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iloveglee | 08:54 Mon 10th Jul 2017 | Family
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Does anyone know if parent have a right to withdraw a child from a particular subject. My grandaughter is having a really bad time with a particular subject/teacher. She had dreadful problems last year with bullying by her so called friends and went down the route of changing schools. In the end she made the sensible decision to remain where she was since she was in her first GCSE year.

Now she is being bullied by a teacher!! When she chose her options, because of the limitations of the courses, and the subjects she wanted, she ended up doing history which she hates, although it's mainly due to the teacher and his teaching methods than the subject matter as such.

Now this is overtaking everything, and affecting her ability to focus on the subjects she is good at and will pass. She is suffering from digestive problems, which the Doctor is investigating via the hospital, but really believes they are stress related.

The teacher constantly picks on her and humiliates her because she just doesn't 'get' what he is attempting to teach. There is a massive amount of homework, and she is terrified to 'coast' in the subject because of how he behaves towards her. She is not going to pass, she is not especially bothered about this, but the way things are going, she probably won't pass any of the others either.

We have offered advice about letting it go over her head, ignoring it etc. but she is quite a sensitive child and gets really upset when she is shown up in class. I personally understand this very well because I suffered the same thing in Maths, and never got a grip of it, and didn't get a pass. I still have a hatred of maths to this day, and i'm 69!!

What they would really like to happen is for her to be withdrawn from the subject entirely, and spend the time in private study on the subjects she is likely to pass. That way, she may get better grades in those subjects, which i would have thought the school would prefer.

Unfortunately this school is very un-cooperative, the pastoral care of the kids is dire, and the endemic culture of bullying that goes on, is and has never been addressed. Problem is, we do not know what rights parents have, and not sure where to go. Initially the teacher will be seen by the parents, but i think they know where it will go. Nowhere, which is what happened with the child/child bullying.

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I would approach the head of year or equivalent firstly and explain the situation. A change of subject or teacher may be possible...if there is more than one history class then your granddaughter could swap. Chat to those in charge of her care first. If nothing comes from that/ those discussions then the head teacher and governors should be notified of the complaints. Ideally this should be sorted out before the end of term so that everything is in place for the start of the year in September. She can be withdrawn from class but you may find that supervising her at those times is hard...good luck.
What a painful and difficult situation. Have you got objective proof that the teacher is bullying your daughter? I don’t for one moment disbelieve you but its easier to get stuff sorted if you have got your ducks in a row before you start. So witnesses who will corroborate your daughter’s allegations? Maybe written comments on her work? Other students who feel bullied?
So far as the law goes IIRC, (I looked at this recently regarding homeschooling) you have the right in the UK to withdraw your child entirely from school and homeschool him or her. You do not have the right to send your child to school only for the lessons/days that you choose. You don’t have the right to withdraw your child from individual lessons or to have your child offered a separate alternative (like private study) to individual lessons.....I will try and find the link, hang on
oh PS, so far as the total withdrawal thing, that includes sitting exams
link to the statement that you can withdraw your child entirely
https://www.gov.uk/home-education. To get info on what your specific council offers, click on the link on the right of the page.
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Thanks for this. We were actually aware of the option to withdraw her from school altogether and home school, that was raised when it was her friends that were bullying her. It is simply not an option though. It is very sad that her parents have no confidence, with good reason, in the school to address this. They have many problems in this school which are not addressed, it has reached the local paper before now!! There is an option, which is to remove her to college, but this is really for children who are struggling academically for them to do maths and english, and then level 1 btec in vocational subjects. This does not apply here, as she is not struggling especially in other subjects, but is simply overwhelmed with what is happening in this particular subject. Parents are going to try and address this initially with the teacher. I believe the teachers are also under extreme pressure from above, and the whole thing then gets put onto the kids.
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Things have now become infinitely worse at this school. New rulings, if there is litter in the dining room, no food will be served at first break. Now teenagers being as they are, their body clocks don't work first thing, for some children this is the first chance they have of eating. Why not get the punishment fit the crime, and have the children pick up litter on rota! They have introduced a 6 strikes and you're out, with no evidence as of yet they plan to investigate what they deem 'naughty' behaviour. no evidence that they are even interested to know why children might be non conforming. Parents have to sign this, whether they agree or not. If they don't they will be asked to remove their child to another school. My grand-daughter would move to a new school in a heartbeat, but going into year 11 is not the time. It's an academy, so totally non accountable to the local authority. We have heard there is a system whereby children can do gcse's at college, but no-one seems to know very much about this. Other than children who have been excluded from school.
The school sounds like a nightmare. A good school would let your granddaughter drop the subject and focus on her other subjects but this takes time and effort to organise and supervise - it also opens up a whole can of worms for other students wanting to do the same. She could also sit in the lesson and do work for other subjects. With regard to doing her GCSEs at a college I would be using FB to gain information - go on a local chat site and start asking questions about it and if you are lucky someone in your area will have an insight into what is available in your area. Nightmare for your granddaughter, hope it gets sorted out soon.
The other place to ask about taking GCSE’s would be your local authority.
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Thanks for that. Yes the school is a nightmare, they care very much about the academic attainment of the children, which is absolutely what they should do, but in doing that, they have lost the ability to care about the pastoral welfare of said children. Their league tables are good, although slipping a bit, and now that the EBAC is yet another thing to be league tabled, they are pushing children to do a humanities subject in order to improve the children achieving an EBAC. Children who have no interest in, or ability to deal with the enormous amount of content of those subjects, are being pushed into them as they are grouped with subjects they want to do. My grand-daughter is one of these. She is extremely good at music, and at food technology, but the other subjects she would have liked to do were in other subject groups. what was left was history or geography. in the first 3 years of secondary school she liked history, and the teacher, and was coping. now, the teacher is, frankly, second rate, and she is losing her ability to engage with it. so has got very behind, and is now trailing badly and being called out for it on a regular basis. We all accept that the school need to be engaged on this, but from previous experience they know nothing will happen. Their answer to parents with issues about anything, is 'remove your child to another school'. When you do that, they just sign the forms, they don't even ask the parents to go in and discuss it and see if anything can be done to help. Now, all of their problems are being buried, don't address them, don't discuss them, and theyre not happening. There are some shocking things going on there, but still it goes on. Thankfully, she has only one more year, we are doing all we can to support her, I have started reading up on the history curriculum myself, so that i can guide her in the subject, and perhaps get the pressure off. i was always very good at history, loved it so it isn't really a penance for me to do it. shouldn't have to, but you do what you can for your family don't you.
that is sad to read Ilove - my neighbour's little girl when she entered the school she is in now began to have sorta "mental" problems ie frightened, running, head down, locking in herself in a car and much more.

The school (I went to this school myself) has allowed her as many days off she needed throughout these 3 years and I cannot believe the change in her - a different kid altogether and far far happier. So lovely to see.

Pastoral care obviously does help - it is a pity about your teachers. Wish I could give you a better answer.
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Happily, for the first time, the student support worker (non teaching), noticed her coming into school yesterday in tears. She called her over to ask if she was OK. As she would have been late to form she said she couldn't talk. This lady came later in the day and took her out of a class, and asked her what was the problem, as it was clear there was one. She told her she hated school, and when questioned further, the whole thing came out, except for naming the teacher and subject that's causing most of the grief. She made the assumption (correctly i think), that this child is completely overwhelmed by what is expected, and has said she would arrange for some support to be put in place for the beginning of next term. We don't know what form this will take, her parents are expecting something from the school before the end of term. This has never been addressed before, even though she has had to leave the class due to panic attacks before now. Hopefully, this is going to help her to cope with it all, i am certain there will be many more children who are having the same issues. We do know for a fact that the local college have had 3 queries, this week, to see if they offer GCSES's in college. They don't but they are looking into it. A more relaxed environment definitely does suit some children.

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