Wednesday, 22 August 2012

The fight goes on....

Sorry to all those who read this blog...I haven't written for a good while now...I have been too riled up!  I got to the end of my term flexi-schooling my daughter, and was so proud of our acheivements.  I have a folder full of the work we have done: she has learnt how to tell the time; the 2,3,4,5,10 and 11 times tables; understands tables and fractions; knows the sequences of days of the week/months of the year, can spell the 1-150 (out of the 300/75% of ) most used words confidently and has read 3 'proper' books cover to cover and can read sooooo much better.  We still have work to do, especially writing skills, but I was so happy with her progress....

Then I had a meeting with the School, the last week of term.  During the time I flexi-schooled my daughter I was given no support or guidance, or requests for progress...being me though, I kept a detailed log of progress and was able to show this to the Headteacher.  Then, after being suitably impressed, she hit me with the news that she was no longer going to let me flexi-school.  I was devastated, and said I would do anything to continue - go into School, do any hours most suitable, but 'Please, please,' I said,  'don't take this away from us.'  She said that my daughter showed 'little progress in assessments,' (despite going from way below average in the SATs at the beginning of the term to average [average? - amazing!!] in the CATs at the end of term ), and that on that basis she could not let flexi-schooling continue.  She had not talked to me, my daughter, heard her read or talked to her class teacher.  I eventually persuaded her to allow me 'some time - maybe a morning' to tutor her, 'but this would be discussed in September..'

I went through it all, I would change Schools, take her out altogether & home School, move both my children to another School, maybe even move and get a new start...I was so angry and disappointed.....But time heals, and I have decided that if I am to help other parents in this situation - which is something I want to do in the future - I have to stick it out and fight for my rights.  I was made to feel a failure, then I got a present of an inscribed pen from a tutee I have been helping in a similar way to my daughter saying 'To a brilliant tutor,' and I remembered who I should listen to.

So watch out - for the next instalment in September.  Ding, ding!!  Round 2!!


  1. Hi Narinda
    I'm really sad to admit that after nearly 40yrs of teaching I have such a jaded view of many of today's Headteachers, especially those in the junior sector. When my children were young I was forever having run-ins with their HT's and a lot of those years saw me sitting up in to the early hours of the morning with a glass of wine, pouring out my complaints and worries on to paper, ready to deliver the next day. Invariably I got short shrift in some condescendingly brief dismissive response which solved nothing, which infuriated and frustrated me even more. I often realised that being a member of the teaching profession did not go in my favour when it came to getting along with the man/woman at the top.They were defensive/evasive/devious, especially (dare I say it) the women HT's. Even when I was Head of Year 7 in the secondary feeder school,(a year group I purposely chose to head in order to make a difference in the existing relationship with junior/sec staff), I found it very difficult to be accepted and very rarely felt comfortable during visits.It's as if they have something to hide nowadays, unlike those of old when the children and their parents were the primary concern.I'm afraid that today's HT is not born to be in that role, they are selected using criteria that flies in the face of those who believe that each child has it's own educational/social/development needs.They hide a lot from their staff and even more from the parents. They rule tyranically and defy anyone to challenge their methods and decisions.I was so glad when all my kids left junior school.It's not the same at secondary level, thank God! One of my big complaints about junior/secondary schooling is that there is generally so little communication between the two.In my opinion, if Lucia's school was closely involved with the feeder sec schools, the SENCO there would be asked to give some input in to her needs and programmes.....with your valuable support included.What's happening is that you are excelling at teaching Lucia and children with similar problems, and that has probably, quite simply, got up the HT's nose! You are showing her up,needing to use her "valuable" time and resources, and that's not what she wants!Stop rocking the boat Narinda!!I don't understand it myself but they get very jealous and guarded if any parent does anything other than run the PTA,volunteer for the summer fete, or put their noses up the HT's a..e!!I've come across it so many times, and like you, I fell foul every time! Unfortunately it knocks your confidence, you question your judgement, and you wonder what to do next.If you do decide to swap schools,only do so if/when you have researched what would be made available for Lucia's needs and what experience and results they have of similar children.
    I know that you like travelling and are an adventurous pair so have you ever thought of doing what Graham and I were forced to do when Sam's education went down the pan when he went to secondary school,(please don't tell your mum and dad I'm mentioning this, they'll kill me, and I love them both sooooo MUCH!!)? Graham got a job in an International college abroad, knowing that Sam would get free admission because of his father being on the staff.We in no way could have sent him to a private school in the UK but we knew he'd get similar abroad....and he did,with bells on!! He was in small classes with 1st class resources and facilities.He made international friends for life and became Head Boy as a bonus almost for the gamble we took to solve the problem we had with his schooling. Our only regret was that we had not joined the International college circuit when all the children were young.They, and we,would have had a lovely life.If you're ever interested, we have contacts and details.

    1. Thank you so so so much for this Deborah (especially doing it twice!!!) I really appreciate your honesty & support. Your experience of HT's fill me with confidence in my decision to fight on whilst trying NOT to take things personally. I can do this. And I will; not just for Lucia, but hopefully other children too in the future. I feel that the whole primary school experience is a bit like childbirth - too horrific & unbelievable to talk about! So we don't! So women don't learn how to deal with these situations or ogre HT's who make them feel like paranoid, fussy parents. I cannot stand injustice or bullying, so I have to try and ensure justice is reached for these kids & their parents, no matter who I annoy on the way! Wish me luck!! Re the moving thing, I just couldnt, us & the kids love the old folks too much too!! And I have to try to change things first, after never know!!!