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Ballet bun

Boarding issues

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Hi, I have been a follower of many topics over the years and never really involved myself. I feel I get a lot from just ready areas relevant to me. 

I have now come to a point where I feel I need advice. It is coming to the end of the academic year and my DD has had her ups and downs with boarding, but is currently facing friendship issues. I particularly find this hard because there is nothing a parent can do to help. 

They spend so much time together in boarding that having a friend/friends is so important. I worry about the mental health issues surrounding being away from home and feeling rejected and lonely. 

Has anyone got any advice or experience with dealing with these types of issue. 

My main aim is for her to end the year with the knowledge she is going back to friendly faces. 

Just to let you know I have involved house matrons, but they have hit a brick wall too. 

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Sorry to hear your Dd is having issues. It is such a worry being at home feeling helpless, it dominated our lives for years and yet Dd refused to give up. 

I involved house parents and then the head of pastoral care with no success. Their reasons given for  my Dd struggling included her being ‘from a stable family’ to ‘being more mature than her year group’. I eventually escalated the problems to the school principal and we had a group meeting including house parents, head of pastoral care. A number of truths came out at the meeting about who in house was instigating the behaviour towards my Dd as house parents were aware but not actively doing anything about it. Dd was given a mentor in year above and this helped tremendously. As did a written plan of action from the principal which highlighted what the house staff should and shouldn’t be doing rather than their empty promises. 

All the best for improving conditions for your Dd. 

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Great advice from Jane.  Welcome from out of the lurking shadows,  Ballet Bun.

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To add to my earlier comments don’t assume that the house staff will have communicated with the dance or academic staff that your Dd is have problems in house/socially. At the parent/teacher consultations at the end of my Dd first year I was horrified to discover (as were the two members of teaching staff) that they hadn’t been informed of what was happening in house. This was a good year before I escalated problems to the principal. 

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I think that continuing to work with boarding staff will help the situation. If there are people that your Dd would like to share space with next year, ask for that to happen. Also don’t be afraid to alert them to inappropriate behaviour that your Dd is having to deal with. If they are fully in the picture, they will be more able to help. If they are not helping, then maybe escalation is needed. Hope things get sorted for your Dd. 

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I'm so sorry to hear this ballet bun, how awful for all of you.

 

I would agree that escalating to Head of Pastoral or School Head is the next step.

 

Our experiences were that:

 

1) there was a huge difference in competence between different house parents in terms of skills at dealing with such issues

 

2) if any issues (pastoral or dance) were not dealt with satisfactorily then escalating to Head was only way to get it dealt with.

 

3) Agree there is often poor communication between pastoral, dance and academic.

 

If you think bullying is happening do you have a copy of the school policy?

 

Are there any room allocations that may help for next year?

 

Wishing you all the best xxx

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Bear in mind that with all the added pressures of ‘ production ‘ at the end of term - the students are tired , emotionally drained and more fragile than usual .

A lovely summer break may be all that is needed , and some tlc with the family .

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Thank you everyone it sounds silly that I hadn't thought to esculate it. I think it's more a case of clashes, tiredness and clicks than bullying. 

I do agree with Sarahw that there is huge variations in matrons abilities, effort and thoughtfulness in handling the problems. 

I am just hoping that she has something positive in her last week or she might be too fearful to return as she feels desperately lonely at the moment. 

A good summer break will help I am sure. 

Thank you again. 

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Is there someone she is/was closer to? She could perhaps meet with them over the summer or even chat via social media. This may help her to feel more confident in returning. Hugs to your Dd.

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Posted (edited)
19 minutes ago, Ballet bun said:

Thank you everyone it sounds silly that I hadn't thought to esculate it. I think it's more a case of clashes, tiredness and clicks than bullying. 

I do agree with Sarahw that there is huge variations in matrons abilities, effort and thoughtfulness in handling the problems. 

I am just hoping that she has something positive in her last week or she might be too fearful to return as she feels desperately lonely at the moment. 

A good summer break will help I am sure. 

Thank you again. 

I’m so sorry your daughter is feeling lonely. In my opinion, some cliques do have the same effect as bullying, as they isolate and exclude people not in the group. I think of it as passive aggressive bullying! 

It might be too near the end of term to talk to staff, but I would definitely escalate it if she still felt the same in September.

If it’s any consolation, my normally happy DD was a bit teary last week, as others have said, the tiredness, hard work and anticipation of the big production were taking its toll.

I hope your DD feels more positive once she’s home and rested x

Edited by margarite
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Thank you. Everyone is putting such good points of view and advice forward. 

Bit of a strange night this evening with very upset DD and different boarding staff from the rest of the year. She has been given a personal room tonight to escape 3 girls texting her from one room all at the same time. 

Conversation with head of academics, boarding and pastoral care will happen tomorrow to try and make head way on preparations for next year. Keep your 🤞 for me. X

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If you have physical evidence, i.e. the texts, then they should be saved and shown to someone with real authority. 

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My dd is boarding from September and this is one of my concerns. Sending big hugs - so hard when we are not there to help them through it x

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Thank you for your kind wishes. First time, in what feels like years, that there were no tears over the phone. She had a girl stand up for her today. I had an amazing chat with head of boarding and had lots of reassuring plans going forward. 

🤞 For the last few days. 

I really appreciate the support from everyone as just having a sounding board from people who understand. I have sympathetic friends, but they can never truly know how it feels. ♥ X

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I am glad that your dd has someone fighting back who is one of her peers. Both of my dds were bullied at non vocational school but at least they could get away from it at home. I hope things are soon much better for your dd. 

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Dear ballet bun, it might not be possible to do when you are at a ballet school but I wouldn’t rule out changing schools. Speaking as someone who was miserably unhappy at a boarding school for 5 years, I moved school and became a totally happy, and confident person. Just a change of scene and a chance to start again turned my life around. It may not be feasible I know, but I do think that if you can press the escape button you shouldn’t discount it. No point becoming a dancer or any kind of individual if you are an unhappy one 🙏

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It's great to hear that your dd has someone standing up for her. I hope this is the start of better times for your dd- and you of course!

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Fabulous to hear that news. It's so hard when they're away.  Take care x

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