Saturday detention and inflexible school.

(217 Posts)
Rainbow Fri 11-Oct-13 16:28:27

My DS2 is in Y8 and the school policy is, if they get 5 detentions for not doing homework, they get a Saturday detention. I don't agree with it but it is school policy and I agreed to work with the school for the duration of my child's time with them. DS2 got his 5 detentions and was told on Wednesday(2/10), that he had detention on the Saturday (5/10). As a Cub Scout Leader, I had made arrangements to go to District camp with all the beavers, cubs and scouts from our district. DS1 is a beaver leader DS2 and DS3 are scouts, DS4 is too young but had not choice and my parents and my sis are also leaders with beavers and scouts and so they came too. There was not at home who could look after DS2. I explained to the school that this was the case and after numerous suggestions along the lines of put him on 3 trains and a bus (total journey time 2 hrs 40 mins) it was agreed to postpone the detention to the following week. I got on the coach with all the other leaders and children on the Friday and returned by coach on the Sunday. I then discovered, that DS2's detention had been extended by 1 hour because he could not make the previous Saturday. School seems to be steadfast in their decision and insist on punishing DS2 for my commitment. He did get a couple of Saturday detentions last ear and one was changed as my cousin was getting married but the other 2 we bend over backwards to get him there, even picking up my cubs and taking them to their event before collecting DS2 from camp only to find that the member of staff who was taking the detention had not turned up! Working together is a 2 way street or at least I thought it was!

Sirzy Fri 11-Oct-13 16:32:49

Perhaps instead of getting angry with the school you need to get angry with your son for getting in that position in the first place?

You and him both know thats the schools policy. Perhaps he should start just doing his homework and then it could be avoided.

IslaValargeone Fri 11-Oct-13 16:41:57

I'm inclined to agree that the issue is with your son, not the school.
Two Saturday detentions last year and one this year already after only a few weeks into term. He's really not getting it is he.
You need to be dishing out some sanctions at home so that he gets his act together. From what you have written, the only person being inconvenienced by his behaviour is you.

The detentions don't seem to be working if he had some last year and is still getting them.

The thing is Saturday detentions must be huge PITA for the school, and they probably wish the children would do their homework, they don't need to be flexible do they? confused

Get your son to do his homework so he doesn't get so many detentions. If this is his third Saturday detention then he hasn't done his homework at least 15 times, is that right?

englishteacher78 Fri 11-Oct-13 16:45:02

Do you encourage him at home to do his homework and check his homework diary? Why don't you agree with the policy? It's a 5th offence - that's quite unusual.

flipchart Fri 11-Oct-13 16:47:10

I agree it is your son that is the problem.

DS1 got a couple of detentions when he was at high school and it made things really hard work to pick him up because our house was miles away and not on a public transport route. A taxi would have been £15.50.

He got in more trouble for getting the detention than actually being in detention.

PersilOrAriel Fri 11-Oct-13 16:47:20

Are you checking he's doing his homework? If not, why not? If you are, then it can't be any surprise that he's going to get a detention. At our school the staff, parents and pupils all sign a homework charter agreeing to abide by the homework rules. Do you have something similar!

AmberLeaf Fri 11-Oct-13 16:49:02

I think you should turn your attention to making sure he does his homework as required.

PeterParkerSays Fri 11-Oct-13 16:51:39

Sorry but by my maths, your DS has had 3 Saturday detentions = 15 lots of missed homework.

Why are you complaining about him getting an extra hour - I know it seems petty because it wasn't his fault he couldn't attend this time, but it'll go some way towards him making up the backlog of missed work.

He's only in the 2nd year of Secondary school - he really needs to address this before his next academic year.

SirChenjin Fri 11-Oct-13 16:56:41

I would absolutely fuming with my DS if he did that - 15 missed homeworks?? Bloody hell! What consequences have you put in place for that? I think some form of monitoring is required - do you have a diary, or homework record for him to complete? We have to sign a weekly diary showing that we've seen the homework that's been set for that week.

I would also have been furious that the member of staff didn't turn up to take the detention though.

Rainbow Fri 11-Oct-13 16:57:51

I am angry at my son and I'm not saying that he shouldn't be punished but to expect me to drop everything and then add to his punishment because, because of my commitment, I can't is wrong. I have worked with the school and tried, in vain, to get DS2 to do his homework but he is expected to go to enrichment clubs after school an doesn't get in until 5.30. I then try to work with him on as much of the homework as I can but being a working single parent, time is limited and he does need to do it on his own. He is 12. I am more annoyed at the school's attitude of "you support us and we won't support you"

soul2000 Fri 11-Oct-13 16:59:16

Is this a selective school. The reason i ask because if it is a selective
school your DS should be capable of managing his time and be able to do his homework at home.

If it is not a selective school and your Ds is struggling there is maybe a reason regards to not understanding the work boredom not liking school and other issues.

If it is the second case, i cant see how putting your DS in a Saturday detention is going to sort the obvious problem out. The detention should be to help the pupil,not for the school to get some sort retribution and justice for the pupil is having a bad time for one reason or not at school.

No pupil would clock up 5 detentions on purpose, knowing the 5th detention was a Saturday one they would do their homework in 20 minutes to avoid that fate.

nkf Fri 11-Oct-13 16:59:26

That's a lot of missed.homework.

flipchart Fri 11-Oct-13 16:59:26

I ended up asking if DS1 could go on permament report at school because by year 9 he messed about so much.
The teachers had to sign how he behaved in class, what his work was like, what his attitude was like, how much effort he put in and his homework result.
We did this for best part of 3 years. Of course at times DS resented it but it was his own fault.
It ended well though.

nkf Fri 11-Oct-13 17:00:10

He can get some if it done during the detention.

TapTapBangBang Fri 11-Oct-13 17:01:44

Perhaps you need to make sure your DS does his homework instead of whinging at the schools clear punishment procedures for children who don't do their homework.

Rainbow Fri 11-Oct-13 17:01:49

Detention isn't working. He doesn't do his homework, then he gets to sit doing nothing or an hour (an hour less for doing homework) and then he comes home. Homework avoided and an hour for him to relax! I had to explain 6 times that the early detentions for being late of going in and helping in the office were enjoyable for DS2 which is why he was deliberately being late!

nkf Fri 11-Oct-13 17:02:00

Can't he do the homework? Or does he it?

Sirzy Fri 11-Oct-13 17:02:05

you support us and we won't support you

But really if you are not helping ensure homework is done then your not fully supporting them.

Punishment isn't really supposed to be something convenient which you can pick and choose when it happens. The school have shown some flexibility but as a result added to the punishment which seems fair.

LIZS Fri 11-Oct-13 17:02:07

I then try to work with him on as much of the homework as I can why ? You shouldn't need to . He knows he needs to do it and hand it in on time . Sorry but a 5.30 finish doesn't wash with me , mine are that time 2-3 evenings a week and still manage.

IslaValargeone Fri 11-Oct-13 17:02:13

The thing is, they have supported you on two previous occasions when they have rescheduled to fit in with your other arrangements.

englishteacher78 Fri 11-Oct-13 17:04:09

Saturday detentions are a nightmare! Schools don't dish them out easily. I would have expected him to have to catch up with work in detentions though.

Rainbow Fri 11-Oct-13 17:04:26

No he can't nfk, I would rather he did but they are not allowed to do anything in detention other than sit there. They get a second detention for talking or having anything in their hands. Doing the missed homework is what I have suggested but no, boredom is the best deterrent

Cynderella Fri 11-Oct-13 17:04:31

I wish our school would do Saturday detentions - I get fed up with managing them after school. We offer a staffed homework club for those children unable to do the work at home. If they attend every lunchtime and do their best to get work done, the staff sign their planners and teachers give them more time to complete tasks. Most schools open the library and/or other rooms for children who need to complete homework at school.

LittleMissWise Fri 11-Oct-13 17:05:36

I think it is your DS who is the problem. I think you need to get onside with the school. He is 12, it will be a lot worse when he is 15!

SirChenjin Fri 11-Oct-13 17:05:38

The thing is, they did support you - they changed the date of the detention. I know they added on an additional hour, but I think they have to show that they mean business, otherwise they will have parents giving all sorts of excuses - so maybe that extra hour is a deterrent?

I would second flipchart's suggestion. DS1 <glares at said child> was on a report card for a year when he started High School - 6 months at the school's insistence, and the next 6 months at mine because I didn't feel his overall attitude had improved sufficiently. He hated it, but it did work <glares at said child one final time>

englishteacher78 Fri 11-Oct-13 17:06:16

We do volunteer shifts in the library after school. Some students are 'invited' to attend.

PeterParkerSays Fri 11-Oct-13 17:06:22

What does "he is expected to go to enrichment clubs" mean in your prev. post OP? Who expects him to? If it was me, I'd tell him that he can't go to enrichment clubs until his homework is up to date - he has to earn the right to attend them.

If the school aren't happy with this, explain that their sanctions - the sit around and twiddle your thumbs detentions - aren't a sufficient deterrent for him so you're taking additional steps to make sure his work gets done.

Please stop being annoyed at the school. no, the teacher didn't turn up to detention - had your son done his work, neither the teacher nor the pupil need have attended.

Rainbow Fri 11-Oct-13 17:06:42

Englishteacher78, they have a Saturday detention every weekend. 2 of DS2's friends prefer Saturday detentions to staying at home and so deliberately get them. I find that so sad!

mercibucket Fri 11-Oct-13 17:07:29

it sounds like you just need to schedule a once a month saturday detention into the family routine, not such a big deal if you think of it that way, i expect he will get bored of it eventually and start doing the homework

SirChenjin Fri 11-Oct-13 17:08:11

To be fair - if the teacher is supposed to turn up for detention, then he/she should turn up. You can't pick and choose which bits of your job you turn up for.

chocoluvva Fri 11-Oct-13 17:08:40

Well IMO the school is being ridiculously inflexible and their sanctions are not having the desired effect.

LibraryBook Fri 11-Oct-13 17:09:20

You seem to have loads of legitimate reasons as to why things can't and won't happen as they should re school. Has it occurred to you your son may have inherited your disdain for the school's authority?

Rainbow Fri 11-Oct-13 17:10:16

PeterParkersays - Enrichment clubs are straight after school like dance, drama, chess, big band, musical theatre etc Every pupil is expected to sign up to at least 3 a week.

I have suggested that he be allowed to do homework but nothing has changed.

timidviper Fri 11-Oct-13 17:11:28

Have you ever thought of giving him some kind of punishment whenever he gets a detention. It would show you are supporting school and may make him improve. So, e.g., each time he gets a detention he is not allowed tv or computer or something you deem appropriate for 1 day, a Saturday could be loss of an outing or a treat.

I think you are giving him very mixed messages by sending him but complaining about it which could cause problems for you with discipline as he gets older.

Sirzy Fri 11-Oct-13 17:13:34

So he can use the other 2 nights to do his homework then.

You seem to be looking for as many reasons as you can why your son isn't managing to do as asked. Its only going to get harder as he gets older so I would get it sorted now.

Rainbow Fri 11-Oct-13 17:14:53

He's not the first child I have had through Secondary school and it is nt disdain for the school's authority. DS1 went to a different secondary school and had problems with homework and a few other things but his school worked with me as I did them and things were relatively plain sailing once DS1 realised that the school and I worked together. This school open last year and was closer to us. They are refusing to work with but want me to work them. That's the problem I have. I have 3 other children who don't deserved to be punished for DS2's mistakes. He should be not them.

Sirzy Fri 11-Oct-13 17:16:01

I have 3 other children who don't deserved to be punished for DS2's mistakes

So get your son to pull his socks up then!

Rainbow Fri 11-Oct-13 17:18:33

Sirzy - he does and on the other nights he does as much as possible.

That is why want it sorted. DS1 was sorted within the first year. It's the "we know best" attitude that seems to be stopping it getting sorted with DS2. Their way isn't working and not just with DS2 but many others but the school won't hear it.

NeverKnowinglyUnderstood Fri 11-Oct-13 17:19:10

when you say you are working with the school it doesn't sound like it at all... it sounds like you are expecting the school to deal with it. without any change from you at all.

I understand about this weekend but really it has got to this point because you are failing to address the problem.

RussiansOnTheSpree Fri 11-Oct-13 17:19:15

There seem to be several issues here. Your DS seems unable to keep up with the work. This is one issue. You are completely over committed to scouts (and so it seems are your sons) and you seem to think that scouts is more important than education. It isn't. Also - the school doesn't seem to be noticing that its detention policy is completely ineffective.

TapTapBangBang Fri 11-Oct-13 17:20:55

You're really coming across as you're not willing to be the parent and punish your own child for not doing his homework and also you're not willing for the school to punish him in their way that has been clearly spelled out to him.

He needs to do his homework. Does he like being a scout? Simple no homework, no scouts. Does he have a playstation? Simple no homework, playstation is gone! Etc...

How are you punishing your own child, it's not just up to the school to rectify this issue, it's your sons and your responsibility too!

PeterParkerSays Fri 11-Oct-13 17:21:00

OP, what does your son do at home when he's supposed to be doing homework? What other treats / incentives do he have at home - screen time, after school activities - that you could work with? Putting £50 of £1 coins in a jar for a computer game and remove £2 for every homework missed etc.

Has he explained why he doesn't want to do the home work?

Rainbow Fri 11-Oct-13 17:24:29

timidviper - I agree. He is getting mixed messages this time. I have supported the school every time up until now. He has been grounded and missed camps. 99% of the time I have arranged things and put a lot of other people out to get to last minute meetings or Saturday detention. This is one occasion that will occur every 2 years , that every section and therefore every leader (my whole family) will be unavailable yet the school will not be flexible enough to work with me the way I have worked with them.

Sirzy Fri 11-Oct-13 17:25:49

The school have been flexible, they have changed another date for you.

TheAngryCheeseCracker Fri 11-Oct-13 17:27:05

but they are flexible aren't they? They let you postpone?

Really, your weekend commitments are not the school's problem.

Rainbow Fri 11-Oct-13 17:27:43

PeterParkersays -He finds homework boring. I have explained boring or not , it needs to be done. He is doing some sort of work. I do check but I don't really know what I am looking at other than subject matter but it doesn't seem to be the right work or the right amount of work. He is a scout and does a lot of activities with them, camps, days out etc. He also likes the computer.

flipchart Fri 11-Oct-13 17:28:11

What about my suggestion of him being on permanent report from a few posts back.
It made a huge difference to us.

NeverKnowinglyUnderstood Fri 11-Oct-13 17:28:58

life is boring.. he has to get over it.
scout stuff is about self discipline as much as other things. He can't demonstrate his ability to do his school work he can't go to scouts.

LIZS Fri 11-Oct-13 17:30:00

How can you say they are inflexible when it got deferred. hmm You haven't responded yet on why he won't/can't do the homework set . Presumably other kids can do theirs in limited time. I'd have thought he should miss the extra curricular stuff until he is producing the goods but you seem to fuel his attitude by not accepting it is his responsibility.

TapTapBangBang Fri 11-Oct-13 17:30:02

Aarrgghhh they HAVE been flexible, they delayed it a week I'm really not sure what more you can ask for?!

You really are coming across badly, he needs punishing. Why are you quibbling over an extra hour punishment. He deserves the punishment. He has to understand things have consequences!

Oblomov Fri 11-Oct-13 17:30:42

Get your son to go his homework. Homework seems to be last on his list. And yours. Why is he not doing his homework? And why aren't you checking that he is?

Rainbow Fri 11-Oct-13 17:30:57

They postponed because I said I was not putting a 12 year old on three trains and a bus for 2 hours and 40 minutes and if the continued to insist that I did I would take the matter to the LEA.

NeverKnowinglyUnderstood Fri 11-Oct-13 17:33:56

just a quick question.
What were you wanting from this thread?

ivykaty44 Fri 11-Oct-13 17:34:23

so let me get this straight

he went to school for a detention last year and the teacher failed to show up for the actual detention? So he didn't do any of that particular detention and got off scot free?

So this extra hour you could look on as that one he missed last year

or hope that there is a repeat of a no show by the teacher and he doesn't get this saturday detention.

I would suggest to the school that the punishment of a detention ona saturday is clearly not working as either to stop your son misbehaving or for the teachers as they don't show up and possibly could they look at another avenue of punishment with you that would deter your dc from misbehaving

RussiansOnTheSpree Fri 11-Oct-13 17:34:28

Rainbow I think the point you are missing is that you should have not gone on the scout trip. You gave completely the wrong message to your sons. It's clear where your priorities lie - with a silly hobby, not with your kids' education.

NoComet Fri 11-Oct-13 17:35:08

I've always wondered what schools can actually do if DCs don't turn up for Saturday or after school detentions.

Fortunately my DDs mostly keep out of trouble, but we live in the middle of no where, no public transport, so I'm certain plenty of DCs have no way home and just don't turn up.

TapTapBangBang Fri 11-Oct-13 17:36:05

Yes whatever they still postponed!

Come on now. I'd expect a better attitude from a scout leader to be honest, yours sucks.

He likes scouts, he likes his computer. Right they're now gone. No scouts or computer unless his homework is completed to the satisfaction of the teachers. Does he have a homework diary?

ivykaty44 Fri 11-Oct-13 17:36:38

RussiansOnTheSpree that is so rude to call hours and hours of volunteering a silly hobby, did you mean to be so mean and nasty?

NoComet Fri 11-Oct-13 17:37:07

Scouting is not a silly hobby and Schools do not own Parents or siblings free time.

Out of hours detentions are IMO very very dodgy.

RussiansOnTheSpree Fri 11-Oct-13 17:41:16

Ivy It is silly if it's stopping a 12 year old from doing their homework. It is silly if its stopping a parent from actually doing the job of a parent. The OP clearly prioritises scouting above her son's homework. I think silly is quite a mild description in these specific circumstances actually. Do you think she has behaved reasonably?

englishteacher78 Fri 11-Oct-13 17:41:37

Parents know the school has this policy and you agree to the school's policy when you send your child to the school.
Our school only uses Saturday detentions for extreme behaviour (or ongoing behavioural issues). They are detentions with the headmaster and they are a BIG DEAL. They are not rearranged for sports fixtures but the date is agreed in consultation with the parents.
I think the sitting doing nothing for a detention for not doing homework is pathetic though. They should be doing the work they haven't done.

morethanpotatoprints Fri 11-Oct-13 17:43:11

OMG, my dcs didn't do homework, we refused to sign the agreement and would never have agreed to saturday detentions as far too busy.
Tell them to stuff it, what are they going to do?
Some schools think they own kids.

NoComet Fri 11-Oct-13 17:43:29

Also I used to do Brownies I couldn't have messed about 24 lovely girls for something like this.

Yes undone HW needs to be tackled, but in still maintain schools can only ask for children to attend outside normal hours. They can not demand.

No way, for example, should well behaved siblings miss their Sat activities because another DC has not done their HW.

RussiansOnTheSpree Fri 11-Oct-13 17:43:35

starball I would ordinarily agree with you about out of hours detentions. But in this case the situation is clearly extreme. 15 homeworks missed in little over a year??? That's really serious. The OP appears to be completely unsupportive of the school, and her son. He commitment to scouting seems more important to her than the fact that her son has clearly serious issues. sad

HardFacedCareeristBitchNigel Fri 11-Oct-13 17:44:58

Maybe time to drop the scouts stuff and concentrate your attention on your DS for the time being ?

I sound flip I know but I have recently had to admit that the voluntary role I was undertaking was simply putting too much strain on my family with an already packed schedule and have therefore taken a massive step back, with excellent results at home.

SirChenjin Fri 11-Oct-13 17:46:31

I don't think Scouting is a silly hobby at all - I think it's a fantastic activity to be involved with that can give you skills, opportunities and confidence which go with you throughout your life.

That being said, I think the school have been flexible by postponing the detention. Does he have a homework jotter which sets out what homework he has for the week? If so, then I would suggest transferring that to a calendar, getting him to show you what he's done, and marking it off as he's completed it.

I would also suggest that you request he is put on report, so that you can see exactly what progress he's making in class and what his attitude to school is like. A bad report one week = no Scouts the next.

FunkyBoldRibena Fri 11-Oct-13 17:47:29

I suspect the reason he isn't doing his homework is because he can get away with it with you as you don't understand it and haven't got time to make sure he does it/check that he has done it.

Time for you to give some attention to your DS it would seem.

Sirzy Fri 11-Oct-13 17:50:30

I am a youth leader (not for scouts) and given the impact on the rest of family would have asked for this one to be rearranged.

But beyond that I would be using scouts or something else he loves as a bribe/punishment. Over the years I have had many young people who have missed things because they haven't done their homework or whatever - strangely it is only ever an issue or a few weeks!

Thants Fri 11-Oct-13 17:50:46

Wow Saturday detentions! That's crazy. I would not let him go. School is Monday to Friday. The school should not be ruining families weekends and it must he very costly opening the school for no reason on weekends!
Clearly detentions don't get through to kids so they should try something new!

IslaValargeone Fri 11-Oct-13 17:52:11

"Some schools think they own kids?" Really!
Consolidating work done at school and encouraging some degree of self discipline personal and responsibility is owning kids?

englishteacher78 Fri 11-Oct-13 17:52:32

A number of people here seem to think that teachers enjoy giving up their time to detain students. We don't do it for the sake of it. There have to be consequences.
I got into trouble for not doing homework (not a detention, it just got mentioned and I was given the chance to do it at lunchtime). As a result, my parents asked that I be removed from the school opera that year to reduce my extra-curricular demands. I wasn't allowed into a school production until my attitude to homework changed. This was my parents' decision. They supported the school.

IslaValargeone Fri 11-Oct-13 17:53:34

*personal responsibility

Floggingmolly Fri 11-Oct-13 17:55:42

Detentions are not supposed to be taken at your convenience. They're supposed to work as a deterrent, and it sounds like this one has achieved its objective. He won't do it again.

Thants Fri 11-Oct-13 17:59:54

Floggingmolly he probably will do it again because it clearly disrupts the parents and siblings more than the child them self and that unfair!
There are ways of encouraging homework that don't mean kids are at school 6 days a week!

englishteacher78 Fri 11-Oct-13 18:02:50

Lots of people are saying there other ways to make them do homework other than detentions. But nobody has given any examples of how they would make sure the work is done without. What are these wonderful techniques you all have that would make all children behave and do their work to an appropriate standard.
This child sounds like a very extreme example I must say. He would have been put on report at our school but this wouldn't get him out of detentions for the failure to submit work.

SirChenjin Fri 11-Oct-13 18:03:53

The school does not put this in place after one missed homework Thants - this is for children who consistently don't do their homework. It's not up to the school to continually encourage and encourage - at some point there has to be a consequence. Seems quite right to me.

RussiansOnTheSpree Fri 11-Oct-13 18:04:27

My DCs all do significant amounts of out of school stuff. If their homework was suffering that would be it for the drama dancing and music lessons, and for the shows and gigs. They all know that. They do their homework. I have cut back on my own playing commitments because I felt there was the potential for negative impact on the kids getting all their stuff done in the evenings if I was also in and out. It makes me sad, but its not my actual job so it has to come below the kids' education in my list of priorities.

TheDoctrineOfSpike Fri 11-Oct-13 18:07:23

OP, can you agree with the school that DS will only do two enrichment activities until his homework problem is sorted.

Cynderella Fri 11-Oct-13 18:08:27

He's only in Year 8 and has had three of these Saturday detentions. If the parent doesn't like it, there is the option with another school that has other sanctions. Essentially, the child is set work and is not completing it. The parent is not prepared to ensure that the work is completed - this is Year 8, not Year 12 when a parent could argue that they are unable to do this. What about revision for GCSEs and A' Levels - are you saying, as a parent, you will not step in if your child fails to complete the work?

As a parent, I would stop all the Scouts, computer etc and establish good homework routines.

moldingsunbeams Fri 11-Oct-13 18:09:40

I actually dismissed a school choice because of Saturday detentions.
In our case though if you did not finish work or were not achieving targets or simply had not scored enough they kept you at weekend.

With an sen dd I imagined she would spend a lot of time there as she is slow to complete work and often gets lots wrong and did not agree with it.

However it sounds like a last ditch attempt to get him to tow the line and I have to think it needs addressing boring or not.

I would not agree to Saturday detentions though, at the weekend dd takes part in a University Junior Youth board and Young Archaeology Club and if she does not attend she could lose her place, both these groups are run by a very well known Uni and both would help her to get a job when she is older and I would not risk that.
If they keep her after school thats a different matter.

ReallyTired Fri 11-Oct-13 18:11:04

Would it be an option for your son to spend a day in internal isolation or be suspended instead of going to the saturday morning detention. Schools can't make children attend detentions, but they do have the option of temporary exclusion.

I feel the OP needs to find another school if she doesn't like the behaviour policy.

moldingsunbeams Fri 11-Oct-13 18:13:20

Having said that if dd was not doing her homework I would be down on her like a ton of bricks.

Cynderella Fri 11-Oct-13 18:14:11

I don't see why the school should offer an alternative sanction because a parent and child want to go on a scout trip. The proverbial floodgates would open and the only children doing detention would be those from families with supportive parents.

LittleMissWise Fri 11-Oct-13 18:15:47

I would have been seriously pissed off with my kids if they had got Saturday detentions, or any detention for that matter. Surely before you agreed to send him there you knew they did them?

morethanpotatoprints Fri 11-Oct-13 18:17:53

Why are so many teachers and parents hung up supporting homework anyway?
It doesn't serve any purpose. If its to learn something then surely this is better done by the teacher at school. If it is to recap, this is also the teachers job at the end of the lesson.
What is so important about homework? and why is it necessary when they have been at school all day?

eurochick Fri 11-Oct-13 18:21:21

I actually think it was unfair of the school to add to the punishment because of parental unavailability at the weekend. That sense of injustice will only serve to alienate pupils and parents.

However, the boy really needs to get his head around homework and get on with it otherwise he is going to have a pretty miserable few years ahead.

cricketballs Fri 11-Oct-13 18:21:46

If you don't agree with their policy - move schools. All I have understood from your posts op is that the school is at fault for not bending their clear rules because your DS can't follow simple instructions, i.e. to do his homework.

It is your DS that has caused you these problems therefore your anger/disappointment should be Dieu at him - what is he going to learn if you put the blame withsschool and not him?

Sirzy Fri 11-Oct-13 18:22:05

I would imagine they added to it to stop parents constantly asking to rearrange punishments.

Cynderella Fri 11-Oct-13 18:23:20


As a teacher, I would be happy not to set homework but, like everybody else, I have to follow the rules. One of them is that I set homework. Another is to chase up and report missing homework.

cricketballs Fri 11-Oct-13 18:29:03

Doing not Dieu!

morethanpotatoprints Fri 11-Oct-13 18:31:13


What purpose does it have though? Please don't think I don't support teachers though as I do on every available thread. I taught myself for a short time, without giving out homework as my students wouldn't have done it. grin

englishteacher78 Fri 11-Oct-13 18:33:57

It should encourage independent learning as well as consolidating previous learning.
It also enables me to give them exam style questions (only an hour at a time) so that I can concentrate on teaching them how to improve and they then practise at home.
For my lower school classes I try to set homeworks which encourage curiosity. Every other week the RSS homework is to find a news story related to RSS and bring it in for discussion in the class.

ivykaty44 Fri 11-Oct-13 18:37:34

RussiansOnTheSpree - how is the mother having a hobby stopping a 12 year old from doing his own homework?
The detention needs to be done by the ds and if he gets an extra hour then so be it - maybe he will think about doing his homework next time - though i doubt it as he already has had several punishment detentions and that hasn't worked so why not do it again as it clearly isn't working

Cynderella Fri 11-Oct-13 18:39:04

The purpose of homework is supposedly to consolidate and extend learning. Often I just set something because I'm required to but I try to make it relevant and worthwhile. In Years 10 and 11, I set practice GCSE questions, background reading and so on. Often I start work in class and it's finished for homework. That way, I can explain how to do it and make sure everyone can get started. Sixth form is almost always essays.

The less able the children, the more straightforward the homework. Setting it isn't an option and nor is failing to complete it. There are always a couple of kids who will test you, but generally I set homework and it's done. If I thought I couldn't set it because the students wouldn't do it, I would question my abilities as a teacher. That's defiance! Couldn't have that or they wouldn't learn anything - they have to accept that you are setting meaningful work and that you care about them doing it.

LIZS Fri 11-Oct-13 18:41:08

If you won't buy into and support the policies and ethos of the school perhaps you should reconsider your choice.

TSSDNCOP Fri 11-Oct-13 18:44:55

So out of curiosity OP what will the school do if you elect not to send DS for the Saturday detentions?

I'm with the others BTW saying DS is being a twat and should be doing his homework and you should be checking it, and imposing sanctions as required as its a total no brainier really isn't it.

ivykaty44 Fri 11-Oct-13 18:50:26

why should the mother or father be checking the homework? The school need to check the homework and if it isn't done then they need to address the problem and if they want the parents support then ask for it or punish the dc.

If the parent say - did you do your homework and the dc say yes, then what?

morethanpotatoprints Fri 11-Oct-13 18:50:43

Thank you Cynderella

I taught A level Sociology and started off with similar homework as you give. My students wouldn't complete it and were out of the realms of tell mum and dad. I ended up setting essays in class and doing peer style marking. I worked on the method of telling them what they were going to learn, teaching them something, then they have a go, then tell them what they have learned.

I just think there are other ways if homework doesn't work and also that it isn't essential or necessary.
I think personal revision is important in the lead up to exams though.

englishteacher78 Fri 11-Oct-13 18:53:35

ivykaty - in Year 8 I would be expecting the parents to look in their child's homework diary and sign at the end of the week that it's been done - and also to use that to communicate any problems.
Year 7 and 8s really do need help to organise themselves. They can't just be left to do it.

moldingsunbeams Fri 11-Oct-13 18:56:04

One of our local schools has homework club in the compulsary clubs choice after school, If you chose to go and do your homework you can go once and get it done or you can do it at home and do other clubs.

If you do not do your homework you have to chose homework club instead of a fun club twice that week as punishment.

I think that should work well, they HAVE to be in school for the compulsary clubs till 4.30 so it stops parent inconvenience and makes them do their homework.

Cynderella Fri 11-Oct-13 19:00:30

@ivykaty: Yes, if parents ensure child has time to do homework and believe it is done, then they have tried. However, after a few detentions for missed homework, I would be checking the homework diary and asking to see the work.

@morethanpotato: My A' Level classes do some essays in class but few. It's a waste of teaching time, I think. If they don't do an essay, parents are informed and they do a detention with the Head of Year. I always give a week for an essay. Most of our lessons are class discussions, planning answers and making notes from class contributions and my additions. Their exams demand essays and that's what they need to do. I teach them the content and skills. I don't sit and watch them write essays unless we're doing a timed essay in exam conditions. And I mark every essay they write!

ReallyTired Fri 11-Oct-13 19:02:35

"I don't see why the school should offer an alternative sanction because a parent and child want to go on a scout trip. The proverbial floodgates would open and the only children doing detention would be those from families with supportive parents."

"So out of curiosity OP what will the school do if you elect not to send DS for the Saturday detentions?"

Schools with after school or saturday morning detentions rely on the good will of parents and have always had done. A day in internal isolation or temporary exclusion is a far more serious punishment than Saturday morning detention. If nothing nasty happens then it all becomes a big joke.

If there are too many fixed term exclusions then the child is encouraged to seek a transfer to another school. However managed transition or permament exclusion for not doing homework is a little extreme.

englishteacher78 Fri 11-Oct-13 19:02:41

@Cynderella - sounds like my A Level lessons too.

Cynderella Fri 11-Oct-13 19:04:53

@ englishteacher78: Perhaps because I teach English too! But I think I would teach Sociology in the same way.

englishteacher78 Fri 11-Oct-13 19:06:28


TSSDNCOP Fri 11-Oct-13 19:19:48

So Really what if the OP just didn't do it. The kid doesn't get expelled, the OP doesn't get fined. In reality she could just say "DS is not coming," and there's not really anything anyone can do about it. Right?

NB I'm ignoring the fact that I couldn't do it myself as I'm the epitome of the Parent That Toes The Line.

SirChenjin Fri 11-Oct-13 19:23:00

Kid could be excluded? Falls further and further behind? Doesn't do well in his exams? Relationship between school and parents break down (further)? Kid doesn't grasp the fact that rules of school and later, the workplace, have to be followed?

AChickenCalledKorma Fri 11-Oct-13 19:29:55

Taking a different tack, I think three after-school activities plus Scouts probably means your son really doesn't have enough time to do homework properly.

Would the school accept a reduction in after school clubs, in recognition that your son already does "enrichment" out of school (i.e. Scouts?)

DD1's school uses a "ROPE" (Record of Personal Excellence) for each student. They are expected to demonstrate commitment to out-of-school activities such as volunteers, music lessons, sports etc. But it includes everything they do - not just the things the school organises. In your position, I'd be trying to free up some after-school time, until your son has a more balanced approach to getting the homework done.

But I also agree that Saturday detentions are the pits and the school has been a bit unreasonable in expecting the whole family to re-arrange a major prior commitment at three days' notice. Can't see any reason why postponing an hour's boredom by a week would make any difference to the school.

Cynderella Fri 11-Oct-13 19:34:07

@ TSSDNCOP: What could the school do if parents will not co-operate with them over the Saturday Detention? I'm pretty sure that a school can keep a child in after school without giving parents notice. I would presume that it would have to be in the Behaviour Policy so that parents are aware it could happen. I'm sure most parents would prefer to be given notice.

morethanpotatoprints Fri 11-Oct-13 20:08:44


It sounds very similar tbh except for the homework.
I guess it depends on where you work and what if any policies they have. The college I worked at were more concerned with fire fighting (literally) and making sure students left without an ambulance. Homework was not seen as a priority by any body.
The kids didn't want to be there in the whole, the teachers quite often less.
There were several changes whilst I was there and my dept managed to get some students to A grades there were a few B's a few C's and mostly D. This was a huge improvement from previous years.

Thants Fri 11-Oct-13 20:34:36

Other options to encourage kids to do homework are:
Giving rewards in the next class to those who do it, they get to do something fun!
Giving them interesting and engaging work to do not just monotonous tasks.
Giving kids choices over what they do for their homework will give them more passion for it.
Giving them longer projects that they build on rather than doing a new short task every week. Then when they have completed the project they will have a sense of accomplishment. Then do awards and prizes for those who did particularly well/worked hardest on the project.

SirChenjin Fri 11-Oct-13 20:56:26

And you know that the school doesn't already do this because....?

I would imagine that the school probably has a raft of measures in place (including many/all of your suggestions) but at some point the piss-takers have to be called into line.

ivykaty44 Fri 11-Oct-13 20:57:52

englishteacher78, most year 7 and 8 will probably need some guidance in when homework should be done or time set aside and homework suggested - but not all year 7 and 8 will need this guidance. Every single parents evening I have been to teachers have remarked my dd2 (now y10) always does her homework and I have certainly never needed to organise her or set her a time to do homework, possibly unusual but some you can just leave to get on with it.

dd1 was a nightmare over homework I supported the school in detentions but often the home school diary got lost or left at school or a teacher had it, so detentions were dished out and she had to do them and walk home afterwards on her own

same home same rules different children

adoptmama Fri 11-Oct-13 21:06:19

OP I'm really not sure what your complaint is. Your son has deliberately ignored his responsibilities and has been given the expected punishment for it. The school were flexible and changed the date. I see nothing wrong with adding an hour of detention on.

Your son needs to manage his workload, learn not to leave big pieces of homework to the last minute and work to the proper standard. You complain he is 'expected' to sign up for 3 enrichment clubs - well that still leaves the rest of the evening and 4 other nights a week, all day Saturday and Sunday. I very much doubt every child in the school is signing up for 3 anyway, so pull him from them. There is no legallly enforceable after school program so even if the school were to be unhappy, unless they are a private fee paying school, there is no way they can insist he attend. Are you sure he needs to attend? Where would he go after school if he were not there (I assume you are at work so can you be sure if he were not there that he would be more likely to be doing homework)?

I'd imagine that he could get his work done if he were properly organised. You could always cut back on his time with the scouts, which you admit takes a lot of his time. You could take his computer away until he shows he can work properly. You need to take a deep breath and really work out who you are angry with and why on this one. The school have done nothing wrong and you are lashing out at them. Your son has a long track record of not doing homework. He needs a sustained kick up the arse. If you have concerns about his ability to organise or manage his work then arrange a meeting with his form tutor or the senco. The fact that your son has had repeated detentions for failing to do his work does not prove that the school discipline policy is flawed. All it proves is that your son does not do his homework.

missimperfect Fri 11-Oct-13 21:32:49

I have a child in year 8. She has activities after school 3 days per week. This week she was up at 6am one morning to do a piece of homework because she had been unable to complete it the previous evening. It can be done. Lots of children have busy schedules and manage to do their homework. You need to set aside certain times specifically for homework, based around your routine.

I have another child in secondary school who was having homework difficulties and has a "homework card" which means the teacher/assistant has to write the homework into their diary for them so it is clear what the homework is and when it is due. I then check the diary and make sure the homework is done. Does your son know what the homework actually is? Some children have difficulties knowing what it is they have to do and organising themselves and they do need help. You need to get involved, work out what the underlying problem is with regards to homework, and find a solution.

I know another parent for example whose child has severe health issues and misses a lot of school - she has found "buddies" in each class her child is in so that they can email or call or text to her as to what the homework is. If they can do it, there is really no excuse for others not to do it.

soul2000 Fri 11-Oct-13 21:58:09

What is the point of detentions if the pupil is just going to sit there and do nothing. Surely try to make the detention of benefit to the pupil not as i said early as some sort of retribution.

If you use detention let there be some benefit to the pupil though learning.

Cynderella Fri 11-Oct-13 22:31:32

Our students do missed or extra work in detentions. Tempting to have them do the filing and sorting but we usually end up teaching them. Last year some of my Y11s used to stay behind on detention night to do their homework because they wanted someone to look at what they were doing. Many children manage homework with no or little parental involvement. Many others would love it if a parent took an interest. One of my Y10s said her mum had agreed to sit at the kitchen table with her every evening and this term, she is flying - after limited progress in year 9, she is developing a work ethic and really wants to do well.

Fairenuff Fri 11-Oct-13 22:50:04

I think you are massively missing the point OP.

How is your son ever going to get qualifications if he doesn't put in the work?

What does he plan to do when he leaves school. How does he want to live his life as an adult?

Does he want to rent or buy his own place, furnish it and heat it? Does he want a TV, maybe a computer (as he likes them so much), a mobile phone.

Does he eventually want to learn to drive and own a car and cover all the expenses involved in running it? Does he want to be able to go out with his friends, go on holiday, buy new clothes and treats for himself and his loved ones?

How is he going to fund his life when he is older, if he cannot get work due to a lack of education?

Talk to him. Make the changes now, before it's too late.

mercibucket Fri 11-Oct-13 22:59:32

homework does not get you a good job grin

Thants Fri 11-Oct-13 23:01:11

Sirchenjin I went to school they don't...

Thants Fri 11-Oct-13 23:01:54

How long is this detention op?

eddiemairswife Fri 11-Oct-13 23:12:25

Someone said earlier that years 7 and 8 need help in organising their homework. Really? The homework is set, the children know when it is to be handed in. Surely they are now old enough to sort it out for themselves. The OP's son doesn't seem to care whether he does his homework or not; at least she hasn't said so.

SirChenjin Fri 11-Oct-13 23:25:36

You went to this particular school Thants?

Thants Fri 11-Oct-13 23:29:14

Majority of teachers use the same techniques. Teachers who are genuinely interesting and engaging get much more respect and children want to work harder for them.
I think Saturday detention is a joke and would not take my child in.

Cynderella Fri 11-Oct-13 23:33:23

Some KS3 pupils need help organising their homework, especially if they've not had much in primary school. Most teachers understand this. When I have a Y7 tutor group, I write notes in planners and liaise with teachers if there are problems.

In the case of the OP, it seems that the child is choosing not to do homework because it's 'boring' and the parents are letting it go. Some parents would see that as wrong and think that the parents should ensure homework is done (I am one of those parents). Some think the child will learn the hard way. This one isn't learning because he is getting one message from school (do your homework) and another from home (Oh, you haven't done your homework. Never mind, go to Scouts). If he had to do his homework before going on the computer or going to Scouts, I suspect the OP would have an easier time and not be arguing with the school.

Detentions are also a deterrent to others - if children see others getting away with breaking the rules, more will try it. As teachers, we are berated by the leadership team when parents complain about too little homework being set. We all need to do as we're told here or find different schools that suit our feelings about homework. And, yes, homework may not get you a good job, but a good work ethic may help you to keep one.

notagiraffe Fri 11-Oct-13 23:37:46

Wow. It sounds like all the adults in this scenario are putting their energies into being right, not solving the problem. Your DC has a problem with homework and he is still quite young. he needs help. No point in people saying 'He shouldn't'. He does. No shame in needing help at times. Don't we all.

Ditch the feud with the school. FWIW, I think their inflexibility isn't helping. As pastoral carers themselves, they must see that you can't renege on your responsibility to your scout troupe and that their suggestions of public transport aren't a viable solution.But he has to do the detention, because he knew the score. And he has to do the extra hour in recognition of how his behaviour is disrupting so many lives, not just his own.

That aside, I think you need to help him set up structures for his homework. If you get heavily involved for a couple of weeks, that's probably all he needs to get him on the right road.
Sort him out with a regular time and place. Somewhere quiet.
Sit with him, get his homework diary out and go through it.
Ask what's needed in by tomorrow, and what is for later in the week. Suggest he prioritises stuff due in sooner, and get him to choose which piece to do.
Compliment him every time he makes a right decision.
Ask which pieces he understands best and see if he can quickly cross off a couple.
If he has vocab, test him on it.
If he has online research, set a timer for him to print out a few sheets and work on them, so he doesn't spend an hour on you tube instead not that my DC have ever done such a thing
If he doesn't understand something, get him to text a friend and see if they can advise.
If he has an essay, ask him to tell you a bit about what he knows about the subject already and then suggest he starts making notes on what he's told you.
Can DS1 help at all - with maths or vocab testing?

Can you agree a reward he gets afterwards for each piece completed? My DC get to watch programmes they're not usually allowed. The argument is that if they are mature enough to do such good homework, on time and without fuss, then they're mature enough to watch Bad Education or something similar.

Do you show interest in pieces he's done? I nab DC's books sometimes to see what score they got for essays I think they did well, or for maths they tore their hair out over, and discuss it with them. That's always a good time to sneak in a 'See - when you work hard you get good results' or a 'stick at it and your grade will improve.'
DS1 went from bottom of class 4/20 in one test to full marks in a couple of weeks because once the tantrums were over 'wish I'd never chosen this subject' he got on with it. But he needed help.

SirChenjin Fri 11-Oct-13 23:38:04

Yes they do - but you are making massive assumptions about what the school does and doesn't do for its pupils.

The fact is that the OPs son has consistently failed to hand in homework. Other children are manage. It's not up to the school to make exceptions for one child, it's up to the child to hand in his/her homework. If you think Saturday detention is 'a joke' and wouldn't follow the school rules then hopefully you wouldn't impose yourself or your child on that particular school and would send your child to another school.

curlew Fri 11-Oct-13 23:39:31

My children keep a rolling list of homework pinned on the kitchen notice board with when it's due and roughly how long they think it'll take. It's incredibly helpful because I can keep an subtle eye without interfering, and they can see at a glance if the work is piling up.

Thants Fri 11-Oct-13 23:49:40

Is it private school?

englishteacher78 Sat 12-Oct-13 05:47:20

Rewards for work done well, project work and all that someone up thread suggested are already done in schools. There needs to be consequences for not doing your work.
I would have thought public transport was an option, but then I work in a school that many of our students travel a long way for - on public transport. It's one of the reasons my form room is open for them at lunch time if they want to get on with some work.
Many year 7 and 8s do need help with organisation. It's different to primary school where they stay in the same place with the same teacher.

soul2000 Sat 12-Oct-13 13:19:42

Talking about organisation. My cousins DD yr 12 doing 4 As levels in
Maths Chemistry French English, she got 7 As and 3 Bs at Gcse. Her organisation skills are awful, she is 17 and she needs constant help from her mother on organisation skills. She never knows which homework is due
or what homework has been set.

Her mother is constantly pulling her hair out trying to get her DD to organize herself.

Some people no matter how bright they are or how old they are are just
crap at organisation and therefore need help.

jensun Sat 12-Oct-13 16:58:22

What school does your sont go to? I like their disciplined and fair approach, perhaps I will send my son there when he is old enough.

Thants Sat 12-Oct-13 17:16:11

Englishteacher. Ime schools don't use the techniques I suggested to encourage kids to do homework.
Yes consequences for bad behaviour are sometime necessary but they don't need to be on a weekend. There is no reason for that.

ReallyTired Sat 12-Oct-13 17:22:03

"Maths Chemistry French English, she got 7 As and 3 Bs at Gcse. Her organisation skills are awful, she is 17 and she needs constant help from her mother on organisation skills. She never knows which homework is due
or what homework has been set.

Her mother is constantly pulling her hair out trying to get her DD to organize herself."

Prehpas mummy has to stand back and let her daughter fail. Otherwise what will happen when this girl gets to uni.

soul2000 Sat 12-Oct-13 17:53:36

You are right Really Tired. Her mother has a wall chart in the kitchen with
DDs lessons on it as well her homework and what day each homework is due. She has been doing this since her DD was Yr 7 and her DD missed doing her homework a few times ending up having a few detentions.

On occasions her DD has told me she ended up doing her homework on the school bus in 30 minutes because she had forgotten which lessons she had that day.

The school is a girls grammar school and they are constantly telling her to get organized and wake up, her form tutor yes Even in Yr 12 is always reminding her to write down her homework required for the next day.

SoupDragon Sat 12-Oct-13 18:00:12

Rainbow - what sanctions do you have in place for missed homework? (I may have missed this somewhere in the thread)

Shootingatpigeons Sat 12-Oct-13 18:11:31

soul2000 my DD is dyslexic and dyspraxic and finds it very hard to organise herself. So she has to work harder and smarter to do so. I could do it for her but then she would not learn how to cope with her weakness. She goes to uni next year, I won't be there to do it for her. So I have to stay on her case, facilitate her with coping mechanisms, but also not let up. Lack of organisational skills isn't an excuse, it's a challenge they have to overcome.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Sat 12-Oct-13 18:17:08

As the boy is a keen Scout, I'd go with the line that one way of keeping the Promise to do his best would be to get organised and get rhs homework done on time.

Rainbow Sun 13-Oct-13 13:31:23

Soul2000- No it is not a selective school. He has a planner/diary to write down all the homework but he writes things like complete worksheet 7. I see a completed worksheet, that is correct as far as I know, and sign it off but he still seems to get the detention for incomplete homework. He also gets detention for having an empty water bottle, a ruler that is too short, and unsharpened pencils.

SirChenJin - 15 sounds a lot but it is just under 4 days worth of homework missed in a whole year. It is possible to earn more saturday detentions than there are Saturdays in the school year. (approx 3 every 2 weeks)

Sirzy - I help him as much as I can but I am limited with the time I have available (when I am not working, cooking, bathing or putting to bed DS4) and the time he is given to complete the tasks (sometimes overnight)

Cynderella - They are allowed to go to the library whenever they wish but there is no help available.

The main thing that is annoying me about all this is that no-one seems to address the real problem. He has been given a Saturday detention for 5 incomplete or missed homeworks (a detention he deserved) but because I couldn't drop everything, he was punished again form my commitment. Yet no-one is prepared to help him solve the problem, they just continue to punish him. I can help him with what I know he has, but if he has miswritten the work down or not written it down I cannot help him. His organisation needs work I know that, but the school need to support him too not punish him for my commitments.

RussiansOnTheSpree Sun 13-Oct-13 13:39:23

There are (at least) 2 'real problems'. One of them is that your DS appears to be getting no support at school for his problem - either severe disaffection, or a SpLD. The other one is that he appears to be getting no support at home for the same. You clearly regard your 'commitment' to scouts as more important than what should be your commitment to your son. That's very sad.

Rainbow Sun 13-Oct-13 13:40:15

notagiraffe- Exactly. It's not a feud with the school as such. You're right it is more about them being right than helping DS2. I went in last year, every morning, with his planner and the "completed homework" to prove that he had done it and his deputy head checked off the work with the planner but he still, once he handed it in" got a detention. The main problem seemed to be that the h/w he had written down was wrong or incomplete, but still not checked his planner at the end of the lesson. "we do not have time to check 30 planners" My argument was then, that 30 planners didn't need checking, just those that regularly failed on the h/w front ie DS2. Maybe 5 would need checking for a few weeks until they got used to the major jump from primary, but no, and it is still a problem in y8.

Sirzy Sun 13-Oct-13 13:42:07

I am assuming other parents are managing to ensure their children do homework given with the same timescale? So you can't really blame that.

If he can't write it down properly why not ask him to ask the teachers to write it into his book? Or you contact the school for that to happen?

Rainbow Sun 13-Oct-13 13:43:35

No Russian, he gets as much help at home as I can give him. but if he has nothing written in his planner, than I have nothing to help him with. My commitment to Scouting is not more important than my sons but it is a commitment that I cannot break at a moments notice. This weekend had been planned for 2 years and I could not let 148 children (including 3 of my sons) down. It is the only weekend ( once every two years) that cannot be rearranged or worked around as I have done in the past.

curlew Sun 13-Oct-13 13:44:35

How does he get to school during the week? If my year 8 had a Saturday detention, I would expect him to get himself there and back.

Rainbow Sun 13-Oct-13 13:44:58

I have Sirzy, "we do not have time" is their answer every time. DS2 is one of at least 5 children in his class I that I know of who are struggling.

Rainbow Sun 13-Oct-13 13:45:56

He takes himself Curlew. I take him to Saturday detention (to make sure he gets there!) but he comes home on his own

Rainbow Sun 13-Oct-13 13:49:43

SoupDragon - he has lost computer, DS and tV time, been grounded, lost Pocket money, made to do extra chores after H/W but, as yet nothing is working.

LIZS Sun 13-Oct-13 13:50:56

Does he recognise there is a problem ?

SirChenjin Sun 13-Oct-13 14:03:01

SirChenJin - 15 sounds a lot but it is just under 4 days worth of homework missed in a whole year. It is possible to earn more saturday detentions than there are Saturdays in the school year. (approx 3 every 2 weeks)

It sounds a lot - because it is a lot! In fact, it's a huge amount of missed homework! It sounds like you're doing a lot to address this, but you say that no-one is addressing the issue. So - what exactly do you want him (and the school) to do to address the issue?

Btw - I totally agree with you re your Scouting commitments. You couldn't have let everyone down, definitely not. It is time to take a back seat for the next year until you get on top of this though?

OddSockMonster Sun 13-Oct-13 14:17:24

Why don't you approach the school and suggest the things you will do to help and the things you think would also help, e.g. checking that he's written down his homework correctly. Maybe suggest that you and they try these things out for a short duration, say three of four weeks, to try and crack it, then evaluate what's worked and what hasn't. If you write it in a 'lets work in partnership' way rather than being angry then hopefully they'll be happy to give it a go.

SirChenjin Sun 13-Oct-13 16:22:57

When we had issues with DS1, I went to see the HT and we worked out what each of us would do to address the problems - so rather than it being his problem (although primarily it was...) we looked for solutions and agreed what he would do to improve things, what we would do at home to support him and the school, and what the school would do. I put the agreement in writing and we all worked towards it. Maybe worth a try as an approach?

eddiemairswife Sun 13-Oct-13 16:26:16

Is there a reason why he doesn't manage to write down all his homework in the planner, or is just carelessness?

frogs Sun 13-Oct-13 16:38:54

Oh fgs, you and he need to man up - your son needs to acquire some initiative and you need to grow some balls. The after-school activities are really not the issue here, nor is the school's so-called 'inflexibility'. 5.30 is not late to get in from school - a Y8 probably doesn't go to bed until 9.30 at the earliest, so he's got 4 hours every evening to do his homework, at minimum.

There are kids who do training for sports every day after school. Kids who swim competitively will be doing an hour's training before school most days. If they want to do it enough, they find time and energy for it

If he sees schoolwork as a priority, he will find a way to get it done. Even if he doesn't see it as important for its own sake, if he sees that you regard it as a priority and are prepared to enforce it, then he will gradually realise that you and the school mean business and it's in his interest to get on with it.

Obviously if you don't regard homework as a priority, and keep coming up with excuses as to why your poor put-upon son can't do his homework, he will consider that a green light to carry on prioritising scouts, computer time and doing sweet fa over getting his schoolwork done. In two years' time he's going to be starting GCSE courses, whose problem is it going to be then? hmm

englishteacher78 Sun 13-Oct-13 16:38:57

Is there a 'report' system? We can't as you say check 30 have written it in correctly but I know the 4 or 5 who can't be trusted and need checking.

Thants Sun 13-Oct-13 17:07:18

Frogs please don't say 'man up' it's pathetic and offensive.
The op isn't a bad parent because her teenager has missed a bit of homework, by that age they should be organising themselves a bit more. But Saturday detentions worry me. Schools should not be dictating our lives. I'm assuming it's an academy which sadly all schools are becoming. It means they value profit over student care. A child needs encouragement and help not being forced to be at school 6 days a week!

SirChenjin Sun 13-Oct-13 17:17:18

Agree. Telling someone (ie a woman) to man up and grow a pair of balls is pathetic.

frogs Sun 13-Oct-13 17:43:20

Aww, bless. If you think 'main up and grow a pair' is offensive, you possibly need to get out a little more. smile

But don't worry, just keep blaming the school for their unreasonableness. Just don't come back in three years time and moan about how much better all the other kids did in their GCSEs, and how the examiners were really unreasonable in not taking account that your ds needed to go to scouts and play on the computer.

Just sayin'.

ravenAK Sun 13-Oct-13 17:44:37

You could suggest a VLE to the school.

We have one, hosted by a company called frog (although tbh my techy colleagues say there are better, cheaper alternatives.)

All teachers set HW on frog - I do this as the class is working & display on the interactive whiteboard.

All students AND parents have a log in. Students can see all their HW (& it's possible to attach resources such as worksheets, so no excuse if paper copy given in class has gone AWOL...). Parents can see everything set for their dc, with due dates etc.

Obviously, it doesn't solve the problem of ds producing inadequate/skimped work which passes muster with you, because you don't know the standard required, but not with the teacher - but if he honestly thinks his work is OK & he's being constantly told it isn't, you probably need to set up a meeting with school anyway, as he'll just fall further & further behind. IME it's much more common that a year 8 lad does know what's expected, but 'cba, tbh'.

School may not want to go down the VLE route but it's increasingly common & I think v effective. May be worth suggesting.

Oh & YABU about the detention, I'm afraid. He does need to suck it up.

SirChenjin Sun 13-Oct-13 17:45:53

Get out a little more? Hardly Frogs - you just need to do a bit of growing up and stop thinking that telling a woman to grow a pair of testicles or to man up isn't pathetic.

Just sayin'.

frogs Sun 13-Oct-13 17:47:28

Ahh, little delicate flowers. Sweet.

SirChenjin Sun 13-Oct-13 17:51:10

Ahh - childish and a bit dim. Sweet.

MaryMotherOfCheeses Sun 13-Oct-13 17:54:02

Just reading this and I think the OP does need to man up.

Is it the phrase you object to SirChenjin or the notion?

In y8, the boy really does need to be capable of getting his act together a little more for himself, and if he gets detention, he needs to suck it up and not do it again. 5 detentions for the same kind of thing is just crazy.

Fairenuff Sun 13-Oct-13 17:56:25

Yes, our school use frog too. It's easy to check what homework has been set. It sounds like he is just not used to a 'homework routine' and you need to help him set this up as a matter of urgency.

Retrieverlady Sun 13-Oct-13 17:59:31

I agree with Frogs. My dd is in year 8 and her tutor rang me to say her homework wasn't always complete. I came down on her like a ton of bricks and she now has to do it in front of us at the kitchen table as we can't trust her to do it under her own steam. We have made it very clear that homework comes ahead of computer time or "fun". There is no way I want to get to year 10 or 11 and still have her thinking that homework isn't important.

frogs Sun 13-Oct-13 17:59:43

Sufficiently non-dim that my dc have only ever needed one weekday detention each for uncompleted homework. After the first time, they worked out for themselves what they needed to do to prevent the situation arising again.

SirChenjin Sun 13-Oct-13 17:59:55

Man up means what exactly?

If you mean be more assertive then just say so, rather than telling a woman to grow a pair on testicles, as if being a man and having a pair of balls is something to aspire to in some way.

MaryMotherOfCheeses Sun 13-Oct-13 18:01:02

Well, whatever you want to call it, she needs to do it.

SirChenjin Sun 13-Oct-13 18:03:09

Ok - well lets be constructive and adult about this, rather than telling a grown woman that she needs to grow a pair of testicles. Fortunately there have been many of other posts which have been much more helpful and practical - hopefully the OP can take something from them.

cory Sun 13-Oct-13 18:05:50

Ds' school went down the same route as flipchart's ds': put him on report so he could see for himself exactly how his behaviour was affecting his performance.

He needed that: some children are bright enough only to need one detention to see where they are going wrong, but ds needed to really have it spelled out to him that this wasn't just some silly idea by his overeducated mother. And the school, thankfully, were happy to oblige.

He is now upstairs doing the weekend's homework, having spent most of the weekend travelling to visit a sick grandparent. By my calculations he should still be able to fit 3 hours work in tonight as well as supper.

trianglecirclesquare Sun 13-Oct-13 18:11:03

Rainbow I really sympathise with you! Do you think he may have an undiagnosed LD? My DS is dyspraxic, and thus hopelessly disorganised, and it is a monumental struggle with homework.

On the point that he does not write down the correct or complete assignments - have you tried a recording device? We had some success with this, as it's techy and he likes to use it. Get a simple, cheap one (for when he loses it....) He can speak the assignment into the device, or have the teacher repeat it into the microphone, or have a friend do it. It's clearly still user-driver smile but it increased his likelihood to get the right information home.

Also... changing schools? Sounds like this one is not doing a great job with him.

And for all the posters telling the OP to just get her 12-year-old to do his homework... yeah, I bet she hadn't thought of that! [head slap] How simple!

curlew Sun 13-Oct-13 18:19:52

"He takes himself Curlew. I take him to Saturday detention (to make sure he gets there!) but he comes home on his own"

So why does whatever you are doing on Saturday have any effect on him doing a Saturday detention? Or am I missing something?

Thants Sun 13-Oct-13 18:22:29

Frogs it's offensive because you are attributing confidence and bravery to being male. If you don't find that offensive then I really hope you don't have a daughter.

Thants Sun 13-Oct-13 18:23:58

Clearly the Saturday detentions aren't working so maybe forcing kids into school 6 days a week isn't the best way to encourage them to be passionate about learning.

bundle Sun 13-Oct-13 18:27:51

Rainbow, is the Saturday detention a new policy or were you made aware of it when applying for a place at the school?

I assume you had the scout commitments before so knew the implications for your family.

I hope that your ds doesn't pick up on all of this - there needs to be a united message from parents and school. Or else find another school if you disagree fundamentally with its rules.

bundle Sun 13-Oct-13 18:31:17

Thants "man up" is a commonly used expression, not a manifesto that the Y chromosome rules.

Talkinpeace Sun 13-Oct-13 18:37:15

Scouts will not pay his mortgage or get him a job.
GCSEs will.
You are failing him if you do not support him in the core areas and allow the supplementary activities to be recognised as such.

In year 10 the homework will ramp up to 2-3 hours a night. Are those times ready in your schedule?

Detention is not working because your actions are making it not work.
No problem at the school, huge problem in the mindset of your household.

cory Sun 13-Oct-13 19:27:16

Thants, this lad is a teenager or near teenager, he will soon be going out into the world on his own; quite frankly he needs to learn to do his work whether he feels passionate about it or not.

Thants Sun 13-Oct-13 19:32:44

Bundle maybe think about what commonly used phrases mean before using them. Just because a lot of people say it doesn't make it right.
Think of the racist phrases people used to use that thankfully most people have reconsidered saying.

Thants Sun 13-Oct-13 19:34:43

2 to 3 hours a night! That's crazy and definitely not true.

Talkinpeace Sun 13-Oct-13 19:39:24

Do you have a year 11 child - doing linear GCSE's ?
I do.
10 academic subjects, a couple of pieces of homework per week per subject plus reading around
the mocks are only a few weeks away ....

RussiansOnTheSpree Sun 13-Oct-13 20:06:59

Thants It pretty much is true.

Thants Sun 13-Oct-13 20:09:58

Things have changed drastically in only a few years then. That is surprising, I'm 24 and did not have anywhere near that amount to do an evening. Yes coursework in year 10 and 11 but even then it did not amount to even close to 2 or 3 hours an evening.

soul2000 Sun 13-Oct-13 20:14:25

Talkinpeace. You can see that you come from an academic background
suggesting the OPs DS will be doing up to 3 hours homework a night.
I suggest it will be a surprise if he does more than 45 minutes a night in YR 10/11.

Talkinpeace Sun 13-Oct-13 20:14:37

Coursework has been abolished in all academic GCSEs.
Have you not been reading about the changes Gove has brought in?
Modules are almost gone.
Retakes are nearly gone.
GCSEs have gone back to the 80's
And as grade inflation is now under control, the boundaries are getting tighter year on year.

Talkinpeace Sun 13-Oct-13 20:17:42

I'm not quite sure what you mean.
To get top grades and therefore to head to decent universities, any kid doing the academic ten will be working a lot
45 minutes a night in year 11 will not open doors to the right parts of the UCAS form.
Revision is back with a vengeance - no completed modules going into the mocks ....

RussiansOnTheSpree Sun 13-Oct-13 20:18:12

9 years isn't only a few years in educational terms.

soul it sounds very much as though the OPsDS isn't doing even that amount of homework. But he probably should be. Poor kid.

bundle Sun 13-Oct-13 20:27:19

Thants, you too need to get a grip
It's an expression which has no agenda. Unless you particularly want to impose one. Which you obviously do.

soul2000 Sun 13-Oct-13 20:36:22

Talkinpeace. Maybe he might be a candidate for the vocational way .
I know you are a big fan of vocational education.

I don't think Op is planning for Oxbridge at the moment.

My niece and nephew did 2- 2.5 hrs a night. when they were in yr 11 at academic grammar schools.

45 minutes a night though is 45 minutes more than i ever did.

Thants Sun 13-Oct-13 20:55:00

Bundle it does have an agenda you just haven't thought about it. Using language that doesn't perpetuate sexism benefits us all.
I can't wait until we have a labour government again and they can hopefully sort all this shit out.

TeenAndTween Sun 13-Oct-13 20:55:26

I've skimmed this thread. Apologies if I have missed relevant information.

1) I think you were right not to rearrange scouts
2) I think school was not massively unreasonable to add an hour to the DT due to rearranging it.
3) The impression I have is that if hw is not done, they do a boring DT, but don't have to do the HW? That is crazy.

There seems to be possible things going on either:
a) your son is failing to write the hw down correctly, so doing it wrong/incomplete
b) your son is willfully not doing hw because boring DTs are nicer than boring hw
c) your son is not capable of doing the hw, and using not wrting down as an excuse to get out of it.

I get the impression you think it is (a).

My DD has difficulty note taking from verbal input, and especially at the start of secondary did not always write down hw clearly enough, meaning she had to go back the next day to clarify.

It is totally ridiculous that the school is not willing to check the planner to check he has written HW down correctly. If he is missing such a number of HWs they should be helping him, not just saying he's got to learn and then punishing him for failing.

I would try to one of
a) ask to speak again in person to Tutor / SENCO and insist they help your son,
b) say in future he won't do detentions for hw not in planner if they haven't checked his planner
c) say HW should be done in place of enrichment clubs (can they really mandate attendance?)
d) move schools to somewhere with better policies

Blu Sun 13-Oct-13 20:56:05

This is what I would do:

Spend some time finding out exactly why he is getting his homework wrong. Ask him to show you the worksheet and where it was that it was deemed insufficient. Get him to show you his planner, and the work that they have been doing in class, and work out exactly what it is his homework should cover. Give him some hints about how to write down thoroughly and in greater detail what it is he has to do.

Check the homework he does against his planner - see whether it seems thorough to you.

Keep this up for a couple of weeks.

Possibly talk to his tutor about whether he is listening in class. Is he concentrating when the homework instructions are given out. Can he actually hear properly? Get this checked, if you are in any doubt.

Since the vagina is the only genital organ with muscle, I would call this 'cunting up' or 'growing a fanjo' in respect for the female power in parenting.

kaumana Sun 13-Oct-13 21:00:43

Time to cunt up! Grow a fanjo!

Blu that's brill.

frogs Sun 13-Oct-13 21:07:16

Thants, do you ever find yourself wondering whether you're being a teeny bit pompous and self-righteous?

Here's a clue: you are.

Blu, I LOVE 'cunt up'. Sadly I fear it is a bit rude, even by my sweary standards. How unfair. We should start a campaign for gender equality in genital metaphors.

Thants Sun 13-Oct-13 21:13:20

I think it's sexist because it is. We live in a society that normalises sexism and inequality so that's why you don't see it. I think addressing inequality and prejudice is important.

Talkinpeace Sun 13-Oct-13 21:15:00

Were your neice and nephew in year 11 between 2 and 18 years ago ?
Just that then the exams they took bear little relation to what is going on today.
Vocational is great, but a lack of work ethic will dump you in the poo regardless of the path chosen.

How does a 'cunt up' compare with a 'balls up' grin

frogs Sun 13-Oct-13 21:20:09

And I think you're being pompous because you are. I can see all manner of things, I just tend not to assume that every who disagrees with me is wrong by definition.

TiP, I think 'balls-up' is matched by 'tits-up', so I think we're all clear on the sexism front there. grin

soul2000 Sun 13-Oct-13 21:28:46

Talkinpeace. Niece was in yr 11 4 years ago Nephew last year.

Niece is 2nd year Liverpool Business and French.

Nephew Yr 12 As levels History Politics English/ Chemistry

Talkinpeace Sun 13-Oct-13 21:32:50

Both modular then.

frogs my fave has always been arse over tit wink and where do moobs fit in .... ?

soul2000 Sun 13-Oct-13 21:40:12

Talkinpeace. I think nephew has to take different units this year and do modular exams the same next year is this right?

I can understand Gove wanting to change Gcse ,what i cant understand
why he wants to destroy everything, surely evolution over a few years would be better. However i think in some subjects coursework should be
used. At University you have assignments "COURSE WORK" so why does
Gove want to get rid of course work in school exams.

Talkinpeace Sun 13-Oct-13 21:50:34

cos Gove is an arse who thinks that his dodgy memories of his own education are the best thing ever
and he wants to stop proles getting qualified as then they might challenge the 'political class'

bundle Mon 14-Oct-13 00:00:04

Ye gads Thants I had you down as a Gove fan. Apols for that

TheDoctrineOfSpike Mon 14-Oct-13 07:46:13

I've seen "strap on some ovaries" and "put your big girl pants on" as equivalents to "grow some balls" and "man up".

I may have missed this but why can he not take himself to detention if he takes himself to school?

The excuse that he is unable to do all his homework because of activities is pretty poor IMHO.

My ds1 is 14 and plays football. He has training/matches 5 days out of 7. He is rarely at home before 7pm. He still manages to consistently complete all of his work to the required standard. I have made it very clear that the day that his training schedule impacts on his school work/homework is the day that it stops.
If he wants to continue he has to keep on top of his schoolwork.
He has a timetable on the wall that he worked out. It shows what days and times he has to study and he sticks to it.

Really, it's about the homework, not the Saturday detention.
If he doesn't do the homework or doesn't write it down correctly, he has to take responsibility for that.

If he can get himself to school Monday to Friday he can do it on Saturday, there is no need for your schedule to make it impossible for him to get there.

friday16 Mon 14-Oct-13 08:31:46

If he can get himself to school Monday to Friday he can do it on Saturday,

Reading between the lines, OP goes away for the weekend doing scout stuff, therefore all her children have to go with her as there is no-one else to look after them. OP doesn't think this is "putting her hobby ahead of her children". Others disagree. Thread reaches no conclusion, as OP isn't hearing what she wants to hear.

RussiansOnTheSpree Mon 14-Oct-13 08:58:18

Friday I think most of us have reached a conclusion.

mercibucket Mon 14-Oct-13 09:51:04

can he copy things down accurately at other times? i suspect not, might be worth checking

wrt homework and a return to one end of course exam - he might flourish under this system, whereas modules benefit the more organised and consciencious. i never did any homework and got all a s with last minute revision. i would get crap grades based on continual assessment. to generalise, boys suit the all or nothing exam style more.

friday16 Mon 14-Oct-13 10:12:11



LIZS Tue 15-Oct-13 08:00:35

Also this is her ds2 we're talking about . She chose this school over her ds1's . Presumably she could delegate some of the homework support to him if she is struggling with the actual content. The main issue seems to be that she does not, for whatever reason, place a high enough value on his homework to enforce it and back up the school on consequences hence neither does he, nor if he is genuinely struggling go in and address this with the teachers or insist ds2 does.

IrisWildthyme Tue 15-Oct-13 10:03:31

Having read through the whole thread I have to agree that the OP is being pathetic and enabling and excusing her son's behaviour, and will be directly responsible for the downward spiral his life is heading for if she doesn't start being more assertive and demonstrating that this matters.

It is quite correct that the punishment should be increased if it is rearranged - having a sanction in place to make this an unpalatable option is the only way to make the family take it seriously - if the previous commitment is really important enough to accept an additional hour of detention, then you suck it up, fair enough.

Every post on this thread from the OP has been more whining about why her son should basically be getting special dispensation to be able to receive a decent education without having to put in any work into it. Life doesn't work that way.

The OP has been doing everything in her power to minimise the unpleasantness of any consequences meted out by the school to ensure that her son doesn't see the detentions as particularly worth avoiding.

A year 8 pupil is perfectly capable of ascertaining what the homework is and writing it down correctly, then getting that homework done as well as eating dinner and having a bit of relaxation time between 5:30 and bed time. If this isn't happening then that's because the lifestyle without doing this is more attractive - and it is entirely within the OPs power to remove privilege and luxury from her son's life to the point that doing it right becomes less of a pain than the discomforts incurred if he doesn't bother, until he earns it back by taking responsibility for doing this correctly. If she chooses not to, she is letting her son down very badly.

soul2000 Tue 15-Oct-13 11:20:41

Why do people punishment or retribution is the way to help the OPS DS
Maybe at this time in his life academic education is not the right way for him who knows maybe when he is 30 it may be right for him but at the
moment it is not the right path.

That's why i am delighted to read in the Times this morning of a plan
to expand U.T.C up to around 40. OPS DS maybe could join a University
Technical College at 14 and be trained in a career he enjoys and is good at.

As i have said OPS DS could choose a more traditional path in his future
extra punishment will just make OPS DS more resentful of school.

The reason my first post asked if it was a selective school was that i believe that makes a difference in the fact that if OPS DS was in the top
25% academically he should be able to do the homework. The fact is the
OPS DS at this time would probably be more fulfilled in a more vocational

soul2000 Tue 15-Oct-13 11:22:39

Why do people think punishment or retribution is the way to help the Ops

KatyPutTheCuttleOn Tue 15-Oct-13 11:29:38

I read Grow a fanjo as 'Gove is a fanjo' - have I been reading too much anti-Gove sentiments?! grin

^"Why are so many teachers and parents hung up supporting homework anyway?
It doesn't serve any purpose. If its to learn something then surely this is better done by the teacher at school. If it is to recap, this is also the teachers job at the end of the lesson.
What is so important about homework? and why is it necessary when they have been at school all day?"^

In order to really learn things thoroughly ( rather than just "getting them" at the time) information needs to be revisited. Ideally the first time it should be revised is on the day you first learn it ( or as near as possible)

^"Without review, most information will be lost from memory.
The best time to review materials is within a day or two after the material has been read or presented in lecture."^

Homework facilitates this!

Picturesinthefirelight Tue 15-Oct-13 11:55:54

I do have to say that I wouldn't ever choose a school where Saturday detention was even a possibility due to dds dancing & mine & dhs work.

However either your ds beds a huge kick up the backside (as my dd does regarding homework) or he isn't coping.

IrisWildthyme Tue 15-Oct-13 12:38:21

They aren't at school "all day" they are at school for typically 6.5 hours. A normal "work" day is 8 hours these days (though it wasn't that long ago when children would have left school by the age of 12 and start would start working 12 hour shifts 6 days a week so children are certainly capable of more! Not that I'm suggesting sending them down the mines just reminding us that children can be as capable and resilient as they are required to be - and it's up to parents to make expectations clear). Anyway that leave a 1.5 hour difference which most schools don't require children to use all of - but the consolidation of knowledge independently during this time, through the medium of homework, is a VITAL part of learning without which a child will not actually learn and will not get educated.

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