To ask if parents support a longer school day?

(198 Posts)
namechangingf123 Thu 17-Oct-13 22:56:02

As Michael Gove is proposing? Would it help you as a working parent?

How long would suit you/your child? And if you didn't agree with longer day (as I don't) would you/could you just pick DC up at 3.15ish as usual?

Ragwort Sat 19-Oct-13 08:34:32

I guess it depends on your circle of friends/acquaintances SirChenjin - where I live there are a lot of SAHPs & parents who work part time so the after school clubs and activities are well supported - I should know as I run one (as a volunteer grin).

Just to clarify, I am a SAHM but I support a longer school day grin.

unlucky you say you support it as there is no difference between school 8 - 6 and being in childcare. What about all the ones who aren't in childcare and don't eant or need it? More than half the children at ds's school are taken and collected by a parent so why should it be universal?

outtolunchagain Sat 19-Oct-13 08:37:06

I think one reason they are "tired" and also the reason why we read so often on these boards about children struggling in class at primary is because the day is so squashed.Children need regular breaks to run around , I am amazed how little playtime primary children in the state sector have .Small children have short attention spans and an hours lesson is enough in my opinion,.

All my children have longer days , I had a longer day, they are not tired because the day is well spaced , they do not have 20 minutes to eat their lunch, they have at least an hour so there is plenty of time to digest lunch , chat to friends etc and then arrive from the afternoon rested and ready for activity .

I am not surprised if they are cranky by 3.30 pm if they have had too few breaks .

Iaintdunnuffink Sat 19-Oct-13 08:39:05

For us wohp's after school club isn't always the same as after school activities. My son's club pick him up from school and look after him until 6.

SirChenjin Sat 19-Oct-13 08:41:17

Ragwort - I suppose it does. All of my friends have careers, as do their DH/DPs, and the majority of parents at the DC's schools WOHM. After school clubs are well supported, but they are evening clubs rather than immediately after school.

I am amazed how little playtime primary children in the state sector have hmm

Indith Sat 19-Oct-13 08:41:52

me and dh both out of the house long hours. yes, school based wraparound care would save us money but imo it would not be good for my children. days they go to breakfast or afterschool club they are shattered. at the childminder they can chill out much as they do at home. if they want to they go play with a friend, she takes them to the park, she does all manner of worthy activities but if they ate shattered she lets them slob and read or watch tv. school based care cannot need individual needs in that way. plus with the cm the kids spend time as a family with preschool age sibling which is very important.

SirChenjin Sat 19-Oct-13 08:43:40

Same here Iaint - I should have said after school activities, rather than clubs. Our after school club is amazing, with a range of activities to suit all the children attending.

mrsscoob Sat 19-Oct-13 08:49:09

It depends if it is compulsory or not. My son does several activities during the week with other children that are not from his school meaning he has a wider circle of friends. Plus some of the activities he does do would not be possible at school. I would hate for him to have to give these up to just stay in school longer. I am not against it in principle as could see how it would suit people that work or people who don't drive for instance but would not want to be forced into it.

Xoanon Sat 19-Oct-13 08:52:41

Sir Chenjin - I don't have hours which fit round school hours. Quite the reverse. I often don't see my kids for days on end. Because of that my husband has to have hours which are more helpful. Also because there are no grandparents. I don't think we are lucky at all.

SirChenjin Sat 19-Oct-13 08:56:46

Your DH does - my DH's hours enable him to do the after school stuff - so you (as a couple) are able to take your children to after school activities. Having working hours which fit around the limited school day is very lucky, which is why you'll see so many threads on MN from people asking how they find jobs which fit around school and so many responses say that it's incredibly difficult.

Xoanon Sat 19-Oct-13 09:00:35

But I work insanely long hours and have to travel to all sorts of shit holes to compensate. smile So we aren't lucky. Lucky would be two 9-5 jobs paying enough. And live grandparents

SirChenjin Sat 19-Oct-13 09:04:34

It's all comparitive, isn't it? To DH and I (also with no family to help with the 3 DCs and long hours/travel), the thought of one of us being home for 3.15 when DC3's school day finishes is something we can only dream of, so to us you are lucky! smile

I think it would be better to roll out access to breakfast and after-school clubs at all schools, with a different role/emphasis than the main school day.

Xoanon Sat 19-Oct-13 09:20:30

SirChenjin Im going to be in Kiev soon. sad As far as I'm concerned anyone who doesn't have to go to Kev for work is lucky. But on the other hand I was in NY a couple of weeks ago and even though I missed my 3 DC (and in fact missed Dc3's 11+ exam) and I can't pretend that many people wouldn't want to do a job that took them there. But this is kind of irrelevant to the argument isn't it. You thought that every WOHM would support the longer school day, but there are WOHMs here who don't. And SAHMs who do. I think the split is more between people who are happy with what their kids do after school and people who are neutral (I don't think there's anyone posting who is clearly unhappy with their current arrangements).

Like other posters I would completely support more after school opportunities being provided for those who need/want them. My thing is, if they make it compulsory, it will deal a terrible blow to arts Ed for state educated kids. And since that's important to me and my kids, and since DC1 wants to go into that area for her career, I'm not wild about the idea.

pudding25 Sat 19-Oct-13 09:48:56

As a parent and a primary teacher, I think Gove is a disgrace. The first thing we can do to raise standards is to get rid of this imbecile who knows zero about education.

I would love to see him trying to to teach a class of exhausted children at the end of the school day for another couple of hours. He wouldn't last two minutes in any classroom.

whatever5 Sat 19-Oct-13 09:59:49

Between the ages of 7 to 11, my children would have been happy with a longer school day as they much preferred school to after school club. If the school day was longer they could have more breaks so wouldn't necessarily be more tired at the end of it.

I think that the day would be too long for infants. It would also be a problem for secondary school age children age children as they would have to make their way home from school in the dark during the winter. Also when would they do their homework? Would they have less of it after school but more during the holidays?

laughingeyes2013 Sat 19-Oct-13 10:03:04

I think it would be awful.

In very much against it.

I suspect the rationale would more more for child care than for the good of the child.

Arisbottle Sat 19-Oct-13 10:11:53

I think some schools could do with a longer day because they seem to almost fear their pupils and get them in and out as quickly as they can - including a very short lunch time of about 35 minutes. But certainly not extend the day in the way that Gove means.

I do think it is a good idea to run activities after school, but most schools do that as much as their facilities will allow. Most evenings our school is open to students until about 5pm and we have a good proportion of students in each evening attending clubs. The problems with expecting all schools to offer a rich diet if clubs is that not all have the facilities - although it would be great if Gove funded an overhaul of school facilities.

I think it's a shame that not all children have a chance to do interesting after school activities, not every night of course, but a couple of things which interest them, to develop their own particular skills and interests, and their social skills (though admittedly part of the benefit of something like Beavers/Guides is being with a different group of children outside school) But I think a good and well resourced after school club could offer an enriching variety of additional activities which could be more accessible to all children (ideally !)

bababababoom Sat 19-Oct-13 10:34:57

No way in this world. When my son went to school (iwe are now Home Ed), he was exhausted by 3pm. And he is a september birthday, the oldest in his class. Children need time to just be children.

CremeEggThief Sat 19-Oct-13 10:41:35

I would be in favour of a slightly longer day for secondary students, provided they got an hour for lunch and a 20 minute break. Say, 8.30-4.00, with maybe another hour to do homework or a club.

For primary children, 9 to 3.30 is long enough, although more homely after-school care until 6, with the option/support available to do homework, is a good idea for working parents.

unlucky83 Sat 19-Oct-13 13:08:27

Xanon in my area primary aged children tend to go to the afterschool club (in the school) or to CM - so tend not to mix with children out of school...
After school activities are different -but still tend to be with the same children. I guess if they were at school longer DD2 would not be able to do Ballet and Jazz cos they are both before 6 - but Rainbows and Puppets are later anyway... Maybe her Ballet and Jazz classes would be later/at the weekend so that the children of working parents would be able to go too?
DD1 did lots of afterschool activities at Primary -she gradually dropped them - now at High school she only does Guides - but they were all later anyway with 6.30- 7 the earliest starts...
For her there are voluntary afterschool activities (organised by the school) but she doesn't do any -mainly because her friends who live locally don't want to do them and she doesn't want to get the bus home alone...but if it was compulsory...
fanofthe - I know not everyone needs to send their child to childcare - but this wouldn't be childcare - it would be school...

Another advantage of the longer day - not mentioned - would be for children of parents who are less advantaged - the ones who go home to watch TV till an irregular bedtime ...the ones who arrive at nursery not understanding the concept of a book...a more stimulating environment and you could have some homework/independent study time thrown in...and maybe you could get some ballet/drama/jazz/gymnastics/football lessons at the school - so that the children of parents who work full time or can't afford it would get the opportunity too...
Not all the time would need to be teacher supervised - involve sitting in a class room...

gobbledegook1 Sat 19-Oct-13 13:20:49

I work and have to pay for childcare but don't agree with a longer school day because even though it would benefit me I know how tiring my son finds it. I however would not have a problem with less / shorter school holidays, I do not think the ammount they have at present is beneficial to anyone other than the teachers, childcare costs double causing further financial strain on an alread very tight budget and my kids soon get bored with being off and not seeing their closest friends as much.

Better and more affordable childcare is most definately needed regardless that is for sure.

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