Half days for the first month of school!

(63 Posts)
TAyoung Wed 08-May-13 15:48:06

My second child is due to start primary school in September, however the school has just informed us that she will only be attending mornings for the first month. (Her elder sister started at the same school after just three half days.)

The claimed reasoning for the change of policy is that this will ease her into school life. However, it's just going to disrupt her more because she's coming out of full-time nursery.

I can't take a month off work to look after her for the afternoons, so I'll have to find a new/different/upsetting child care option.

I thought the local education authority had to provide full time schooling? What can I do? Ideas please.

neverlateforwork Wed 08-May-13 15:51:43

Golly, is it time for these threads already?!

Yy, perfectly normal, and a month is actually quite good in comparison with the majority of schools - lots are half time for months and months.

Speak to the school. Occasionally they will let you start ft, but mostly they won't. Depends how militant you want to be. In theory they ought to be able to, but many dig their heels in.

Yes, it's well regarded as a pita. Yes, it's a known problem. Yes, some parents end up giving up work when their kids start school because they can't work out childcare around the hours. grin I even know a teacher that did. grin

Welcome to yr r.

TAyoung Wed 08-May-13 15:56:00

Thanks for the info. If we're thinking of being militant, would it help to have a group of parents, rather than just us?

Periwinkle007 Wed 08-May-13 16:23:20

quite normal. my daughter started last september and hte other starts this september. Their school have mornings only for the first 2.5 weeks. The two full weeks of this time the teachers are doing home visits or trying to speak to parents in the afternoons and trying to get the children settled in the mornings. Then if parents and teachers think child is ready they can go full time. They CAN stay part time until half term (either mornings only or mon/tue/wed full days and thur/fri half days, whatever suits the child) if parents prefer or staff think they aren't ready for whatever reason but it is a joint decision I believe.

some children in my daughter's class went to their old nursery in the afternoon. yes it is annoying but equally I found it quite interesting that it seemed some of the children who found it hardest to adjust to a full day when they did go full time and who were almost asleep by the end of the afternoon were those who had been in full time nursery. It is a different environment with less freedom and more concentrating so I think in many ways a few weeks of settling in time is actually very good but I can see it does pose problems for working parents.

As my daughter's school do the parent meetings in the afternoons of the first few weeks there would be no provision for children to be full time then but other schools may have more opportunity.

5madthings Wed 08-May-13 16:28:16

It is done by lots of schools but you can insist on full time after the first two weeks.

Our school tried this last year, they wanted them part time up to Oct half term, nightmare for lots of parents who complained (nicely) and then all parents were offered the choice of part or full time smile

5madthings Wed 08-May-13 16:29:08

ta yes it may help if a group of you all complain/raise it as an issue!

nipersvest Wed 08-May-13 16:29:09

yes, a month of part time is normal ime. at my dc's school, they offer places in the nursery for the afternoon (not free though, parents have to pay). the way i did it was to get a small group of other mums, we each took it in turns to do the early pick up and have all the dc's for the afternoon.

the lea only have to provide full time schooling from the age of 5, as most reception are still 4 when they start, you can't officially do anything about the part time thing.

5madthings Wed 08-May-13 16:39:11

nipersvest cool name BTW!

No the law changed on this last year and schools have to offer a full time place for all re option children from two weeks from the start of term regardless of birth date.

It may be worth asking your Lea as our leasupported the parents requesting full time places from start of term. If you want your child to go part time that's fine and you can insist on it (I did with ds3) but legally they have to offer full time and I persued this for ds4 as he was ready for full days, all children are different and some are ready for it.

There were lots if threads on this last year which have the relevant info in them...will try and search.

quip Wed 08-May-13 16:46:50

They drag it out until half term where we are. I feel your pain, as we'll have to cope with it again next year.

Pyrrah Wed 08-May-13 16:51:07

By law your child is entitled to go full-time from the first day of term.

Just put your foot down - even better if a group of you do.

I haven't heard what DD's new school are planning, but since she's done a year already at a school nursery, she will be starting full-time on the first day of term as there is no need for her to have a staggered start.

Does the same law apply to academies just out of interest/

louisianablue2000 Wed 08-May-13 16:56:47

I think it's mad that schools still act like all children have a parent at home. If they've been at nursery for years they can cope with school and dragging out the transition period makes it difficult for everyone. Complain but if that doesn't work does your current childcare provide wrap around care? DD1 went to nursery for the (thankfully only a) week she was half time at school. The price goes up though because the nursery no longer gets the nursery grant once the LOs start school.

There is obviously no consensus within schools about the best way to do things. As I said at DD's school they only have a week of half days and are then fulltime but they stagger the class starting over three weeks so the youngest come in last (just to make it that bit more difficult for them, by that point friendships have already been made among the older kids). At a neighbouring school they only have one half day and then start full time. Much more sensible.

5madthings Wed 08-May-13 16:58:13

Here you go this thread

www.mumsnet.com/Talk/primary/1628701-Staggered-entry-to-primary-school-in-reception-class

Has the legal info, they have to offer full time place smile

Timeforabiscuit Wed 08-May-13 16:59:45

Total PITA - I was one of the one who quit their job and got a new one a month later,

I did have a back up plan where nursery would do half days, so I would use my lunch hour to nip to school and walk her over.

But my old job were also very unhelpful with reduction in hours so I could do pickups during the week.

Since they were unhelpful I was in a very privileged position to be incredibly unhelpful back, I hope the next person in my shoes gets an easier time of it at that company.

You can also get unpaid parental leave (gulp) - but I had bills to pay.

radicalsubstitution Wed 08-May-13 17:41:09

DS' school has a school nursery attached, which most children attend. Therefore, there is plenty of time for the school to 'get to know' 90% of the reception intake long before they start in reception.

DS started full-time on the 2nd September. There is absolutely no way I could have 'flexed' my hours in order to accommodate a staggered start. Staggered starts create an unbelievable amount of hassle for working parents (as if they don't have enough with school holidays etc).

tiggytape Wed 08-May-13 18:00:36

A staggered start is totally the norm. 1 month is longer than some but not as long as many.

I do wonder what they do with the children of parents who insist on going fulltime though? Most schools geared up to do staggered starts (as opposed to letting parents choose which some schools opt for) won't have the staff on site necessarily to cover this. The reception teachers in our school will be on home visits for some periods in the first weeks of September.

I suppose if a vocal majority all press the school to change, it might review the policy but the worry with insisting on your right to fulltime education might be that your 4 year old is one of 2 or 3 children left in limbo for a month whilst everyone else (who either favours staggered starts or doesn't want to create a fuss) sends their children part time.

Euphemia Wed 08-May-13 18:04:38

I am a teacher so when DD started school I had to pay for the after-school care club for afternoons. Other parents used a local childminder to cover that part of the day.

Picturesinthefirelight Wed 08-May-13 18:09:18

I think it's unacceptable.

Both of my two started full time from day 1. There was the option of half days for the first week but no one took it.

You have two options. Insist your child goes full time or keep her in nursery until after these shenanigans are over.

Pyrrah Wed 08-May-13 18:10:37

I imagine that since the law has now changed to allow parents to insist on full days from day 1 that schools will now organise their staffing to cope.

lougle Wed 08-May-13 18:12:53

DD2's school have just changed their policy.

I can choose (for DD3, starting in September) to either put her in full time from the 12th September, or choose a fixed pattern of between 5-9 sessions each week until the first half-term.

littleducks Wed 08-May-13 18:16:28

Dd started school late after settling in period (London playing waiting list game) so it was a shock to me when ds started reception. Complete PITA. Poor child was exhausted by having to travel back and forth to school four times in a day instead if two as dd still needed collecting. HT was adament it prevented them having children crying in the afternoon. I pointed out it was because he was crying in the playground at pick up time with me absolutely shattered at true home time from all the toing and froing.

RedPencils Wed 08-May-13 18:23:52

Glad to hear the law has changed in this, completely ridiculous to expect parents to accommodate weeks of half days.
My friends DS was part time till October half term when he started, she had to take some of the time as unpaid leave.

tiggytape Wed 08-May-13 18:24:28

Absolutely Pyrrah - if a parent insists, it will be accommodated.

But that's not quite the same as the child being placed fulltime with the teacher they have been introduced to and with the other children they are used to.

Schools that are very pushy keen on staggered starts won't necessarily have lots of parents objecting to the extent that they insist on their legal right to ignore school policy and send the child fulltime.
Whilst a parent can insist for their child, they can't insist the rest of the class also attends and keeps them company.
So it might be a bit of a unsettled start for a child who is one of just a few new starters whose parents have sent them fulltime.

I am not saying parents shouldn’t insist on it. Just that the arrangements for a fulltime child in a school where 90% of their classmates are doing staggered starts might feel a bit odd.

scaevola Wed 08-May-13 18:33:00

If any school could point to a single piece of respectable research which showed any advantage to a part-time start (rather than just "we think it's better") then I think ey'd find parents more ready to accommodate it.

I don't think any such research was linked to last year's threads about this. And I suspect there is still no demonstrable benefit. And when you're talking about something that can have such a huge and unsettling impact to family life (through a temporary childcare arrangement) just when a child needs a bit of stability in things other than joining school, it really needs clear benefits backed by a bit of proper evidence.

tiggytape Wed 08-May-13 18:40:05

What kind of evidence would that be though? How do you measure the benefit or otherwise?
Anecdotally teachers who have seen both systems in action tend to agree that a staggered start, as long as it doesn't extend for weeks and weeks, benefits new children to a school.

And I don't think parents who object would change their minds even if a study agreed with the school’s belief. They’d simply say their child is the exception because he is older, has already been to the nursery so familiar with the school or has been doing longer days at nursery since a year old so doesn’t need gradually increased hours.

scaevola Wed 08-May-13 18:53:36

I have noises how sociological/education studies are constructed, but as the effect of other variables can be studied I cannot see why this should uniquely be impossible

And being able to go beyond the vagaries of anecdote and move to evidence might not make a difference to everyone's actions, but it might influence some (both parents and schools) and would be a general reassurance that there were worthwhile pastoral or educational benefits.

Hulababy Wed 08-May-13 18:57:51

I hate these lengthy transition stages some schools put in place for reception.

My infant school is as bad tbh I have mentioned my thoughts before in the staffroom, but those in reception seem to think it works better. Sounds like a nightmare to me and something I would have avoided as a parent.

DD's school starts all children FT on day 1 of the term. Small school which probably helps, but works very well. They are flexible with parents who feel their child is tired or needs a later start/early finish every so often in the first few weeks. They've done that for the past few years, started a couple of years after DD started.

DD's start was 2 days til lunch, 2 days til after lunch, then FT. Was long enough.

tiggytape Wed 08-May-13 19:07:16

That may be the case scaevola but perhaps the professional experience of reception staff who has seen dozens of new intakes counts for something? If the school advocate it, it isn’t to make life difficult for parents
Even parents who find it problematic or unnecessary for their own child might concede it is done with the children's interests at heart and with the intention of helping each child find their feet in a more manageable way then being thrown in at the deep end.

If the school is small or staff ratios high then maybe that consideration is lessened but if you're talking about schools with a 60 - 90 intake all in maximum class sizes, it can be quite full on.

BigBongTheory Wed 08-May-13 20:17:20

Be grateful. Dc1 school didn't start the summer borns full time until ONE WEEK before Xmas!

scaevola Wed 08-May-13 20:48:00

If their experience (whoever "they" are and if they are indeed representative) is valid, then it will be confirmed. Win/win?

But perhaps it won't.

But it's generally better to know, rather than surmise, what gives good outcomes. Especially in something like education, where you can get vast amounts of evidence all poi ting one way, but still teachers and HTs doing something quite different (see just about any phonics thread!)

I'd be interested to know if any MNetters are aware of anything other than anecdote about part-time starts.

ChoudeBruxelles Wed 08-May-13 20:50:06

Talk to the school - tell them you can't do that and you want full time sooner. In theory they should have a full time place allocated.

mamadoc Wed 08-May-13 23:44:13

Fortunately for me DDs school changed their policy the year she started to 3 half days only then full time.
They did this because they realised that since the free nursery funding there were actually no children at all who hadn't had some time in a nursery setting. The vast majority were at the school nursery in the classroom next door! They don't do that home visiting business either. They visited those not at the school nursery (including my DD) at her own nursery in the term before she started.
If you want to send them half time or defer then clearly you have that choice. I don't see why half days should be imposed on those who do believe their child is ready in this day and age when almost none are away from parents for the 1st time.

littleducks Thu 09-May-13 00:00:27

I can see how it is beneficial for teachers. Ours had full classes in the mornings so they would have had the afternoons to prepare organise and write up info gained from the mornings sessions. I know other schools have half the intake in the morning and half in the afternoon, so the lower ratios mean the teachers get to know children better (in theory at least).

I just don't think it justifies the stress on the children. It wasn't fair that my younger son had to yoyo back and forth to school for his mini day and dd's actual school day. He was dead miffed to see her tucking into her lunch in the playground but he had to have a banana and walk home before he got his. Then pretty much turn round and walk back to collect her.

Parents stressed over work will often lead to stressed kids.its just such a bad start to the relationship between school and parents.

Optional afternoons with a calmer chilled out atmosphere would be better. Stories on the carpet with beanbags for the children who do need to crash out (mine were never like that but I hear done are).

CouthySaysEatChoccyEggs Thu 09-May-13 07:33:11

Staggered starts...

<<Shudder>>

My DS1 did a staggered start of half days from September until CHRISTMAS!

So glad the school stopped doing that!

Groovee Thu 09-May-13 07:37:03

Our school's after school club run a seperate session from when they finish until the end of the school day.

notcitrus Thu 09-May-13 08:43:19

It's not just the half days - it's that you only find out about them in June or July, which usually isn't enough notice to take more than a day or two off work. I'm taking ds's first week off, so I hope he doesn't have shortened days longer than that!

I'm very glad the law has changed. This is ridiculous. I work ft and DD has done 4 days a week at nursery 8.30am to 5pm since she was 10m old.

She is sooooo ready for school - turns 5 on 17 sept - and finishes nursery on 22 august. I have arranged to work locally for the first week, so I can do drop off and pick up and then in week 2, I've already requested 4 days a week at breakfast club and after school club.
My job means I am the main breadwinner and i cannot leave. DP has a much lower paid business but does need to work long hrs.

In an ideal world, we'd both work p/t but this isn't an ideal world, and my DC have to live in the world we have, which means mum and dad work and simply cannot drop a month of work and there are very few cm in the area.

A good friend of mine is a teacher at a different school, and so she needs breakfast club and after school care from day 1.

We've not heard from school yet, so hoping it's like DD's friend's school: she turned 4 on 29 august and started ft reception on 3 sept and she's coped just fine.

Chocovore Thu 09-May-13 12:49:34

We've got 4 settling in sessions at the school in June/July and then afternoons only for 4 days, lunch and afternoons for the following week and then full time from week 3. Seems fine to me.

CouthySaysEatChoccyEggs Thu 09-May-13 13:00:24
CouthySaysEatChoccyEggs Thu 09-May-13 13:03:00

Excuse that post. Brain fart, posted it on the wrong thread. Was meant to be posting in site stuff, as the app is acting all weird for me, just on this thread!

Elibean Thu 09-May-13 13:07:17

Problem is, kids vary hugely at that age and some really do settle faster with part time.

Big problem for working parents, though, and flexibility has to be a key part of the answer for any system.

dd1 did a whole term of half days (too long), and dd2, 3 years later at the same school, did a few weeks, followed by four days f/t and one half, then f/t from January. Other local primaries do the same thing.

It worked beautifully for her class, I must admit.

PastSellByDate Thu 09-May-13 13:19:39

Hi TAYoung:

Not sure if your DD is at a nursery at the moment - but when we were in this situation we found that the nursery was happy to take them part-time during the transition period as long as they were under 5.

HTH

TAyoung Thu 09-May-13 17:19:20

Thanks for all the advice - particularly the links to the legal stuff about being able to insist on full time. Now considering pros and cons.

For what it's worth, my son had done ten-hour days at nursery but was totally wiped out by four hours of Reception at first. We had a fortnight of half days and he needed all of them.

I was very surprised.

pointythings Thu 09-May-13 18:18:09

couthy my DDs' primary did this too, it was LEA policy. This has now changed - the school has gone academy, and they are much more flexible. If you want full time, they want to meet with you and the child, but if they're happy that your child is ready, you will get full time. I can't think that a child who is used to full time nursery would hav a problem with full time YrR

Startail Thu 09-May-13 18:36:30

It's utterly ridiculous and purely for the schools benefit not the children's.

We did alternating weeks of mornings and afternoons which just confused children who were used to mornings at preschool or full days at nursery.
Splitting the groups caused friendship problems and seeing mum at lunch time had a Y1 sibling in tears.

Euphemia Thu 09-May-13 18:47:44

purely for the schools benefit

How does it benefit the school?

TAyoung Fri 10-May-13 15:30:37

The only confusion I now have is the exact position on the right to full-time education.

Is it from age 5 or from the start of the first school year after their 4th birthday? I've seen both quoted above, but despite searches I can't find the legislation that says either (specifically).

Closest I've come is this
http://www.education.gov.uk/schools/pupilsupport/inclusionandlearnersupport/a0077448/ap-right-for-non-excluded-pupils

ivykaty44 Fri 10-May-13 15:37:33

I left my dd in full time nursery and she started school one month later - it wasn't ideal but I work and couldn't get time off work. Her father wasn't interested in helping with the start of school.

Ddd was very clingy for quite a while about going to school but I don't know whether she would have been or not if she started a month earlier. She did though settle and make friends - it was just at the school gate she wanted to hold my hand for just a bit longer

prettydaisies Fri 10-May-13 17:03:15

Children legally have to be in school or 'educated otherwise' from the term after their 5th birthday.
Schools nowadays have to offer children full time education from the September of the academic year in which they turn 5. As a parent you don't have to take up the offer and can defer until anytime in the Reception year. You can't defer the whole year as your place may well be given to someone else and you have to apply again as an in year admission.

I left my daughter in full time nursery for the whole of the autumn term as I couldn't manage childcare for part days and she was quite happy where she was and doing well. She then settled in with no problems.

ljny Fri 10-May-13 20:28:46

It's absolutely insane and most teachers I've talked with, off the record, admit staggering makes things easier for the teachers more than the children.

Some schools only add 3 children a week - this happened to my DGD last year. When she finally started, it was two hour visits, then mornings, then mornings with lunch ... she didn't go full time until after half-term. They did it by age and she's one of the youngest.

The upshot was major social problems - by November, the children had their friendships sorted, and even her best friend from nursery had found new friends.

So glad of the new regulations but it's still difficult as many parents don't want to alienate the school by insisting on their 'rights'.

If settling were really for the children's benefit, then turn it around, let children start full-time - and offer an option for parents to request part-time if needed.

As Op rightly says, it's more stressful to hit a child with two big adjustments at once - school AND a new half-day situation.

n1cknack Fri 24-May-13 21:09:04

Hi, I haven't read through everyone's comments so sorry if this has been said already. You can request that they take your child full time straight away. If they say no, go through your LEA. If you want more information then pm me as I did this with my child last year.
Good luck!

MissDuke Mon 27-May-13 10:12:07

Our school does the staggered start until Halloween. For the first 2 weeks, they are only in for an hour a day :-O It builds up to 9-12. After Halloween, it is 9-2. I am not in England, so don't think we can request full time from the start. The biggest nuisance is that I will be at the school 4 times a day, as I will have to drop dd off at 9, ds at 10, collect ds at 11 and collect dd at 3 - very annoying!

notcitrus Mon 27-May-13 10:42:10

Have now found out that children in my local schools are full time from the start. Except they can't say when the start is as.they phase them in over a month.

So may have difficulty taking his first few days off if I don't know when they are! Teacher I talked to thought older.children started later, but as ds is 5 when term begins, he'll have a right to be full time, surely?

Right now I don't even know what school he'll attend (near top of a mobile wait list) which really doesn't help. School he has place at has cancelled all before/after care provision but 'hopes to work something out' by Sept...

lougle Mon 27-May-13 10:48:37

I think we are very lucky with my school. They have the very best of all worlds. The parents dictate what their child will do, on an individual basis.

So parents who want full-time get it. Other parents who may want their DC home on a Thursday afternoon can do that. Whatever, really.

As long as the DC do at least 5 sessions per week, whether that be 2 whole days and a half day, 5 mornings...whatever, they can do as much as they like.

DD3 will be starting full-time from the beginning. I'm there anyway to drop and pick up DD2, so she won't find it easy to have to come and go when her new friends may well be in school.

TeenAndTween Mon 27-May-13 17:25:48

At my DDs school they all start full time, 1 week after the rest of the school. the first week is used for home visits.
Works really well, many children have done 2.5 days at the attached nursery so don't need a transition. Parents who think it is a bit much can choose to take their child home at lunchtime if they so desire.

Allegrogirl Mon 27-May-13 23:24:19

We had 3 weeks of 11.45 starts, couldn't even leave DD for lunch so I could take half days. DD was very unsettled and didn't know whether she was coming or going. Some days I did pick up, my parents helped and her brand new CM. We survived but it was a rotten introduction to the school. I didn't know other parents to swap cover with, no school nursery and after school club started at 3.15. I did suggest to the school that they could extend after school club for a couple of weeks but no demand apparently.

DD was so much happier by the end of week 4 when she was settled into the normal school day. I think shorter days should be an option but not compulsory. No home visits at the school so that wasn't the reason for shorter days. My friends DCs at a number of schools in the same city all went full days after 2/3 mornings. If short days are so necessary why isn't it the same in all schools?

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Tue 28-May-13 09:22:53

Similar to Teen, they start a few children at a time, a bit later than the rest of the school, three days of half days then off they go. I kept DS at his daycare until mid-Sept as he was one of the last to start.

Parents go in to see teachers(no home visits) in the extra few days at the beginning of term. Means all parents can be seen in those slots.

Dancergirl Tue 28-May-13 09:54:01

For goodness sake, can any of you see beyond the logistics issue??

Firstly, it is not a school's job to provide childcare. I imagine making things easy for working parents comes way, way down the list of priorities. Sorry if that's tough to hear.

So you've got 30 odd small children starting school for the first time. Some of them have been to nursery, some haven't. Some of them are only just 4 years old. Some of them might be newly toilet trained. Some might have SN. They will all have their worries about starting school. Reception teacher wants to do the very best she can to help EACH child settle in and get to know each child individually as soon as possible. Do you really think the best way of dong this is to have them all start together and stay all day from day 1?

Look beyond YOUR inconvenience, it's really not about you. It's about the benefit for the class as a whole and that will benefit YOUR child in the long run.

Allegrogirl Tue 28-May-13 10:59:57

Dancergirl I have no problem at all with paying for childcare as I have been doing so since I returned from mat leave. Getting temporary care for just a few weeks is extremely difficult and unsettling for a child who is already having to get used to the school environment. My DD was much happier when she went to full days as the messing around for 3 hours a day was really upsetting for her. Yes it is tough to hear that my child has to suffer to suit a child who may find a full day too much. Could those who are struggling not start later or for half days as an option? We have January starts at the school. And the children all started together from day one so it didn't give the teachers more time to get to know the children.

What evidence is there that there is any benefit in starting for half days? It was a new thing for DDs school so not like they have years of experience that this works best. Most of the other local schools go straight to full days after 2/3 days and the children settled fine. Maybe an explanation to the parents of the benefits and a more sympathetic and flexible approach where parents struggle with childcare would help. I would happily have paid for an extended after school club if that had been an option.

louisianablue2000 Tue 28-May-13 11:08:15

Dancergirl, have you not read the thread? Everyone is saying how it messes up the kids. Some people have to find a new childcare arrangement to cover the staggered entry, younger children are penalised becacuse they tend to start later and friendship groups are formed, children are tired because they hwve to go backwards and forwards between school and home or school and childcare.

If schools were to look at the child's background and say 'OK, you've been at nursery and have no educational and social needs, you can start on day X full time' or ' OK, you are young for the class, have some SN and haven't left the family home before, we'll stagger your entry for as long as your parent thinks you need it' THEN we might be prepared to believe it's done to benefit the children. But the current system is clearly not keeping up with the reality of the world.

And frankly I'm fed up of teachers saying 'we don't provide childcare' like they are somehow better than the wonderful people who have cared for and educated my children for the previous five years. If you are legally responsible for my child then you ARE childcare.

Dancergirl Tue 28-May-13 11:45:57

But all I'm reading on here is 'MY child'! Have you tried seeing it from the teacher's point of view?

Formed friendship groups? Rubbish. I've had 3 dc go through reception with varying degrees of staggering/part time and it's made no difference to friendships. Children's friendships change SO much at this stage, there is no way for friends to be set in stone during the first weeks and months of reception.

I'm not disputing that it's difficult or inconvenient. But it's really only a short time in the scheme of things. And if it makes it easier for the teacher initially, can't you see that's a good thing for the class overall in the long run?

Oblomov Tue 28-May-13 12:19:04

I am so glad I read this.
Ds1 started reception 4 years ago and my school stagger according to age. So I fortunately only had to stager for a few weeks. But I work p/t and even that was a nightmare.
Am SO glad to find that the law was changed a year ago.
Am awaiting news on when ds2 will start, this sept.
Am glad to have that piece of info up my sleeve.

Elibean Tue 28-May-13 19:17:51

I think the law is a good thing for working parents who really can't cope with staggered starts.

But for the children, and for the teachers, I think staggered starts have a lot going for them. I have two dds, and both had half days - one for a term (too long), the other for nearly half a term (about right).

There have been no friendship problems, no frustrated children, a very smooth transition to school, and a tightly knit happy community in their classes.

Mind you, neither was in full time nursery before Reception. Nor were most of their peers. So a f/t start in Reception would have caused chaos for those particular kids.

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