Is school being unrassonable?

(88 Posts)
Vickibee Sat 20-Apr-13 13:13:14

We got a letter home friday stating we must collect our children at 315 instead of the usual 330 . This is because they are starting parents eve apps at 315. My work finishes at 3pm planned to fit school finishes and the earliest I can arrive is 325 as it is a 10 mile journey. My boss is really finicky over time and will not be happy about me leaving early but what else am I meant to do
Would parents be within their rights to complain about this to the LEA?

Vickibee Sat 20-Apr-13 13:17:29

This is for the whole of next week

Softlysoftly Sat 20-Apr-13 13:18:08

If you go by your logic why should the teachers have to sort childcare for their kids to stay until 9/10 at night doing parents evening for you lot?

Think You might have to just get over thisone

wellcoveredsparerib Sat 20-Apr-13 13:18:32

no , school are not unreasonable but your boss is. its not going to be a regular thing is it. tell work you have no choice but to leave a little early and you will make up the time ..

Vickibee Sat 20-Apr-13 13:19:35

Parents eve apps end at 430 pm anyway

Complain about what?

They have given you notice haven't they?

If this didnt happen, parents evening would be later which would probably annoy someone else.

Can't you take a shorter lunch or go in earlier?
Or arrange for someone else to pick up DC?

I don't know what complaining to the LA would actually achieve.

School isn't there to fit in with your childcare plans, sorry. And I am also a FT WOHM so I know it can be difficult.

janey68 Sat 20-Apr-13 13:20:53

I think it's very unreasonable to just tell parents the week before! But if it's been calendared like this since sept then that's different. Still a bit odd to Finish earlier, but not unreasonable if due notice is given .tbh most working parents must be using childcare anyway- you must be the exception finishing at 3!

Vickibee Sat 20-Apr-13 13:21:53

Not really as I can't tell work until monday morn, so not really given notice IMO

Rosesforrosie Sat 20-Apr-13 13:22:05

Talk to the school they will let your DC read a book in the library for 10 mins it's no big deal.

Salmotrutta Sat 20-Apr-13 13:22:56

So you only got three days notice? And just before the weekend!

That's very tight and you certainly have a complaint right there!

I've never encountered this situation in Secondary (or the whole time my own kids were in school tbh) so I don't know if changing a finishing time is "normal" or not?

Vickibee Sat 20-Apr-13 13:23:23

The child care after school club collects children at 330 when preschool has ended so not sure how this would work either

Salmotrutta Sat 20-Apr-13 13:24:12

Is it on the school calendar?

SavoyCabbage Sat 20-Apr-13 13:24:38

I live in Australia. We have to keep our children at home on parents evening day. Twice a year.

We have to pay for school swimming lessons, or our child doesn't go. Same for all school trips. We have to buy all our own books and pencils etc or your child has no books. We have to take in a box of tissues every term.

Vickibee Sat 20-Apr-13 13:25:13

It is primary and he is only six, if he was older it wouldn't be a problem as he could sit and wait. The school day is meant to be 9 until 330 pm and should not be changed on a whim with no notice or consulattion

Vickibee Sat 20-Apr-13 13:26:25

No it is not scheduled as such in the calendar. Parents eve have always been after school before and it is a new thing totally out of the blus

janey68 Sat 20-Apr-13 13:26:28

I suspect if the school has an arrangement for after school provision they will just adjust the timings- perhaps the nursery will finish earlier too? I do think you should have been given more notice. But I think tbh there will be very few parents affected because they'll either be not working, or if they do work they'll have childcare sorted anyway

ballstoit Sat 20-Apr-13 13:27:18


Sending notice yesterday about this happening Monday and the whole of next week is not okay.

There are lots of parents who will be affected by this in different ways eg leaving work early (don't know many workplaces who would be okay with employees disappearing 15 mins early, every day for a week), having to find extra payment for child minder, after school clubs may not have staff 15 minutes earlier, may have multiple pick ups from different schools.

I would be complaining, teachers are contracted for parents evenings, they get paid for staying late occasionally.

Salmotrutta Sat 20-Apr-13 13:27:44

Most school trips are paid for by parents over here too.

And although schools will provide pencils to pupils who haven't got one they are certainly expected to provide their own by secondary.

We also don't provide tissues - that's a parents job. Although I do buy my own box as there's nothing worse than a sniffing pupil!

Jinsei Sat 20-Apr-13 13:28:51

I would just explain to the school on Monday that you haven't had sufficient notice to make alternative arrangements and that you will pick up at 3.25pm. I'm sure he can wait in the library with a book or something.

Salmotrutta Sat 20-Apr-13 13:28:56

That was to Savoy by the way! grin

Vickibee Sat 20-Apr-13 13:28:59

My friend has a cm collect her dd from the school and shed cant collect at 315 as she is picking kids up from another school at 310. What a mess

Salmotrutta Sat 20-Apr-13 13:30:04

It's sounds like an ill-thought out, last minute disaster tbh.

Vickibee Sat 20-Apr-13 13:31:34

The last adapt is at 430 pm anyway it iss not like they are staying til 9pm or anything. I am not really one for complaining but this has made me feel quite angry, parents have not been consulted in any way

kim147 Sat 20-Apr-13 13:31:47

I think some schools don't have teachers who've worked in jobs outside of education and don't understand how time off works - you can't just rearrange hours for the next week.

That said - I'm sure there will be provision in school for children who can't be picked up earlier. Reading a book in the library or just waiting by the office. Happens in lots of schools I work in - parents are late so the children have to wait.

I'd just tell school it will be normal time you'll be there.

maddening Sat 20-Apr-13 13:32:48

Ask about the after school club ? Do they have places for a week?

janey68 Sat 20-Apr-13 13:33:15

What childcare do you use in the mornings before school? Could your child be picked up after as well as a one-off
I've every sympathy with the fact that enough notice wasn't given, but none at all for those who complain it'll cost them a bit extra in childcare... FGS that's what using childcare is all about- you pay for the hours you need, we've all had occasions when we've had to work late or whatever, and paid extra

Salmotrutta Sat 20-Apr-13 13:34:05

It all sounds ridiculous really.

I'd register your displeasure with the Head at the lack of notice. I bet you won't be the only one too!

Can you get to work early?

What would happen if you had an emergency and had to leave work early? Would your boss let you? Do you regularly leave early - just wondering how/why they're funny about it.

Vickibee Sat 20-Apr-13 13:36:18

After school club for 15 mins would be silly and cost £50 for the week, I just wish they wouldn't change stuff cos you plan your life around your kids and take a job that fits in etc and then they don't even consider the parents

scaevola Sat 20-Apr-13 13:37:59

The notification is far too late, and the level of likely disruption disproportionate for a saving of 15 minutes.

It's simply tell them that you'll get there as soon as humanly possible, but as your work finishes at 3pm and could not be re-arranged on notice given, it may not be possible to meet the deadline. Given that pupil post is pretty unreliable, and that they know that some children have to be collected by CMs workingto a pick up schedule etc, I doubt they can be seriously expecting all children to be gone at the earlier time.

kim147 Sat 20-Apr-13 13:39:05

Schools can't just change the time they end at short notice. It's a legal requirement for the hours at the school.

It needs approval and there should be the same hours of education a week.

They should know that.

Jinsei Sat 20-Apr-13 13:39:30

I'm sure the school must have anticipated that some parents will be unable to do the earlier pick-up, especially at such short notice. They probably have contingencies in place to look after those children. I wouldn't worry about it OP. If they really needed all kids off site by 3.15, they should have given you more notice. Just get there as soon as you can.

Vickibee Sat 20-Apr-13 13:39:57

No I never leave early, work 930 til 3pm mon to Friday with 30 min lunch. It is just one of his pet hates time keeping. If dh has a late start and takes Ds to school I may get in an hour early and this is never recognised but if I am one minute late due to say traffic I get clocked. In other respects he is a really nice guy and if there is an emergency like illness etc he is ok but of course you are not paid.

A colleague had day surgery on tues to drain a cyst and he made her take holiday when surely it is sickness? Is this legal, IMO day surgery is not a holiday.

I think that this is unreasonable of the school, given the amount of notice that has been given.

I work school hours (mainly) and it's a PITA when something like this happens because you do rely on the goodwill of your employer to allow you to leave early/come in late.

janey68 Sat 20-Apr-13 13:42:28

Complain vociferously about the lack of notice. But if they do it in future with proper notice, then sort out childcare. Tbh working 9.30 to 3 is saving you lots of money normally so it would be petty to moan about a perfectly reasonable cost.

Bowlersarm Sat 20-Apr-13 13:43:46

OP you sound quite cross but you do need to find a solution. Would it be possible for your DH to pick him up on Monday so you have that covered, whilst you speak to school/other parents on Monday to see if they can help out on the other days?

mummytime Sat 20-Apr-13 13:43:50

Savoy - Tissues are provided at my DCs school, paid for by the PTA. We pay for swimming too. Pencils and pens are provided in Infants, and an emergency supply in Juniors, but you are expected to bring your own. Senior school sells supplies if you forget them. If they shut the school the day before parents evenings this would use one of the schools 5 a year non-contact days, otherwise used for training etc.

OP at my DCs school they would provide after school care for children whose parents couldn't get there on time.

HollyBerryBush Sat 20-Apr-13 13:44:13

It's a bit of a non issue really. They aren't going to send him out to walk home. He will stay with a TA or out by the school secretary until you collect him at normal time.

Vickibee Sat 20-Apr-13 13:45:48

Haney I took this job for exactly that reason but I only earn 15000 so i am losing in wages what I gain in child are costs and I pay for OOSC in the school hols

Vickibee Sat 20-Apr-13 13:47:28

I am cross but there isn't much I can do about it. So I will have to grin and bear it.

AmIthatSpringy Sat 20-Apr-13 13:48:02


I've occasionally during DD's primary school year, been told about changes to finishing.

I have just told them that I can't manage and asked them to ensure alternative provision until the normal finish time/place.

I know that here, ANY changes to school finishing times can only be a request, not enforceable as such.

Not sure what it is like where you are though

Bowlersarm Sat 20-Apr-13 13:50:25

I don't understand why you can't ask one of the other parents to help you out and just hang on to him for 15 mins.

Floggingmolly Sat 20-Apr-13 13:50:32

What would happen if your child fell over in the playground and you needed to be there?
Unless you work for Ebenezer Scrooge and are physically chained to your desk - It's 15 minutes on one day ; such a storm in a tea cup.
"Potential for disaster", what???

kim147 Sat 20-Apr-13 13:50:35

I still think you should complain about it and explain the reasons why. Like I said before, some teachers (and Headteachers) have spent little time working outside of school. And especially if they have never worked outside of education with a family.

It is important the head recognises that this decision inconveniences families. Schools need to understand that decisions affect people who work.

mybelovedmonster Sat 20-Apr-13 13:51:46

This is completely unreasonable of the school - if they'd given you notice it would be one thing, but to only tell you on Friday is crap.

Are there any other parents who can pick up for you and hang around for 10 minutes?

The other issue here is that your work seems completely inflexible - is there a reason for the or are they just obstructive?

Gomez Sat 20-Apr-13 13:51:47

Totally unreasonable.

Could these self same teachers walk out and leave their class 15 ms early. No. So utterly ridiculous to expect other working parents to do the same.

That being said I wouldn't worry too much OP. let them know Monday morning it won't be possible and pick up as soon as you can.

I do have a flexible job and wouldn't be able to re-arrange my diary for 5 days with so little notice.

manicinsomniac Sat 20-Apr-13 13:52:26

That's not even legal is it? - unless they do an extra 1.25 hours at some other point in the term.

Anyway, it's 10 minutes. There must be children picked up late every single day. Just be one of them.

Vickibee Sat 20-Apr-13 13:53:50

Thnx Kim think I will writ a letter, I am quite shy and would not get out what I wanted to say.
Bowlers arm if it was 15 mins forone day I would be ok with that but it is all week, each of the 5 classes have parents eve on a diff nite. For my Ds it is Thursday.

mybelovedmonster Sat 20-Apr-13 13:55:01

Floggingmolly - its for the whole week.

I don't undestand the people who are just saying that its fine and you just have to get on with it. One day early would be ok - an annoyance, but understandable. A whole week of early pick ups with no notice? Its shit.. do the school not realise that people have jobs?

OP - can your DH get out early on a couple of the days? It doesn't all need to be down to you.

Vickibee Sat 20-Apr-13 13:55:17

Gomez my hours are fixed 930 til 3 and understand that I am lucky to have these hours. Jobs like this are few and far between.

Bowlersarm Sat 20-Apr-13 13:55:33

OK. I hope you get something sorted OP

mybelovedmonster Sat 20-Apr-13 13:56:48

I can't imagine the local childminders and afterschool clubs are too amused at all this either - its really going to mess up all their pick-ups.

Vickibee Sat 20-Apr-13 13:56:51

Dh is SE so he has more flexibility than me but e is working in Leeds next week which is 30 miles away so he would have to leave at 2ish

NoWayPedro Sat 20-Apr-13 13:57:12

"Why should they (teachers) have to sort out childcare to stay late for your lot"


Errrrr because parents evening is a core part of the role that would have been made clear from the v outset and they would have months notice.

Vickibee Sat 20-Apr-13 13:58:31

Last appt is 430 so they are not staying late anyway

kim147 Sat 20-Apr-13 13:58:32

vickibee That's why you've got the power of MN. MNetters love helping to write letters grin

And you don't need to justify to anyone on here your work or your boss. It's not your fault or your bosse's fault - it's school not thinking (as schools do every now and then - I'm sure I've done that)

Jinsei Sat 20-Apr-13 13:59:08

I do have a flexible job and wouldn't be able to re-arrange my diary for 5 days with so little notice.

Same here. I can always rearrange my schedule if needs be, but would generally need at least a couple of weeks notice. Even if it's only fifteen minutes. The school is at fault for failing to communicate the changes in a timely way.

TheFallenMadonna Sat 20-Apr-13 14:00:29

School is being unreasonable. I simply wouldn't be able to pick up my child early (she goes to after school club). Because I'm a teacher.

mybelovedmonster Sat 20-Apr-13 14:03:52

God... My work is infinitely flexible, v understanding boss etc but they would still be pissed off if I asked to leave 15 mins early for a whole week.

McNewPants2013 Sat 20-Apr-13 14:10:47

Yanbu, there is no time really to arrange childcare.

AmIthatSpringy Sat 20-Apr-13 14:12:11

My job too is incredibly flexible, but here's the thing

I keep that flexibility for emergencies, when DD is sick, if she has medical appointments.

As far as the school is concerned I would just ask what alternative provision they have put in place for parents who can't pick up early.

And as other posters have pointed out, changes to school times need consultation and are NOT enforceable in cases like this (or in Scotland any way)

Pozzled Sat 20-Apr-13 14:22:50

School are being completely unreasonable here. Teachers expect to have to stay reasonably late on parents' evening; it's part of the role. It's taking the piss to expect parents to alter their schedule for a whole week- to do it with so little notice is ridiculous.

Op, can I clarify something? Is each teacher seeing parents every afternoon? So instead of staying late one evening, they're doing an hour and 15 minutes every day?

WorraLiberty Sat 20-Apr-13 14:27:28

It's a bit of a non issue really. They aren't going to send him out to walk home. He will stay with a TA or out by the school secretary until you collect him at normal time.

Exactly this ^^

No need to complain, no need for letters...just tell them you personally can't arrange pick up at that time.

That still leaves many many more parents who can...and that is what the school is aiming for.

It's the same as when you get a text during the winter saying 'school is closing early due to snow'.

It doesn't mean any kids left on the premises will be clamped or towed away....

kim147 Sat 20-Apr-13 14:28:42

I wonder if anyone mentioned there might be a problem in the staff meeting to discuss this?

A bit like our head who expected all 7 year olds to be in school at 9am the day after a school concert trip which got back past midnight.

BlackeyedSusan Sat 20-Apr-13 14:29:15

no. thaay are being unreasonaable to give you so little notice. (ex teacher.) i would not have been happy to have fielded the parents complaints because of the head teacher. having parents evenings at that time is unrealistic, though it would be nice not to have them til 8.30 in the evening, but finishing at 4.15?

landofsoapandglory Sat 20-Apr-13 14:41:24

I would just turn up at 3.30 as normal. They won't send him off home on his own.

lljkk Sat 20-Apr-13 14:50:10

ime just let the school know you'll be running 15 min. late & it won't be a big deal to anyone. Child can wait on a chair outside HT's office.

SwishSwoshSwoosh Sat 20-Apr-13 14:51:47

I would ask them what arrangements are for parents who cannot do this.

I would create a massive stink tbh, this is seriously rude. Parents need to be able to work.

Startail Sat 20-Apr-13 14:54:01

Just be late, most of us take DCs to parents evening anyway so there's always a gang of kids banking about chatting in the corridor.

Pozzled Sat 20-Apr-13 14:54:59

I wonder if anyone mentioned there might be a problem in the staff meeting to discuss this?

kim147 At my school this kind of thing would be decided by the SMT, with very little discussion. I suspect though that the school have made plans for the children who can't be collected early, but don't wish to advertise this. If parents think it's optional they won't do it.

Jinty64 Sat 20-Apr-13 15:49:02

Could you not work through lunch and leave early?

MrsMelons Sat 20-Apr-13 15:54:19

YANBU, I don't think its the same thing as teachers arranging for childcare on parents evening as that is a scheduled part of the job.

This sounds a very odd thing to do - if school finishes at 330 it should finish at 330 unless a one off, I like you have arranged to finish work at a particular time to fit around the school runs so would be a bit irritated if I had to change a whole weeks hours for the sake of parents evening finishing 15 minutes earlier. DSs school do parents evening till 7pm when they do it and provide normal after care for the children.

Theas18 Sat 20-Apr-13 15:58:57

Don't worry, just let school know you can't collect before the end of a normal school day. This is a daft last minute ill planned change which will be an issue for many parents, so they'll have to have them in the hall watching a DVD or something.

It is not actually unusual for parents to work till the lady minute to get to primary school pick up.I used to. It was already working across lunch.there isn't spare capacity to suddenly change hours like this.

If they'd given notice at the same time parents evening dates were given then it might be ok but I think not.

Vickibee Sat 20-Apr-13 16:41:43

Thanks for replies, I will get there as quick as I can and do my best

spanieleyes Sat 20-Apr-13 16:43:22

But it's not every night in the week for you is it, just the Thursday when it is your daughter's class ( unless you have 5 daughters, one in each class!)

Pozzled Sat 20-Apr-13 16:54:45

spanieleyes I assumed that all classes are finishing early every day, so teachers can see parents after school and not have to stay late. Vickibee is that what's happening?

sarahtigh Sat 20-Apr-13 16:56:41

spanieleyes of course it is for 5 nights they want all children away at 3,15 so they can start appointments at 3,15 every day not just the day when OP has her appointment

the government expect parents to work while schools are not free childcare they do need to realise that work is not optional and that in the vast majority of jobs time keeping is not flexible and may people commute (the government considers 90 minute commute reasonable)

it is the lack of thought; it is not an emergency; parents evening were not decided on friday they could easily have given a months notice but told people on friday evening for monday it seems like 3 days which is short enough but in practice because work can't in most cases be informed till 8/9am on monday in reality it is about 6 hours notice

the school have been thoughtless and selfish, it is supposed to be a pupil/school/parent partnership not a test of parental flexibility on the whim of the school

i am a dentist while of course i could leave if my DD was rushed to hospital i can't rearrange appointments because school decides to finish early, i certainly could not rearrange for this

minnisota Sat 20-Apr-13 16:58:32

Spaniel-if i've read it right, each teacher is spreading their appointments over five days between 3.15 & 4.30.
So while OP only neds to go on Thursday, she needs to pick up early each day at 3.15 to accomodate the teacher seeing other people at that time.
Imo yanbu, i would be annoyed too

storynanny Sat 20-Apr-13 17:14:34

Hi vickibee, teacher here. It's very unreasonable to give such short notice as it would have been a decision made earlier in the week. You would be perfectly entitled to let the school know that in future( because I suspect it will happen again) more notice is required for working parents to make alternative arrangements.
However re other postings about hours worked. Most schools do more than the legal minimum so this sort of arrangement and finishing early at end of term etc, is most likely to be legal.

spanieleyes Sat 20-Apr-13 17:17:27

Seems a bit daft just to start 15 minutes early then! You could only see one, possibly two parents in 15 minutes and in doing so manage to hack off the rest! I'd just turn up at the normal time, the school can't turn your child out onto the streets.

storynanny Sat 20-Apr-13 17:36:50

Spaniel eyes, everything about your post is totally correct!

storynanny Sat 20-Apr-13 17:38:23

Ps very unfair of the head teacher also to make their teachers do parents evening straight after a days work, without even time for a quick wee and cup of tea.

Euphemia Sat 20-Apr-13 18:09:05

I'm a teacher and I think the school is being unreasonable - I've never heard such nonsense! We are contracted to do parents' evenings - til 9pm if necessary! The amount of notice is unfair too - it seems to assume that parents are sitting at home with nothing better to do.

Could it be something like the school has to start paying for use of the building after 5pm? Here, the council charges us (or anyone else, like Rainbows/Brownies) after 6pm.

Euphemia Sat 20-Apr-13 18:11:22

Also, if appointments start the minute the children leave, does the poor teacher not get a chance to go to the toilet? Middle aged teacher with poor bladder alert.

kim147 Sat 20-Apr-13 18:14:53

Your head isn't some young male head with no family to look after?
Just a wild assumption grin

BottleRed76 Sat 20-Apr-13 19:02:42

The school should give adequate notice.

Vickibee Sat 20-Apr-13 19:21:41

The ht is in her forties with a 15 yo son

HedgeHogGroup Sat 20-Apr-13 19:39:45

Actually, you can't complain to the LA anymore anyway - Michael Gove has taken them out of the loop.
The system now goes
1. Teacher
2. Headteacher
3. Chair of Governors
4. Michael Gove

Don't hold your breath waiting for a decisive reply hmm

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