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Romeo Void

Contact school about a child that's not mine?

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Romeo Void

Can I make an appointment to see the school about an extended family members child? The child has been missing lots of school and I'm worried for them, I'm the alternate contact so I've been called on occasion..  I'm not sure if I'm allowed to get involved?

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Mrs Claus

I don’t imagine they would be able to tell you much due to privacy 

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José

You could give the school information about the child but the school shouldn't be giving you information about the child. They should only contact an 'alternate contact ' in particular circumstances eg cant get hold of primary contact and child is ill, not for general chats.

What kind of relationship do you have with the child's primary care giver? 

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Gruffalo's Child

I would be very hesitant to ask to meet with the school but would send an email if I felt it was necessary outlining my concerns and leave it to the school to ask me to meet with them if they felt it was needed.   I would also expect to not hear back from the school other than possibly  a response  thanking me for my email.   

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Romeo Void

She's my niece. 

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literally nobody

Id email the school as pp said. and leave it up to them to do the rest. 

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José

I think sending an email is a good idea. 

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Lou-bags

I'd speak to the Principal, myself. In person, not email.

 Either just catch her when I saw her, or make an appointment if I couldn't. I realise there are rules about what the school can share with you, but I think we should all look out for the children in our communities even if they aren't our own. And I can't see anything wrong with wanting to advocate for your niece. 

 

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born.a.girl
1 minute ago, Lou-bags said:

I'd speak to the Principal, myself. In person, not email.

 Either just catch her when I saw her, or make an appointment if I couldn't. I realise there are rules about what the school can share with you, but I think we should all look out for the children in our communities even if they aren't our own. And I can't see anything wrong with wanting to advocate for your niece. 

 

That was my thought, too.  Who knows where something in writing might end up - without wishing to criticise any school, the person receiving may send it on to whoever they think the right person is, and you may never know what the response is.

Speaking to the principal in person gives you their feedback on your approach (I don't mean feedback on the child, I know they can't do that), and perhaps even suggest you put it in writing so they can act on it.

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Chee72

No

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.Jerry.

As a principal I would listen to the information, but couldn't share anything with you or tell you what was done about your information.

 

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seayork2002
Just now, .Jerry. said:

As a principal I would listen to the information, but couldn't share anything with you or tell you what was done about your information.

 

This is what i would assume would happen

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Lou-bags
28 minutes ago, .Jerry. said:

As a principal I would listen to the information, but couldn't share anything with you or tell you what was done about your information.

 

Would you be able to provide advice though? Like recommend where someone in a situation like the OP might be able to go for help?

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José
17 minutes ago, Lou-bags said:

Would you be able to provide advice though? Like recommend where someone in a situation like the OP might be able to go for help?

There's probably not a whole lot the OP can do as it isn't her that needs the help. So there wouldnt really be anywhere for her to go.

I suppose school could let them know about the types of services other families access. But couldn't make any referrals without parental consent. And you could find out about local services without talking to school if you needed.

I guess school could advise a child protection notification if required.  Again any individual can do that, school doesnt have to be involved. 

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.Jerry.
36 minutes ago, Lou-bags said:

Would you be able to provide advice though? Like recommend where someone in a situation like the OP might be able to go for help?

In non-specific language I could.

I've been in this situation.    Generally could/would say "Thank you.  If any family or community member has concerns about a child's well-being, you can call the Department of Child Safety - here is their number. "  Could also suggest other support services in the community.

Obviously would also likely say to chat to the parent of the child, but realise this may not be appropriate in some cases.

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Heather11

If the child is absent a lot then the school should already be investigating that  side of things.

Like Jerry said, you could pass on any other information.  It might not be to the principal either.  I would ask for whoever oversees student wellbeing.

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blimkybill

If you had permission from the parent, then a meeting with the school could be a great idea. The parent might be quite happy to let you do that. No harm asking perhaps?

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Sabine75
Posted (edited)

It takes a village to raise a child and all that.. so yes.  I would not put it in writing, you dont know where it goes and it is hard to express things correctly this way.  I would request a meeting with the wellness teacher ( or similiar) or principal and express your concerns, stating you know they cant  tell you anything ( nor do you expect to be told anything), but it is information for them to consider.

 

This may be one more piece of the puzzle the school needs to help the child, Or it may be nothing, but if we dont start speaking out and caring children fall through the cracks.  I have just finished reading about a horrid case of child abuse where outwardly all looked well except some odd signs at school - lot of abscences and the child coming to school unwashed  - no one said anything even though people noticed - it is so sad - we need to care  and speak up, it may be something or it may be nothing, but for those kids who fall through the cracks at least we tried and hopefully something was done.

Edited by Sabine75
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JomoMum
On 16/07/2020 at 5:18 PM, Lou-bags said:

I'd speak to the Principal, myself. In person, not email.

 Either just catch her when I saw her, or make an appointment if I couldn't. I realise there are rules about what the school can share with you, but I think we should all look out for the children in our communities even if they aren't our own. And I can't see anything wrong with wanting to advocate for your niece. 

 

Agree. 
 

It would depend if the OP is seeking information about the child, or wanting to provide information? 

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TigerQueenofSheeba
On 16/07/2020 at 6:52 PM, Heather11 said:

If the child is absent a lot then the school should already be investigating that  side of things.

Theoretically they should be. Doesn't mean they are, sadly.

On 16/07/2020 at 7:47 PM, blimkybill said:

If you had permission from the parent, then a meeting with the school could be a great idea. The parent might be quite happy to let you do that. No harm asking perhaps?

I would think if the OP thought that was a possible solution she probably would have done that already. I'm guessing that it needs to be a confidential conversation and is probably about something going on in the nieces house. 

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Romeo Void

I've talked to her and told her I was worried.  She said all the right things, but I'm a cynic and I'll believe it when I see it.  The school have been in touch with her and they've had a meeting (they instigated it after the last incident where the child wasn't collected from school, I was contacted).    Fingers crossed she does pull herself together.  Thanks for your insight everyone.

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TigerQueenofSheeba

Your poor niece 😢

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sahmie

Why would you need to inform the school of something they’re aware of? I mean, that’s why they mark an attendance role 🤷‍♀️

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TigerQueenofSheeba
6 hours ago, sahmie said:

Why would you need to inform the school of something they’re aware of? I mean, that’s why they mark an attendance role 🤷‍♀️

Seems to be a bit more than attendance that is the problem.

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Romeo Void
20 hours ago, TigerQueenofSheeba said:

Seems to be a bit more than attendance that is the problem.

Exactly this.  Until recently I consoled myself with the idea that at least the children were getting to school everyday.  I just wasn't sure if it was my place to let the school know the children were in a vulnerable/precarious position and that any help they could afford would be appreciated. 

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