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Parents petition

Discussion in 'Headteachers' started by biscuit, Jul 4, 2011.

  1. I really feel for you. I too am facing **** from decisions made before my time - had to shuffle up some Year 2's into Year 3/4 class to comlp with class size legislation following admission appeals when they were in reception. Most fine...one not and causing mayhem. I don't know what to do if she really sticks her feet in. Causing me so much stress.
    As for your situation, get the concerned parents in, one by one if possible and explain the situation as you see it. If any still complain, pass them to C of G who will support you, I'm sure. Ity is so hard when 1 or 2 make it so hard for us, when ultimately, we are only tryin g to do our very best and the best for their children :(
     
  2. It's just change people object to. Parents at my school complained when we had the same teacher for 2 years as a new school policy, now they like it as I told them they would. One teacher is moving a key stage in sept & I've had expected uproar amongst his previous class of parents. I would advise not to meet them. Make your statement clear in your newsletter and also make it clear you have backing of govs. Send to govs to remind them they are fully backing you and minute in next gov mtg if you can. It will pass. A good time to report lots of positives going on around in the school to remind parents what you are all there for!
     
  3. I know change is difficult. Most teachers in my school have been in the same classes for 5+ years. The only problem with this particular teacher is she isn't very good, I'm considering a course of action. The parents have kept quiet about him this year no complaints but they are kicking up a fuss now ! I've been told by another parent that the petition is being signed and that they have about 50% of the parents in the class signed up. Not sure what to do with when I get it (other than tell governors) ?
    Thanks for your help
    Advice welcomed please, really worried about this
    Thanks
    Jo
     
  4. anon2799

    anon2799 New commenter

    Classroom organisation is your job. It has nothing to do with governors.
    I have had similar issues in the past ( but never a petition) I have responded with a letter outlining my reasons and explaining my decision and also making it quite clear that I will not change my decision.
    I've also included a copy of the complaints procedure, explaining that they are welcome to pursue the complaint ( of course it goes nowhere because it is your decision, not govs).
    They are testing you - if you back down on this they will think that all they have to do to get their way is threaten you with a petition, get a bit antsy etc and your life will be a nightmare.
    You are the head. You make the decisions, explain that you are sorry if they are not happy but you will not be changing your decision.
    Worst case scenario? A few parents take their children out - unlikely but not the end of the world. Or they start to complain about the teacher - in which case you investigate according to the complaints procedure.
    Stand your ground. You are there to lead and make difficult decisions. They won't always be popular. As long as you're making them for the right reasons, then you can live with being a bit unpopular for a while. Headship is like that. They'll respect you more in the long run.
     
  5. Had to deal with something similar quite a few years ago when parents defended a useless teacher! There is no complaints procedure for groups of parents. At the moment you haven't started a procedure so is there anything you can support him to improve quickly? You could do a number of things: write to all parents in class to try and reassure them or agree to meet them and hear their complaints but not alone! You could ignore them but they could take it through complaints procedure. Are there issues with standards & progress? If so this is tricky. I would tell the teacher in question straight away. What is his take on this? Can he help you reassure them? Have you told ch of govs?
     
  6. Would it be worth contacting your union? mine were very helpful when I had an issue and gave good ideas.
    Good Luck!
    B
     
  7. Although now semi retired I have had to deal with this same problem and I agree 100% with curlygirly. YOU are the headteacher and you are doing what is best for the whole school! If they submit the petition than accept it and make it clear you will consider it. Then do just as curlygirly has said responding to whoever it is that has handed in the petition not the school as a whole because believe it or not there will be many parents in the school who do not agree or do not even know what they are all getting 'het' up about! By all means ask your union for advice on wording the response letter as they will have dealt with this type of matter many many times. I acknowledged that they had a concern but I also made it clear that my decision was final and that should they continue to feel agreived that individually they should follow the complaints procdeure which was enclosed. No one did! You need to project a confident exterior appearance while inside your stomach is churning over and over!
    Keep to your guns you are the one who knows best and do not hint that you agree with them!
    You can please all of the people some of the time, some of the people all of the time but never all of the people all of the time!
     
  8. anon2799

    anon2799 New commenter

    This is exactly what I've done, with exactly the same outcome.
    Acknowledge their concerns, give reasons why they are unfounded and explain that in the circumstances you are not going to change your decision. Enclose a copy of the complaints procedure and suggest that they follow it if they are not happy.
    If a few do, it's not the end of the world, it'll come to nothing.
    The parents will realise that you won't budge and if they are really unhappy a few may move their child. The chances are that they won't though and they will accept your decision.
    I've been in a situation where "Everyone's talking about it and they're all unhappy". My response?
    "Well if they are they should come and tell me about it because I'm out on the playground every day and you're the first person who has expressed their displeasure."
    "Everyone" in that situation turned out to be .5% of the parent population. So actually 95.5% were ok with it.
    Sometimes parents are very good at telling you what you're doing "wrong" but actually if you put it into perspective they will be in a minority.

    Keep strong, nearly the end of term!

    Make it clear to governors that class organisation is your decision, just in case you have a few who think they can intervene.
     

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