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Carelessness at Son’s School. What would you do?

My 4 yr old son had an ear infection a few weeks back in Belgium (you can read about it here). His eardrum perforated – but hasn’t healed yet. In fact there is almost no eardrum – it’s a giant hole. We have taken him to the GP and ENT because it hasn’t healed. One of his favorite activities at school is swimming – but because of the perforation, upon doctors orders he’s not allowed to swim until it’s healed. We gave his teacher a letter explaining this and and that upon our request and Dr’s orders he not be taken swimming. We then discussed it with the teacher after he read the letter. We even sent him to school without swimsuit and towel so that he couldn’t go. The same day, we picked him up and he was all wet – they’d taken him swimming!

I’ve called the school office and will be meeting with the Headmaster next week to discuss this and complain.  My husband is upset – but is worried about the Teacher’s career if we complain.  But I see it a bit differently – yes, it didn’t kill him, but they aren’t the ones who have to sit up with him all night while he screams in pain from because of his ears – also, what if this was something more life threatening, like a peanut allergy?

Also you should know this isn’t the first time they’ve been inattentive and careless with our child.

A few months back we had to send a friend to go pick him up from school. We had sent a note saying she’d be picking him up and also had her added to the list of approved people to pick him up. She arrived as school was ending and the children leaving with parents etc. and didn’t immediately see our son. She asked his Teacher and was told – “He must have been picked up already.” She told him he couldn’t have been picked up – because she was doing the picking up. She was then told, that perhaps he was in the school office and go look there – which she did to no avail. She then went back to the classroom which they were in the process of locking up (it has doors to the outside etc.) She explained that he was not in the office and she would very much like to know where he was.  At that point the Teacher began to panic – and actively look. My friend helped search the classroom and found him asleep with a high fever in the book nook.

How do you lose a child in your classroom? How long must he have been there? Hours perhaps? Would they have just locked him in there? What if it had been more serious? What if he had had a seizure etc.?

I do like the Teacher – he’s a nice guy and that’s why my husband is concerned about me saying something. But just because my son will get better – doesn’t mean that their carelessness is ok.

I will tell the Headmaster that they apparently have too many children in the classroom for the Teacher to actively monitor – and that the Teacher needs to pay more attention. I have expressed my concern and displeasure to the Teacher – but I think it should now be escalated.

Our son will be attending another school next year regardless. We’ll be sending him to Reception at the same school our 6yr old is at – he’ll be moving from a class size of 30+ down to 12.

What would you do?

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7 years ago 7 Comments Short URL


  1. Andy says:

    Let the head teacher know your concerns, care of the children is part of a teachers job. Besides which it is unlikely to have an impact on the career of the teacher in question if this is an isolated incident, but he might learn a valuable lesson and not repeat his mistakes, which is a good thing for all.
    Andy recently posted..The drawer of shame – Kitchen hoardingMy Profile

    • Jackie says:

      Thanks Andy, I hope it’s an isolated incident – and not indicative of other problems. I think the class size is just too big – even though there are 2 assistant teachers.

  2. I have to say that, as a teacher myself, you are definitely correct to escalate this further. It was careless and negligent on the teachers part to forget or ignore your requests, especially where your childs health is concerned. As Andy says, if this is an isolated incident, it won’t affect his career but it probably will make him sit up and take note of his responsibilities.
    I hope it goes okay and improvements are made, this really isn’t acceptable. X
    Lucy at Dear Beautiful Boy recently posted..my real cheeky monkeyMy Profile

    • Jackie says:

      Thanks Lucy, I appreciate you sharing your thoughts – and the Teacher perspective. Things are different here in the UK vs the US so never 100% sure of how things work. I hope improvements are made too.

  3. Strictly Jen says:

    I would complain, but calmly and rationally, not angrily. You’re quite right to do so because it’s when you ignore little things that big things are more likely to go wrong because the teacher will have confidence that there’s not been any problems till now.
    Strictly Jen recently posted..Today I will mostly be…votingMy Profile

  4. Emily O says:

    I would definitely speak to the headteacher, my daughter (too young for school yet) has endless ear problems so I’d be hopping mad if the school had ignored my request about swimming. It all sounds a bit lax to me, my son is in a class of 30 at school and yet the teacher manages to keep track of which children have been collected and by who. A chat is definitely in order, and putting something in writing too.
    Emily O recently posted..One dayMy Profile

  5. Honestly? I would hit the roof. And most likely in a very uncalm and embarrassing-for-everyone manner.
    Each of the incidents on their own warrant some form of disciplinary action. It’s all very well and good saying that you like the teacher, noone got (badly) hurt, etc – but that’s carelessness to the point of negligence. I would put on my bitch-woman hat and insist on steps being taken to ensure that nothing like either of these events every happened again, and reassurance as to what action they would take if they did. At the very least I would want some form of formal warning given to the teacher. And if I didn’t get it I’d then take off my bitch-woman hat and replaces it with my lawyer-woman one, and start talking about duty of care etc, and contacting the council (if it’s a state nursery) or the board of governors (if private).
    You have a right to assume that your (beautiful, btw) child will be safe and looked after while he’s in school. The teacher’s role is to act in loco parentis – people have been put on the social services watch-list for less.
    His teacher sounds a bit like a lazy slack-ass who needs a kick in the bum.
    Hope his ear is better, btw. poor little mite.

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