Absence

We arrived back from the tropics of Somerset on Sunday evening after an emotional few days.  The village church was full for the funeral, OH held it all together well to deliver a very fine eulogy and the service ended with a bugler playing the Last Post and Reveille.  Now comes the hard part for my mother in law, as she has to move forward and pick up her day to day living alone.  Our two boys didn’t seem to know quite what to make of it all, another funeral in the disproportionately large number they seem to have attended.  They were never quite as close to their grandfather as their slightly older cousins, partly due I’m sure to the combination of his deteriorating hearing and their Scottish accents and high pitched voices making communication hard work.  However, I’m sure they will look back on it in years to come and be glad they were there.  On a slightly lighter note, we did inflict Cranium on the assembled family one evening and one of the more memorable moments of the whole event may well turn out to be Grandma (who is tiny) trying to act out Sumo wrestler as a charade.  Noone got the answer.

One of my tasks in enabling our trip south was letting the school know.  (I do like these new colours!)  The boys have the same guidance teacher and I had been in touch with him via email, and had asked him to let the various teachers know.  I did have a sneaking suspicion, though, that it might not be that simple, so I dropped a letter at the school desk on our way out of Tranent.  Meanwhile, both my husband and I received texts to let us know the boys were absent, and there was a phonecall from work about an email saying they were absent.  When this was repeated the next day, and this time I wasn’t on the motorway, I phoned the school.  We got home to find a letter from the school confirming that they were absent for family reasons so that was fine.  But then one of the boys’ registration teachers told him this morning that he had to bring a letter in.  Aaagh…  Now I really don’t mind as it’s not a big issue writing a letter, and it does show that the school are on the case.  But it also shows how difficult it is to get the right information to the right person in a moderately complex institution.  And to be quite honest, I still don’t know exactly who I should have written to in the first place.

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2 thoughts on “Absence

  1. If you ever find out, please let me know 😉 In LTS we often want to get information to specific groups of teachers but it is really difficult to do. Information is often filtered as early as the school secretary (in some schools) or the Head Teacher. Other things reach the Principal Teachers who should pass it on but who, with both a large amount crossing their desk and a teaching load, may not get to that part of their to do list in time.

    In a survey we carried out the only media to get direct to teachers was that which was addressed directly to them (but you’re unlikely to send a letter to every teacher you boys have) and material from the HMIe (maybe you should invest in a fake stamp).

    When I was at Musselburgh as a registration teacher, I expected notes to come to me, before or after the event, and I would do two things: mark it / correct it on the first register of the morning and then forward on to Guidance. It seemed to work, but every school has a slightly different system for different kids.

  2. Just one of my more minor hobby horses that, the instant junior No 1 is born, parents are expected to know how everything works – not just schools, I hasten to point out, but the health service & any other institution you care to name. When No 2 comes along, you sometimes have some of it figured out. The problem usually is that everyone within the institution knows how it works, so they assume everyone on the outside does as well. Currently brewing is subject choices for S4 – I think the school knows how this will work but you can be sure I don’t. I feel another post coming on.

    But I do like the idea of an HMIe stamp.

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