To Think This Is Discriminatory?

(95 Posts)

Dd1 is 14 and ds is 12. They both attend the local secondary school.

They both do well at school and are both on or above their targets. (I'm not boasting, this is relevant information)

My income is very low and so they receive free school meals.

On Friday they were both withdrawn from class at different times to speak with the school 'Progression Manager' Several other children were also removed to speak with him too.

They were informed that as they are on free school meals they were being monitored to see if they might need extra help with their work.

Basically there is an assumption that because they're from a poor family they might be a bit thick!!

I'm stunned that they are linking poverty with poor intellect!!

oTheHuge thank you for the complement.

SoupDragon Mon 30-Sep-13 17:18:15

It's positive discrimination for those on FSM
It's negative discrimination for those not on FSM who need the extra help.

BillyBanter Mon 30-Sep-13 17:18:54

Just because they are doing well doesn't mean there is not a way the school can assist them within this scheme.

They are not assuming anything. Research has pinpointed a correlation between kids needing FSMs and reduced performance and they have started an initiative to monitor these children to see if they can offer assistance.

The 'Pupil Premium' is funding given to schools on the for the benefit of FSM pupils. Schools have to show that pupil premium money is being used to support pupils on FSM and that they are making progress.

WilsonFrickett Mon 30-Sep-13 17:20:03

But if they're monitoring all children on FSM then they're monitoring all children on FSM.

And if many children on FSM at that school do as well as your DCs then they presumably are doing really good things with their teaching practise and approach. If they don't monitor everyone in the target group it may look like they're doing really badly with their FSM children, which wouldn't be good either. They have to monitor everyone to get a true result.

Andro Mon 30-Sep-13 17:20:08

X-post

ds was actually upset and felt "embarrassed.

Not good! Is there anyone at the school he could speak to about the way this was handled?

pooka Mon 30-Sep-13 17:20:17

Our school is trying to improve the outcomes for white working class boys. Because school data suggests that they are not achieving as well as white working class girls or children who are black/ethnic minority or children with SEN. For some reason we're just not performing as well as we would lie, when it comes to securing good achievement and progress for WWCB and that's something we need to address.

Btw it wasn't a quick check. They were both in their for a good 20 minutes each. Ds is exceptionally bright, is in top sets for everything etc. and yet this person spent the whole time giving him the message that he wasn't going to do well because he's from a poor family.

Maybe it's a good idea in theory but it has been poorly executed by the school.

SolomanDaisy Mon 30-Sep-13 17:23:37

Your children might be doing very well but still not achieving their full potential. There's no assumption about poor intellect, quite the opposite - they were checking whether some already high achieving children could be assisted to do even better.

pooka Mon 30-Sep-13 17:23:40

There's no suggestion that the kids we're letting down aren't bright or capable of achieving progress just as well as other groups. It's demonstrating that we need to raise our game.

LRDMaguliYaPomochTebeSRaboti Mon 30-Sep-13 17:24:22

There are plenty of reasons other than intellect why children struggle. It's awful, but there will be children who go to school hungry or cold or stressed because their mum or dad is crying about the rent money again. Those children are going to find it harder. Looking at the group of children who qualify for free school meals is probably the best way to find those children.

If they only looked at children getting low marks already, they could miss children who're under a huge amount of pressure but who're still achieving.

arethereanyleftatall Mon 30-Sep-13 17:24:49

Fgs the government just cant win can they? Yabu

buss Mon 30-Sep-13 17:25:18

I agree with the OP - it is inappropriate to single children out who are on FSM in this way.

Yes there is a link between FSM and low attainment, but the SMT only have to look at the figures that they should already have to see if the OP's children are in need of support.

Are they being inspected to see how they've spent their pupil premium soon I wonder...knee jerk reaction?

Andro Mon 30-Sep-13 17:25:31

and yet this person spent the whole time giving him the message that he wasn't going to do well because he's from a poor family.

If that's the message your DS received from the meeting it was the wrong one and someone needs to know about it. Outcomes will not be improved by telling ANY target group they won't do well (or at least sending that message inadvertently), it's pretty shoddy for a school to set the tone of 'we don't expect you to achieve because you're <whatever target group>!

CailinDana Mon 30-Sep-13 17:25:44

I would definitely complain clementine. Singling children out purely due to income without acknowledging their obvious abilities IS discriminatory. Monitoring can be done without dragging children out of class and embarrassing them. I really hope the experience doesn't damage your son's motivation.

I use to work as a ta in a primary school that was in quick an affluent area.

There were just as many children from wealthy families that struggled because they didn't get a proper breakfast or were not going to bed early enough. There can be emtional and physical neglect can occur in any family. b

CailinDana Mon 30-Sep-13 17:29:30

Plus the talk could easily have been couched as "we notice how well you're doing and were wondering if there's any way we could make life easier for you to help you carry on doing well" - no need to mention free school meals or underachievement at all.

So for typos.

Ds actually cried last night. Dd was less upset but still not happy.

What message are we giving them!?

BillyBanter Mon 30-Sep-13 17:32:20

Doesn't sound like they handled it very well. Do you think this is what they said or this is what your DS heard if he is sensitive about being on FSMs?

Viviennemary Mon 30-Sep-13 17:32:59

I think that's disgraceful. I'd be furious too and put in a complaint to the Local Authority.

Andro Mon 30-Sep-13 17:33:10

What message are we giving them!?

By the sounds of it, one that says they're expected to fail...

CailinDana Mon 30-Sep-13 17:34:37

Your poor ds. I am really annoyed for him. He must feel so defeated.
You might as well be honest and say people will assume he's "not good enough" because of his background/income but he can just stick two fingers up to them by exceeding their shitty expectations by miles.

LessMissAbs Mon 30-Sep-13 17:35:59

I don't think its discriminatory as it isn't one of the recognised categories of discrimination.

I do think it is stigmatory, and I think stigmatisation can be very harmful to some. They should not have been targeted if their grades, attendance and behaviour were good, and this can be checked on paper.

MrsDeVere Mon 30-Sep-13 17:39:25

I think people are missing the point.
OP I would be put out too.

There are ways of doing this sort of thing. This seems a lazy and stigmatising approach.

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