PARENTS

The Ultimate Pushy Parent? Mum Accused Of 'Ranting' To Push Up Children's Grades

14/08/2014 16:52 | Updated 22 May 2015

The ultimate pushy parent? Mum accused of 'ranting' to push up children's grades

A mother who is suing a prestigious London private school has been accused of being the worst kind of pushy parent by 'ranting' at meetings and criticising teachers in an aggressive attempt to push up her children's grades.

A court heard that the woman sent teachers a flood of letters and emails about her children's education - including a complaint when her six-year-old daughter received only 19 out of 20 on her spelling test.

She is also alleged to have filed complaints about trivial issues such as a fight over a glue stick and water bottles being placed too near pupils' shoes.

The mother and her husband, a businessman, are seeking £50,000 in damages from the school in West London, claiming teachers backtracked on a deal to give their children good references after they were withdrawn from the institution.

At a High Court hearing, the school's barrister Jonathan Auburn said that the woman had acted in a 'rude and inappropriate manner - including insisting on interrupting staff when in the middle of meetings, speaking over people, haranguing them, and on occasion screaming at them'.

He added: "She placed oppressive expectations on her children of constant outstanding achievement, and would admonish both child and school if her full expectations were not always met."

The woman, who cannot be identified, allegedly pursued 'trenchant complaints' over unimportant matters, such as bottles of water being positioned too closely to muddy pairs of shoes.

Mr Auburn asked her, 'Do you think - with hindsight - that that was quite a trivial matter?', but she replied: 'It was a matter of hygiene.'

On one occasion, the court heard, the mother complained that her nine-year-old son had been given an A rather than an A+ for a geography project.

"It was good but not good enough," she said, adding that some children who achieved an A+ had failed to include a contents page in their essay.

Mr Auburn asked: "So your child got an A and you wrote in to raise that with the school, to say he should have got an A+, and you don't see anything odd about that?"

She replied: "No."

He told the hearing that the school had no problems with the children themselves, but felt forced to ask the parents to remove them thanks to the adults' 'particularly poor behaviour'.

The parents withdrew their children from the school, which cannot be named for legal reasons, and are now seeking damages for alleged breach of contract as well as an injunction barring the school from discussing them with any other school.

They claim they struck a deal with the school after a 'stormy' meeting in which the headmaster promised to provide a good reference to any school the children applied to.

But instead he told another head that the parents had 'harassed' him, the court heard.

Both parents deny behaving unreasonably towards staff, insisting they were doing their utmost to ensure their children's needs were met by teachers.

The hearing continues.

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