Making a complaint

I hope it is ok to post this here. I'm just looking for another opinion about how to deal with my daughter's school about her ITP and I thought this would be a good place.

My daughter is 8 and has had ITP since she was a toddler. Apart from one count of 34, her count has always been 20 or less and sometimes in single figures.

She has a care plan at school and it says she must not participate in contact or damgerous sports. Last year a newsletter said her class would be doing rugby. I spoke to the teacher to say that she couldn't do it and he told me that they weren't playing a game, they were just doing rugby skills ie throwing a ball to each other standing in a line and that it is totally safe and no reason why my daughter could not do it. I trusted him and let her do it.

In September this year we had the same letter. I didn't speak to the teacher as I had already spoken to him last time and he knows about my daughter and her care plan as he taught her last year.

After a couple of sessions all I have heard from my daughter and her friends is how many people are injured during the lesson and that it is a proper game and really rough and dangerous.

My daughter is moving school very soon as I am not impressed with this teacher at all for other reasons. However, I felt I still needed to tell him that I did not want her joining in with rugby. When I spoke to him he looked at me like I was stupid, told me he couldn't understand my issue, but agreed. I got the impression his thoughts were "whatever, I don't really care anymore".

Today was the rugby class. My daughter asked the TA what she should do as she couldn't do rugby. The TA called across the class to ask the teacher. The teacher then called across the class so my daughter and everyone else could hear and said " I don't know. For some reason Hannah is not allowed to play". My daughter said he said it in a really mean way and pulled a face.

This has really annoyed me as he obviously isn't taking her careplan seriously and either doesn't understand or care about the consequences.

I am quite cross about this and I'm tempted to go and speak to him and explain clearly that her platelet count is low enough to cause internal bleeding without an injury and explain to him how serious internal bleeding is. Or would you just leave it?

10 Replies

  • I would go straight to the head teacher and explain what has happened, this is not acceptable behavior for a teacher or any adult for that matter. There is no point talking to the teacher in question he is obviously not going to take any notice and just brush it off.

  • I agree with JasonJ. However, I would also obtain a copy of the ITP paper for schools and give him a copy. This may also be a good idea for the new school. Good luck

  • I agree with the others. I would also ask to have that teacher brought in for the conversation with the school head.

  • I agree with what has been said, do as they have advised, but also let him know that he and his employer will be held liable for any medical complications resulting from their disregard of your daughter's condition.

    The another thing that is a problem here is his actions are likely led to bullying, by belittling your daughter in of her classmates.

  • This is really serious as you have already spoken to the teacher I would go straight to the head teacher and complain and if they do not take it seriously I would complain to the governors of the school and the education authority. Good luck

  • I would complain both to the Head and the teacher. I would also see if you can obtain a letter from your Haematologist explaining in precise detail the consequences of your daughter being injured, so that they realise how serious the consequences could be for her, and them.

    I would further explain that having had the care plan, and effectively ignoring it, you will hold the school liable for any injuries your daughter will incur, and state very clearly, and use these precise words, that they are failing in their duty of care to her, and that you are prepared to lodge a formal complaint with the governors and the LEA about this.

    That will get their attention.

    If it's a feepaying school, then make it plain that the duty of care is being ignored,and that the governors is a route you will pursue (trust me, it works), and point out that they are losing a student because of these actions, and you will be honest with people when they asked why you moved your daughter. They won't like that either.

  • I agree with all of the other post there's just people out there that don't understand what ITP is and what it causes if we are not being careful. My hemotologist still tells me to be careful. Hope your daughter has better luck at the new school and and honestly I would complain to the school board as well...

  • I understand that you are upset about your daughters treatment, but I have to say it is not unusual for ANY illness that is not immediately obvious. A friend of mine has a son who has a skin disorder and burns after moments outside. Every year that family have an 'incident' before the new teacher understands the seriousness of his condition, only when his son is badly burned does the new teacher really understand the problem.

    This teacher would probably be the first to respond if your child arrived in school covered in unexplained bruises. But if they have seen nothing to support your 'story' that this is a dangerous illness, then they find it difficult to understand.

    I am not saying that you shouldn't complain about your daughters treatment, but I feel I should warn you to expect to have to explain your daughters condition again and again and again, even in the same school as your daughters teachers change. Some teachers will not see what is written, some will see it read it and not really understand and only a very few will understand straight away.

    I have a couple of cracking photos of my worst brusies. I'm actually rather proud of them, and they come in handy to visually show people what ITP means. Seeing those is sometimes so much easier to understand than words on a form in a file.

    Having said all that, can I just say that for 16 yrs I had a count of between 7 and 20 platelets per unit and I never had to have any treatments emergency or otherwise. I had a few trips to the department for assessment (a blood shot eye that was bright red for longer than a week) and one over night stay for a sudden painful headache (turned out there was a virus with headache doing the rounds). Now I have treatment for Lupus and it has raised my platelet count to a massive 30(!) And I'm still being careful, without being too limited in what I do (I would love to play ice hockey, but I don't). And yes I often go swimming with massive bruises on embarrasses my husband but not me, its just how I am :)

  • If the daughter has an IEP in place, then the school are aware of the issues, and by ignoring them, are failing in their duty of care. It really doesn't take much to Google an illness, or to contact the parent to ask for more information about it.

    In my professional opinion, the teacher is bordering on negligent. It's safer to cover your arse by following the care plan, than not.

  • You must complain, do not be put off by excuses. The school obviously does not know enough about the condition. Because of the lack of knowledge, regarding specific medical conditions, many families have been split apart. They obviously have not read or seen on the television about the young couple who had their child removed from them and adopted. The child had thrombocytophenia. A severe blood condition. Unfortunately, some of the treatment, example steroids, put the child at risk of osteoporosis. YOU MUST COMPLAIN and keep complaining until they take notice. The blood disorder is not new. The first I knew about it was 1972, it was probable know about earlier than that.

    I had a class member some years ago, fortunately I had some knowledge of her condition. The class she had attended before coming to mine, the teacher had put her at risk of serious injury.

    I wish you well and a big, but gentle hug for your child.

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