I never thought I would write this. As a parent I expected to work in harmony with my daughter’s school; to appreciate them for looking after her for six hours every day. I thought there might be a few problems with high school, but she’s only two years into primary and already, I have a list. Here goes:
- The Toilet Rule. My daughter’s class (of five year olds) has a “toilet rule”. They are not allowed to go to the toilet during class, and if they need to do so, their name is written up on the board’s “Toilet List”. Children who are on the toilet list miss five minutes of their fifteen minute break, which I could understand if they were catching up on work, but they are not. They are made to stand at the edge of the playground and watch the rest of the class run off and play. This rule has caused my daughter a lot of anxiety, and to me, it seems more like a punishment than a deterrent. Even as adults with full control over our bladders, we do not sit at our desks until lunchtime waiting to go pee. We just go.
- The Water Rule. The school has a policy asking every child to bring a water bottle to school daily – in an attempt to encourage them to drink more water. That’s awesome, right? Apart from the fact that they aren’t allowed to drink in class either. And if they only drink at break, when are they going to need a wee? You guessed it: class time.
- Lost Items. Thus far my daughter has managed to lose a coat, a water bottle, two books, a hat, a pair of socks, two cardigans and a spoon. I struggle to understand how these items are disappearing regularly within the school – particularly when the children are supposed to be supervised at all times.
- Money. Further on the matter of lost items, the cost of replacing them. For three weeks I have been begging the teacher to send out a new reading book for my daughter, and I was finally given a letter, stating that the cost of replacing the ‘lost’ book would be £3.50. The book was lost inside the school. Why is it now my responsibility to replace it?! And how is it okay that in the meantime my daughter hasn’t been reading?!
- Tardiness. If we are even two minutes ‘late’ for school, by which I mean ‘if the line for her class has gone in but we are still five minutes before the bell goes’, it goes down in the office. The dirty look from the snooty receptionist, and the need to justify our tardiness – note: saying “The line went in early. We are still before the bell.” is not a correct answer here. However, when it is time for my daughter’s class to leave at 3.30, the teacher happily keeps the door shut and all of us waiting for at least a further ten minutes – regularly. I’m talking every day. What’s that about?
- Organisation. The last pet peeve of mine is the school’s lack of organisation. When there is a trip that requires certain outerwear, a party, a toy day, an extra homework project or something that needs signing or paying for, I only hear about it the day before. This leads to 6pm trips to tesco in a desperate search for wellington boots in the middle of June. Read: I didn’t find any.
So there you have it. A list of things my daughter’s school is doing to wind me up. Am I being unreasonable? Are all of these things to be expected? Or should I be having an angry meeting with the headmaster? Let us know what you think!