Dear Tracey,

I am writing this letter to you as I do not feel you took any heed of what I was trying to say to you outside the school this morning. When I took you to one side and asked if you would mind having a quiet word with Adam because of his comments to Caitlin about her glasses, I did so because of how essential it is to Caitlin’s well being that she wears her glasses through the day. If children make unkind comments to her and subsequently she does not wear her glasses, her eyes will suffer and her physical well being is going to be affected adversely.

Your response to instantly speak to Caitlin about tapping Adam on his shoulder in Art was not appropriate. For a start, I would never speak to your child about his behaviour, in school or otherwise. I would always approach you or Stephen. This is because I have respect for your method of dealing with the incident in question. Secondly, if Caitlin tapped Adam on his shoulder in school, and subsequently got him in trouble, then I apologise but I think you need to accept that this sort of thing goes on all the time in school and I cannot count the times Caitlin has come home and told me that Adam has done something similar to her. On these occasions I have not approached you (or Adam of course) because I feel they are trivial incidents that occur between children all the time – not something that parents really need to become involved with unless there is a detrimental effect being had on the child in question. In the infant school, teachers often mentioned to me how Caitlin and Adam were like brother and sister, constantly aggravating each other or arguing but always making up and being great friends again afterwards. This is normal behaviour and I for one think their friendship is great – even if they do sometimes upset each other.

I know only too well how Caitlin loves to chat and I am sure she can be a nuisance in class on times – but the class teacher (as the adult with responsibility for my child during the day) must deal with that as and when it happens. I felt that because I had need to mention Adam’s teasing, you felt you then had to find something to retaliate with and I can assure you this is not necessary. If Caitlin ever did something nasty or unkind to your little boy, whether it was intentional or not, rest assured I would deal with the incident correctly and deftly to ensure it did not happen again. However, I would expect you to speak to me or Paul about it and never to Caitlin as we, as her parents, are accountable for her and I will not tolerate other people taking it upon themselves to discipline or chastise her however nicely they think they are doing so.

Please don’t think I want to fall out over this – we are friends as far as I am concerned but I think when I approached you this morning I took you by surprise and you went on the defensive instead of listening to what I was trying to explain. The issue was Caitlin’s glasses and yet you managed to turn it to something trivial that happened in class last week instead of simply dealing with the problem that was here and now.

I am not annoyed or angry in any way I just want you to understand what I am trying to say and I feel writing it down in a measured and calm way works best for me. If in the future Caitlin causes Adam any problems, you can come to me and I will listen in a very composed manner to what you have to say and then decide how best to sort it out. I want you to feel you can do the same with me. I cannot reiterate enough that as far as I am concerned we are friends (and so are our children) and that is how I would like it to remain.

Love Helen x