Our school like so many others prides itself on discipline and the behaviour of its pupils. This is achieved with an inflexible set of rules. If a pupil breaks a rule then it’s an automatic negative. Four negatives in one week means detention. Repeated detentions bring the sanction of isolation. A serious negative can lead to an immediate spell of isolation. It’s all a bit Dickensian – was going to say Shawshank Redemption but that’s probably not a good example to use really…

The rules must come in about 7 volumes so too many to list. But let’s give a flavour by quoting some of the negatives which our son has seen issued.

  • Unbuttoned shirt
  • Incorrect positioning of the tie
  • Throwing a snowball – after school and not on school premise
  • Small coloured markings on white sport socks
  • Parent not signing off the weekly planner sheet
  • Forgetting your planner or text book
  • Incorrect colour pen used. Has to be black, unless it’s a correction which has to be green – still haven’t worked out what blue is supposed to be for
  • Forgetting to bring your cooking apron
  • Bringing the wrong measurement of food ingredients
  • School iPad running out of battery
  • Carrying snacks in a rucksack
  • Going to the wrong lesson if you misread the timetable
  • Getting lost in the school – it is a big school area with several separate buildings
  • Bringing the wrong type of calculator
  • Repeatedly asking to go home if you are unwell
  • Pointing out that the teacher had got a fact wrong (son’s only negative so far)

And on and on

Our son came home yesterday to say that he had to complete a series of corrections in his book. Failure to do so would result in two negatives…. When I checked he had one answer correction to make – fine. But he also had to correct spellings. As you can imagine with dyslexia he had many. We had the dreaded red “spelling mistake” label on almost every line. I gave up counting at 30.

The school has another rule which says that for every spelling mistake the pupil has to write out the correct spelling three times.

Call me awkward but he’s got dyslexia. How can this be right. I have spoken to the school on several occasions but I am told it is the rule for all pupils. Well bugger it. I have emailed school to tell them that he is not doing the corrections. We will add the words he has struggled with to our home reading work. But he is definitely not writing out the corrections three times. If he gets a negative for this then I have warned them that I will consider legal action against the school. U.K. organisations need to take reasonable steps to avoid discrimination on the grounds of disability. Under the Equality Act Dyslexia is classed as a disability. OR the school could just give me the detention – that could be really interesting (unbelievably I have never suffered that punishment).

100 thoughts on “Let’s break some rules….

  1. Way to advocate for your son! You are teaching him a very valuable skill, as well as showing him that you are on his side no matter what. I am also amazed at such a long list of rules… Here’s to breaking some rules 👍

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Your son’s school has me feeling so frustrated. They do not seem to be making any accommodations for his needs – to help him learn. It appears it is by their rules or suffer. And they know what is going to happen (you will advocate for him to learn according to his strengths) but they choose to keep on keeping on that rule book and waiting for your action. The best recognition of fault is in changed behavior – and they are not changing their behavior, their rules, one bit. So frustrating.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Robyn this is so true. Unfortunately many schools are like this round here. The system set by the the government is deeply flawed. Good teachers are often beaten down or forced to do stuff they do not want to do. The computing teacher says that he is forced to teach all the kids traditional programming – he recognises that it is the most unfriendly dyslexic approach possible. So son struggles and his love for computing slowly disappears. We also have other teachers who actually think getting dyslexics to write out incorrect spellings three times is the way to go…..

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I am speechless. Every time that I read your post about the school I think this place cannot get any worse. And than you post another one. I give up. This school is blatantly ignoring your son and his needs. Wow. I am so sorry you have to deal with this.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. In the USA, it is called the “school-to-prison pipeline”. Keep putting barriers up to learning and, at least here, in-school and out-of-school suspensions set kids up for feeling outside of the mainstream. Uneducated kids who keep getting kicked out hook up with other idle kids and idle kids get into trouble…

    You know all of those pesky traffic ordinances on the books that police have discretion on whether to enforce or not, depending how they are feeling and how cute and humble you act? Well schools do the exact thing. If you think those “nuisance rules” apply equally to everyone, you are oh so wrong (but maybe they are in the UK?) The kids with parents who are of the upper crust are given passes on so many things, it is how they get the idea in their heads they are the upper crust. School is there to teach the basics, but more importantly, it is indoctrinating obedience in “the masses.” More important, it’s a mini environment for society as a whole. When the upper crusters have ways of getting around rules and the average student suffers from enforcement of these crappy rules, it sends an important message to everyone. And that’s not even BEGINNING to address the dyslexia your son has. Sorry to ramble on, but I’ve seen it way too many times in my old job.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. I am in the US and thankfully my son doesn’t have rules like this. His school is over the top with security though which has me thinking of homeschooling. I am so sorry to hear of the struggles for your son. I think those rules are a bit much. I hope they don’t punish him for a disability he has no control over. It’s not fair the pressure they put on kids nowadays especially when school should be enjoyable and some place kids look forward to going.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. I’m glad you’re demonstrating for your son that not every rule is a real rule – if it doesn’t demonstrate the equity of the rule of law, then it needs to be flexible. Anything inflexible will break, and that’s the lesson. Some rules were meant to be broken because they’re not rules, they’re punishments!

    Liked by 4 people

      1. Honestly from reading your blog I don’t think you have anything to worry about in that area. And for what you don’t know there’s everything on the internet, YouTube and US unis put whole classes on for free now don’t they? And you can’t possibly do a worse job than school is doing.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I now want to give your son a teaspoon so that he can tunnel out like Andy Dufresne did. How frustrating when a school gives blanket sanctions irrespective of the condition of the child. In fact, how frustrating when they give sanctions full stop when they could be rewarding the kids who get things right. A positive for good uniform is just so much nicer than a negative for poor uniform.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Before i make any comments could i seek a little clarification please?

    2 Points:
    1. Is this a government system school or a Public (we call them Private here)/Religious school?
    2. Is this the 21st or 19th century??

    Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s a truism that the more you pay for something the more control you get in what is delivered.

        Government huh? and they will give you a penalty for having a crooked tie? on KIDS???

        That’s not even 18th century – that’s Orwell’s 1984! It’s not just your son that deserves better, All of them do.

        Have you heard of something called The Khan Academy? It’s a free on-line video learning centre anyone can use. You might want to check it out.

        I studied the ‘management of Austism spectrum disorder’ module and i suspect the school is failing your son in just about every possible aspect of that – they must be so proud??

        Liked by 1 person

      1. The sooner the likes of Trump and May are assigned to history will be a step forward. The site of our government moaning about the kids demonstrating about climate change is nothing short of a disgrace. They are demonstrating because the current buffoons are driving us and future generations off a cliff.


      2. On this side of the pond, WTH awaits us after Trump? Something much worse? We dodged a bullet with pedophile HRC. I fear what is next…

        Your school…hm. Reminds me of Styx’s “Conform & Confirm” from the Roboto story/tour. What Nazis… If you need help with an attorney for a lawsuit, GoFundMe. You have friends…just sayin’…

        Liked by 1 person

  9. I am totally with you. Their answer that the rules are for everyone denies him his right to work differentiated for his ability and needs. As a qualified teacher myself (UK) I think you’ve done the right thing. What the school are demanding is unreasonable. If they punish him for this I would make a formal complaint to the Chair of Governors. If this gets you nowhere you could consider writing directly to Ofsted.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I have to say that some of the rules you list are utterly ludicrous — specifically the dress code ones. The school that my lot are going to doesn’t even have a dress code — although they do have school t-shirts that have to be worn on school trips, which is reasonable enough.

    Getting lost of not having the right stuff, also, doesn’t look like the sort of thing that should be on an infractions list.

    A lot of these rules look unreasonable to me. Best of luck with getting some resolution to this.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. These are fucking ridiculous.
    Spots on his socks? SERIOUSLY?!? It’s called childhood, you asswipes. Ye gods, I let my sons go to school in stained pants near every day because they’re just going to get MORE stains and they’re the only god-damn pants they have that DON’T have holes.
    I noticed another comment mentioned seeing how other parents feel about these rules. Seriously, it wouldn’t hurt to find out. If enough parents get wound up, the administration may buckle. I mean, come ON, do they LIKE hunting up this shit on kids? Wouldn’t it just be easier to let kids have spots on their socks? Jeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeez

    Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s a vicious cycle. I see that here, too, but in the opposite way. The schools are all so damn keen to focus on feelings and making everyone feel good about themselves that no one learns how to cope with failure or NOT making the cut. This’ll sound brazen, but I will attribute a chunk of the current violence of schools to this problem. When kids do not learn how to fail when they’re young, they refuse to accept it when they’re older and lash out as a result. They cannot comprehend an environment where they are NOT special or NOT a success. It’s f’ing scary.

        Liked by 2 people

  12. Gary I haven’t fead right through everyone’s comments. But this is called, legally, indirect discrimination against your son. Failing to take into account your son’s
    disabilites. This comes under the Equality Act 2010. If you do want to take it legal, contact Fry Law. There is a freephone number on the internet. There have been many other cases like this. This firm acts with Equality Commission funding. They specialise in this sort of thing. They also got Costs from the school if they are successful. If you want to go that route, this firm is your best bet. My husband is well into the Law on this kind of thing. You can always email me if you want to know more. Use the following address if you want to
    What this school is doing to your son is dusgusting and beyond the blunds. There cluld be vuctimisation gling on here too. So think about it and if you want to go that route, then good luck to you. Xx

    Liked by 1 person

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