what you want to do about it. If quietly then a quiet apology is fine. The other, I'm afraid must be in front of the whole class too. If it embarrasses the teacher - tough.
2) Having got an apology in front of the whole class, you want a written apology, from said teacher, stating quite clearly that her action toward your daughter was not intended as victimisation and this episode will not affect her relationship with either your daughter or subsequent siblings that pass through her hands. (Then you've got it on paper if she does!!!!)
3) Having sorted the teacher out :lol: then you want the Governors to include "homemade" items of uniform (as long as they are of appropriate quality) in the policy so future incidents such as this hopefully won't arise (because we know that all the teachers will be familiar with all the school policies :wink: ) and if it does it can be dealt with by a quick referral to the policy book.

And if you get no satisfaction, carry on with it until you do, LEA, Councillors, MPs - sounds like just the sort of article the Daily Mail would love too :lol:
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Re: Am I Going Mad?

Post: #232318 boboff
Wed May 18, 2011 10:27 am

Umm, my comments are:-

1. The statement about the dress to the child was wrong.
2. Children are noted for getting the wrong end of the stick.
3. I have learned this lesson the hard way! ( with a NQT as well!)
4. The policy of most schools for issues is FIRST speak directly to the Teacher, if that does not do the trick, explain to the Teacher that you are not happy and will speak to the head, if that does not do the trick, explain to the Head that you wish to complain to the Governors, if that does not do the trick, explain to the governors you wish to appeal, there will be a seperate set of Governors who will no nothing about your case, if that does not do the trick you complain to the local education authority.

In my opinion common sence does prevail, but if you speak to the Teacher first then it gets things sorted without any acrimony. Our school make a point of having the Teacher on the door at the end of the day for parent communication, they do say at the beginning of the day they are too busy, so the head does the door in the morning.

But then as a governor of our school ( did I mention that we were recently judged outstanding by Offsted, especially the effectiveness of the governing body bit?) I do get involved in the "managemen" side of things, and know the other side of the argument where parents haven't followed the above procedure, and expect the head to be available all the time, but they assume all the parents know that this is the procedure, because its in the prospectus! ( never did get round to reading that!)
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Re: Am I Going Mad?

Post: #232321 Keaniebean
Wed May 18, 2011 10:59 am

I'm listening to all you are saying and digesting it very carefully. :icon_smile:

I of course have been VERY careful to find out from my daughter exactly how she was told and in what circumstances. It appears that luckily she was not made a show of infront of any of the other children, but that the teacher repeatedly told her that her dress should be a 'proper' school dress and not home made.

I agree with Boboff in that the first point of call should have been the teacher, but I feel that this works both ways. If the teacher had a problem then the first point of call should have been me and NOT my 6 year old daughter.

The school policy only dictates 'blue gingham summer dress' which I think you can all see that this is exactly what this is. If the teacher had come to me and explained that she did not think the summer dress was appropriate for 'blahdy, blahdy, blah' reasons then this simply would never have been an issue, although obviously I just would have been left with my nose out of joint a little, but I can cope with that, my shoulders are broard.

I now feel that this has become something other than just an issue about wheather 'homemade' is acceptable or not, but rather an issue of professionalism. The teacher had no right to express this point of view to my daughter and although could have cut the matter short with a simple explaination and apology she has chosen instead to ignore me (so far).

I will be writing tomorrow if I have not heard anything from either the teacher herself or the Headmistress and of course will take this as far as it needs to go.
Sarah.x

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