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Schoolgirl, 11, 'was told her entire class could miss out on an end-of-term treat if she spoiled her

Discussion in 'Personal' started by FrankWolley, Dec 5, 2015.

  1. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    Oh dear...Oh dear! Are modern heads subjected to a full frontal lobotomy before taking up their post?


    The mother of an 11-year-old schoolgirl says her daughter was left 'traumatised' after being told her entire class may miss out on an end-of-term treat if she spoiled her attendance record by going to her great-grandfather's funeral.

    Ella Bryn, who is in Year 7 at Knole Academy in Sevenoaks, Kent, wanted to attend the service for 93-year-old Second World War veteran Nelson Fielder after he died suddenly last week.

    But the school’s headmistress Mary Boyle told mother-of-three Caelia Bryn-Jacobsen, 43, that Ella would be marked as an ‘authorised absence’ - damaging the attendance record of the entire class.

    This could see them miss out on an attendance trophy and a chance to receive an end-of-term treat.

    Ella originally decided to attend school on Thursday - but after walking to her local bus stop she had a ‘complete breakdown’ before returning home, getting changed and going to the funeral instead.

    Her mother Dr Bryn-Jacobsen, a patent attorney, said Ella has only ever had one sick day off school.

    She told MailOnline: ‘She was getting pressure from her peers and the school not to attend. For her to have this kind of pressure is unkind, so I invited the school to reassess their internal policy.

    They have refused to do it, and that's very disappointing. She will now effectively be punished. Of course she needs to be marked as absent, but she doesn't need to have the pressure.’


    Mrs Boyle is the £177,000-a-year headmistress of Knole Academy, which was formed in 2010 in a merger. She is said to be 13th on the list of highest paid state education sector employees.

    The school marks pupils as absent unless it can be demonstrated that they are taking part in a learning activity - such as being in a gymnastics competition or sitting a piano exam.

    They are otherwise marked as an authorised absence under 'exceptional circumstances', such as funerals, or unauthorised - when an education welfare officer is informed.

    Too busy counting her salary, perhaps?
    ScotSEN likes this.
  2. mandala1

    mandala1 Occasional commenter

    Shocking. I am truly shocked. Because I trust the Daily Fail to represent the words of an 11 year old truly and sincerely.
  3. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Shame on the school. Putting some ridiculous prize against going to the funeral of your great-grandfather is absurd.

    Encourages the wrong behaviour. Will make kids want to attend when they're streaming with infectious diseases.

    I don't condone such 'prizes'.
    midnight_angel and ScotSEN like this.
  4. Mangleworzle

    Mangleworzle Star commenter

    What an unpleasant piece of work that HT sounds. Sounds like a classic example of someone whose self important idiocy needs to be managed by a proper teacher rather than managing anything herself.
    aspensquiver and ScotSEN like this.
  5. Dragonlady30

    Dragonlady30 Star commenter

    That HT wants taking into a room and told...................................
    I can't write what I would want to tell her because I want to stay a member of this forum.
    ScotSEN likes this.
  6. mandala1

    mandala1 Occasional commenter

    Folks its the Daily Mail. This is what they do.
    cissy3, Noja and RedQuilt like this.
  7. Lascarina

    Lascarina Star commenter

    If she had a complete breakdown how could she return home, get changed and go to a funeral? And what difference does it make that her great grandfather was a 2nd world war veteran?
    midnight_angel and Noja like this.
  8. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    Bet you a quid the story is not quite as the Mail paints it.
    Yoda-, cissy3, Noja and 1 other person like this.
  9. Yoda-

    Yoda- Lead commenter

  10. VanEyssen

    VanEyssen Established commenter

    Strange how the Mail is so highly regarded only when it nails a head teacher.
  11. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    There is some bad practice out there, yes, but it's interesting how so many people believe whatever they read in the papers because they are eager to think the worst of head teachers.
    Yoda- and Middlemarch like this.
  12. scienceteachasghost

    scienceteachasghost Lead commenter

    This sort of thing suggests we need a category of absence which still 'allows' a score of '100% present or EPC' (Extreme Personal Circumstances.)

    I dare say if a member of the Heads own family had died she would have swanned straight off to the funeral.

    However- there was an obvious compromise here. 11 year old goes to funeral and then comes back to school. I know there's wakes and all that jazz but a funeral does not take a show school day. I as a sixth-former had to miss the wake of my great grandmothers funeral as I had 2 exams on that day and the college could only grant me leave for one with a resit later while I was supervised between times. While I wanted to attend the wake, I accepted that being allowed to the funeral only was a reasonable compromise.
  13. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    Full day. Such a 'compromise' would not show due respect for the child's parents.
    midnight_angel likes this.
  14. scienceteachasghost

    scienceteachasghost Lead commenter

    I know some people think it should be a whole day thing due to emotional upset etc etc but in theory a whole day is not needed. Ideally a whole day would be taken off/given of course.

    Maybe for this particular school the girl should have scheduled a piano exam for the same day and cited that as the reason for the absence (and then not turned up?!) - play them at their own game!
    ScotSEN likes this.
  15. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    Why would you even give a second's thought to compromise?

    It would be a full day off for my daughter and the school could do an assembly on the life of the second world war veteran.

    The head may be on £177,000 a year but they're as thick as pigsh!t
  16. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    A whole day should be given, it's common decency. If a part-day is demanded then the school would be demanding that the parents or other relatives break their mourning to bring the child to and from the school on that day.
    midnight_angel and ScotSEN like this.
  17. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    "The school marks pupils as absent unless it can be demonstrated that they are taking part in a learning activity.."

    Since when was a funeral not a learning activity?
    ScotSEN likes this.
  18. cissy3

    cissy3 Star commenter

    I'd love a genuine reason for Head bashing :eek::D

    But the Mail love to get ''disgusted of Tonbridge Wells'' frothing at the mouth at teachers of any sort.

    So on this occasion I will refrain.
  19. ScotSEN

    ScotSEN Senior commenter

    Don't know if this works for pupils but it used to be rule for staff that if you worked until 11am you were classed as having worked(been present) for a whole day. did that once to go to the funeral of a very close friend - my reserve for giving me away at my wedding my dad having died a few years earlier. My HT was being a right pain about it - as the funeral happened to be 2 days before my best friends wedding which I'd already been granted time off for . She acted as if I'd planned to take the only 2 days leave I had in 5 years in the same week. It was soo annoying as there were a couple of others on the staff how were always off to uncle's, aunt's cousin's brother's sister's weddings/funerals. As an only chlid of two only children it just wasn't something I did.
  20. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    There's always 1 from Kent. Ask Frank.

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