1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hi Guest, welcome to the TES Community!

    Connect with like-minded professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.

    Don't forget to look at the how to guide.

    Dismiss Notice

Violent expupil allowed back for respite care!

Discussion in 'Teaching assistants' started by undervaluedTA, Jan 17, 2008.

  1. Hello everyone, this is my first post so please be gentle......
    We are a mainstream first school, taking pupils upto nine years old.
    We had an extremely violent pupil from early years to year four, this child while a pupil, broke a TA's cheekbone, tried to stab another child, bit, spat, punched and basically terrorised both staff and pupils.
    The headteacher introduced him to chess which calmed him but it meant the head teacher then spent every break/lunchtime playing with him. Something the other children noticed and commented on. i.e 'If I'm naughty I have to stand outside the office, but when ******* is naughty he gets to play with Mr ********'
    So you can imagine our relief when last July he finally left to attend a special school.
    We heard today that a decision has been made to allow this child back into our school for a couple of days a week for respite! Apparently the special school can't cope with him, so we are all being put in danger again!
    My question is....is our headteacher allowed to do this, bearing in mind nobody asked us if we minded, we just heard it from other staff members.
    If this pupil hurts another child or staff member while on the premises what would be the implications?
     
  2. Hello everyone, this is my first post so please be gentle......
    We are a mainstream first school, taking pupils upto nine years old.
    We had an extremely violent pupil from early years to year four, this child while a pupil, broke a TA's cheekbone, tried to stab another child, bit, spat, punched and basically terrorised both staff and pupils.
    The headteacher introduced him to chess which calmed him but it meant the head teacher then spent every break/lunchtime playing with him. Something the other children noticed and commented on. i.e 'If I'm naughty I have to stand outside the office, but when ******* is naughty he gets to play with Mr ********'
    So you can imagine our relief when last July he finally left to attend a special school.
    We heard today that a decision has been made to allow this child back into our school for a couple of days a week for respite! Apparently the special school can't cope with him, so we are all being put in danger again!
    My question is....is our headteacher allowed to do this, bearing in mind nobody asked us if we minded, we just heard it from other staff members.
    If this pupil hurts another child or staff member while on the premises what would be the implications?
     
  3. To be fair its probably not the headteachers decision.
     
  4. Unfortunately not so, during a conversation between both headteachers regarding this childs progress, our headteacher offered to take him back!
     
  5. I thought the Head makes decisions as to who comes to the school?

    Sorry can't offer any helpful comment, sounds awful.
     
  6. R13

    R13 New commenter

    Is it just this child or do you think the headteacher should consult you for every child he/she admits?

    - Sorry to sound glib, honestly I don't underestimate the strain a youngster like this can put on staff but whilst I think it is incredibly unusual and perhaps even unwise for this to happen it is of course a decision for the Head to make unless the child was excluded.

    As to your second question about the implications if the child hurts a member of staff . . .I think you should direct that sort of question to the Head as it is entirely valid. I would suggest that it was worded differently - along the lines of how the Head is planning to ensure the safety of staff and pupils rather than what is going to happen if it goes wrong - but I do think that if you or colleagues are being asked to work with a child who is known to be aggressive you should have clear risk assessments and plans of action and support to ensure the child's needs are met AND that other children and staff are safe. If you don't think those plans sound as if they are robust enough you should - politely of course - say so
     
  7. Of course I don't expect to be consulted about every child taken into the school. Just the ones that are a danger to me and have left just to be bought back!

    When this child broke another TAs cheekbone it was totally swept under the carpet. She was basically told it was her own fault for not restraining him properly, even though no member of the TA staff had been trained to deal with violent children. The teachers have, but as he spent no time in the classroom, just wandering around the school with a TA in tow that was no good.
    Our headteacher seems totally obessed with this boy, he even took him and his family to a chess tourament in Manchester for a weekend.
    I really can't describe the utter feeling of dread that hung around the school while he was there and I can't understand why we are going to put ourselves through this again. What makes our head think we can cope, when the trained staff at the special school can't!
     
  8. giraffe

    giraffe New commenter

    You are not supposed to provide 'respite care' - schools are there to meet children's needs. Your school is not able to meet his needs because you are not a special school. It is unsafe and unsound for HT to allow this child to come back to your school.

    Are you in the UK?

    This isn't actually legal.

    Get staff and unions together on this - you need to refuse to teach him. Contact governors urgently.

    Your HT has a very odd relationship with this child and his family - this is unacceptable.
     
  9. "Your school is not able to meet his needs because you are not a special school."

    Special schools don't have all the answers too you know and it is obviously not a suitable place for him either. We are not there just to work with violent children. It sounds more like he needs to be in a school for severe behavioural, emotional and associated difficulties. One of the difficulties with pupils as you are describing is that we work with some extremely vulnerable children so it is just as detrimental as having him in a mainstream school. Unfortunately there is a gap in the education system for children like this and you don't say if he has learning difficulties too. This is a very unusual situation and unfortunately for you is a decision your head has made. He won't have taken the decision without LA advice.
     
  10. R13

    R13 New commenter

    Giraffe - you state 'this isn't actually legal'

    Unless you know something that hasn't been posted that is a very odd thing to claim. What I see here is a Head and a TA having a different view as to what the school can do - your assertion from hearing that the TA feels unsafe that it is illegal is very loyal to a colleague TA but equally it is nonsense.

    Many special schools run integration projects with local mainstream schools and to do so with the previous school of a pupil would not be unusual. (that is not saying it is either safe or a good idea, I don't know the indivdiual situation well enough to judge)

    As I suggested earlier it is entirely appropriate for the TA to ask her Head how she and pupils will be protected from an expected violent situation - but if she goes in there suggesting the Head is acting illegally and or complaining to Governors without having such questions asked and answered her complaint would look both foolish and unfair (whereas it may in fact have a very sound justification)
     
  11. Are you in the UK? Because you say a 'first' school teaching up to age 9, which I'm not familiar with.

    Do you know more about the Head's relationship with the child? Are they friends or something? Did the child try to stab another child with a knife? A pencil? Which was it?

    I agree that the comment about it being illegal is wrong. Without knowing all the facts it's difficult to comment. Are you sure they can't cope at the other school and it's not that his behaviour has improved?

    Inclusion is a big thing these days. Personally I think some children would be better served in special schools and that whilst inclusion can be wonderful it is not always the right thing for the child. It does sound like inclusion in mainstream school isn't a great idea in this case, but I am sure the Head is far better qualified to make that judgement.

    Why not just go and speak to the Head and voice your concerns? All you have to do is say that you have heard he is coming back and you would like to know what the plan is for him and ask what is required of you. Have a good talk and find out as much as you can and tell the Head of your concerns and ask what you can do to deal with any difficult situations if they arise.
     
  12. R13

    R13 New commenter

    I'm a Head and if Carolinewirral (Post 10) came to speak to me like that I would be happy to sit down and have a decent conversation, and I mean a conversation where I listened to her views as well as shared mine.

    The earlier suggestions about claiming it were illegal, questining whether I was allowed to do it etc would strike me as rude and indicative of a lack of respect for the child as well as for the Head. (Carolinewirral would probably go up in my estimation for raising her concerns in a professional manner that was clearly all in the best interest of the child(ren))

    I have one vacant space at my (Special) school and I hve 5 sets of parents trying to secure it for their child. I have asked some colleagues in school to visit the children in their current schools but whilst I will greatly value their input and feedback it will have to be MY decision to tell the Local Authority which of the children would be appropriately placed with us AND which should be given the greatest priority because that is what I am paid to do.

    I should add, as it is relevant to this case, that I will be the only one in the school who will have seen all the reports and spoken to all the Heads about all 5 children so I will at least be making the decision from a position of knowledge rather than ignorance. (I concede I might still get it wrong of course)
     
  13. And the main reason I said it was because I have a lovely Head who could easily be approached like that. I really like that about him.
     
  14. Thabk you for all your replies.
    Yes I'm based in the Uk, in Worcestershiire which still has a three tier system, first, middle and high school.
    This child bought a knife into school, took it onto the playground with the intention of stabbing a particular child that had 'upset' him the day before.
    He has no learning difficulties as such, just an extremely short attention span. Which made it difficult to get any work out of him.

    When we got to school yesterday we were told this child would be in around 10am and could pick which class he wanted to sit in.
    When I asked about the safety of the other children I was told it wouldn't be a problem as he would be removed as soon as anything happened. (Isn't that too late?)
    We got a phone call at 10.30 to say this childs mother had phoned social services to say she was concerned about the safety of a younger sibling in the house and a decision has been made to have him fostered, as they feel he needs some distance from his family.
    So the situation is at the moment, he won't be back for the forseeable future.
    I as a TA and mother I feel very sorry for this child and feel is being let down by everyone, but he needs more than we can give him. We tried very hard for five years to help him, I just wish the head could see this and let him go............
     
  15. Sounds awful.
     
  16. giraffe

    giraffe New commenter

    If a child is statemented, then the LEA has a statutory requirement to fulfil the statement. That means a legal right to the support outlined in the statement. A child can't just be slotted into a mainstream place because it is convenient for staff.

    While Special schools don't have 'all the answers', there are at the very least staff with additional training and an appropriate ratio of adults to give support. Very violent pupils are a danger to other children and to staff. It is wrong to place them in schools without measures in place to minimise such risks. That is a legal matter too, since a HT has a statutory duty of care to pupils and staff.

     
  17. but what if the statement says they can be 'slotted into' mainstream school?

    What about Inclusion?

    Without knowing all the facts and what the statement says then nobody can say.
     
  18. Hi Undervalued TA. Firstly I would like to sympathise with your concerns. Reading some of the responses indicates to me some of the ignorance of working with violent pupils and the damage they can cause physically and mentally. I had a violent child in my class and he disrupted my teaching, and the children's learning on a daily basis. He threw things, with the intent to hurt and gave his TA a black eye. My school: like your school seemed to bend over backwards for this child, but he was regularly expelled due to attacking staff and children. However, he still remained in the school. He was in year four when I worked at the school and his violence was generally unprovoked and was triggered when asked to do his work. Being of a certain race the school had to demonstrate to the 'powers to be' they had tried everything before warranting a permanent exclusion. In this particular school all the children previously excluded were of one race and it was due to thIs exclusion wasn't easy, despite the numerous attacks on staff and other children. Another child in the same school attacked the Headteacher where he repeatedly kicked and punched her. He was only in year two! He was sent to a special school but then came back because of his age and his race. The school I worked in was a challenging school and had many violent children- regular fights in the playground and general aggressive behaviour to each other and staff. However, it had fantastic staff - some really inspirational teachers with strong management skills and the ability to teach in demanding classes with zero tolerance to bad behavior. The school had to work really hard to exclude violent children, and it sounds like your head isn't strong enough to deal with this child and takes the easy option of trying to pacify his behaviour by befriending him and not giving a damn about the health and safety of the children or staff. I think a teacher / TA may need to die before any one actually takes any notice.
     

Share This Page