Parental Responsibilty Is It Worth The Paper It’s Printed on

I sometimes despair of some institutions. I have PR for my daughter and most of the time it’s not an issue, most of the time it’s not even needed. However, once in a while you have to start waving your bit of paper around and demanding your rights as a father. The only organisations that I have ever had any real trouble with have been social services who refused me access to my daughters file (I eventually won the right in court, despite the fact that it should nevr have been an issue if the law was followed) and her school.

The problem with the school seems to have been an ongoing one since she started there, all I want is the same info that her mother gets, letters about trips, sports days, concerts, all the usual stuff and of course her report. When my daughter first started at the school I had cause to telephone for some information, I can’t remember what it was but it was like getting blood from a stone. In the end I had to get the education department involved, which resulted in an apologetic call from the head. After that things were a little better but they slowly slipped backwards.

My daughter has attended this school for the last 3 years, the teachers and admin staff know who I am. I attend the events that I am made aware of I try and do my bit to help out where I can, yet I still have problems getting her report. It seems to be the same at the end of every term, mum gets one sent home with our daughter, dads is supposed to be posted out. By the time I realise that I’m not getting one the school is closed for the holidays. After the holidays I go and ask where my copy of the report is and I get the same answer every time “well we put one in the post for you” We’ll post you out another.

I changed address last august and the first thing in september I notified the school in person, watched someone write down my new address, and guess what, still no report. Last week when I collected my daughter from school I was informed that at half term they had definately posted the report to me. So I asked them to tell me the address they were sending the reports to, they were still sending them to the OLD address (if they were sending them at all) Again I was promised a report in the post to my new address, one week later and still no report, so in an hour or so they will be being asked why.

The biggest problem is that I am getting really sick of this second class treatment, but the school is excellent in every other department it seems. The classes are below the average size, the teachers seem to know their stuff and my daughter is coming along great. So I don’t really want to rock the boat but I don’t want to be treated like a second class citizen either. I wonder if this is a common problem for fathers seperated from their children. Just because we don’t live with them seven days a week doesn’t mean that we don’t have a valuable input into their lives!


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