Tuesday, 26 June 2012

One parent rocks the whole school

Something totally crazy happened at the children's school yesterday. It's so crazy that I'm still struggling to get my head around it and I'd love to hear your thoughts...

We've had a temporary Headteacher for the last year. He came out of retirement to step in until a new permanent head could be found.
He's amazing, a breath of fresh air to a school that had become sad and tired around the edges. He arrived bursting with ideas, passion and experience. He won the children over and he won the parents over too. The school was smitten.

He introduced good behaviour awards, ditched the old 'non competitive' routine, pushed the children to excel, to reach high, to aim high. He made the school a really happy place.

One of the things he had promised come the end of the school year was a special 'Headteachers Trip'. The culmination of the year long reward strategy where children who had achieved 'Star Pupil' status and not received an inappropriate behaviour form would be treated to a day out.

The children were excited, the parents were impressed.

They knuckled down and worked hard to achieve team points and class stars in order to become a 'Star Pupil'. One by one they took their place at the front of assembly to collected their coveted Star.

As good behaviour and hard work is rewarded, so inappropriate behaviour results in a dreaded pink slip and to secure a place on the 'Headteachers Trip, you needed to be a pink slip free zone.

Sonny and Betty managed it and Biba accepts that she deserved her 3 pink slips for chattering when she should have been working (not sure where she gets that from).

Today was supposed to be trip day but Betty arrived home from school last night with the below letter in her hand and tears in her eyes.


Reading it took my breath away. Can you believe that someone would stoop as low as this? Are they in denial about their child's behaviour? What kind of example are they setting by kicking off in this way and threatening legal action? It beggars belief.

Key Stage 2 parents are up in arms. Not only at the way this parent has behaved but also because they don't have the guts to come forward and explain their motives.

And our 'Star Pupils' are left questioning why they worked so hard all year when they have effectively been punished.

UPDATE...
You will see from the comments that this has been accused of being a witch hunt. This is not the case and I would like to offer the parents involved the opportunity to tell their side of the situation by commenting below. You don't need to be registered to do so and you can remain anonymous if you wish.

193 comments:

  1. Crap,

    Perfect example of how our society works today.

    In our school they operate a good behaviour sticker system where you get a sticker for being good, great for kids who are naughty as they get a sticker for being 'better' crap for those who are good all the time as they fall under the radar.

    I am fuming for you, I hate this rubbish of modern day living.

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  2. I think it's awful. When I was younger I was told I couldn't go to the prom if I didn't behave, I have a perfect report card all year, at the end of the year they told me I couldn't go. Even to this day I am still heart broken. So shame on them!

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  3. That's terrible that another parent appears to be throwing their toys out of the pram because of their child's behaviour and as a result causing the entire group of children that have adhered to the rules and disciplines set to them by their headteacher, who ultimately should have the final say in things of this nature.  I would feel angry, let down and almost think "well why bother" if I was Sonny and Betty.  Seems like this parent needs to be a victim of the 'pink slip' behaviour themselves and take a leaf out of Biba's book in acknowledging that when you mess up you miss out.

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  4. Sour bloody grapes. That sort of thing makes me soo angry. 

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  5. This parent will probably also stay in their child's dorm room during university and do their course work for them.  Because, dammit Johnny deserves a degree even though he can't manage to attend class or stay sober long enough to do his work.  

    What a shitty way for the kids at your school to find out that people suck.

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  6. I can't believe a parent would complain about a Headmaster who has obviously worked hard to get children to reach their potential. I'd be furious if I were you. x

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  7. Oh my gosh, that is appalling and so sad!

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  8. Definitely sour grapes. If it weren't, then the parent would have raised the issue at the time that the trip, and the criteria for going on it, was announced.

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  9. That is totally disheartening! As a mum to children who fall within key stage 2, I know I would fully support what your headteacher is doing. Some parents are oblivious to how their child acts, and personally that's rather worrying as if they are not going to teach them right from wrong now, what the hell will these children be like in 10 years time? There is no respect nowadays *mutters to herself as she rambles on ranting* 

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  10. The 'general public' never cease to amaze - one parent, who blatantly never had a friend at school , and is clearly at war with themselves, spoiling rings for all those kids! Shameful. I concede that their might have been individual cases of 'pink slip' that might be disgruntled if they felt they weren't deserved in each individual circumstance, but *still*..

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  11. Written by a parent of a pink slip offender trying to push christianity and preaching on innocent hard working kids incentivised to excel no doubt!

    absolutely rages me that some single minded prick has the audacity to ruin an innocent idea that educates children in lifes learnings in a gutless threat!!

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  12. Charlotte, the whole of key stage 2 is ranting and with good cause I think. thanks for commenting.

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  13. The kids really stepped up to the mark because they were looking forward to this trip. They deserved it. A shocking life lesson for them to learn though isn't it?

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  14. Indeed, and if anyone was in a position to complain, it would have been me, with 2 going and 1 not but behaving in this way wouldn't have even crossed my mind. 

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  15. This is leaving me speechless. This is totally wrong! I am struggling to write something constructive so I am not going to go on about it but I hope somehow the star pupils get rewarded.

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  16. Coming from a teaching background this sort of behavior from parents does not surprise me. It saddens me to say that, but its true.  Its so sad that this has happened - I really feel for the hard working children that have, as you have already said, been effectively punished.

    I hope the parent that has caused this fuss sees the extent of the upset they have caused with their actions (although with the mentality to do what they have done i doubt that will happen).  I hope it all gets sorted out.

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  17. There was a Yr 3 & 4 sports thing after school today and it was the only thing anyone was talking about.

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  18. This is the exact reason young children are going to the wall.  Pathetic. 

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  19. Shocking. Those poor children that have worked so hard. Why do people not look at the bigger picture. Those who didn't get to go will try harder next year.

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  20. All the children knew all along what they needed to do and I applaud the way this scheme has worked throughout the school. My children were over the moon when they were awarded their Stars because they really worked for them.

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  21. Having experienced something very similar last year, I am saddened to say nothing surprises me.  I didn't feel I could blog about it, but am happy to include it in the comments. Maxi was part of a group of children on something called achievement for all.  This was made up of gifted and talented children, but also children on the SENCO register (many of which were there for speech therapy issues).  Being part of this group meant that he got to go to London on a trip free of charge.  I lost a good friend over this, as she went to the head as she didn't feel it was right that her child didn't get to go on this free trip.  She was very rude to me about Children being rewarded for being thick or clever and guess what, she spoiled it for all the subsequent years as this group no longer goes on any trips.

    She also had a real go when he got to go on a team building day this year for being part of the school council.

    Some people feel that there children are automatically entitled to be part of everything.

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  22. I agree but as biba managed collect 3 she was banged to rites!

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  23. This is awful, and so unfair. The headteacher sounds like he was doing all the right things for all the right reasons, and the nameless objector sounds like they were doing all the wrong things for all the wrong reasons!

    As parents could you get together and through a little party or bbq or something for the star pupils and invite the Head to thank him for all his hard work? That way you are empowering yourselves and not letting that one unpleasant individual rule the roost and have it all their way!

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  24. The head needs to go ahead with his planned reward but in another form - eg a day in school with visiting theatre/author/artist for star pupils. Pupils with pink slips to have lessons as usual.

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  25. That is appalling. What is that teaching the kids?

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  26. I think you've hit the nail on the head there Jen but they should at least have the guts to stand up and say it was them instead of hiding behind what they have done.

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  27. This is terrible! Why should the kids who worked hard miss out because the parents of a pink slip child has got the hump! Ridic!

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  28. That is awful!  How can a parent be so utterly selfish and ruin children's hard work?!
    Unfortunately it is characteristic of today's society: litigation threats, individual motives over what is best for a wider community (in this case the children who actually worked hard). 
    It is frightening to think what example the parent is setting their child: It's ok not to work hard, not to behave well, if you have the resources and/ or a loud enough voice you can get away with it.  Sad!

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  29. The child involved must feel awful too. The whole school is talking about it and trying to work out who's parent it is. 

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  30. I doubt it too but until they do come forward innocent parents are falling under the spotlight of guilt!

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  31. Exactly. No respect or ability to consider how their actions impact on others.

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  32. That shouting and screaming wins the day and hard work gets you nowhere.

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  33. As it happened Bridget, the pink slipped children had planned to spend the afternoon today playing cricket. As the trip was called off they all had to play cricket, so not only was the trip cancelled but the pink slip kids didn't lose out at all!

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  34. The other quite important point to make is that the children have worked hard towards something and have been promised a reward by the head of the school. I think he should have gone ahead with the trip. I hope the awful 'parent' who's child clearly didn't behave feels happy with themselves!

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  35. That sounds like a grand idea.

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  36. How ridiculous. That parent is totally missing the point. It's like organising a pocket-money scheme for your kids, based on household chores. They do the chore, they get rewarded with money  No chore, no money - simple! They don't get 'punished' for not doing the chore, because nothing is being taken away. Ridiculous. Sour grapes obviously, because their kid isn't getting the 'pocket money'...

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  37. Having spoken to the head today, he didn't have any choice but to cancel which is very sad.

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  38. I think it is such a shame that hard working children have had this taken away from them. I can't believe that someone has the balls to threaten legal action and then step back and watch it all pan out. They should stand up and admit what they have done. This kind of thing can totally crush childrens spirits and work ethic. Working for a reward they never get, such a sad thing.

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  39. Seriously? They should have called their bluff and let the parent either sue them or back down. Lets face it who is really going to waste their money on something so trivial.  Also they would have outed themselves as being an utter killjoy for the kids who had worked hard and done their best.  I feel for the kids and the head who tried to make a difference, is there anyway the parents can back him to make this go ahead?

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  40. It actually doesn't surprise me! My two boys go to a fantastic school and the eldest went to a not so fantastic school in Reception. The teachers work really hard, the children are happy and motivated and they have the most amazing opportunities. Yet still the parents complain. I have pointed out on several occasions that they are lucky but there have recently been a spate of anonymous letters about 'favouritism' and concerns about how the school is run. Sadly you are right, some parents don't accept that their child can do any wrong and they make the already difficult job of teaching really hard.

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  41. What kind of a lesson does this parent teach our children? That it's OK to ruin things for everyone just because you disagree with it? I would be so annoyed. Is there any way that the parents of the teachers who had achieved a star could organise a small trip or treat? They really do deserve something for all that hard work.

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  42. We are backing him Liz. We were at a sports thing after school and not one parent had a different view. I guess when legal action is threatened its out of the heads hands:(

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  43. Oh that's crap. Quite frankly, appalling. That poor headteacher probably feels really quite awful about the situation, he sounds like a really fair, kind and motivating leader who did the best he could to further the children's development and behaviour. Some disgruntled parent has completely spoilt it for everyone else, and the children must be so disappointed. Unfortunately nowadays, as teachers, we live in fear of litigation from an unhappy parent, but this takes the biscuit.

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  44. I really think you should do something collectively as parents of those who were meant to go on the trip - independantly of the school of need be (the party idea is great!). I also think a letter of support for the head to the governers wouldn't go amiss as I really feel for him. What a huge shame. :-(

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  45. And it isn't as if the pink slip children left at school would have had a terrible day. They weren't going to be in lessons, they were doing fun activities all day. 

    To further rub the Star Pupils noses in the cancelled trip, they ended up joining in their plans!

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  46. I am genuinely horrified and dumbfounded I don't know what else to say! that is an immensely cruel thing to do to kids, maybe they had heir reasons but could they not  just consider how they would make all those hard working kids feel by stripping them of their right to celebrate their achievements.

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  47.  I feel so bad for you all :( such a shame...

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  48. My gran used to say, "the greetin' wean aye wins", which has totally happened here.  You complain loud enough, you win.  What a crap lesson for that parent's child.  So sad they couldn't get on their trip.  Hopefully common sense will prevail and the kids will get some sort of trip in it's place.  My thoughts are with the Head. x

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  49. Sian, they do deserve a treat but more than that they deserve the treat that they worked for and was promised to them. 

    We (parents) would just like the person (s) who caused all of this to come forward and explain their motives.

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  50. How absolutely terrible for the kids who had worked hard to earn stars for the trip. I think the parent who did this should be named and shamed and left in the playground with all the parents of those heartbroken children. Sorry to hear that a teacher who is a such a treasure should be made to feel that he has somehow done something wrong. Abso
    Utterly appalled

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  51. Mine too. He totally doesn't deserve this shit.

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  52. Holly, I think that the answer to that is that they didn't think about any of the children who have worked hard - only about their own child, who on this occasion did not.

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  53. I agree Minty and I know that the head has been flooded with letters and emails in support today. 

    A party idea is great but how do we stop this same situation arising again?

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  54. missleslieanne26 June 2012 at 21:29

    Utterly awful - for the pupils who've worked hard *and* for the teacher, who must feel completely disheartened.
    If it were my child's school, I think I'd rally round the parents of the pupils who were supposed to be going & arrange a day out independantly of the school, and invite the head as a guest of honour.

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  55. Personally, I want my son to always work hard and do his best.  If someday he doesn't do his best and doesn't achieve what he should, I will be disappointed and I would hope that he would be disappointed in himself and accepting of whatever he misses out on as a result.  I don't think all the children who worked hard should be penalized.  

    I'm guessing the parent in question has a child with add or adhd or something else that somehow makes this an equality issue in their eyes.  If I think about it that way, I maybe can see them saying something, but that something should have been voiced at the beginning, not the end.  I find it ridiculous that the plug was pulled at the last minute on a rewards program that has been in place all year.  Cancelling the reward at the last minute hurts all the children who have worked hard and sets a horrible precedent.  

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  56. I really hope that the parent is happy with what they have done. 
    Funny how they are brave enough to threaten the head and take down the children but not brave enough to hold up their hands in public. If they happen to read this post i would be more than happy to publish their version of events.

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    Replies
    1. Really though? Why would they come into this very public arena that you have created and attempt to defend themselves against this barrage? There are a lot of very strong opinions being expressed here without the full facts, and there is no 'right' to have the full facts. Does it concern you that this risks being a bit bullying?

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    2. I Quite agree with "Anonymous", just remember "Geekisnewchic" and everyone else who is commenting on this "blog", there is always two sides to every story, so before you start mud slinging, just stop and think, because no one should be judging anyone without the full facts.

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  57. That is the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard. What is wrong with these people? The world has gone mad! x

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  58. That's a lovely idea but easier said than done I think.

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  59. Unfortunately, I'm not shocked by this, but then I do teach in a primary school. It's sad but some parents treat their children like little emporers and they get angry if we (teachers) don't do the same. My guess is that one parent got upset that their child has not been chosen for the trip, so they have complained about it. It stinks.

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  60. Thanks Sally. We obviously all have our views as to who it was and I agree with you, they should stand up to be counted.

    On a positive side, it has created a ground swell of togetherness that hasn't been seen in our playground for quite some time.
    Thanks for commenting xx

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  61. Thats disgraceful........so now because some parents whose children aren't being rewarded feel the need to ruin things for those who have!! Now you have the situation whereby kids will wonder why they have bothered striving to be good- to many 'do gooders' I'm afraid!! :(

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  62. Its very Sad, same thing has happened at our school, a parent has complained although he is not stopping what he had planned as its not fair on the children, but I was horrified that he had encouraged these children to do well and motive and he was slated for it (even to the point that they tried to get a petition going about it), I Laughed with him about why 'my' child wasn't going...I'm under no illusion that my son would get anywhere on good behaviour, Some people really need to take a step back and look at the reality of life. 

    I really feel for the children here, hope something gets sorted xxx

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  63. I worked in a school for a long time before having my kids and some parents views really are very unbelievable but this is on a whole other level.  How can someone even justify taking this away from the kids who had worked so hard : (  It is such a shame that the kids were let down at the last minute, whoever it was should have the guts to come forward and not be such a coward.  What they have done is bully the school into taking the trip away - the kind of behaviour I am sure they would not want their children to display. Shocking. 

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  64. Biba wasn't going and i didn't bat an eyelid. But then I would like to believe that i've taught her about right and wrong and she understands that she is the reason that she wasn't going on the trip and she's cool with that.


    The parent should have been helping their child to achieve a pink sleep free term instead of concentrating their efforts on the rest of the school.

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  65. Gina, I actually think it may have done.

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  66. Exactly. In this case it looks like the bully wins.

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  67. Some people need to open their eyes and realise that the world doesn't revolve around them..... though I guess it clearly does on this occasion.

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  68. That is exactly what the children are thinking.

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  69. SarahBuggysnug26 June 2012 at 22:02

    Sadly nowadays schools spend too much time worrying about threatened litigation. If I was a governor there I would vote for the trip to go ahead. It's about time we stopped putting up with rubbish like this. It doesn't have to be a sign of the times. I hope the kids get their treat x

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  70. That's awful for all the star pupils, who have behaved excellently all year and now have lost out big time.

    It's like someone going to the Olympics to compete and then saying, "If we can't all get a gold medal, then no one should, that's fair and equal (right?). Just because that athlete (student) has put the effort in (and I didn't quite manage it), why should they get the gold medal?"

    It sounds like the head has set out the rules and expectations from the very start. I don't see a problem with it myself. Yeah, I'm sure, some children with behaviour problems or special needs might struggle, but I'm sure the head has thought this through, to make it as fair as possible.

    What has the world come to?

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  71. Basically some parent (or a few of them) got angry because their child(ren) didn't get picked and think they were not picked in an unfair manner. As everyone has stated this isn't teaching our children anything good at all. This says "guess what kids, people lie so get ready for people to screw you over after you work so damn hard and get nothing back for it". I say write back and if you know other parents who agree with you on the fact this is down right wrong to do to any child dangling something infront of them and then taking it away 24 hours beforehand just because someone (or several) had a tiff about it. Those kids worked hard and should get what they were promised!

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  72. that is disgusting, if you child cant behave they cant go simple. Some parents really really irritate me

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  73. Absolutely. I hope that the person (s) who has kicked up such a fuss does let you know their thinking behind it.

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  74. both my girls got the chance of going on this headteachers trip which they both worked very hard for knowing they would get at last a reward for their efforts that generally get overlooked like so many others in their school .Generally the not so good pupils get rewards for just trying too be good for a lesson where as general good , polite & well mannered children get missed !
    this trip was planned for tuesday ( today ) , unfortunately due too a parents threat of legal action because their child didnt get on the trip the trip was cancelled last night  !!! i have never been so disgusted , my girls now have the attitude of "why bother " i cant blame them either !
    sadly the completely wrong message has been sent out too these children !
    be good and you will get overlooked , be bad you will be rewarded if you make a little effort

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  75. Tina, i'm also sure that children with special needs or behaviour problems have had this taken into consideration all the way down the line.

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  76. Thanks for commenting fellow parent!

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  77. I wonder whether one or two governors actually agreed with this parent and ended up pushing the headteacher's hand? In a situation like this often the governing body decide for the school. It's such a shame though that hard working children have been let down. As a teacher myself I see it all the time and while there r some challenging pupils who really respond well to awards schemes there r some who couldn't care less but inclusion always dictates that they never miss out in the end. Perhaps the one good thing about this is that he whole thing was cancelled and not tweaked so the undeserving could go too. XxX

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  78. I'm disappointed that the HT & chair have succumbed to this pressure. It is very late in the day as has already been mentioned. It would be interesting for the HT to explain what part of the EquLity Act is being quoted. There must be a possible case to answer I suppose. It is also so sad that this HT will be leaving without having rewarded the well behaved children that has been his trade mark in other schools. have any of you omen to parent governors to see if there is anyway forward. Governors should have been informed at some point. Might be a way forward.

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  79. I guess I'm echoing all the previous comments, but felt so angry that I wanted to comment and add in my 2 cents. 
    The timing of the objection proves that this parent was simply annoyed that their child/children didn't achieve the agreed standard, so they spoiled it for everyone. It's definitely sour grapes on their part and they really should feel ashamed of themselves for the mess they've created. I also have a strong reaction when people use religion to excuse their own damaging behaviour. Calling it 'unchristian' shows a particularly manipulative streak that hopes to disguise their real motivation. And I'm sorry that your children (and the other pupils) are missing out and having to deal with the disappointment and fall out that comes with this kind of nonsense. It really isn't fair.

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  80. If anyone is being unchristian in all of this it is the parent at the center of it.

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  81. Julia,

    Thanks for the advice. A letter to the governors it will be.
    The tip side of it is that the head obviously knew that his letter would cause such a reaction amongst parents. I'm sure he wants this pressure put on the parent in the hope they will come forward.

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  82. So just because one or two parents of 'non-pink slip children' feel their precious little one is missing out everyone who has worked really hard for it must miss out - that not on at all.

    I wonder how they would feel if this happened to them at work? Maybe they worked hard for a prootion which was then takn away from them as someone complained - I bet they wouldn't like it onw bit....but they are adults - this is young children made to suffer unjustly :(

    Sour grapes gone too far IMO but why weren't their concerns raised earlier - maybe well in advance of the trip??

    I feel so sorry for the well deserving children and sorry for the children with parents who act like this - its not teaching them any standards or morals - just complain and you'll get your own way kids :(

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  83. This is so out of order!  No wonder children have no respect any more.  If the parent had an issue with this it should have been aired when the scheme was first announced not just before the children were due to get their good behaviour reward.
    My heart goes out to the children, they must be so disappointed. The children have all learnt a lesson from this, it doesn't matter how you behave you will all be treated the same!  No wonder our world is falling apart around us.
    Great respect to the headmaster though.  I hope this gets overturned and he is able to give the children the trip he promised them.

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  84. Poor Betty. I can't believe a parent would be so petty to ruin something lovely for children. It isn't like this was based on perfect attendance or something else even vaguely arbitrary that could be argued. Even if it was something debatable why would you spoil it for other children just because your child couldn't go?  The "un-Christian" comment pisses me off to no end because last time I checked there was a separation of church and state and that has no place in any argument.

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  85. secondtimemummy26 June 2012 at 23:06

    Wow, this has made me really angry - I have no words. Shame on the complainers - lets hop karma prevails.

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  86. Facebook culture. Complain loud enough and you win. Sad.

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  87. Some parents can't accept there little precious is naughty. I used to see it all the time at youth clubs I worked in. 

    But some take the cake and this is one of them. 

    I hope you find out who this person is so they can be made accountable for their actions spoiling it for all the good kids. 

    My concern is. how many other schools has this happened to and they had no PR goddess blogger to defend their corner. 

    To the parent who ruined this. YOU SUCK! 

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  88. I am disappointed that the Headmaster's intentions have not been backed by the Chair and that the 'typical' route has been followed. I think he must be massively demoralised by that lack of support of his exceptionally worthwhile initiative.

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  89. Some parents are saying that we should let this be. I'm not so sure. Keep quiet and the bully wins.

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  90. I have a big queue on my karma list but lets hope.

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  91. I won't comment further on this situation purely because there is nothing I can add that others haven't already said brilliantly.

    What I will say however is that your Head sounds fantastic, forward-thinking, absolutely on the ball and very much someone I would be thrilled to have in a position of responsibility for my own children's education (not that our own Head isn't fabulous).

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  92. Knew that would get you going!

    A kind reader on Twitter kindly sent this link to the Equality Act 2010 too and it would seem that as all children had access to this reward scheme they have not been discriminated against.
    http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2010/15/section/85

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  93. As much as i feel for the children this trip this is against education regulations and the head should have known this at the beginning. I have a child with ADHD whom i have made a complaint as my child was excluded from an after school activity because he was special needs (he had behaved) yet all his class mates stayed on after school which made my son leave in tears. That is not fair as he was invited, it was educational on a social level and most of his class mates were there not to mention the school field. It was not my problem to make sure he had provision the school required or he was not allowed to camp. The school has extra funds and a duty to meet that provision eg an assistant. What this head did was illegal as state schools have a duty to include ALL children in school activities, so do you think that is fair ?. The excuse used was it was an after school activity so whoever this parent was who pointed out education regulations and rightly so as it was during school hours so no grey area there! parents cant bully schools!  but parents and schools do and can gang up and bully other parents cant they? How should we reward a special needs child in school? answers on a postcard! It is legal for a school to provide an extra activity IN SCHOOL or rewards for out of school activity such as others do with 'vouchers' or they win prizes which us what this head should have done to avoid all of this!. I cannot believe even people here who work in schools do not know the Government regs concerning education which are there to make things fair for all pupils. The law is there to make sure a big gap is not created between the 'good' the 'bad' and not forgetting the 'special needs',  which lets face it wouldn't have a chance of going on this trip due to behaviour linked to their disability and that is discrimination whether any of you like it or not. It may not have been a parent who's child is special needs and to suggest so is ridiculous as that parent would also know their child would never make the trip and would have complained at the very beginning which clearly has not happened. What if the parent was one with lots of money who's child usually does well but had just one pink slip but claimed it was someone else's fault.. I always look on the other side of the fence in a fair and Christian way..which is more than i can say for others discussing this subject. I suggest everyone look in the direction of law and if you want that changed its the government you should be angry at not parents or children.I am not afraid to shout and stand up for my child's rights either but i have a feeling there are too many closed minds and i have stepped into the lions den being here :) 

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  94. I'vet just sent a link to my Mother-in-Law, who is a Depute Head and married to a Head Teacher, to read tomorrow. I'd love to hear her POV!

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  95. I disagree ,no Christian would turn this into a witch hunt in particular with the internet, now that is bullying! 

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  96. Angela thank you very much for your comment. I'm sorry to hear about the problems that your son has encountered in school but I don't think that this situation is remotely like the one that you faced.

    All of the Key Stage 2 children were included in the rewards scheme so I don't understand where this isn't being fair. I'm also not sure what your comment about money means or how that gives a fair and Christian view?
     "What if the parent was one with lots of money who's child usually does well but had just one pink slip but claimed it was someone else's fault.."
    My own daughter wasn't going on the trip and she understands why. I didn't and would never have threatened the school because she wasn't included. She knew the rules just like the rest of Key Stage 2 did.

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  97. Nickie, He is brilliant and really shouldn't have to deal with this crap in his last couple of weeks with us.

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  98. This isn't a witch hunt Angela. If the parent is big enough to rock the beliefs of most of key Stage 2 then they should be big enough to offer a proper explanation that we can give to our children because currently they are wondering why they worked so hard and had their reward taken away.

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  99. Regarding money i am trying to open your mind up to who it might be !  My example of my own dealings should explain why you and others 'do not understand'  I am simply saying that the head is not always fair and that maybe you should look at it like this..he is an experienced head, he should know the regs, he should not have promised or done a reward out of school for 'good behaviour', The gov pulled the plug when the head was reminded it was indeed discrimination..not of the disability kind but of the way the reward was out of school and discriminating those from going outside the school who were 'not well behaved' . Do you understand now?P.s .ALL of key stage 2 were not included in particular special needs children, i have covered that one and the answer is no..therefore i could have complained but I would not do anything to spoil anyone else's enjoyment and i would say the parent concerned did not want that either and had no intentions of having the trip cancelled that was the schools decision to cover their mistake. I hope i have shed some light on this situation 

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  100. As a Christian mum with a child at the school I am saddened that A Parent is allowed to compromise the very values which were my reasons for choosing the school.

    I am grateful for the kindness, and quality that all the teachers give here and am saddened that the selfish act of one has compromised this.

    We as parents had a choice, not just what our children were taught but how. We all made it and now it appears that when it hasn't gone the way one person wanted, they want to compromise the ethos they chose. I don't want to compromise that ethos and the way the teachers brilliantly teach and nurture my family. They should not be pressurised to do so.

    I feel for the child of the parent that drove this, let's not forget them in this as a school and help them as this blows up.

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  101. Lizzie, thanks for commenting. I've mentioned the child a few times here in the comments. We can only hope that they are not aware of the actions of their parents.

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  102. I feel sorry for everyone involved as this is all getting ridiculous , there are more important things happening to people in our community to care about.Also a Christian i am saddened that you think another parent has been selfish when you do not know who they are and what their intentions were. As a legal adviser clearly the school worded the letter as such to blame the parent and cause this reaction which is also wrong. I am trying to understand how the parent must be feeling if their complaint about their child's rights were infringed or reading all this on the internet that is bullying. Maybe they did not understand what mentioning the education act to the head was going to do? after all  it was illegal and the treat for good behaviour should have been in school not outside that is all this particular legislation requires! the head should have known this. I wonder if any of you will be supporting me to such an extent like this in something that was and still is on going with my son and completely unfair/illegal considering I have been honest and open about my issues. Would be nice wouldn't it. I am the only person so far who has dared to explain further with an open mind so my work here is done! :)

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  103. Sian, I am totally with you on this one, as you can probably gather from the Facebook page I set up.  My husband also said about taking it to the press. x

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  104. Angela, if you are a parent at our school and have direct knowledge of this situation why don't you just say so instead of skirting around the issue and insinuating?

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  105. Simone, read through all of the comments if you get a chance, some people from school leaving their views. Interesting reading.

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  106. Crap,
    Perfect example of how society works today.
    In our school they operate a good behaviour sticker system where you get a sticker for being good, great for kids who are naughty as they get a sticker for being 'better', crap for those who are good all the time as they fall under the radar.

    I'm fuming for you, I hate this rubbish of modern day living.

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  107. Written by a parent of a pink slip offender trying to push Christianity and preaching on innocent hard working kids incentivised to excel no doubt!
    Absolutely rages me that some single minded prick has the audacity to ruin an innocent idea that educates children in life's leanings in a gutless threat!

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  108. Perfectly Happy Mum27 June 2012 at 08:35

    This is leaving me speechless. this is totally wrong! I am struggling to write something constructive so I'm not going to go on about it but I hope somehow the star pupils get rewarded.

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  109. Shocking, Those poor children that have worked so hard. Why do people not look at the bigger picture? Those who didn't get to go will try harder next year.

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  110. I think it is such a shame that hard working children have had this take. Away from them. I can't believe that someone has the balls to threaten legal action and then step back and watch it all pan out. They should stand up and admit what they have done. This kind of thing can totally crush children's spirits and work ethic. Working for a reward they never get, such a sad thing.

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  111. It actually doesn't surprise me! My two boys go to a fantastic school and the eldest went to a not so fantastic school in reception.the teachers work really hard and the children are happy and motivated and they have the most amazing opportunities. Yet still the parents complain. I have pointed out on several occasions that they are lucky but there has been a recent spate of anonymous letters about 'favouritism' and concerns about how the school is run. Sadly you are right, some parents don't accept that their child can do any wrong and they make the already difficult job of teaching really hard.

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  112. Crystal Jigsaw27 June 2012 at 09:05

    Oh. Em. Gee.

    The pettiness of some people is outstanding.

    There is quite obviously a number of parents who are deluded enough to assume their child is perfect, yet are in denial that their child is far from it. Reward the good, ignore the bad. Address the issues when they arise. I find it pretty sad that the children who deserved to go on this trip are missing out because of a few parents with a do-good attitude. I imagine over time, the said parents will be outed. It's usually the case. One can generally tell from the sour face expression they will portray at the next big event, that they will no doubt want to be a part of.

    CJ x

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  113. Maybe parents of children that achieve could organise a trip for their kids. I can see both sides, BUT I think good effort deserves reward and modern schooling does not encourage effort any more. Because today, everyone has to win. As to being against an all inclusive policy, presumably star awards are too as everyone should get one regardless of how they perform!!?!

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  114. I totally agree.  The way in which the letter was written definitely wanted to cause a reaction.

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  115. Very true.  Its great to see parents pulling together.

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  116. That's the point, the parents wouldn't have sued.  Can you imagine.  On what grounds! 

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  117. Crystal Jigsaw27 June 2012 at 09:37

    My daughter has autism and up until last year she attended a mainstream school where she also missed out on a few activities. But having a SEN child does not give the parents a right to spoil things for everyone else. Law or not, maybe what the HT did was a little out of the ordinary, but to encourage children to be good and do well throughout the school year then make them feel like they have been punished is so very wrong. My daughter now attends a special needs school but the children are still treated individually, where they are rewarded for good behaviour and doing well. It is not discrimination, it is encouragement that is very often lacking in today's society.

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  118. Such a shame that the minority win by screaming and accusing this great man of something which would bring such joy to those who deserved it.  I'm a bit speechless.

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  119. Utterly appalling, I feel so sorry for the well behaved children. I would feel exactly the same as you, I spend a great deal of time ensuring that my six children are well behaved and polite at school, don't get me wrong they are not angels at home, but when in school they know how to behave, unfortunately there are far too many parents that have a very blinkered view of their child!!
    I am a parent governor at my younger children's Primary school because I wanted to be more involved in their education, but I have found there are a few parents that constantly moan and complain about things we do, however not one of them has ever given their time voluntary or put themselves forward to be nominated, they just think it should all be done for them, unfortunately this is not sending out a good message for all those hard working children, I hope something gets sorted and the children are rewarded, and the parent that has caused it all will step forward and apologise, although in my experience I doubt it!!

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  120. Hi I thought I would respond as I am a teacher (not at this school, but I will remain anonymous if I can). This is completely unfair on all those children who worked hard and were given the reward of a trip - why can't good behaviour and good work be rewarded?  Schools often spend so much time focusing on rewarding the children who behave badly when they actually do something good that they forget the students who work hard and behave well ALL the time. I cannot believe this has happened, the head should NOT have to cancel his trip. I really think you and all the parents of the kids who were going on the trip should organise something else for them instead (not that that was your responsibility!!) 

    I would also say I am not quite sure how it is against education regulations - that's in no regulations I have ever seen.  It's also not discrimination. It was open to ALL students in the school - if some chose not to do what was required to get themselves on the trip that's their own too bad! 

    :)

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  121. ALL students were included - the ones that weren't chose not to be included because of their behaviour. 

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  122. By the way I am not talking about special needs children 

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  123. Thank you for commenting, it is much appreciated and anon is fine of course.

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  124. I've been privately accused of bullying and intimidating today too. Seems its not actually OK to speak about things like this.

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  125. Typical of how we are encouraging future generations to be snide, back stabbing and unpleasant. That parent should have the balls to step up and be named or shut the hell up and let the good kids get their reward. I hope people like her won't moan too much when they turn their own kids into spineless backstabbers. We'll have the last laugh - these unpleasant offspring will choose her retirement home.

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  126. Hi CJ, I was hoping that you would give your view. Thank you for stopping by. x

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  127. Beggars belief. I wanted to leave a reasoned comment for this post...but actually words fail me.

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  128.  It is very interesting.  Seems we're not the minority!

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  129. What a awful thing to happen to all those hard working diligent children, I feel so sorry for them. If the parent in question has an issue it's an issue with the way it affects their own child. They should have dealt with it privately on that basis. I refuse to believe that whatever it is is so bad that they needed to ruin the day and effectively wipe out a whole year of pride with the threat of legal action.
    The 'unchristian' comment has really made me seethe; the only thing this parent has proved by their threats is just how unchristian they really are.
    I really hope something can be arranged to reward the children so their faith in decent behaviour is restored.

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  130. Unfortunately I believe that the parent in question can't see the wood for the trees.

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  131. An explanation is all that is needed. I actually don't think that any good would come from the parent being named now. People are too wound up BUT I do think that they should give their side of the story. They could have very valid reasons that we don't know about after all. 
    I have already offered this space - and I will offer again now. If the parent would care to give their side they can do so anonymously here.

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    1. And how have people got so wound up? Through an antagonistic letter home, a whole lot of playground discussion and online whipping up of the situation. An opportunity for an open discussion should have been given BY THE SCHOOL before any of these destructive things took place.

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  132. Poor Bett was really upset and certainly wasn't the only one.

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  133. One of mine was pink slipped. I wouldn't have stopped the rest of the school being rewarded though:(

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  134. this makes my skin itch - heaven forbid we reward children for good and consistent behaviour - rather than send those children on trips who barely manage to hold it together and not be excluded (which is what happens in my daughters school, the average decent children never get rewarded and those who dont punch a wall this week get sent on a trip). I agree that all children should be recognised for improvement but consistency is key and rewarding good honest hard work is to be applauded. Whoever this parent is should take a good long look at them selves in the mirror and think about all those children who have missed out, just so their little 'prince or princess' can be 'equal' its a complete joke

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  135. It's all completely unreal. We were all looking forward to the trip (I was going as a parent helper too)  ..... it was such a lovely idea with nothing but positive motives as far as I could see. I just don't get what drove this parent to complain about something so completely positive. Too much time on their hands or too much anger in their heart .... either way, all bad. It was my little fella's birthday that day too so he would have had an extra special time. Shame for all concerned - children, parents, teachers ........

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  136. This makes me so annoyed - it's disgusting.

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  137. Hi honey, thanks for commenting. I thought that we were going to get more of an explanation in that letter that came home today - but alas no.

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  138. Indeed.
    The comments are still coming thick and fast but still no one agrees with what was done to the Star Pupils. Its totally crazy.

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  139. Right, I totally understand where you are coming form and I would be spitting feathers at that as well.  The kids who did well should have had their reward as they were promised it, and the other kids have something different so that they were not left out completely.  I think the Headmaster who organised this kind of thing seriously needs to consider his management skills.  It is blatant punishing bad behaviour as there are many kids in schools who are there through no fault of their own, and can't manage classes unsupported and will never, ever manage to achieve this type of reward, no matter how well they do.    

    If you look at it this way.  A brain damaged child may use more energy and stress to be caught only chattering 5 times a day in every day than a normally quiet child does in its whole school life.  They should never, ever, give blanket rewards like this. I saw an incredible example last year.  A very shy boy stood up with his chosen poem which was 25 verses long.  He stuttered, stammered, sweated, voice cracked and eventually made it to the end.  There were 6 categories of winner and that boy got NOTHING.  The effort he put in was not taken into consideration at all and the winner was a girl who take acting lessons and had a poem of three verses long.  The dejection in his face, and his obvious determination not to bother trying again was clear.  This kind of stupidity is pretty much all over in schools.  If they wanted to do this kind of scheme, each child should have had targets to meet, based on their abilities and experiences.  Eg, Biba's target to get to go, could have been no more than 2 pinks slips to be able to qualify since she struggles with not talking.  That kind of pro-active headmaster would get my vote of confidence.  I think you parents are all blaming the wrong people.   The fault lies with niave and inexperienced staff who put this programme together without thinking it through properly.

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  140. ps, I have a problem with some commenters calling children names.  You never know what they are going through.

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  141. My son, (in key stage 2 but not at the school in question) also has autism, along with ADHD. On Monday his teacher didn't allow him to attend an after school club, due to his bad behaviour. Did I kick up a fuss and scream about it? No I supported the teachers decision and reprimanded my child for misbehaving in school. Yes he has special needs, but he still needs to learn right from wrong. I will not have his disabilities used as an excuse for getting away with bad behaviour....harsh? Maybe, but if I didn't punish him and support the school in punishing him, how would he know right from wrong? I truly believe that I am teaching him a valuable life skill by supporting the school with their punishments. 

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  142. Thanks for your sharing your thoughts. 
    I'm afraid that I can't comment on each child's goals and targets in order to stay pink slip free but I do know that the merits aren't awarded in line with a fast set of rules. The teachers know the pupils well and they know their limits, abilities and experiences and what it takes to become a Star Pupil differs from child to child.

    The head teacher is extremely experienced and has carried out the same scheme in many schools that he has worked in without any problems at all.

    And Biba... she had her tally reset in January but still didn't make the cut!

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  143. Scottishmum - who is to say that the pink slip system is not relative to the individual child? I have just read this post and the entire comments feed and I had assumed all along that it was a relative reward. I would assume based on common sense (maybe naively so) that pink slips would be given out based on an understanding of the particular child's behaviour pattern. If this is the case then I fail to see how this does not give a fair opportunity to all the children no matter what the situation.
    I am a parent of a 6 year old boy. He is mild mannered and polite. He is not a genius but he does get on and do his work at school. He does not shout from the roof tops to get noticed through bad behaviour or good and do you know what? More often than not he gets overlooked. Yes I agree the situation with the boy and the poem must be frustrating but do you not think it is equally as frustrating for all those other kids who have tried really, really hard in their own ways not to get rewarded either. 

    It is such a shame that the children in this school who for once have been applauded for their good behaviour have been let down. As some one else pointed out we have a responsibilty as parents to teach our children the difference between right and wrong, good behaviour and bad behaviour but how can we do this when someone comes along and undermines their efforts. 

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  144. The spoilt brat parent is going to raise spoilt brat children.  
    There's no hope for society.

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  145. Jen, if the reward system has been appropriate to each child and agreed in advance (written permission) with parents and children, no issue would have arisen as all parties would have agreed to the terms.

    I used the boy with the poem as an example, any child can fall into the ignored category.  This is not a child against child, parent against parent situation.  If the system isn't justifiable, it's vulnerable.  A risk assessment would have shown up potential problems which could have been dealt with.  

    I'm not saying the quiet kids don't deserve the reward, I know the problems.  I'm saying all kids need to be treated in such a way that they have equal access.  Otherwise, what's happened to Sians kids will just keep on happening to others as some parents will, rightly or wrongly complain when systems are not robust.  

    I am not saying one section has more "worthiness" than any other, I'm saying that parents and kids shouldn't be pitted against each other and the reason for cancellation of the trip should have been private and not divulged to the other parents.  The parent who complained is now vulnerable and so are the children of the family.  Nobody knows their situation or why they did what they did.  Perhaps they did it deliberately to spoil it for everyone, but what if they didn't.   What if it was someone at the end of their tether with an undiagnosed special needs child and getting no help?

    Sians post is clear that to go on the trip every child had to be pink slip free.  Behaviour policies should state transgressions for groundings / pink slips etc which should be same for all kids, levels should not be different for each child in that respect, but how teaching staff deal with the same situations should be different. 

    For some kids, gaining the perfect score is impossible, no matter how hard they try and there are bad teachers out there who would use it as punishment.  Parent and child blaming gets nobody anywhere as you all have to live with each other for xxx years until your kids leave school.

    Next step would be to get parents together and find a way to make it work for everyone.  No matter what the final issues were, lessons can be learned and all the kids can recover.  It should simply have been postponed until a review and a new way to make it work was identified for the new school year.  That would be the making of staff, school, parents and teachers, or short term, they should have taken everyone so that nobody missed out.  

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  146. I agree with everything you say. I can't comment on the motives of the parent in question but it does appear that the whole situation has been handled very badly by everyone. Unfortunately I could see this situation arising in my children's school as there is a huge lack of communication: Not necessarily from the teachers to the parents but by a certain group of parents, who rather than addressing the issues they have and directing positive energy towards their children's school environment, would prefer to stand in a corner and bitch about all the bad. I find it all very frustrating!

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  147. RollercoasterMum28 June 2012 at 01:34

    I am, like many, appalled. As the parent of one such child who is shy and quiet, hardworking, slightly above average but not mastermind I am constantly told at parents evenings how wonderful she is, good and hardworking and yet she is consistently overlooked for rewards. I think this sounds a brilliant way of rewarding all children who have worked hard and behaved well. What is so awful is that we all end up pandering to the person (parent in this case) who shouts the loudest. I think the school should have gone ahead and let them shout and take the consequences. I hope the kids get their treat in some form or other. (maybe they could throw rotten veg at said parent - they might enjoy that!!)

    If this happened at our school I would be absolutely steaming whether my child was a Star Pupil or not. I'm totally fed up of political correctness and non competitiveness in schools - they need to get some balls again and stop pandering to the sueing society and all that elf and safety nonsense (sorry gone slightly off topic here but just winds me up!)

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  148. I'm curious where this parent's concerns were when this was initially announced. And where this parent's concerns were when they were half way through the year. There was PLENTY of time for this parent or parents to object to this reward system. By objecting at the last moment and in this manner they/he/she clearly was only doing it because their little Johnny or Susie didn't make the cut. So it was ruined for all. There was an entire school year of opportunity to object...where were those objections? 

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  149. Oh my goodness - how sad.  Yes, unfortunately, this stuff happens in the states all the time.  People need to be teaching their children responsibility rather than an entitlement attitude.  So, so sad.  I'm sorry your children had to experience that!

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  150. Wow, I'm sorry but everything isn't always black and white. Some children don't deserve the pink slip and get it anyway. My guess is it's not just one parent. My child is a pink slip child, he missed out on every single trip till he went to special school! Why? Because he has autism and for school that meant a child with a pink slip. If I was the parent your hunting down I'd probably be hiding two why her son self harms because his missing out on another trip... Yes another! Step away from the school gate and step inside the school office everyday to correct your broken child and u may get it!

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  151. Not sure what makes me most angry reading thro this! That the headmaster cancelled??!!!! No 1 in my 'this is wrong list'! Grow some balls! No 2- overly pc parents whos comments about right proceedures and correct tracking is anal and lacking fun and spontaneity and this kind of approach to teaching and life in general is grinding this country and our spirits to a halt. No 3, that this kind of forum happens for this kind of thing, it makes me feel a bit sick on many levels, what can be achieved? That the culprit owns up? That wont help the dissapointed children will it. The headmaster is to blame, he should NOT have cancelled.  To give the power to a parent/s over an organised event is wrong, the culprits were probably unpopular at school themselves and repeating some kind of process relating to their own childhood, or perhaps, they have money and cant appreciate that they cant buy good behaviour? Just saying.......  please write to Jim l' fix it and get some kind of reward put in place, take it national, the world has gone nuts!!

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  152. I’m sorry to read this but I have to question whether the head was right to organise  such a trip in the first place as it does have the potential to exclude some children.  My children’s school operates a star pupil scheme which I don’t think is run very well.  Children with special educational needs often get overlooked and its the same type of ‘clever’ children that get picked all the time.  There is nothing wrong with that if they have earned it but when special needs children are not being considered then I think there is something wrong with the teachers approach to identifying personal achievements and selecting star pupils. Scottish Mum illustrates this well in her comment. 
    Our school has an outstanding Ofsted; it is supposed to have a fantastic management  team and teachers but its treatment of children with SEN is poor.  My child has a hidden disability (ADHD and ASD) and though he has his own goals he is rarely rewarded with either a certificate or star pupil status.  Often he does not receive adequate support and is not properly included in the life of the school.  He is often overlooked and little is done to ensure he can access school trips either.  He has missed many trips because of this.  As a parent it hurts to see your child treated like this; we just want our children to be treated with respect and to access the same opportunities as other children. 
    Unfortunately in many schools in the UK, this is often not the case and many children like my son have a very bad experience of education with the result that they are not properly included.  Most of this is due to poor training of teachers in the area of disability and also inadequate resources but it is also down to attitude.  Many people (including some teachers) assume that the behaviours of those with ADHD or ASD for example are naughty behaviour or the result of bad parenting but often this is due to their disability.  The world can be a confusing and frightening place for a child with ADHD or ASD which can affect their behaviour and if they are not supported well at school then their behaviour can deteriorate further.  If people don’t understand this behaviour or what is causing it then it is all too easy to discipline the child in the wrong way. 
    I realise that disability and SEN may not be the reasons for the cancellation of your school trip but I would like your readers to consider the perspective of the special needs child who is excluded from the life of the school.  It is all too easy to assume that the parent behind this may be a bad parent or a selfish parent when in fact they or their child may be suffering in the way that our family has suffered.  Saying that though, even if there is an issue with equality and inclusion, I don’t think it is fair to cancel the trip for those children who have earned it but I do think the head needs to rethink his scheme.

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  153. Dissapointment is part of lifes learning, my daughter never gets picked for away netball matches, but I'm proud of the way she deals with this and I dont interfere.  She isnt a great player - fact. Pink slip children have in this instance been taught a warped lesson which will stay with them forever - Amen

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  154. I have to say, from some of the comments I worry about some of your future children should they ever put a foot wrong as they move through childhood, teenage years and adulthood.  I just hope some of you are able to forgive then.

    Throw veg at a parent !  Thats not even remotely funny.  The only thing that will come out of this is that some already suffering kid or kids are going to be bullied to bits when the parents finally squirrel out the person who called time on a reward system that wasn't appropriately backed up by parent agreement at the start.

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  155. I think it's appalling, as it sounds like the rules were clearly spelled out - it sounds like a good reward and I'm sure there must have been a very spoiled (in eligible) child who was mad because they couldn't go.

    I think I'd treat my kids to a day out of school in lieu of the reward they should have received.

    So sad...

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  156. Suggestions that this arrangement broke the Equalities Act are almost certainly without foundation but do illustrate how some people use it to get their own way, and also that bodies like schools are afraid of the Act to the extent that they capitulate at the mere mention of it. There was a vaguely similar case in the Highlands of Scotland a while back where newspapers reported that a parent of a disabled child had used the same threat to get an outdoor pursuits event for the whole year group cancelled because their child was unable to take part because of their disability.

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  157. The equalities act is there for a purpose to ensure that people are treated equally and if  schools are afraid of it then there is a reason why they are afraid it; that they are not doing enough to support equality in their own schools.  As I said in my comment, I don't agree with the trip being cancelled; thats not fair to the children who have worked for it.  If the cancelled trip is an outcome of a complaint regarding equality then this may be the decision of the governors rather than the parent/s.  As a parent of a disabled child I would never want an event cancelled because my child was unable to take part because of their disability.  However  do want my child to access the same opportunities as everyone else; to see  your child routinely excluded is a painful experience for both child and parent.  Sometimes parents of disabled children are forced to use the law to ensure their children have the same opportunities which many other families take for granted.

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  158. Neil, this is nothing to do with Sians post, but I think I need to straighten out something you've mentioned.

    I've just left a comment over on Violets Diary about this post and people coming to conclusions.   I just spent a morning with a school who had images of a wheelchair bound girl with little use of arms and a badly curved spine climb a wall on an outdoor pursuit scheme with supportive school and activity centre staff.  

    She was saddled up and her classmates used a rope to pull her up to the top of the wall so she could feel the same exhileration as her more able bodied classmates .  

    There is never a reason to leave a child out because of disability.  

    Violets post is here 
    http://violetsdiary.wordpress.com/2012/06/28/feelings-of-sadness-for-parents-of-disabled-children/ 

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  159. @scottishmum thank you for writing the post on Violets Diary and for your input here.
    We parents have no more information than the heads letter above and that really is the problem. Earlier in the week I was vocal about wanting the parent mentioned in the letter to come forward but I'm pleased that they haven't. 
    The tone of the heads letter has caused this whole situation and if more of an explanation was given instead of putting a parent out to the wolves, we would have explained to our children and moved on.

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  160. This reward scheme was started at the beginning of the year.  Surely if any parent had an issue with it, they should have bought it up then.

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  161. This was open to all children.  There were no exclusions.  My daughter had a pink slip and wasn't going, but I still think what happened was wrong.

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  162. It wasn't just the Head's decision.  It was also the Governors.  However, still a wrong decision.

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  163. Was it open though because in the heads letter he says that he has in mind a particular group of children.  Anyway, I hope the school community can resolve this and can move on though I still feel sorry for the children who have missed their trip out.

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  164. It was definitely open to all children (paragraph 1 of the letter), and I too hope it gets sorted out.

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  165. My younger brother goes to this school and is in fact good friends with Sonny! When he came home from school and explained this I was appalled. I also went to the school, as did my sister and we were always very well behaved, but more in the middle of the class, ie not students recognised as being exceptional, nor students recognised as struggling, just those who could do the work and would do the work. Therefore, for rewards we were often over looked as they typically targeted the exceptional and the stuggling. I thought that this trip was an excellent way to reward those who were similar to my sister and I, including my younger brother. My brother was one of those who was eligible due to his behaviour and he was looking forward to it greatly and so you can imagine how gutted he was when my mum received that letter. The children were given plenty of time (they were told in december) and warned about how the consequences of their behaviour could result in them not being allowed to attend the trip. If my younger brother had not been allowed to attend, we as a family would not have complained, but instead it would remain as a life lesson for him. Not only do I feel sorry for all the disappointed children, I also feel sorry for the Head Teacher as it is obvious he tried very hard to create this incentive for good behaviour and yet all this work was wasted due to one parent's selfish behaviour. 

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  166. How utterly demotivating for all the children concerned.  On the surface it smacks of jealousy by a parent whose child received pink slips. If the idea of the trip was so abhorrent to particular people why was an objection not logged back in December when the plan was first divulged?  Can't help thinking there is more to this than meets the eye.

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  167. Such a shame when it comes to this. I do believe that my local Junior school now is thinking of not letting children go on a PGL trip because its too dangerous.. Crying out loud !

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  168. Plug, "school reward trips behaviour" into your favourite search engine and it's clear that reward trips are widespread throughout the UK. Legal or not, plenty of schools run similar systems. If it's not legal there are a lot of Schools that need to review their policy.

    I've got no connection to this school... I do have a child with SEN. My child is now in yr 7 and until relatively recently we had to push his school every step of the way to make sure he had support when it was needed and that he was treated fairly and equally when compared to his peers. The system (both in school and medically) is not set up to make things simple for parents of kids with disabilities. Every step is hard work. I don't know if the parent, or parents, in this case have children with SENs... but if they do I have some sympathy for them, simply for the effort it takes to get fair treatment for their child.

    I don't have an issue with a parent having genuine concerns about a School Policy and complaining. It's their right and it shouldn't be any other way. I also have no issues with the Head running a policy like this in the first place, but his decision (and that of the Governors?) to cancel was weak. He should have called their bluff.

    I may sympathise with a parent for the difficulties that they face, but if this was the intended result of their complaint (and it's not clear that it was) then they were wrong to raise it... certainly so late in the day.

    I can't imagine how this could have been handled more messily and with a worse outcome. It sounds like this policy was set up months ago. To cancel the whole thing a day before the trip was appalling. Terrible decision by the school.

    Don't blame the parent for complaining, blame the Head & Governors for not having the courage of their convictions and following through on a long-established system.

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  169. I Quite agree with "Anonymous", just remember "Geekisnewchic" and everyone else who is commenting on this "blog", there is always two sides to every story, so before you start mud slinging, just stop and think, because no one should be judging anyone without the full facts.

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  170. I Quite agree with "Anonymous", just remember "Geekisnewchic" and everyone else who is commenting on this "blog", there is always two sides to every story, so before you start mud slinging, just stop and think, because no one should be judging anyone without the full facts.

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  171. Plug, "school reward trips behaviour" into your favourite search engine and it's clear that reward trips are widespread throughout the UK. Legal or not, plenty of schools run similar systems. If it's not legal there are a lot of Schools that need to review their policy. I've got no connection to this school... I do have a child with SEN. My child is now in yr 7 and until relatively recently we had to push his school every step of the way to make sure he had support when it was needed and that he was treated fairly and equally when compared to his peers. The system (both in school and medically) is not set up to make things simple for parents of kids with disabilities. Every step is hard work. I don't know if the parent, or parents, in this case have children with SENs... but if they do I have some sympathy for them, simply for the effort it takes to get fair treatment for their child. I don't have an issue with a parent having genuine concerns about a School Policy

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  172. How disappointing, my daughter's school run a similar scheme: 
    http://www.boorooandtiggertoo.com/2012/05/caught-being-good.html for which she was able to attend this year.  All the children that did attend really enjoyed themselves.  If Roo hadn't been chosen to attend I would never even think about complaining, especially spoiling it for all those children whom obviously deserved to go.

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  173. Oh my word! Just stumbled across your blog and was having a bit of a read and enjoying myself enormously.  Can't believe this!  (Well, I kind of can as I used to be a primary school teacher and you find that for every 50 brilliant, supportive parents there is always 1 with an axe to grind).  How sad.  And what a lovely man the headteacher sounds.


    Lise @  www.howtobeadomesticdisgrace.blogspot.com

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  174. MidlifeSinglemum29 July 2012 at 12:16

    I agree wiyh Anon that the parent who complained may not have been a mean sour-graped spoilsport but may have been deeply hurt by one too many schemes that could not include her child even though it was 'open to all'. I don't knw if this is the case but it may be. In the very least, I think all the parents are entitled to an explanation by the parent (even anonymously), even if only to stop all the negative speculation (if appropriate).

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Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts. Appreciated as always. xx

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