Bullied by a teacher.

(60 Posts)
Maria1201 Wed 22-May-13 17:02:13

My 9 year old daughter was bullied by her class teacher. It started in September and we have been back and forth to the school. My daughter had always loved school and had an excellent relationship with all her teachers until this year. The problem was the more I complained and the more the school put in place to protect my daughter, the more the teacher bullied my daughter. Eventually a full time teaching assistant was put into place and the school was very supportive. The obvious bullying stopped.
Then it started again in March. I didn't go to parents evening and I believe that is what angered the teacher. I made a formal complaint and a meeting was held with the governors. The Head then denied everything that had happened. However her lies soon fell apart and she admitted it had happened. The teacher had been advised by her union not to attend.
However when they sent the findings of the panel they just said the teacher had lacked judgement.
I had to remove my daughter from the school as she was having the most horrendous nightmares and was being sick at the thought of returning. I have a son in the school and can't juggle two schools. There is no school that will take them both. I have tried to move her up a year for the last 6 weeks of school. She is very advanced for her years and was supposed to be spending some lessons in that year anyway. However they have said no and will only allow her to move down two years which my daughter would find humiliating.
They have offered her to move into the parallel class but as this is next door she would have to walk past the teacher morning and afternoon to get into class. The teacher has a history of going out of her way to be vindictive to my child so I have no doubt that she would come into the parallel class often to intimidate my daughter. I thought if she was in the year above for the next 6 weeks it would be an acceptable solution. The teacher wouldn't be able to make excuses to go to her classroom as alarm bells would surely ring with other teachers and my daughter would still be able to go to school. She was put on the G&T register over a year ago but the school did nothing despite promising various things to challenge her. She definitely wouldn't struggle in that year for the last 6 weeks. The class she would be in is round the other side of the building so contact with the teacher who bullied her would be minimal. She would be able to spend lunch times with her original class and in September she could join the class again. The school are now reporting me to the welfare officer but I can't send my daughter back to that year. She used to be such a happy confident child and now she is a wreck. She wouldn't cope knowing every time the door went it could be that teacher.
She has been through so much already. The teacher has totally destroyed her and the worst part is the school know that she did it, the governor's know that she did it but nobody is prepared to stand up and be counted. It's all about protecting the school's image.
I have contacted the Department of Education and Ofsted but they all take time to process. My daughter has been out of school for 4 weeks now. I've spoken to the council but they will only intervene if she is below the national average or has special needs. Does anyone have any experience of this?

Maria1201 Sat 01-Jun-13 23:08:56

So do I. I'll let you know.

ProphetOfDoom Sat 01-Jun-13 22:40:04

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Maria1201 Sat 01-Jun-13 19:55:32

No not yet. They said 20 working days but it has been over that now. When I called they said they were dealing with a backlog and couldn't say when they would get back to me. It's so frustrating. I should have heard back from the Department of Education also by now. They said 15 working days but I have heard nothing.

It's a much slower process than I thought it would be. I wonder how quick it would have been dealt with if it had been my daughter bullying a teacher. Silly question.

All we can do is wait...and hope at the end of this Ofsted come good in the end for us both x

rainbowsock Sat 01-Jun-13 19:32:58

That's good - things should start moving now to get your dd back in education.
Have you heard from Ofsted yet? I am getting impatient to hear from them myself.

Maria1201 Sat 01-Jun-13 19:15:34

Received a letter from welfare today. I have a meeting in just over a week with an attendance panel. Fingers crossed they will look at the reasons thoroughly and my daughter can get back to school safely.

Maria1201 Wed 29-May-13 01:48:43

Rainbowsock I hope they do investigate your case. It seems to be the case that too often turning a blind eye to these situations occur. I'm not sure about the LEA having a 'Children not attending team'. I didn't know that such a thing existed. I will ask them. Thanks

CounselorTroi Mon 27-May-13 12:16:26

Does your LEA have a 'children not attending ' team?

rainbowsock Mon 27-May-13 12:15:31

The welfare of the child should be paramount so hopefully the EWO will be able to suggest a practical solution. A new school might be the best option if your dd is happy to move.
Will be interested to see if Ofsted can investigate this matter - it might fall under the category of 'Leadership & Management'. I also have raised some concerns to them and am awaiting a reply. In my case though some illegal actions have been taken so I am hopeful that they won't turn a blind eye to that. The actions were taken to uphold the schools reputation and maintain their Ofsted rating which is clearly deemed more important than the education of a child sad

Maria1201 Mon 27-May-13 11:13:56

Thanks everyone. I think maybe I just have to see what the Welfare Officer says. I imagine they will be round next week when she doesn't go back. As I have still not heard from the D of E or Ofsted I guess they are still looking into it. They haven't said anything other than they will be in touch once a decision about whether they can investigate has been made. This should be in the next week.
Failing that I am going to have to hope the Welfare Officer looks through the whole complaint and either agree to her being off for the next half term, (probably not likely but maybe under some kind of flexi learning agreement which was suggested earlier) and going back in September. Or argue my case for her moving up now into year 5. However if they can help facilitate a move to another school, even better.
I will keep you all updated and hopefully have some good news soon. I think you are so right Schmaltzing Matilda, persistence and stamina is what will make the difference. I have all the paperwork and witnesses etc. It's just a case of fighting my daughter's corner until someone does something to help her. I hope!

ProphetOfDoom Fri 24-May-13 22:50:46

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ProphetOfDoom Fri 24-May-13 22:49:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ProphetOfDoom Fri 24-May-13 22:43:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Ilikethebreeze Fri 24-May-13 21:31:44

You need to bring in the big guns of outside agencies - police, solicitors, media.
You say you dont have money for solicitors - no idea about legal aid, or a free 30 minute initial consultation.
police - no idea whether they would get involved or not.
media - sometimes just the thought of media getting involved is enough for organisations to suddenly sit up and take notice.

LatteLady Fri 24-May-13 21:13:25

Maria, may I ask what you want to happen?

Please be aware that whatever sanctions have been taken against the teacher will not be made known to you. For exactly the same reason, that if your child were the transgressor other people would not know what actions had been taken.

Once we know what you would like to happen, then perhaps we can find a way to achieve it.

ItsallisnowaFeegle Fri 24-May-13 16:56:05

My daughter has had a couple of incidences at school with teachers behaving in an inappropriate manner, at the very least.

Her yr 7 art teacher really took exception to her. She criticised and belittled my daughter at every opportunity. My daughter is actually a very talented artist, extremely so and it got to a point where my DD really didn't enjoy art at school.

I attended my first high school parents evening and told the teacher that, unlike a lot of parents, I do not think that the teacher is always right. That it is human and natural to take a 'dislike' to some individuals, without ever really being able to put a finger on why. I suggested this was the case here, that there was a clash of personalities and despite how she may or may not feel, personally, this treatment of my daughter stops now. As a professional, she was tasked with assisting my daughter to gain an education and from this moment on, that is exactly what both myself and my daughter expected and all that we would accept.

To be fair, she agreed to some extent (the clash of personalities etc). And to her credit, I received no further reports of unacceptable treatment from DD. In fact, she told me the teacher was almost tripping over herself to be pleasant.

The other issue was with her French teacher, again in yr 7. He accused her of doing her homework that morning and had rushed it. He made her stand up in front of the whole class while belittling DD by reading her work out. He then ripped up her jotter, before banishing her to the back of the class and refusing to allow her to join in with the lesson.

I was angry as I'd actually helped/ discussed this particular piece of homework a week before, with DD. I don't think my daughter is by any means the perfect pupil at all times but I was livid at this!

I wrote a letter to the teacher and told him that I had personally been involved in this particular piece of homework, that if her work does not meet the standards he requires/ expects, then he should discuss his concerns, in private, and never should he dare make her a laughing stock in front of her peers.

I insisted that he apologise to DD, which he promptly did.

I am very much the type of parent who works with the school if there are issues (i.e. DD was an Oompa Loompa for a few months when she was trying to find 'her place' and I took all of her makeup off of her as a result --until she came to her senses--)

Anyway, a few months down the line from that, I met her French teacher and he said DD had the capabilities to be not one of but the best linguist in her year.

I just don't 'get' why people find it so difficult to believe that teachers, too, are flawed and bullying behaviour can and does occur.

I'm so sorry for your DD, OP. She's being failed by the education system and I hope you are able to find a solution.

As a secondary aged child that should read.

I am very sorry to hear about the treatment your daughter has received at her school.

I was bullied extensively at child and my head of year actively worked with my bullies against me, so that she could be 'in' with the popular girls. Nothing was done by the school. It is soul destroying being in that situation and you have done the right thing to remove your daughter from that school.

I am a teacher who has contact with home educators in my area, one boy is brought to groups by his nanny. If you have a two year old as well, would a nanny be a possibility temporarily? The nanny could drop your daughter to local groups/sessions and look after your two year old as well.

With regard to school welfare, I would advise you to contact someone at Home Education UK. They will be able to advise you on deregistration, legal issues and how to correspond with various authorities. If you deregister it will stop the welfare proceedings, fines etc.... You could also raise the possibility of flexible-schooling with the Head (at Head's discretion),so that your dd attends part time within another class (even if it is the younger class, she could look at it as if she is helping, the last six weeks of summer term have a lot of fun activities like sports day), in order to keep her place at the school whilst her academic needs are catered to whilst she is at home. Schooling does not have to be Mon - Fri if home/flexi schooling, weekends and evenings all count if you wanted to get tutors for her.

moosemama Fri 24-May-13 15:37:47

It was informing the HT that we were going to the police that finally got him to act. Then the main/lead bully was finally moved into the other class in ds's year, although they do still share one lesson.

It's complicated by the fact that ds has Aspergers, so the school would constantly try to blame his poor social skills for any bullying incidents. The final time it happened though there was a multitude of witnesses, who were all asked to write up witness statements. The school initially refused to believe ds's description of events, but every single other statement backed up exactly what he'd said - basically that he was minding his own business and the other boys just ran up to him and attacked with no provocation. sad angry

We didn't get any outside help at all, as at it's worst, ds was only just going through his assessments. He had a breakdown as a result of the bullying and not being properly supported at school and in all honesty, has never really been the same since, but he's happy again now and likes going to school.

Unfortunately, he has been left supersensitive to being bullied, so got into trouble himself last week when another child jumped on and grabbed him - just messing around - and he panicked and hit them (not badly) to make them let go. He's never hit anyone in his life before. sad Interestingly, the teacher was quick enough to jump on ds for raising a hand, so unlike when he is the victim. angry Fortunately, the other child was a friend and they were able to talk it through agree to put it behind them.

I keep being told what a hard time the other boy/s have had over the past couple of years (family issues) as if that somehow excuses their treatment of my ds. In fact,when things threatened to start up again recently I wrote a strongly worded letter to the school, listing the incidents and warning signs and told them that I was aware that the family had had yet another upheaval and sure enough ds was becoming their emotional punchbag - yet again. Fortunately, ds now has a very strong advocate in the form of the Assistant HT who taught him last year and she dealt with things swiftly this time and nipped it in the bud.

I am so glad he only has half a term left at that school. Unfortunately, ds2 has a couple of years left there and dd is just about to start in reception, so it will be a long time before I am free of the place. hmm

You're absolutely right, it's a huge emotional strain on the whole family and just so awful when you feel totally powerless to help them. sad

Thank you for your kind thoughts. I wish the same for your dd.

Maria1201 Fri 24-May-13 14:58:56

That's dreadful Moosemama! Did you call the police when he was beaten? I know another parent who called the police and they went round to the boys house. The school soon dealt with the matter.
I'm not sure with regards to all areas but I know there are organisations that deal with children in these situations IF they have SEN provision such as Helping Handz which may help other people.
I keep hoping something will happen like the school do the right thing or a place will come up for the kids somewhere. Probably wishful thinking but...
I hope your son and your family can move on from this experience. It really affects the whole family and puts a huge strain on everyone. Hopefully your son will be stronger for it and go on to have a happy and successful life despite them. He shouldn't have to go through it I know.

moosemama Fri 24-May-13 14:32:05

I do understand Maria, we have been in similar positions with SEN provision - sometimes you can only take things so far and then there is just no way to legally enforce them providing the support and/or protection your dcs need. Unfortunately, if you come up against a HT and/or Governing body that are more interested in maintaining their reputation and brushing things under the carpet than ensuring the wellbeing of their pupils, there is often no-one to turn to. It stinks, it really does. sad

We took the same attitude as you in the end. Gave up fighting any further, as we just felt like tiny fishes struggling on the end of a line and we were wasting far too much energy trying to get them to step up and do the right thing - but ultimately knew we were fighting a losing battle. We needed that energy to support our ds, so we backed right off and focussed on supporting him at home and making sure he got the right secondary placement so we won't have a repeat of the same kind of crap he's been subjected to in primary.

He has been badly bullied at his primary school as well and in every instance they insisted they were following the school's policy, but refused to say what sanctions were imposed upon the bullies. (As far as we can see none.) We do have a copy of the policy - but the school hasn't released the appendices that the policy continual refers to, which list the escalation of sanctions against different levels of 'misdemeanour'. hmm

The boys that severely beat him in the playground on more than one occasion, were not only not suspended or excluded, one of them remained in his class. angry I think it's par for the course for schools not to tell you what happens to the bullies - it makes it easier for them to sweep it under the carpet and hope it all blows over. angry

Maria1201 Fri 24-May-13 14:17:33

The Governing Panel who heard the complaint upheld my complaint in part and said they felt the teacher had shown lack of judgement and had been inappropriate but didn't elaborate. When I asked what that meant for the future for my daughter they emailed me back to say that the matter was now closed and communication was over.
I don't know what if anything happened to the teacher. She is still in class but to be honest I'm past caring what happens to her. She has been complained about by other parents since I pulled my daughter and nothing has been done. My concern and only concern is getting my daughter into school and over this traumatic time.

ProphetOfDoom Fri 24-May-13 14:10:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ProphetOfDoom Fri 24-May-13 14:07:23

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Maria1201 Fri 24-May-13 14:04:56

Thanks Moosemama I have but I've done all the things they advise already, timelines, complaints procedures etc. It seems you can go so far down the road and then there is a dead end. I guess I'm just going to have to hope Ofsted or the D of E investigate it. Failing that I don't know. I guess I just wanted someone to say, I was in this situation, I contacted....and they managed a workable resolution. Maybe there isn't anyone. I can't afford a solicitor even with a free consultation there will be expense after that. I can't work at the moment with my daughter out of school and being self employed I won't be able to save up. Thanks everyone for taking the time to post I really appreciate it x

moosemama Fri 24-May-13 13:53:00

Have you tried contacting some of the anti-bullying charities for advice?

Bullying.co.uk

Anti-bullying alliance

Kidscape

Department of Education advice

Familylives.org

I'm sure they will have come across bullying teachers before and may be able to offer you some advice on how to move forward.

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