A MOTHER has been branded “another ranting parent” in an email she was mistakenly sent by a council official after asking for extra support at school for her struggling son.
The 45-year-old was trying to get a teaching assistant for her ten-year-old boy, who has learning difficulties, but was told he no longer met the criteria.
When she contacted staff at the council’s children and families department by email on Thursday to push for more support she was copied in on an email containing her own message along with comments about her.
The mum, whose son attends Sighthill’s Murrayburn Primary, was further angered when the headteacher Michael Urquhart – who she said had been a great support – was made to apologise on behalf of the central education department staff.
The email from a support co-ordinator to Sandra, whose surname was not mentioned, said: “Hi Sandra, another ranting parent. Any thoughts? ”
Today education chief Mike Rosendale, issued an unreserved apology to the family.
The mother, who asked not to be named to protect her son, told the Evening News: “The casual manner in which they spoke about me, “another ranting parent”, shows the contempt council staff have for us.
“All I wanted was the best for my boy but this is how we’re treated.”
Her son, who has difficulty retaining information from lessons and suffers from a rare eating disorder, had shown a significant improvement when working with an assistant, she said, making her determined to ensure the support continued.
He had previously received five hours per week with a teaching assistant, but the provision was removed recently.
She said: “All I was trying to do was speak to the education department, find out why his support had been stopped, which I hadn’t been told about, and get the support he needs.
“I had taken him to be tested and they found he had severe dyslexia, but I was told there’s no extra support for that.
“I sent two emails to the council, and then got copied in to that email calling me a ‘ranting parent’. I was livid when I got that email back. I was even more annoyed when Mr Urquhart gave the apology, because he and his staff have been great, and this is no fault of theirs.”
Former Lord Provost Eric Milligan, who represents Sighthill, took the woman’s case to the head of children and families Gillian Tee, who said she would investigate.
Councillor Milligan said: “I was irate that any such a memo should be sent within the education service.
“It’s the thinking behind it, to dismiss someone’s concerns about their son, that is so unacceptable. To dismiss these concerns as just another ranting parent is, frankly, arrogant in the extreme for a local authority which prides itself on a fine education.”
Mike Rosendale, head of schools, said: “We are very sorry about this incident and will make it clear to the member of staff responsible that the use of language like this is not acceptable.
“The headteacher has met with the parent to discuss the matter and to apologise for the offence caused. We will continue to monitor her son’s progress and to liaise with her to ensure that he receives the support he needs.”