Is it just me, or does anyone else think inset days are completely unreasonable?

(53 Posts)
thumbsucker Mon 18-Apr-11 11:26:37

As a parent, it's hard enough trying to juggle work and child care during the school holidays, but I COMPLETELY fail to understand why teachers get about 13 weeks' holiday a year and then take additional days for training. Why can't they take a little bit less holiday (it's only 5 days, so that's um 12 weeks holiday - still WAY more than anyone else) and make it easier on parents? Anyone??

Clayhead Mon 18-Apr-11 11:30:58

Inset days were taken from teachers' holidays in the first place.

RatherBeOnThePiste Mon 18-Apr-11 11:31:26

Inset days come out of the holiday time

We have to do 190 days. Inset days don't come out of that!

JoyceEasterBunnyaby Mon 18-Apr-11 11:36:47

Was just about to post that, Clayhead!

Also, OP, don't be fooled into thinking 13 weeks non-teaching time is 13 weeks holiday!! As most teachers will tell you, this is far from the case! I could go on at length about this but it would boring - suffice to say I left the teaching profession because I didn't feel the hours/ time required were compatible with the way I wanted to be a parent.

I'm afraid I also think you're unreasonable because schools aren't there to make parents' lives easier, they are there to provide education. Now that I'm a parent, that can make like more difficult for me and my friends, but that doesn't change my opinion.

GypsyMoth Mon 18-Apr-11 11:38:22

op,so you disagree with them because they make finding childcare difficult for you???

jade80 Mon 18-Apr-11 11:44:16

Rigggght... so you pop out kids then whinge about having to find childcare for them during the occasional inset day? Maybe you should have only had kids ifyou could afford/be bothered to arrange such things, rather than dictating what you think counts as a reasonable holiday for someone else, who does a job you probably couldn't...
Maybe you should have thought about it and taken a job with different holiday allowances, or perhaps even (shock horror) as a... teacher?! Oh yeah, but then you'd still need to find someone to look after your children on inset day, oh dear. Maybe it would be worth it for those 13 weeks of holiday, during which you wouldn't have to lift a finger at all?

Yeah, that's an unreasonable statement for me to make- but not more so than your OP!

thumbsucker Mon 18-Apr-11 12:53:14

Crikey Jade80 tell me what you really think! Clearly this is a contentious issue and I'm not whingeing, just really asking a question. I don't doubt teachers work hard. I know they do. I work hard too, despite you suggesting I would rather not lift a finger!!

Don't get angry - I would genuinely like to know what teachers do if they don't get all that time off. Honestly, I think teachers believe everyone knows how hard they work but we don't actually follow the detail of what you do, we just drop our kids off and pick them up and thank you when they come out of school able to read and write.

Poogles Mon 18-Apr-11 13:17:54

I would rather they grouped the inset days together and had them as a whole week either at the beginning/end of summer, or some other set time.

I think the point OP was trying to make is that it is a nightmare trying to find childcare for random days here and there. If the inset days were taken in a block then some of the holiday clubs might run during this period making it easier for working parents.

I researched how I would cover school holidays etc before having kids but holiday clubs don't tend to run for just one day which does make inset days a nightmare for working parents.

JoyceEasterBunnyaby Mon 18-Apr-11 13:20:45

You ask what teachers do with their 'time off' - I think you mean outside term time. I worked in state secondary education and during term time, I tried to leave the school building by 6pm (although often later if we'd had a meeting after the kids left - perhaps twice a week) but always had to do additional marking and preparation for a couple of hours in the evening and at least one morning at the weekend. This wasn't even to do any 'extra', this was just trying to keep up to date with everyday work. During the 'holidays', we had department planning meetings, exam marking and lots of personal lesson preparation. The government seems to demand more and more paperwork from teachers on a daily basis, so from what I hear from friends still teaching, this has only got worse!! On the plus side, during the 'holidays', I didn't work evenings and weekends and I always took a two-week break during the summer break.

Obviously, you can't have any time off during term time so during my years teaching I missed the graduation of a family member and the funeral of a friend. I did ask for unpaid leave, but this was denied.

Many jobs require the same level of dedication, it's just that because most people only see the contact time with students as 'work' time, it can be a rather misunderstood profession!! A profession that, as I said in my earlier post, wasn't for me in the end.

thumbsucker Mon 18-Apr-11 13:41:30

Thank you Joyceeasterbunnyaby. Clearly I've misunderstood the profession. As I said, I think a lot of teachers assume non-teachers know all this. I, for one, didn't quite appreciate the extent of it.

PeachyAndTheArghoNauts Mon 18-Apr-11 13:46:35

I do think that lumping them together would make things easier but it's not always that easy- for example the schools have to get in trainers for teh days so work about that.

I'm quite aware of variations in inset- I do support work 9currently unpaid) at an SEN Base, and after September will have children at 4 different schools: none of which have their days at the same time (should probably point out that's not from choice; 2 diferent SNUs, plus a junior school and a pre school run by LEA).

If we didn;t have an at home absed parent it would be impossible to manage.

Goblinchild Mon 18-Apr-11 13:52:27

Sometimes you have an inset day and you learn something and you spend time implementing and embedding it. Then you have another one.
Ramming them all together would make nonsense of that.
Sometimes you have a visiting speaker who has a crowded timetable.
Some inset days are seasonal, and link to key events in the year like assessments, new government initiatives...
There are dozens of threads complaining about inset days, so if you are feeling lonely OP you could always have a little search and be in miserable company.

ChateauRouge Mon 18-Apr-11 14:21:50

Blimey- since when have we had a 'school holidays' topic?

mnistooaddictive Mon 18-Apr-11 14:32:36

One of the days in secondary is often fir coursework moderation. This has to be done as late as possible to allow for students to improve as much as possible but before exam board deadline. Putting it with a holiday often isn't feasible.

echt Wed 20-Apr-11 23:28:02

They? They?

Who are these teachers who make these decisions?

In every school I ever worked in in the UK, both timing and content of the INSET days were determined by SMT, not by the rank and file. For most teachers they were felt to be a waste of time,as well as being their stolen holiday

ScarletOHaHa Sun 24-Apr-11 10:46:26

Yikes at Jade80 shock

It is almost impossible to arrange childcare day to day and for school holidays. Add in time taken off for illness and the wheels come off. Cue very difficult negotiations with employers and tensions with work colleagues. I work long hours and during 'holidays' too.

Not all teachers are as diligent or conscientious as those posting here (not my FnF anyway). Teaching is a very important job and Pay/ Terms and Conditions should reflect this (it probably doesn't).

The holidays are a break for the kids. Whilst I agree that schools are there to educate, there is a massive gap in help for working parents. I feel the same as you thumbsucker.

clam Sun 24-Apr-11 11:03:23

OP, for the record, school is not childcare for working parents.

And, as a hard-working teacher, I don't accept your belated attempt to "appreciate" teachers when your OP is unpleasant and inflammatory.

BeehiveBaby Sun 24-Apr-11 11:06:04

4 days a week 45 weeks of the year or somthing towards that would be easier to organise IMO.

PureNewWoolWithPerfectStitches Sun 24-Apr-11 11:11:42

<applauds Clam>

<removes itching fingers from keyboard to prevent explosion of vitriol at OP

pozzled Sun 24-Apr-11 11:18:06

"I would genuinely like to know what teachers do if they don't get all that time off. Honestly, I think teachers believe everyone knows how hard they work but we don't actually follow the detail of what you do"

I'm a primary school teacher. Most teachers in my school do around a 50-hour working week in term time. (A lot are onsite from 7.30am -5.30pm, with a 20 min lunchbreak if they're lucky and still take work home). Most of them will also do at least a day's work every holiday, so that's another 30+ hours. This time of year, we have our reports to do- that's at least another working work to be fitted into weekends and evenings.

It does (of course) vary from school to school and teacher to teacher, but IME the majority of teachers work bloody long hours.

I once sat down and calculated how many 37 hour weeks I work in a school year. I think it came to about 48 or 49 so comparable to someone working standard office hours.

2cats2many Sun 24-Apr-11 11:21:12

What a completely ignorant OP.

I'm not. Tacher, but I know lots of people who are and they work much longer days than me, work at weekends and through their holiday for much less money.

I think the odd training day (which is actually for your Childs benefit after all) is hardly unreasonable.

2cats2many Sun 24-Apr-11 11:22:06

Frickin' iPad!!!!!

That was meant to read : 'I'm not a teacher'

clam Sun 24-Apr-11 20:43:00

And for every parent who would prefer INSET days to be in one whole clump, there's another who prefers them spread out.
But as they're not planned for the benefit of parent's work schedules, it's largely irrelevant. They have to reflect the needs of the school, be it individual training, consortium training with other local schools, taking on new government initiatives or whatever.
And I'll repeat what others have said on here also, just so everyone's clear: THEY WERE TAKEN FROM TEACHERS' HOLIDAYS IN THE FIRST PLACE.

southeastastra Sun 24-Apr-11 20:45:17

i hate them too, also wish schools would stay open until 5 shock so i could work full time

nancy75 Sun 24-Apr-11 20:46:34

I really don't understand teacher bashing - they can have as much holiday as they like in book, after all most of their time is spent locked in a room with 30odd kids, it sounds like a nightmare - they probably need the break!

southeastastra Sun 24-Apr-11 20:47:33

surely teachers should be trained enough wink

FattyAcid Sun 24-Apr-11 20:49:48

I think school holidays are not nearly long enough so have absolutely no problem with inset days

They are great for a day out that is less busy then usual OP if nothing else

thumbsucker Thu 12-May-11 12:19:49

ok, so the answer to my original question is that it's not just me but that opinion is extremely strong. It's very easy, isn't it, to completely let rip on someone when you don't know them and can't see them. Ah, the joy of internet posts. I wanted a grown up discussion and I got extreme anger and aggression - thanks for that!

DiscoDaisy Thu 12-May-11 12:26:06

Inset days don't bother me as they don't affect my work but I do have 1 question.
Why do my kids schools use some of their inset days at the very end of the school year in julywhen the children break up?
I can understand the beginning of the school year and all the others in between but just not the couple that are sometimes added to the end.

echt Fri 13-May-11 20:35:49

thumbsucker I think you got ripped into because you didn't do any elementary research which would have shown you that the inset days already happen in teachers' holiday time. They don't "take" these days for training, they were forced on them in the 80s.

You also suggested making it easier on the parents. Schools can't always get the speakers they need at the same time, so stagger the days over the year. Schools have their own agendas, yet must be responsive any shite initiatives coming from government, so days do move around. I think, though, that they should be set at the start of the year, and have been in all schools I taught in in the UK.

Your beef needs to be with government, not the teachers.

Children get the exact amount of teaching time they always had.

echt Fri 13-May-11 20:38:29

Oh and teachers are quite often parents, too, and have to juggle their childcare around their children's schools' inset days.

Pilchardnpoppy Sat 14-May-11 22:49:55

'surely teachers should be trained enough'

My last 2 inset training consisted of child protection training - how to spot potential child abuse and what do do if you suspect it, and 'team teach' training - which is how to restrain physically violent children to protect themselves and others.

Both these need updating regularly and, I'm sure you'll agreed, pretty important.

Isla77 Wed 18-May-11 21:46:36

southeastastra - Many schools do stay open past 5 o'clock nowadays as they run after school clubs - and also breakfast clubs - providing care for children of working parents.

hulababy Wed 18-May-11 21:50:41

Oh for goodness sake. Not yet another INSET thread. The topi has been covered so many times in the last few weeks.

INSET already was taken from teacher's holidays. teachers ow have 5 days less holiday than they did before INSET was introduced.

INSET is essential for teaching staff throughout the year.

INSET is used for training purposes.

INSET is not a jolly for teaching staff.

INSET needs to be spread throughout the year in order to meet the needs of the school.

School is not childcare.

hulababy Wed 18-May-11 21:51:40

You OP is the reason that people are getting het up. The focus entirely on the holidays.

If teaching is such a cushy job - go do it.

hulababy Wed 18-May-11 21:52:48

SEA - may schools have after school club til beyond 5pm. Many start before 8am aslo through breakast clubs. Granted in most cases the extra hours need to be paid for.

MaureenMLove Wed 18-May-11 21:55:23

Perhaps a better OP would have been, 'do INSET days come out of term time or teachers holidays' then, if you didn't want to get flamed.

I don't think you can complain that teachers have come on here and got really pissed off with your OP, when it was so agressive tbh.

I think I might have 'Inset days come out of our holiday time' on my clipboard for instant paste. I've lost count of the times, that line has been needed on here in the last few weeks! I'll think of another stock line for when we wind up for the long summer holidays!

hulababy Wed 18-May-11 21:57:10

I know what you mean Maureen.

MaureenMLove Wed 18-May-11 22:04:07

There is no point in getting wound up about it, fellow school workers (I'm not a teacher, but I know the deal)

This country is not 9 to 5. There are very few occupations that are 9 to 5 these days. Fact of life, I'm afaid. If you chose to have children, and I include myself in that, then you just have to live with the problems that it throws up. It's not forever. It's part of being a parent. I get pissed off as a school worker that I have to spend most of my school holiday waiting in for gas man, boiler repair man, parcels, etc or going to the dentist or doctors or opticians. My choice - there you go! There are far more difficult situations that could befall you.

Chill people - chill! <<lights another spliff and shares the love>> grin

choccyp1g Wed 18-May-11 22:09:34

It is true that the children's summer holidays used to be longer, but we also used to get shorter half-terms when I was at school.
But I thought teachers worked through (most of) the holidays anyway, so they haven't really come out of holiday, they have come out of preparation time.

MaureenMLove Wed 18-May-11 22:13:35

When I arrive at 7am at school, there are already lots of teachers there - working. During every single school holiday, there are intervention lessons going on, therefore the teachers are there. When I drive passed my school to drop DD somewhere at almost 6pm, there are still a large number of teacher cars in the carpark.

Teaching is not a 9 - 3, 39 weeks a year job - they just get paid for that amount.

Oh get me, getting involved! I'm not going to be drawn into this! I'm 'aving another fag! grin

bogof88 Thu 07-Jul-11 22:03:43

I work in a school, but I don't teach, and neither do I get paid in accordance with STPCD so I guess that makes me moderately unbiased.

I value Inset days as a parent, since it means that my son's teachers are receiving CPD opportunities that they probably wouldn't be able to access if it were not for Baker's foresight. And as for "it was taken out of our holiday"... well, you could afford to lose it really since 13 weeks paid holiday is enough for anyone, and let's not forget that you get extra cash for it.

I value Inset days as a member of staff, since it means I get an opportunity to access CPD that I would otherwise miss out on if it were not being delivered to whole groups on dedicated Inset days.

I do wonder though why some people think it'd be better to provide a free childminding service for 5 more days a year than it is to train our teachers to educate their children to a better standard?

meditrina Thu 07-Jul-11 22:11:23

My only gripe about inset days is that I wish they were all arranged to take place in the autum term as it seems to go on forever, and it would be nice to have some long weekends then. It does seem much more intrusive in the shorter, busier terms when there a Bank Holidays anyhow giving those valuable little bits of decompression.

cejay Fri 08-Jul-11 21:02:29

You make it sound as if it is the teachers who are having a say in all of this. Inset days often comprise compulsory training as set out by the government. eg Safeguarding. Every time exam boards decide to change the syllabus, departments need time to sort out new schemes of work etc. Every time the dfe demands more data, teachers need to be trained in how to access and manipulate the IT systems in order to utilise data for ofsted reports. If the Head wants the school to have a web page we need training on how to upload info, if the government issue new guidlines on how to deal with violence in the classroom we need training on that. Blah blah ....I could go on. If we didn't have these days then your children would be taught by lots of cover teachers whilst staff did this training which they themselves often did not ask to do. No school could afford that level of cover.

Plus, just while I am at it, I get in to work at 8am. I sit down at break for a coffee but work through my lunch and leave around 4. 30 . I mark/prepare/study for new A levels I might be teaching etc etc pretty much every night apart from Fri/Sat.

If teaching was such a doss, why aren't people killing eachother to get into it?

Sorry for rambling.

Not this thread again...

Himalaya Fri 08-Jul-11 21:20:32

Hulababy - I get all of that about inset days, but they are still a pain for working parents. Private schools don't have them afaik (but they do have longer holidays)

I am not sure about school =/= childcare thing - why then do the government say that SPs with children over 5 have to seek work - surely it's because being in FT school does cover a certain amount of childcare?

kitbit Fri 08-Jul-11 23:22:24

My gripe with inset days is that schools organise them badly. I don't care about the number of perceived holiday days that teachers get, that's the deal and it's fair enough. But schools could organise it better so that you get a lump of days together, then things like holiday clubs might be available. As a pp said, it's the random day thing that makes it hard for working parents and that IS within the control of the school.

pugsandseals Tue 12-Jul-11 13:03:20

I am a visiting teacher employed by the local authority. Every year the county set out when schools should have their inset days, every year schools opt out of these days and do them on other days often with very little notice to parents. It is also not uncommon for me to arrive at a school to find them closed for inset (nobody bothers to tell me). Add onto this all the times certain schools can't have me in because of school trips etc. & the fact that many primaries won't have me in at all in the morning because of literacy/numeracy hours and my teaching turns into a nightmare of half days sitting in the car (which I can't charge my time for) waiting for the time to come for me to arrive at the next school!

I don't have anything against INSET days, but I do think they need to be well planned, with everyone involved in the school knowing months in advance when they are going to happen & preferably all on the same day throughout the authority. Our department lend senior colleagues to other authorities for INSET days as they do for us all on the same days, so I don't think the lack of staff to take INSET days at the same time arguement is valid as long as schools work with each other & share knowledge.

sashh Sun 20-Nov-11 05:32:52

Good grief - what do you think teachers do with their own kids on INSET days?

You had kids - deal with it. Befor eyou complain imagine working shifts, do you think nurses / doctors / paramedics etc have children? How do you think they manage?

And it is not just in health care, supermarkets operate 24 hours these days, as do a lot of call centres.

If your only problem is not having childcare for a couple of days a year you really don't have a problem.

EOKelly Mon 07-Oct-13 13:32:07

I was horrified by the level of vitriol directed at the person who asked the question. This is Mums net and she posed a question directed at the parents and from a parents point of view and wanted to ask parents what they thought.
We know what teachers think they get to strike and have a union and direct contacts within the media to put across their point of view. Where are parents allowed the same?
Many teachers answering the question put forward the point of view that if you didnt want to look after your children you shouldn't have had them. Perhaps if you don't like the working conditions of a teacher you should not have become a teacher. If the demands on the teacher were supposed to be as well known as you think they are, then you knew that before you became a teacher. If you didn't, then perhaps you could understand that parents don't either.
You assume a full and thorough awareness of your working conditions and a deep understanding by parents but yet you don't afford them the same courtesy. Parents have no real voice. Decisions are made by government not parents.
13 weeks holiday is still 9 WEEKS MORE than most people in this country and you are not the only people who have demands made on them during their holiday. Your working hours are not far removed from many people in the country who get 4 - 6 weeks holiday a year.
Please please please do not alienate yourselves from the parents in this country who you have to work with to educate our next generation who WILL be paying your pension (or at least part of it), despite what you have been led to believe.

EdithWeston Mon 07-Oct-13 13:44:07

I do like the zombie thread alert!

The reason OP was criticised was because essentially she asked "why couldn't inset days be taken out of teachers' holidays" and it was pointed out at they are. The pupils' school year is, was, and will remain 190 days. The teachers' year is 5 days more than that (representing a reduction in their previous leave allowance).

colander Fri 11-Oct-13 23:31:16

Please remember when looking at teacher's holidays that we get 12 weeks a year (kids get13). That includes all the bank holidays. Therefore if most jobs give 25 days holiday, they also give another 8 bank holidays on top of that. We are now comparing 60 days with 33 days. Then remember that our holidays are totally inflexible.
I wonder how many non- teachers would trade another 27 days holiday a year with fixed holidays, verbal abuse, regular 14 hour days, fixed evening working commitments, weekend preparation... Oh and Michael Gove.

mummy1973 Fri 25-Oct-13 21:43:17

Teachers pay a lot into their pensions. Maybe this is not well known too. https://www.teacherspensions.co.uk/members/faqs/new-and-active-teachers/scheme-reforms.aspx

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