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Should teachers/other school staff be allowed to work in the same school their own child attends?

Discussion in 'Personal' started by scienceteachasghost, Mar 5, 2016.

  1. scienceteachasghost

    scienceteachasghost Lead commenter

    There may be some strong views from posters here but personally I have always argued NO unless the community is small and isolated and the nearest school is some distance away.

    Why do I say this?

    1. As the child, surely it must cause you some embarrassment and potentially impacts on their ability to have a 'separate life' from their parents.

    2. Surely safeguarding issues get very murky. What if the child plays up at home? Is the teacher/adult accountable to the schools behaviour standards at all times, even at home? And what if the child wants their friends (also from the school) round for a sleepover?

    3. It may skew the relations other adults have with that child as they know child X is the daughter of Mr Y.

    In the interests of a balanced argument however, lets put up the counter arguments.

    1. Such a ruling may deprive a child of a place at school or an adult of a good job opportunity.

    2. Safeguarding - would common sense not prevail most of the time? And actually maybe safeguarding may be HELPED - if one of child Xs friends discloses during a sleepover in the more 'relaxed' environment?

    3. Would most children soon 'get over it' that their parents are also there? And would some actually like the fact Mum/Dad is there as a last resort to an issue?
  2. Lascarina

    Lascarina Star commenter

    In my personal experience, it is not a good thing to have your child in the primary school where you are a teacher. I did it with the best intentions and it turned out to be completely the wrong decision and had long lasting repercussions.
    badger_girl likes this.
  3. Didactylos4

    Didactylos4 Star commenter

    As someone who has experienced this at two end of the age spectrum

    1. Yes
    2. Yes
    3. Only if the other adults are idiots
    I was treated and my kid was treated no differently than any other kid whilst in school. Outside school some friction is possible but usually everyone gets used to it and if no differences are perceived then it isn't a problem
  4. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    Of course they should.

    I've worked in two (secondary) schools with one of my children, and have seen many, many colleagues with children in the same school. The alternative would be a huge restriction on the freedom of both teachers to work where they want/need to and also on them to choose the best school for their own children, perhaps requiring one or both to commute further, or to actually quit one's job in favour of one's child.

    The unintended consequences of such a ban could be parents getting their children into their school under a different name (the father's, for example) and telling him/her to pretend they weren't related! Ridiculous!
    wanet and fineliner like this.
  5. fineliner

    fineliner Occasional commenter

    I think this very much depends on the context and circumstances. There are a number of teachers' children at my school and it causes no major issues. Personally, I prefer for my own kids to go elsewhere but if the alternative was not good, I would have no hesitation in moving them to the school I teach in. Likewise if a post came up in their school that was right for me, I'd apply for it. There are obvious advantages and disadvantages but it should be allowed and be a personal choice.
    Alf58 likes this.
  6. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    I recall blazer minor's best friend at secondary was the son of his French teacher. He went for a sleepover one weekend and said it was really weird at school the following week as he had been seeing his teacher in her nighty and dressing gown over the weekend and calling her by her first name!
  7. scienceteachasghost

    scienceteachasghost Lead commenter

    Of course, not to make it 4V3 but having ones own kids at a school is a good thing in one way as it implies confidence in the school itself!
  8. Sillow

    Sillow Lead commenter

    I'm less keen on it in primary, where I have had TAs as parents who either kept popping into my room to give something to their child or who, when there was an issue with their child and they wrote me a letter, made it a bit awkward in the staffroom.

    However, at secondary I see less of an issue, mainly because my mum taught at my school for the first five years I was there and even taught me one year. I got minimal harassment about the fact she worked there (she was a Head of House so was quite prominent but also had a lot of clout and direct contact with many of my peers. Only once that I remember did anyone say anything derogatory about it) and it was quite good for me because if I ever forgot lunch or bus money I could just go to her office. I was a bit of a goody-two-shoes though, and never gave anyone cause for them to go and speak to my mum about me!
    grumpydogwoman likes this.
  9. Mangleworzle

    Mangleworzle Star commenter

    More often than not it works and no-one notices the effect. My last school was the only one in a smallish rural town, loads of the support staff in particular sent their children there, it was overwhelmingly a non-issue.

    However.... a member of SMT sent her daughter there and used her as a spy in lessons, she crossed the line from parent to manager clearly abusing her position. On one occasion I know of, she got her husband to complain and come in for an appointment with daughters science teacher about how often her daughters book was being marked - just like any other parent would - NOT.

    When Mrs.M. and I taught overseas in an international school we both had our eldest son in our classes for our subject. No problem at all.

    More than anything it depends on the parent being able to separate job and being a parent.
  10. Flere-Imsaho

    Flere-Imsaho Star commenter

    I don't understand why it would be a problem. I've taught the children of many of my colleagues, SMT, office staff etc. Sometimes I didn't even realise until Parents' Night and sometimes not even then.
    wanet likes this.
  11. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    I live in the catchment area of the school I worked at for 20+ years and used to walk to work most days. Both my kids went to the local primary which fed into the High school where I worked. When the time came for them to go to High school I didn't want to separate them from the friends and community they'd grown up with so we all had to grin and bear it.

    They both say they had minor hassle from ****heads among the pupils who thought they could take a swipe at me through them. That was expected, and infrequent, they just put up with it. Perhaps harder was when certain staff members became overzealous in dealing with minor behaviour infringements just because they were teachers' kids. Our eldest was the more rebellious one of the pair and would sometimes have staff saying they'd 'tell your dad' when they wouldn't normally have contacted the parents of other children. She reacted badly to that and I agreed with her thinking. If any colleague came snitching to me about my kids' behaviour in school I'd ask them to ring Mrs MSB at home, as they would for any other pupil - they rarely did. I suspect these staff had a hard time imagining teachers' kids could somehow be less than perfect, and it said a lot more about their own limitations than it did about my childrens'. It was to a certain extent balanced by a great deal of sympathy on the pastoral side when the eldest went through some teen traumas in Y11, but it's a very difficult boundary to maintain. I recall seeing a colleague haul a kid into a room and tear strips off him for bullying her son outside school, which to my mind appeared wrong. It's all down to personality in the end.

    In hindsight I'm glad my kids remained part of our village community and went to school with the people they'd grown up with - they still have very strong bonds with some of them, even though they've moved away from home now. Plus our eldest used to do great impressions of the staff - they absolutely cracked me up.
  12. catmother

    catmother Star commenter

    Me too.
  13. chelsea2

    chelsea2 Star commenter

    It's only a problem if the adults make it so.

    I taught in a large village primary school, where many of the staff (teaching & support) lived. It was the only school, a good school, so their children attended. Never a problem, because all staff recognised and maintained the difference between 'professional' and 'parent' as required. For example, at parents' evenings, sometimes only the other half would attend - or they would be the only ones asking the questions. I even had the mother of one of my pupils as the class TA one year without any problems or difficulties in the relationship with her or her child.
    wanet likes this.
  14. foxtail3

    foxtail3 Star commenter

    I did supply at my children's primary school and my daughter was in my sister in law's class for a while. The only problem with that was remembering when to call her Mrs XXX and when Aunty XXX.

    I taught at their secondary school when daughter was in Year 10. I was in the SEN dept and there was a girl in her form who spent a lot of time with us. Realising that I was the mother, she set about making daughter's life difficult. At the same time, she had a massive fallout with her hitherto best friend and the form tutor was always telling me about it. I left after a year.

    So no, for us it wasn't a good idea.
  15. FritzGrade

    FritzGrade Senior commenter

    Tricky making regulation that requires the teacher to resign if their child starts at their school. Where do you draw the line? Children, teachers' siblings, nieces or nephews any relative?
    aspensquiver_2 and wanet like this.
  16. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    I should add that if you have a major problem with your kid's friends (who may also be your pupils) seeing you in 'at home' mode then you have a difficult choice to make. You will inevitably become exposed to tittle tattle, especially if they fall out with those friends. I recall one memorable occasion when one of my daughter's friends turned up at our front door one night in pouring rain, shoeless and in floods of tears because her parents were having yet another pre-divorce slanging match. She'd run straight out of the front door into the night and had headed for the nearest place of refuge. Next day she was sat in my GCSE class and I was telling her off for chattering too much. It can get a bit surreal at times.

    One of the reasons I didn't go out of my way to socialise with other staff was to avoid difficulties for my kids when they went to High school. I recall seeing one friendship between colleagues fall apart because of how one of them had dealt with the other's son in school. The other reason is I'm an anti-social git most of the time :)
  17. InkyP

    InkyP Star commenter

    My daughter was in the same school as me all through Primary. There were never any problems and it made child care easier - before the days of spending so long in school in the evening. She also had friends round and this was fine. I was in Nursery so I never had to teach her or her friends.

    At my former school most of the TAs and one or two teachers had children in school. They were local (it was a large village) and it would have been weird not to. There was one who stayed in school longer than she needed to and kept her children with her but that was another story.
  18. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    I don't know that I'd want a ban on children attending the same school where a parent worked but I do think if preferable for them to be at different schools where that is possible.

    I went to the Primary schools where my father was either a teacher or a deputy Head. It was immensely constraining for me and my siblings. we were controlled enough (too much) at home without it extending into our school time as well. It was impressed upon us that we must never show up our father by putting a foot wrong at school.
    One sister didn't utter a word at school for her first six weeks (not even to other children in the playground) and the other staff thought there must be something wrong with her and that the family must already know about it ... and so didn't speak about it with my father immediately (she'd actually been told not to 'talk in class' by my mother).
    Another sister was functionally illiterate when she moved to Secondary school. Staff had again not told my father that she was not making much progress with reading and she managed to hide her problem at home. She had, it turned out, being suffering with a temporary condition linked to epilepsy and had been missing intermittent parts of lessons. The condition cleared up, she caught up academically and went to university in 1976 (when places were still restricted to higher achievers).

    Even fun activities at school were marred by being the child of the Deputy Head (later Head for my younger siblings). If one of us had a winning raffle ticket for an Easter egg etc, my father would insist that another ticket be drawn instead (paranoid that others would think it was a fix to favour his child even when it had been a pupil drawing out the ticket) I eventually decided to donate my pennies to the fundraiser and not have a ticket and thus avoided the potential disappointment of winning but not winning.

    From the perspective of being a teacher, I found it difficult on a few occasions having a teacher's child in my class. I had put one child in detention several times in the lead up to parent's evening. It was a school where staff tended to stay in departmental 'staffrooms' across the campus. I was telling the mother about his antics and explaining the sanctions system and what he had to do to stay within the rules. She then explained that she was a teacher at the school and knew the discipline code inside out, thank you very much!
  19. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    I have always thought it rather odd. This may be something to do with the fact that I have never taught at a school which I would entertain as remotely suitable for my daughters.

    They weren't ALL bad. Only SOME of them were feral. And, as you'd expect, teachers' kids just didn't go to any of them!!!

    But refuse to allow it? No. I imagine it must be very awkward but I don't actually know.
    wanet likes this.
  20. smoothnewt

    smoothnewt Star commenter

    I wouldn't go so far as to say that it should not be allowed, but I feel strongly that, if at all possible, children should attend schools other than where their parents are working.

    I have this strong feeling that school is a place where the child learns to function as an individual - to stand on their own two feet, to develop their character and to forge friendships away from their parents. Having a parent around would inevitably stifle this process.

    The children of teachers and other workers at my school and who attend my school either seem cowed, or too ready to seek out their parent during the working day. It just seems wrong to me. I don't think they are being done any favours long term.

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