I should have put in a formal complaint in!

Last year I was one a PGCE course and I completed all of the assignments which I was very proud of. However during my second placement I was let down by the University and placement school. My school mentor in the school never came to see me and she would always comment on observations even though she did not observe me and she would also be in meetings when my uni tutor came which meant I could not speak to my tutor on her own. I would like to add that the school mentor was also the SENCO so if anyone would have wanted to help you would have thought it was her but it was not.

My university tutor was very unhelpful too. She said to me that dyslexia is not an excuse to not do my work which I never once used it as an excuse and I worked very hard to get where I am now. She also said that lots of students go through university with dyslexia and they cope. She does not understand how dyslexia affects people. I have serve dyslexia which affects everything I do including my memory and the processing of my brain. When I have spoken to people they have said that I should have put in a formal complete. I did fill in a questionnaire and wrote about my experience. I had to withdraw from the course because I felt I would not get the support during my next placement and I would feel let down again. It took me months to get over what happened and face the fact that I would not become a teacher yet which is what I have always wanted to do.

Do you think it is too late to write to the university and complain?

7 Replies

  • hi yes definately complain again, life is hard enough for us expecting to cope in a world that measures abilty in a way that is narrow and excldiues us. i think she should be sacked she sounds utterly useless and seems to have no understanding how how to even have got to university you would have had to over come a massive amoiunt of self doubt and fear of failure. try and stay on track with the route u want to go through in life, and dont let that useless woman confirm how tough the world is on us and how u cant do anything. u can get to where u want to be. of course dyslexia is about info processing and short term memeory is seriously impaired and it takes a million times longer to read or write. take ur complaint to the top for all of us. good luck and keep beliveing in urself x

  • I agree with everything said by rwebb12345. You have equal rights like everyone else. The trouble with dyslexia is that not enough people now the full extent of the difficulties faced by people who have it. Maybe someone from the British Dyslexia Association could help and support you.

    Good luck

  • Thank you for your response. I was not sure whether to contact university as it was a year ago that it happened but I have always thought that I should have done. I am not sure how to go about it. Do you think I should write a letter to the principal and explain what happened and how it made me feel. I know there is not much they can do now as I am no longer a student there but it is making them aware of the difficulties that I faced. The worst thing is the tutor lives near me so sometimes I see her in town which makes me feel really bad as she acts like she did not do anything wrong. When I see her I just walk by her and try not to look at her.

  • Hi I agree with both for the comments before hand, I felt that you should put in a complain because if people don't their just get away with it. I think this lady is ill education on dyslexic and don't really want to know. Please don't let this put you off becoming a teacher as you will make a good one and help the students who have leading problems. Also I have a problems with my college but I put in a complain to them and my works, as the same most of then don't understand dyslexic and don't want to. Apart from my course tutor, so please try don't give up because of a couple of people who don't want to know or understand. I would write a letter to the principal and also speak to dyslexic action or British dyslexic association to help you go about the complain. And one last thing please don't give up.

  • I would encourage you to go back into education but to have your difficulty formally recognised so you are supported appropriately. If you are in the UK and on a PGCE course then you should be eligible for the Disabled Student's Allowance. You will need a special type of 16+ assessment first from a Psychologist or specialist teacher (who has an Assessment Practising Certificate). You can then apply for funding and if you are eligible (the assessment showed you have a specific learning difficulty) then you will need to go for a “Needs Assessment” so they can recommend items that could help you, including some specialist tuition.

  • Thank you for replying. When I did my first degree I applied for the DSA and got a laptop and other equipment. I have an assessment report already which is what helped me get the equipment. The university was already aware of what support I needed because every tutor was given a copy of my assessment report. When I started the PGCE I then re-applied for the DSA and was allowed a tutor for 30 hours over the year. The university that I was at had a policy that I could have a support tutor relating to placement but they were not allowed to come to the school to observe me which I find is not very good because they can not see what difficulties I had without seeing me teach. This is the problem that I had and why my placement tutor was not helpful at all. She was also my Science lecturer so she was aware of my needs as I recorded her lectures along with all of the others. This is why I feel let down by the university because I already did 3 years at the university and then when I started my PGCE I made sure all members of staff that I was going to be working with were aware of my dyslexia.

    This is the reason I withdrew from the course in the end because I did not feel as if I would get the support for my next placement and I did not want to fail it again. When I was on placement they saw me as a teaching student but I was not a normal student as I had additional needs which the university and placement school were aware of.

    Do you think it would be worth putting in a formal complete or just leave it?

  • I cannot advise you regarding the formal complaint. I am not sure of how support tutors are expected to work on a placement, though agree they need to be aware of the areas that you need support in when doing the actual job. A workplace assessment would concentrate on areas that you need help with but I am not sure if they actually observe somebody performing their job to do so.

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