school have changed school start time by default

(63 Posts)
chocoholic05 Thu 07-Mar-13 11:33:28

My dc are in reception and year 2. They have lways started at 845. They wait in the playground outside their classrooms and at 845 their teacher opens the classroom doors calls them in and the parents go back through the playground and the gates are closed. Has always been this way. We are never late. We live over a mile away and until halfterm we caught a direct bus which were every ten minutes.
At halfterm this all changed. The bus outside the school closed. Bus routes have been drastically changed. Not only do I have to walk further when we get off the bus but the buses are now every twenty minutes not ten.Theirs been campaigns petitions etc all sorts so far to no avail. Despite this they still get their for quarter to every day. A few minutes before that most days.
Last Friday we got a letter saying that from Monday the school bell will go at twenty to nine the children will be collected by their teacher at that time and then the gate will close at quarter to! So now despite the fact we aren't arriving there any later this week than last everythings changed. We are fighting against a sea of parents leaving the playground the playground is empty of children and I rush them off quickly and hurriedly and the starts in this stressed fashion! It's awful and ds2 says he misses going into school with his friends. It's awful sad

forevergreek Thu 07-Mar-13 11:40:01

I would say you will have to start getting the earlier bus so instead of arriving at 8.40 you arrive 8.20. He then has time to talk with friends for 15 mins or so.
Will also mean you aren't in such a rush from new bus stop so can spend more time walking instead of running

DeepRedBetty Thu 07-Mar-13 11:42:44

Do you know why school has changed start time? Do you think HT is aware of the problems this change is creating for you and other parents?

Some years ago dds primary school changed finish time to slot in better with bus times, but this was after consultation with parents via PTA.

Moomoomie Thu 07-Mar-13 11:42:57

What forevergreek said.
Could not put it any better.

CadleCrap Thu 07-Mar-13 11:45:27

YABU - Either get the earlier bus or if you are "over an mile away" that could be just a 20 min walk.


YANBU as they have changed the start time with no consultation and the whole thing is a pita

DonderandBlitzen Thu 07-Mar-13 11:50:04

Just get an earlier bus. A bus every 20 minutes is not bad.

chocoholic05 Thu 07-Mar-13 11:50:20

Hmm as buses are now every twenty minutes an earlier bus would be very early! Also to be fair according to the letter we are still not technically late. The letter said that if you arrive after the gate has closed you have to go through the office way and register your child in the late book. This has happened to us - so far!!I have no idea why its changed the letter came out of the blue for everyone!

Hopeforever Thu 07-Mar-13 11:54:42

Possibly the school

think the kids need a few minutes in the play ground before being asked to go into class

Have a problem with lateness effecting the start of the day

Have another good reason. Talk to them

chocoholic05 Thu 07-Mar-13 11:57:40

When we get off the bus now its a ten minutes walk and the bus we catch is much later than we ever caught before half term. Today we thought we would walk it. We left just before quarter past and got there at quarter to! Aaaah!!!!

DontmindifIdo Thu 07-Mar-13 12:01:22

well, if the buses are 20 minutes now, one that's 20 minutes earlier won't mean you are 'very early' just 20 minutes earlier than you are now, or less if the bus is delayed, you won't be feeling rushed etc.

It sounds like you are currently arriving just in time at the moment, not early, so waiting 20 minutes is not a lot - and it might be good for your DCs to start the day less stressed, being able to walk slowly from the bus stop, run around in the playground and chat to friends before school starts.

DontmindifIdo Thu 07-Mar-13 12:02:41

just seen your last message,so it's a 30 minute walk from your house, you need to be there at 8:40, so you leave at 8:10 at the latest or 8am if htat's an easier target... (doesn't see 30 minute walk as a lot, am I odd?)

cloudpuff Thu 07-Mar-13 12:03:56

We had a similar letter about gates being closed promptly and late children will be logged. Official school start time is 9am and more and more parents seemed to think thats this is the time to arrive at school, not the time that the children are inside and in class by so increasingly more parents rock up the yard at 9am so by the time their child is indoors put coat on peg etc they are late to class so the school have clearly said in letter that the bell goes at 8.55 and gates will be locked at 9am prompt. Its caused a load of complaining and moaning but tbh I dont see why most of them cant get there just 5 mins earlier.

Your only options seem to be to either continue as you are or get an earlier bus, I would go dor earlier bus which will allow lee way for bad weather bus not turning up etc

chocoholic05 Thu 07-Mar-13 12:10:04

It was thirty minutes with the last bit grabbing them by the hand and literally running with ds2 shouting wait mummy wait!!! For what exactly? The gates to close?

redskyatnight Thu 07-Mar-13 12:22:02

The problem seems to be that you're very tight with your timings which must mean you are always close to being late.

I'd personally suggest cycling - will take you about 10 minutes. If the Reception child isn't used to cycling then use a bike seat for now and practice at weekends/after school.

With the shorter journey you probably won't feel so rushed - can leave when you do now and have loads of time!

chocoholic05 Thu 07-Mar-13 12:23:55

Also this time last week at quarter to nine u was waiting with all the other parents for the teacher to come out to collect their children. They used to come out at differing times admittedly! The time u arrived hasn't changed but this week everything has!

specialsubject Thu 07-Mar-13 12:24:09

it's a 30 minute walk at most. Where's the problem?

chocoholic05 Thu 07-Mar-13 12:25:19

Meant I was waiting obviously silly phone!

DontmindifIdo Thu 07-Mar-13 12:28:12

so more like a 40 minute walk without stress? So aim to leave the house at 8am. That's not super early...

hugoagogo Thu 07-Mar-13 12:31:26

This a non problem.

Either walk the whole thing and leave at about 8am as above.

Or get the earlier bus and hang around a bit.

I would suggest walking to school. We live just under a mile away but leave home at 0825 to be there for 0845, leaving earlier means we can give DS1 play time with friends before going in.

It is inconvenient having the school day starting time changed, but you need to approach the school and ask why.

Our school opens at 0845 with registration at 0905 and finishing at 1515.

TalkativeJim Thu 07-Mar-13 12:36:15

Leave at 8 and walk.

A very easy solution!!

zipzap Thu 07-Mar-13 12:38:43

Talk to the school and find out why they have done this.

Talk to the other parents and find out how they are finding it.

Talk to your dc and their friends and how they find it.

Talk to the bus company to find out why they got rid of a bus stop outside of school and changed the route.

Log your typical journey times and details for your trip to school before this all started.

Log your different journey times to school now - both bus and walking.

Figure out what your journey to school would have been like with the new bus timetables but the old system at school.

Give the system a couple of weeks to settle down as everybody gets used to it.

Then look at all your information, see if people are still experiencing the same problems as they were when the system was introduced. If they are then go and talk to the head teacher. Or organise a meeting for the HT to talk to you if there are lots of you that want to discuss this with them (and so they can't fob you off with 'nobody else has a problem with this').

Unfortunately I would guess that you are stuck with the bus route changes, but it might be something to use to talk to the HT about how their changes have had even more impact than they would have done previously.

If you still don't get any response then write to the governors - and then the local papers.

Have they changed things at the other end of the day - are they expecting you to pick up five minutes earlier?

purrpurr Thu 07-Mar-13 12:38:49

20 minutes early is not early. I'm at least 15 minutes early to everything. A 30 minute walk is not a long walk. I'm gobsmacked that someone would get a bus for that every day, even if the weather was fine. Crazy.

tiggytape Thu 07-Mar-13 12:39:23

Agree with everyone else. It is very stressful to spend every morning getting to school just in the nick of time.
Get the earlier bus. You won't be there 'very early' at all. You'll arrive at 8:25 - only 15 minutes before the doors open.

CheeseandPickledOnion Thu 07-Mar-13 12:40:10

So far this week that's two people who cannot figure out all by themselves that in order to be on time they need to leave earlier.



5Foot5 Thu 07-Mar-13 13:03:39

And think of all the money you will be saving if you do walk!

ISeeSmallPeople Thu 07-Mar-13 13:07:52

I wouldn't want to walk 30 minutes in the rain which is the default weather option here
Get the earlier bus.

Yannah2006 Thu 07-Mar-13 13:18:02

It's a half hour walk. My DS has been doing a 35 min walk since his last year of nursery.

We leave at 8.00-8.10 and still get there in time for the beginning of school.

I don't see what the problem is.

Yannah2006 Thu 07-Mar-13 13:19:36

Yes, i don't particularly like walking in the rain either, or the snow, but DS has wellies, salopettes, and a warm waterproof jacket. It hasn't killed us yet!

cumfy Thu 07-Mar-13 13:20:36


Myliferocks Thu 07-Mar-13 13:23:20

The bit I would have issue with is the short notice the school have given over the change of start time.
When one of the schools my DC attended changed start time we were given a term notice and told the reason why the school had changed it by 10 minutes.

cumfy Thu 07-Mar-13 13:25:04

How much is the bus ?

Tee2072 Thu 07-Mar-13 13:32:53

I also recommend walking. Healthy for you all, and you can leave at whatever time you need to get there on time.

My son and I leave the house at 815ish to be at school at 9, we are usually there by 845, so he has time to run around with his friends. We walk 1.5 miles. He's 3.9 years and in preschool.

sppp Thu 07-Mar-13 13:41:18

Have the kids got scooters? If they scoot it is faster than a child usually walks and you can walk briskly alongside.

Use a bike lock to tie them up at school, or bring them back home with you if they are light enough. Or scoot on one while balancing the other one on the handlebars. I do it all the time, it is easy, and so much less stressful than being at the mercy of public transport and worrying about being late.

OldBagWantsNewBag Thu 07-Mar-13 14:49:05

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

EmmelineGoulden Thu 07-Mar-13 15:11:14

YANBU to think they shouldn't make such changes with no consultation and no notice to parents.

I don't think there's anything wrong with the school's new approach. That doesn't mean they should impose it in a high handed manner. It is rubbish of them. Nevertheless there is probably little you can do other than talk to a parent governor and see if you can have them instil a little more partnership into the schools approach to its relationship with student and parents.

In practice it's unlikely to change this particular decision. You're just going to have to suck it up and think about some of good practical solutions people are offering here.

ChunkyPickle Thu 07-Mar-13 15:31:38

Hold on, you took a bus rather than a 30 minute walk?

I hate to come over all three Yorkshiremen on you, but I was from a village, with no buses, and walked every day to school - 30 mins, with a summer shortcut that took it down to 20. Pretty much everyone in the village did the same - the only cars/buses were from people living in other villages or on farms.

The other advantage of walking is that you can always catch up a few minutes by walking faster, but if the bus is late there's nothing you can do.

I think YABU, and it's all very odd to be complaining at all.

Hiphopopotamus Thu 07-Mar-13 15:33:26

I'm going to go a little against the tide here - I can understand your frustration. As someone who regularly takes public transport, I understand where you're coming from. For someone that drives to work/school, a five minute earlier start means adjusting your morning by 5 minutes. For someone reliant on public transport, it can mean adjusting your whole morning schedule to fit in with timetables. It's annoying!

However, if I was you, I would probably get the earlier bus - better to have too much time, than not enough!

badguider Thu 07-Mar-13 15:35:07

A week's notice is not a lot to change the start time (even though it is only by 5 minutes), I would ask the school why they've changed it so suddenly.

However, I would agree with those who say that travelling under your own steam (foot, scooter, bike) you have far more control over your travel time for a journey of about this length.

Permanentlyexhausted Thu 07-Mar-13 16:08:55

I can't understand why you'd go on the bus if you still had a 10 minute walk at the other end. Just walk it, and get the kids to ride scooters or bikes.

jazzandh Thu 07-Mar-13 16:24:10

get a scooter yourself if you haven't a bike. Excellent adult scooters around now.

alemci Thu 07-Mar-13 16:30:14

YANBU who wants to hang around in the playground if it is raining and cold for 20 mins. If you got there before in the nick of time at 8.45 why have they made it earlier.

sounds a bit of a hike. I was very fortunate as the school was on the same road where we lived so my kids fell into school. I hated hanging around in the playground but would get them there on time.

SarahBumBarer Thu 07-Mar-13 16:44:13

Eh - YANBU. Why should you wait around for 15 extra minutes so school can start 5 minutes earlier. No way would I waste 15 minutes of my time to benefit someone else by 5 minutes - my time is valuable.

It's beyond unreasonable for the school to change the start time without consulting with the parents on this and taking things like bus times into account.

Permanentlyexhausted Thu 07-Mar-13 17:56:28

Alemci If you got there before in the nick of time at 8.45 why have they made it earlier.

Sarah Why should you wait around for 15 extra minutes so school can start 5 minutes earlier. No way would I waste 15 minutes of my time to benefit someone else by 5 minutes - my time is valuable.

Because the school does not operate to satisfy the whims of one mother! Obviously!

I can't quite believe what I'm reading!

tiggytape Thu 07-Mar-13 18:07:36

Alcemi - if you live on the same road as the school then you have the option to decide to arrive in the nick of time. The journey is predictable and not reliant on buses / getting tired walking
If you live a 20 minute bus journey away, you can't do that reliably. You can either aim to be there in the nick of time but have a major stress on days when things run later than planned. Or you can aim to be 15 minutes early knowing you've given yourself some room just in case the bus is late or the kids walk slowly from the bus stop.

On the basis that buses don't run every 5 minutes, most people decide to catch the one that will get them there early rather than in the nick of time to save the stress of risking being late. That's just common sense. You cannot expect the school or bus company to run things to suit people who don't fancy hanging around for a few minutes.
Or OP could walk everyday - in which case she could time the journey in advance and leave the house at the exact time needed to get her there for 8:44am

poshme Thu 07-Mar-13 18:17:30

Slight red herring here, but all the people expressing amazement at people not walking when it's only 30 minutes- it's 30 minutes walk for us, along a country lane with no pavement, with very bad visibility and speed limit of 60mph. We very rarely walk as its so dangerous.
Walking isn't always as easy as people suggest.

RustyBear Thu 07-Mar-13 18:25:49

There used to be a requirement for Governing bodies of community and voluntary controlled schools to consult parents before changing the times of the school day, and a change to the start or finish was only supposed to happen at the beginning of a school year, but this requirement has recently been revoked. But there is still a general statutory duty on governing bodies to act reasonably. Our LA has interpreted this in guidance to Governors as meaning there is an expectation they will still consult 'as they consider appropriate', and give reasonable notice to parents.

foxache Thu 07-Mar-13 18:39:37

The changes have made the OP's morning routine suddenly much more difficult. It sounds as if she had a good structure in place until four days ago, it's unfair of the school to have changed so suddenly.

Why did this thread have to turn into attacking her? After the first ten or so posts telling her to walk, surely you know she would have got the message, didn't it feel like ganging up?

alemci Thu 07-Mar-13 18:40:19

no but is it the end of the world if they are occasionally late.

As I said before it is no fun being in a cold playground for 20 mins before the start of school and I agree with Sarah about time being precious.

TheSeniorWrangler Thu 07-Mar-13 18:54:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Fakebook Thu 07-Mar-13 18:58:27

Leave earlier. Not really much else anyone can suggest.

MrsLouisTheroux Thu 07-Mar-13 19:08:42

It's aPITA but easy to solve the problem. Get the bus 20 mins earlier and take your time on the walk from the bus stop, chat in the playground and have a relaxing start to the day. smile

HildaOgden Thu 07-Mar-13 20:34:35

Give feedback directly to the principal.You'd be suprised how many of the other parents are possibly feeling the same way,venting about it...but not actually saying anything to the person who is ultimately responsible for it.

If they realise it isn't working for parents,they may well change it back.After all,they changed it once already,they can change it back again.

Otherwise,I think you will need to get the earlier bus.(I wouldn't fancy a 30 minute walk in the pissing rain with reluctant kids either).

Permanentlyexhausted Thu 07-Mar-13 21:27:09

Alemci - oh, don't get me wrong! Of course time is precious. I can assure you that every second of my time is just as precious as every second of yours. But that is exactly the point, isn't it. Everyone's time is precious, not just one mothers. It is no-one else's problem that the OPs home and school location and travel-to-school arrangements are such that a 5 minute change to the start of the school day seems to cause such a problem. I wonder if you and she have considered that there may now be other parents thanking their lucky stars they no longer have to wait around for 15 minutes before the start of the school day. Time is precious and not just to a chosen few.

alemci Thu 07-Mar-13 22:04:49

Permanent - I thought it was only 5 mins difference between the original start and the new start. OP had to get there 5 mins earlier. you cannot just drop the kids in the playground at 8.20 and go unless things have changed.

I was very fortunate and lived near DCs primary so I was sympathetic to the OP. Mine go to secondary now and make their own way.

Permanentlyexhausted Thu 07-Mar-13 22:32:05

Yes, Alemci, a 5 minute difference but part of the OPs complaint is that the new bus/school times mean the early bus that would definitely get her there on time is too early and she would have to wait around for 15 minutes or so before the start of school. I'm suggesting that maybe other parents were having to do that before and have benefitted from this new start time. There was nothing about dropping kids off and leaving them.

We live 30 mins walk from DS's school and he has to be there at 8.25. DD's school is a further 15 minute walk after that. Perhaps that's why I'm not seeing the big problem.

alemci Fri 08-Mar-13 13:34:14

yes I see Permanently. Just seemed such a struggle having to get a bus etc and OP seemed quite hassled which I remember feeling myself with 3 kids under 4.

You must be very healthy and fit with all that walking smile

chocoholic05 Fri 08-Mar-13 13:59:58

Today we set off just past ten past eight and got there Just before twenty to. My reception child's teacher called hers in a minute or so before the bell went. No idea why! ds2s teacher called them in a minute or so after the bell. The gate opens at 835 that bit hasn't changed. Then I walked home as wasn't prepared to wait twenty minutes for a bus when its not much more walking. I'm MUCH quicker than my boys! Will also walk to pick them up - same reason!
Basically I'm tired!!!

SallyCinnamonandNutmeg Fri 08-Mar-13 14:06:05

I am going slightly against the grain here. I don't think you are being unreasonable with being slightly annoyed with the school for changing the start time as it seems as if they have not given a specific reason for this. There is probably not a lot you can do except walk or get earlier bus as has been suggested here ad nauseum. But I would just ask the school the reason why things have changed and perhaps let them know that it's had an impact on your day.

jazzandh Fri 08-Mar-13 14:07:48

Think how amazingly fit you will be though! I hate public transport would much rather walk and predict my arrival time than stress about a bus arriving....and I always took DS1 into school early so that he could run around and let some steam off before being cooped up in a classroom....

Mornings are stressful enough though without having to adjust your routine by a large amiount and leave earlier due to an arbitary school decision.

DontmindifIdo Fri 08-Mar-13 14:11:29

well that sounds much better, and walking that way and back each day will give you lovely thighs. And you'll save money with not paying bus fares. And your DCs are arriving a nice 5 minutes before they need too. I see no downsides to this development...

cumfy Fri 08-Mar-13 14:26:38

Hope you're all enjoying the fresh air.

DCs' minds should be settled and receptive after a good 30 minute walk.

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