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I've done something stupid

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by har1her1, Aug 4, 2015.

  1. har1her1

    har1her1 New commenter


    I have some very serious issues at home with respect to my children. As a result, I have been asked by Children's Social Care to supervise my eldest son (16) at all times. I work in a college, so I have to come to work for part of the holiday, besides which, I want to plan properly for next year and get some sort of normality back into my life. So I took my son to work with me., For four days, I signed him in as a visitor, got him a badge and gave him some work to do in a quiet room. I was with him throughout the day. Children's Social Care were aware of the situation and had even sent an outreach worker to take my son out for an hour whilst we were at college.

    Now SMT have told me, in no uncertain terms that he should not have been on the premises. I realise now how stupid I was to assume everything would be OK as long as he was signed in and stayed with me and I am frightened that I have now created a very difficult situation at work and made things much worse with respect to CSC. I can only excuse my actions by saying I probably have not been making very wise decisions due to the stress of my current situation.

    I know that I have done something seriously wrong. Can anyone suggest what I can do now?

  2. DaisysLot

    DaisysLot Senior commenter

    Firstly - I'm sorry to hear you are having a personally tough time. CSC are surely aware of the difficulties in ensuring this full time supervision is undertaken by a working parent and I hope are supportive of you.

    As for your employer - well, given the number of colleagues children that I've seen both sit quietly in classrooms, slumped in staff rooms or running feral when INSET day differences render teaching parents without childcare, I'm astonished this has become an issue. I think your observance of signing them in and ensuing they were adequately occupied was enough - I am saying that, but presuming there is no criminal or child protection issue with the 16 year old that might have caused concern about their specific presence on site.

    I think I would reply to the SMT formerly, in writing - I would be very specific about the terminology used. Apologise for causing concern, convey that as a result of family commitments you will be unable to volunteer to work any further in the holiday period, and then conclude by requesting a meeting with your head teacher/ principal so you can explain the parenting situation you are in and formerly request support. Explain the stress of the situation you are in and communicate that you wish to be supported rather than end up signed off sick.
  3. bombaysapphire

    bombaysapphire Star commenter

    You were supervising your son at all times and your decision to take him to work was driven by you wanting to be organised for next year. You may have breached a procedure but your motives were sound. I suggest that you bear this in mind to help you keep things in perspective. The next steps depend on exactly what your SMT said. If you don't take your son into work again then things might be resolved. If they have said, or implied, that this is not the case then contact your Union.
  4. les25paul

    les25paul Star commenter

    You've done nothing stupid at all, the actions you have taken here are very sensible.

    OK you might have mistakenly broken one of the college rules and might need to apologise with your explanation. But signing your son in has left a paper trial which you can use as evidence you were trying to be open and act in the best possible manner.

    Frankly if SMT cannot accept this as a minor error on your part (and I'm not even sure it is an error) then its them that are being stupid not you.
  5. har1her1

    har1her1 New commenter


    Thank you for being so helpful. There are no Child Protection issues regarding my son as agent. But he is the victim of abuse and a Child Protection Plan is in process for him and for his brother. My employers are aware of the situation and so far have been very supportive. I am just very anxious about everything at them moment.
  6. Morninglover

    Morninglover Star commenter

    I agree with the earlier comments made, esp. about replying formally. I would stress (assuming that this is correct):

    • That no students were on the premises;
    • That you have never been made aware that teachers' children are not allowed on the premises during the holidays;
    • That your son is 16, (so unlikely to be a H & S risk), and was under your supervision.

    I would also contact your Union for reassurance.
  7. har1her1

    har1her1 New commenter

    Thank you again,

    I hope that, at the worst, I have simply offended people in more senior positions by not formally requesting permission to take my son to work. In which case, I have formally apologised. However, the member of SMT who met with me was adamant that he was not allowed on site and gave no specific reason apart from the fact that 'he is not a student'. She seemed very tense and almost angry when she was speaking to me. I can fully understand that there may be concerns that my performance may be compromised by my son's presence and I know that I could not discuss anything confidential if he was with me. However, these reasons were not brought forward and the tasks to date have been mainly administrative. I am just very concerned that despite the support that has been shown, a tutor whose own children are subject to a Child Protection Plan is not a desirable presence in the college and that this incident may be the beginning of an active 'encouragement' for me to leave. Other tutors have brought their children in to work during the holidays. Usually the children are older (eg. 16+) like my son.
  8. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    In addition to all the above advice, you might want to contact the teacher support network for support. They will provide a listening ear and may have other types of support for you.

    You have apologised and now know not to take your son to work.

    Try not to worry and take one day at a time.
  9. Moony

    Moony Lead commenter

    I'd be tempted to seek some advice from the CSC about this if I were in your position. They are the ones that have asked for this and might be able to offer some support/guidance for dealing with your work place. Having read the thread I think you've had some great advice and also that you've not done anything wrong.

    Also if things are starting to build up and you are feeling unders stress and/or anxiety then don't forget to look after yourself! Go the doctors if you need to, don't let things mess you up. You and your family are the most important people in this, I hope things get better soon.
  10. scienceteachasghost

    scienceteachasghost Lead commenter

    I know its probably nosy of me and not my place to ask but I am intrigued how your eldest son and a brother are victims of abuse. Is there anything you can do to stop this happening or is this what the supervision/child protection plan is there to achieve?

    Does the college know of the supervision order? I would bluntly tell SLT that you cannot work at college if you can't have your son there.
  11. DaisysLot

    DaisysLot Senior commenter

    Regardless, I think the concept of 'telling someone off' for this when they have 'volunteered' their holiday time is ridiculous.
  12. Morninglover

    Morninglover Star commenter

    Har1her1 - can I suggest you ask the moderators to remove your most recent post (unless you can still edit it yourself) - too much information, I'm sure some people who know you could identify you.
  13. har1her1

    har1her1 New commenter


    Good advice. Can you tell me how to contact the moderators?
  14. mrswallow

    mrswallow Occasional commenter

    For what it is worth, having read through this; I don't think you have done anything stupid. It is pretty much what I -or most anyone else- would have done in similar circumstances.
  15. lizziescat

    lizziescat Star commenter


    I echo other posters' concerns about identification. To remove a post (or whole thread) report to moderators

    Use the report button (the triangle at the bottom of your post)
  16. scienceteachasghost

    scienceteachasghost Lead commenter

    OP - thanks for the explanation! Again, not my place to ask or speculate but I was wondering whether it was (ex) partner related.

    It does sound like a difficult situation and you would think your employers would be more considerate. Maybe you should just go in for a few hours and do what you can at home.

    And I would agree - 'report' your post and ask for it to be pulled! I have asked for replies of my own to be deleted in the past when I have stepped into the wrong side of controversial (which is easily done online.)
  17. Oss54

    Oss54 New commenter

    I can't see what else you could do. Do they want you off for stress? You have followed procedure and the college should not be making you feel badly. Have a heart to heart with someone upline who you feel you can talk to about it. I hope that it all gets sorted for you soon.

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