Change to timing of school day - anyone experienced this?

(95 Posts)
ibbydibby Wed 23-Apr-14 22:20:15

School switched to academy status in autumn term, following notice of special measures earlier in year. Sent out letter during Easter hols informing us that from Sep 2014, will finish at 5pm 3 days a week, with slightly earlier finish other 2 days.

Has anyone experienced this? ie school/academy done this? Am just a bit freaked by prospect of longer day, tired DS (will be year 8), impact on family life (will mean we eat later etc).

Extra time at school is to accomodate homework and sports/hobbies.

5madthings Wed 23-Apr-14 22:22:33

I have a thread on this as my boys school
Is doing the same in Sept, are you in Norfolk? If so it's prob the same School. My thread is in education in the staff room section.

I am not happy about this change, nor the money I just had to fork out for New pe kit!

5madthings Wed 23-Apr-14 22:23:16

My boys go by bus so leave at 7;40am and won't get home till nearly 6pm!

5madthings Wed 23-Apr-14 22:26:35
5madthings Wed 23-Apr-14 22:27:14

My ds1 is in yr 10 and ds2 is in yr7. Pm me if it's the same School!

ibbydibby Wed 23-Apr-14 22:30:23

Yes ! Same school - sorry hadn't realised - should have looked!

5madthings Wed 23-Apr-14 22:32:48

We'll I wasn't sure where to post, was in schoolers centre yesterday and lots of unhappy parents there with kids at same school.

Don't think there is much we can do though as academies can do what they want!

Nocomet Wed 23-Apr-14 22:39:53

Just collect your children after the last formal lesson. Hobbies and HW clubs are not part of a child's legal need to receive an education.

DD2 loves to get out and trampoline and practice gymnastics after school. She would not be impressed at getting home at 6pm (her bus is that awful)

5madthings Wed 23-Apr-14 22:43:43

I can't collect mine as am getting younger ones, they get a public bus. I will tell them and the School that they have my permission to leave at the normal time.

I have no issue with schools offering after school care, but do not agree with it being compulsory. Also I feel fir the teachers as they have to run it, when are they supposed to do planning and marking etc?!

irregularegular Wed 23-Apr-14 22:48:16

But if they will have their homework done by then, it's not really a much longer day is it? And do you really eat as a family before 6??

5madthings Wed 23-Apr-14 22:56:00

They won't have all their homework done, they get an hour one day and an hour another day to do homework, they get more than two hours homework a week!

And actually the boys doing homework at home is a way of seeing what they are doing at school ans being involved in their education, it's important to me to see what they are doing. We eat at 6pm sometimes 5:30. So they will be coming in to eat straight away.

Currently they are home by 4pm and have time to get changed and unwind and talk about their day, do some homework, play, spend time with sibling etc.

I choose not to use after school childcare and I don't want it forced on me, we don't want it or need it!

As my partner works shifts and often works weekends it means they will see their Dad much less as well so it will really interfere with family time.

ibbydibby Sun 27-Apr-14 11:59:53

Agree 5madthings that doing homework at home is a wa of us being more involved in their education.

Originally when I first read letter on email I thought it consisted of just the 3 page letter. However have had another look at it today and discovered page 4 is blank, then there are 2 more pages of info. Re independent study it says that these sessions will take place of traditional homework and that when students leave at end of day, the focus will be on family time and not on completing homework.

Nocomet Sun 27-Apr-14 12:15:46

That's all very well, but as I said above DD2 trampolines and DD1 often goes for a walk when she gets home.

Activities which require Day Light, doing HW does not.

DD2, would be happy to stay till 5pm for well organised sports.

DD1 would swim or two nights a week, but she would absolutely loath being forced to do HW with the peers who she finds hard work all day (DD1 is a quirky dyslexic, with all the social skill problems and peer group unpleasantness that goes with the territory. She wants her own company or her out of school DFs at 3.30pm)

ibbydibby Sun 27-Apr-14 12:59:29

Yep I think a lot of families in simiar situations Nocomet, letter suggests "arrangements" can be made to accommodate when there are clashes with clubs etc. (though on rereading your post I guess these are not club activities, but what they want to do in own time. Agree they need time to do whatever, after a day spent in lessons.)

Re homework agree with what you say. In my prev post I just pointed out what letter said - I don't necessarily agree (I absolutely don't agree!)

There are meetings at school this week. Supposedly re consultation on activities on offer. But hopefully we will be able to discuss concerns re dark/freedom/homework, many of which have already been submitted to school.

5madthings Sun 27-Apr-14 13:44:23

ibbywhen are the meetings this week? There are diff ones for diff year groups aren't there.

I shall be going with a list of concerns!

ibbydibby Sun 27-Apr-14 13:46:08

Sorry 5madthings was generalising as I knew there were 2 this week.

5madthings Sun 27-Apr-14 13:58:05

Just looking at letter, mine are yr 7 which is 12th May and yr 10 the 7th May. So not this week, few panic over!

balia Wed 30-Apr-14 21:08:15

If it is an academy I think they will do as they like regardless of what parents think. Or staff, come to that.

nostress Fri 02-May-14 16:41:01

My son is at an academy that finishes at 4.15 monday to thursday and 1.15pm fridays. They are also encouraged to stay til 5 or 6. He does stay if he has stuff to get on with otherwise he comes home and gets back 5.40pm. Its fine. And he enjoys friday afternoons off/long weekend feel.

MrsMaturin Fri 02-May-14 16:51:31

My older daughter has GCSEs this year and has been staying behind most days over the last few months for extra work or additional classes (all optional). I don't think it's made a lot of difference to her energy etc. The school day is quite short otherwise.

5madthings Fri 02-May-14 17:37:58

The changes are for all years not just gcse years, my elder son in yr 10 will be fine with the longer day but won't enjoy it. Getting home at 6pm is not conducive to family life, my 11yr old will be shattered, going to bed at 8pm,up at 6:40 to leave ny 7:40 it's too long a day.

My partner also works weekends so will hardly see the children, currently on week days he often finishes. At 4pm so sees them then.

I also prefer them doing homework at home so we can keep tabs on what they are doing, be involved and keep up to date with how they are getting on.

We have stuff we do on weekdaynights,getting in at 6pm leaves time for dinner, getting stuff ready for next school day, shower and not much else.

They won't be finishing at 1:15pm on Friday so no long afternoon.

I have no problem with them offering activities and homework clubs but they should not be ccompulsory or run by teachers who have marking and planning etc.

Regardless of doing gcses they are still chchildren and don't need to be doing ten hour days!

MrsMaturin Fri 02-May-14 18:08:07

Ummmm parents who work outside the home and use after school childcare in primary don't get home till 6 or after. Kids adapt. I can assure you we still have family life.

5madthings Fri 02-May-14 18:41:17

That's great if it works for you, we have chosen as a family not to use after school care. We don't need it and we don't want it.

As I said my partner does shift work and works weekends, so doesn't ser the children at weekend's but is around in the week in the afternoon's and that time is important to us,even litte things like on a nice day being able to go to the beach after school and have dinner out. The elder boys like to spend tome with their siblings, but the little ones go to bed at 7pm so they will only see them for an hour which will be taken up dinner and bedtime routine for little ones.

Even things like ds2 loves cooking so he will often get involved in cooking dinner but by not getting home til 6pm he won't be able to do that.

There is also the issue for many parents of the children travelling home alone in the dark in rural areas.

After school care is fine if you need it, I have no problems with any schools offering it, it's great when they do but it should NOT be compulsory or run by teachers who have more important work to be doing. When are they supposed to plan and Mark if they are teaching till 5pm. The majority of teachers already do many hours work in the evenings etc and many of them have families.

Also if you look at the various studies evidence is that it doesn't improve results, if anything it can have negative effects.

MrsMaturin Fri 02-May-14 19:16:00

Well it sounds like the school is pretty committed to this change so I think you need to think about how it can be made to work for your family and what you could do differently. I don't know what the legal position is if you choose to insist your child leaves at the previous time but I suspect that may indeed also be an option as long as they have had the legally mandated amount of education time in that week. I think that you need to recognise though that for the majority of families, with parents working 9-5 ish this could be a really positive change that will improve their family lives as parents and children arrive home together, home work etc already done.

5madthings Sat 03-May-14 00:39:38

Why should I have to adjust my lifestyle to fit in with wworking parents with 9-5 jobs, thousands of parents don't have 9-5 jobs or weekend's off etc.

As I said I am happy for the school to offer aafter school clubs and wrap around care, bit why should it be compulsory?

We have aarranged our lifestyle around my partners job, which he can't change and even if he could then any job in the same area would still be shift work.

I will essentially have two hours with the kids before bed, this might work for you bit doesn't work for us, the 9-5 model doesn't work for many jobs, particularly in the care system and as more jobs are done online and globally etc.

Of you wamt wrap around care then use it, but why should it be forced on families that don't need it?

MrsMaturin Sat 03-May-14 09:12:34

Well unfortunately for you schools are always going to make arrangements which suit the majority and I suspect this arrangement will suit the majority. I take it you don't work atm? Why not get a job as well. Might change your perspective. I can assure you that your family will still function fine and you might not feel as bad about this change in time with the children if you did something else with it. Obviously waiting at home for them to return two hours later every day will be a bit dreary. The other options are change school or as I said in my earlier post see how enforceable this is - because I suspect you'll find it IS NOT enforceable - and then you don't need to worry anymore. At least until your kids demand to stay with their friends - which is a possibility.

5madthings Sat 03-May-14 09:47:32

I don't have a job as my youngsters still a toddler, five children and a partner that does shift work including nights, eve and weekends etc isn't conducive to both parents working.

I will prob start an MA once my daughter starts school. I already volunteer and help out etc, I will go back to work between then it will be part time to fit around school etc.

You talk about schools catering for the majority like it's a good thing, children and families are not automatons, hence why flexibility ie not making the longer day compulsory would be logical.

You haven't said when you think teachers should do their planning and marking? Funny I know many teachers and not one thinks having these after school activities run by teachers is a good thing. But then sadly the changes Gove is making mean trained teachers will not have to be employed. He wants the longer day similar to private schools for all,but they get longer holidays to compensate, they also have different staff to run the after school sessions so teachers aren't over worked and of course much smaller class sizes. We actually looked at private education and it was the longer days and in some cases Saturday classes which put us off.

I take it you get weekends off? And bank holidays? How about I enforce childcare for all your days off so you barely see your children, that is what the result of this will be for my partner. It's not good for children to not see their father Ffs.

When we signed up to state education and chose this school it had a regular 8:40-3/3:15 school day, it's not wrong to want them to stick to that, or at least consult with parents and offer flexibility.

Normal lessons will all be on usual school hours, this is 'emrichment' activities and I could do most if them myself or if it was something they really liked we would pay for them to do it at a club/group with the proper training and expertise, not at a club run half heartedly with a teacher who doesn't want to be there.

Oh and get list with your assumption that I sit at home pining for my kids to get in, we are a busy family of seven with all of them doing a variety of activities on various days and going to friends or having friends over etc just like most families but x5 as we have five children. But yrs we like to do things as a family when we can and all the kids like to as well even the teenagers, some teens do like to spend time with their family as well as their friends, funny that. Or maybe they just appreciate the time they get to spend with their dad as he often works 36hr shifts and works unsocial hours.

And no changing schools is not an option given local schools, plus they are all turning into academies in our county there is a massive push towards this. Though one local school us going to the high court soon to fight the process, and maybe Gove will be out of a job at the next election. We can hope anyway.

Btw I used a nursery whilst I finished my degree, I have used some after school clubs(paid for and run by private staff not teachers) my kids regularly go to things like this and even holiday clubs etc I have no problem with them being away from me and doing activities as you insinuate, we just choose ones that fit into our needs, just like you do with your childcare!!

WhereTheWildlingsAre Sat 03-May-14 11:07:57

* I take it you don't work atm? Why not get a job as well. Might change your perspective*

Why should she? confused. She has already said that this is the lifestyle she has chosen.

Why so agressive?

5madthings Sat 03-May-14 11:57:00

Even ofi

5madthings Sat 03-May-14 12:00:13

Even if I did work I wouldn't want my teenagers in what is effectively 'childcare' after school hours, some days they choose to do clubs etc bit others they are home by 3:45ish and I am often out with the younger three, thru use the time to get changed, chill out, see friends, start on homework or cooking dinner. I sometimes leave a list of jobs they need to do, sorting their laundry, hooveirng etc and they will do those. But having that responsibility of being home alone is good for them!

5madthings Sat 03-May-14 12:03:28

The longer days and transport issues mean they mean kids can't go to scouts, cadets, st John's ambulance, other clubs etc.

What about organisations that provide after school clubs and care and childminders.. All out of a job because schools insist on longer days and just use the teachers to provide this care... The teachers who btw are NOT being paid any more despite the increase in hours and paperwork and responsibility.

Geraldthegiraffe Sat 03-May-14 12:05:58

I clicked on this as the school near me (different area) is an academy and is about to go to 4.30 several days a week. It's not for enrichment though - its so they can fit in extra 1-1 english/maths or an extra gcse.

I really don't like where its going sad

5madthings Sat 03-May-14 12:07:52

Nor do I giraffe,I have a threAd in 'the staffroom' about it as well.

Its not good, it is the privatisation if the education system and academies lack of accountability is very worrying sad

5madthings Sat 03-May-14 12:10:25

The link to my thread is on p1 of this thread.

ivykaty44 Sat 03-May-14 12:19:40

my dd2 school looked at altering the school day so that they started 15 minutes earlier and left 15 minutes later and had friday afternoon off school or stayed for sport. It was stopped by many parents complaining

sadly dd and her year would have loved this set up and were very disappointed as they wanted to be doing sport on a friday afternoon.

It would have meant for us a tight fit for evening sports sessions which are tight anyway - but in the long run having the afternoon on a friday to go and do something else would have been excellent.

Not sure that dd would like to be doing hoovering though after school grin I think she would rather a longer school day than chores at home

Geraldthegiraffe Sat 03-May-14 12:22:02

I've just foudn the thread, thanks. If some schools start doing it, it will soon become the "norm" wont it sad

DontputyourfingerinthejellyNel Sat 03-May-14 12:27:37

5madthings very well said smile.

MrsMaturin you are coming across as very much having a chip on your shoulder and assuming that 5madthings should get a job and assuming that this is a good thing for every family. Not every family needs or wants childcare until 5. I would be homeschooling if this happened.

5madthings Sat 03-May-14 12:33:06

davidwolfe.org.uk/wordpress this makes interesting reading.

ivykaty it's not either or with regards to the sport or hoovering though, mine do sport and clubs etc on some days, but they are home by 4:30 ish. On others they are home earlier and do some stuff around the house, see friends, follow their own interests, ds1 is into programming and making animations and java script and other techs stuff, ds2 likes to make YouTube videos or go to the park and play football or go to the skate/scooter ramps or they go town if they have money they want to spend or dp takes them out or we do family stuff. The point is in having a choice to structure our And their free time as we as a family see fit!

Seriously if kids are going to be out from 7;40-6pm five days a week what next compulsory boarding schools. It's essentially telling us as parents we aren't fit to organise our family life and extra curricular activities. We like the majority of families are perfectly capable of doing this ourselves. Offer the option yes, but it shouldn't be compulsory.

And many studies show that it isn't beneficial, doesn't change outcomes and actually isn't worthwhile for students or staff.

If you want to improve education have smaller class sizes, make sure teachers are properly supported by ta's and children with special needs have the support they need... Only academies like private schools can get away with not supporting children with special needs and there is no accountability for this.. Great system, not.

5madthings Sat 03-May-14 12:36:12

dontput we home schooled our eldest two children until they were nine and six, it was what was best for them, many primary academies are enforcing longer days, my younger kids primary is looking likely to become an academy, if they tried to enforce the longer school day for my primary kids then we will be looking at our options including home schooling again, thankfully the county we are in had a good home ed network with lots of support etc and we are in the position to consider it, not all families are that lucky.

ivykaty44 Sat 03-May-14 12:50:59

I really do think that homeschooling will increase in numbers with the way that schooling in general is going. Longer hours busier days and a general dictatorship by the schools and education departments of what you can and can't do will result in children suffering and the only option will be to take children out of mainstream school and educate them at home.

I have one year and two weeks left to go till we are out of this system

Geraldthegiraffe Sat 03-May-14 12:57:41

Won't it just become the new "norm" though? So that younger parents may go with it, and then new parents who have been through it themselves will accept it as normal etc. And as above many working parents may go with it etc.

I'd potentially be interested in home schooling but I always said I'd school for secondary as I want the subject passion and experience.

ivykaty44 Sat 03-May-14 13:05:54

what the new norm for children to have breakdowns from pressure and exhaustion - yes probably

Geraldthegiraffe Sat 03-May-14 13:10:09

I agree, it's horrible. I think the only teachers that will be employed by some of these academies will be young and/or cheap, not yet old enough to have become disillusioned or worn out. There's a danger we will lose experienced/ dedicated teachers, which I think we already are with GOve's reforms.

I really don't like the whole picture that is emerging.

MrsMaturin Sat 03-May-14 14:17:50

Many countries have longer school days than the UK. This plan is not exceptional - especially as it includes time to help children do homework and extra curricular stuff rather than formal lessons. I think we need to remember that not all dc are raised in homes where they can easily do homework comfortably and consistently. Extra support for those children - without singling them out - is surely to be welcomed?

No I don't have a chip on my shoulder but crikey 5madthings certainly does. I didn't realise that suggesting a capable adult might enjoy paid work outside the home was a mortal insult. One of the ways around a situation when one partner works so much they don't see the family is for both partners to work but doing less hours. I have many friends who have BOTH gone part time (ish) for this reason.

I have also repeatedly pointed out that it may not be possible for the school in question to enforce this. An issue nobody seems bothered about but it is of course key.

WhereTheWildlingsAre Sat 03-May-14 14:23:27

MrsMaurin, it's not a moral insult unless you are suggesting that any other lifestyle choice in unacceptable/undesirable. And that is how your posting reads.

There is nothing wrong with being a SAHM, I work but I completely accept that is a choice others make differently. Stop making it quite so personal and stop being so grumpy!

ivykaty44 Sat 03-May-14 14:24:56

Many countries that have longer school hours have higher suicide rates in under sixteens

MrsMaturin Sat 03-May-14 14:29:57

Where have I said being a sahp is undesirable? hmm 5madthings is complaining that this change will impact on her family life. I suggested that she could make other changes to that family life to mitigate this change (or challenge it or move school). If anybody is judging other people's choices then it would be her with the remark that 'Getting home at 6pm is not conducive to family life' - which is of course absurd as that is exactly how many families successfully manage their lives.

5madthings Sat 03-May-14 14:46:57

My dp can't go part time, if he could he would have done. He works in child protection actually so I know all about kids that need extra support, as does he. The studies show that for those children a system of longer days actually doesn't improve outcomes. They need help and support, as do their families, longer school days don't address the problems they have, it's merely a way of trying yo plaster over the cracks and it doesn't actually help.

Yes many countries have a longer school day and more pressure, they also have higher rates of teen suicide.

There is no reason why it should be compulsory and it us and can be, if you read the link I posted earlier it addresses this issue ad Gove abolished the statutory schooling hours and in academies parents and pupils have few legal rights or ways of addressing any problems.

We have and are challenging it, the inspiration trust who run the academy have form for just dismissing parents concerns.

And it's not as simple as just moving schools, other local schools are becoming academies, one School we took ds1 out of due to bullying and parents who still have kids there have growing concerns. The other option is a Catholic school, we aren't Catholic and wouldn't get a place. I wouldn't move a child in yr10 and doing their gcses.

Ds2 is settled and enjoying school, it has a good pastoral support team (though how long for is anyone's guess) there is lots I am happy with at the school. I will change schools if necessary though am not sure where to.

It's about choice and flexibility, parents shouldn't feel railroaded into having to conform to the system, esp not when they change the goalposts so dramatically, this is not what we signed up for when we chose the School.

5madthings Sat 03-May-14 14:49:59

So if you get home at 6pm and your kids go to bed at what 8-9pm you see them three hours a day, I am guessing you get weekends, which my partner does not and even if he did work part time (which he can't) he would still have to work weekend's so it wouldn't actually resolve the issue. But hey you live in your dream world of 9-5 jobs, parents home every evening and weekend and school fitting in nicely to this and providing free childcare for you. Bugger anyone else if it works for you.

5madthings Sat 03-May-14 14:53:43

And you have conveniently ignored the issue of more work for the teachers 're planning and running these clubs, the loss of time for all their normal planning and marking and the lack of extra pay, but yes let's just shaft the teachers because it suits some parents.

MrsMaturin Sat 03-May-14 14:54:52

'this is not what we signed up for when we chose the School' - that's exactly the problem with the development of academies. What was certain becomes very uncertain all of a sudden. I agree that's a big concern. Thank you for explaining that part time working had been refised. That is frustrating because it would resolve a lot of your concerns.

I don't suppose he fancies changing careers?

(grin Joke, joke! I know that's not feasible)

This is an interesting read and perhaps offers some cause for optimism in your situation - can the school actually afford this?
I reckon this is something many parents will need to think about tbh so it is good to consider how you can make it work FOR you and your children if possible. Are you home schooling the little ones? This is a bit off the wall but if you are, could you change the timing of the day so that they can get up later and therefore go to bed later? That will only work if they sleep soundly in the morning though when the older ones are getting up.

MrsMaturin Sat 03-May-14 14:57:37

x posted (and there I was being all helpful). No I'm not ignoring the time for teachers planning - that's covered by a question of how the school affords this.

My children are of an age where I don't need the school for childcare actually and my partner works away a lot so sorry no, family 1950s ideal here. We still make it work and so can you.

HolidayCriminal Sat 03-May-14 14:58:44

"I suspect this arrangement will suit the majority."

er, it won't. I know the schools situation where 5mT is and plenty of other parents are unhappy about the changes. Like I said on another thread, there's a big rural catchment: rural villages with no street lights or even pavement for walk between bus drop & home. There are safety issues with the late days, too.

MrsMaturin Sat 03-May-14 15:05:15

Well something has to change somewhere because globally longer school days and longer school years are hot topics and if you have young children now this is something that I think will come up again and again.

Out of interest what is more acceptable to people longer days or longer school years - so less holiday. I think I'd go for longer days in secondary and longer years in primary - now that really would be chaos for families!

Hulababy Sat 03-May-14 15:05:22

I would not want my DD doing a longer school day. I do not need childcare, nor do I want it. It most certainly shouldn't be imposed on everyone regardless of whether they want it or not.

Yes, schools staying open longer and/or better childcare facilities outside of school hours for those who need it is desirable - ideally run by qualified childcare staff rather than teachers, or by qualified sports/music/other enrichment activities even better - and at a reasonable price.

But a=many children have other outside activities to take part in and I believe it is better for children to be able to do that. I like that DD does drama away from school - mixing with different children to those inside her own school for a bit, widening her social circle, etc.

I want DD to have daylight time to come home and relax with friends, maybe go out for a bit - and when come back later for homework and dinner.

Enforced longer days should not be the answer.

5madthings Sat 03-May-14 15:09:04

The trust is funding it just not paying the teachers any more... Our llovely sponsor has secured the funding..

And yrs your last reply was actually polite,thanks for that. No I am not currently home schooling little ones, ds3 and ds4 are happy at school, if that changes we will reases, I don't want a later start to the day (they wouldn't sleep in anyway) though the lazy holiday mornings are nice it doesn't work in practise with activities, dark evenings etc.

Surely if your husband works away you appreciate the importance of children spending time with their father? I grew up with a Dad that was away a lot, it is not what I want for my kids, dp is s hands on involved parents (including the shitty and mundane and housework). We want that to continue, it's already a tricky balancing act because of dps job (sadly he can't change careers and if he did it would be a big loss for the kids in the care system he works with as he is bloody good at his job).

It's not unreasonable to think they could offer the after school stuff but not make it compulsory, like they do anyway currently with various clubs and like the majority of schools do. There is no good reason to make it compulsory.

ifyourehoppyandyouknowit Sat 03-May-14 15:15:24

School is not childcare. The only way a school shoulde be able to justify longer hours is if they can prove it will be of benefit to the wellbeing and education of the pupilsw. This clearly doesn't as it is limiting their time with fanilyy, limiting time for pursuing other interests, limiting whatw clubs and groups they can attend and forcing basically an adult working day on them.

Increasing hours ago in compulsory education should be done because adults have to go to work.

ifyourehoppyandyouknowit Sat 03-May-14 15:15:54

Bloody fat fingers and idiotic phone.

MrsMaturin Sat 03-May-14 15:16:20

Well as I'm sure you would agree parenting is about more than simple hours on the shop floor of the home. Time served does not equate to good parenting anymore than time absent means you are making a pigs ear of it. My concern on this thread has been to assure you that the changes you anticipate are not automatically a disaster for your family relationships.

Anyway - what is the reason given for making this compulsory?

5madthings Sat 03-May-14 15:47:13

Compulsory because they can.. They say 'some studies shoe it increases sociability, confidence and peer relationships and makes good relationships between pupils and teacher's

Nothing about educational outcomes. I am asking for the studies they use to justify it and will provide links to those that show diff outcomes, I shall be 'that' parent.. Ho hum.

The thing is dps shifts already mean he goes days without seeing the children, so I know hours 'done' doesn't make a good parent, but in a family where we already struggle to juggle his wiring hours with having a family life this will impact on it further.

Anyway we are busy making an Oscar the grouch cake for dps bday tomorrow, and am at critical point so best go concentrate..

MrsMaturin Sat 03-May-14 18:09:49

I am frequently 'that' parent grin

Here's a thought - the weeks that DP is working weekends inform school that the children need to leave 'early' - at the usual time - because of family commitments.

What's your MP like?

5madthings Sat 03-May-14 18:13:38

Our mp is crap and likely to be voted out next election!

But yes I am going to speak to them 're dps shifts and see if we can reach a compromise, dp works three weekends out of four.

The boys would like to go to some if the activities offered, ds2 would like some of the sport and they would both like computer and chess club, but not two hours, an hour of which is some swanky enrichment activity or homework.

MrsMaturin Sat 03-May-14 18:41:39

3 in 4 is a lot. I think that would be a STRONG factor for you to argue with. You can say 'now look I know you've got parents like that pita Mrs Maturin but we're not like that and this is why...' grin
Shame about the MP. Lib dem? grin

5madthings Sat 03-May-14 18:43:17

Yes lib dem!

MrsMaturin Sat 03-May-14 18:50:29

How did I guess grin Yup LOSER! Oh well - you might get somebody better. It's only a year.

AElfgifu Sun 04-May-14 12:50:12

I'm a teacher, and I think this is terrible.

Our school is currently open 7am-7pm. After lessons there are staff meetings, detentions, planning meetings for school trips, extra help for students who are struggling in course work, reruns of missed practicals, etc.

If teachers do not finish compulsory enrichment until 5pm, when will they run detentions? Are miscreants going to be kept in school until 6? Or are we to lose the only disciplinary tool we have?

When will we see individuals who need extra help? keep in mind that we can not see students alone, so in order to help one student catch up with course work or practicals, two or more will have to agree to stay on after the 5 O'clock enrichment.

Suppose we are doing enrichment, detentions, catch ups etc until 6 or 6.30, will our meetings start at 6.30?

When will we make our phone calls home, put up displays, set up class rooms, do our photocopying, or any of the other thousands of little jobs we have to do on site?

I don't think we would be setting of home until 8.30 or later. Who will be caring for our children in the mean time? What about the premises staff, who clean and lock up after we have gone, what time will they finish? 9.30? 10? Who will be caring for their children? When will they see their families?

The idea that any one anywhere in the country is setting this precedent fills me with dread.

Please, I beg you, for the sake of education across the whole country, don't let the do this anywhere!

5madthings Sun 04-May-14 13:46:37

I have lots of friends who are teachers and not one of them thinks it's a good idea, my concern is fir my children but I will also be asking when the teachers are to have meetings, do marking and planning etc, it's not good, not ggood at all but I fear there is nothing we can do sad

Solopower1 Sun 04-May-14 14:06:24

Sorry - haven't read whole thread, and you don't say in your OP why the school has decided to lengthen the school day. But if it was in special measures, maybe the extra time is needed in order to improve the quality of the children's education?

What I mean is that homework to be done at home can be very unfair to kids whose parents work shifts, or don't have time to help them; or children who don't have anywhere to work at home, or whose parents aren't educated themselves or who don't speak English, etc etc. If the school is trying to raise standards in the wake of a bad inspection result, lengthening the school day is an obvious way to do it.

Plus I suppose it might help families where both parents work full time - but that is only incidental.

I think families where one parent has time and enthusiasm and the ability to help their kids at home are very privileged. I don't begrudge it - I celebrate it! - but other less fortunate families could do with some help.

Finishing school at 3 or 3.30 is selling kids short, imo. In other European countries (France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Poland - don't know for sure about any others) the school day finishes at 5 or 6, especially at high school. The short school day in the UK might even have something to do with our bad performance in international standard tests, eg PISA.

Solopower1 Sun 04-May-14 14:10:07

Yes - a longer school day is not good news for teachers. However, it's not just teachers who can supervise HW periods at the end of the school day. Schools could use homework monitors from local universities for example, and give FT teachers more free periods during the day.

bronya Sun 04-May-14 14:27:13

I would get some legal advice (perhaps parents could club together to pay for this?) to find out whether the school can, legally, keep your children after the end of formal lessons. If they can't, then you present that info to the school and your children simply leave at the normal time each day.

Nocomet Sun 04-May-14 14:27:24

Unless there are a fair number of teachers and SLT on site, many children are not going to feel safe staying. DD1 probably wouldn't have in Y5 and Y7/8.

Apart from actual bullying issues, ill dissaplined, resented HW sessions are going to build up a thousand petty niggles that feed back into the main day.

5madthings Sun 04-May-14 14:37:48

It's not to do with improving education, the school actually gets better results than most high schools in the area, it had a dip one year and the School failed on leadership issues not teaching. Ds1 is in top sets in yr10 and expected all A's and a*s. The quality if teaching and behaviour is much better than my nearer high school that we pulled ds1 out of!

Its 'enrichment' activities and some homework time, basically sports and hobbies but all compulsory! Not extra lessons/teaching, but the clubs will be run by the teaching staff.

Solopower1 Sun 04-May-14 15:23:38

It actually sounds to me like a great opportunity for the children, many of whom would probably be watching TV or chatting on facebook if they weren't at school. And great for the parents too - sports and activities that you don't have to spend your evenings and weekends taking them to. And all this is provided, free, by the teaching staff!

I really think you are very lucky.

5madthings Sun 04-May-14 15:35:29

And when are the teaching staff supposed to mark, plan etc? Yes the clubs are great (some of them) my kids already do clubs and many of the activities I can and do do with them at home, sewing and cooking?!! There is nothing wrong with kids spending some time online or on games consoles etc! It's all about balance and I Cam provide and ensure my kids get that, I don't need school to take over that role esp when it means a day out from 7:40-6pm! And the clubs won't be that great quality, I would much rather pay for specialist provision than send them to a club run by over worked and demoralised teachers, it's not their job!

Fair enough offer clubs and activities but get proper staff in to run them and don't make them compulsory, like most schools already do!

My partner and I actually want to spend tome with our kids, we don't want to outsource everything. Given my partners shifts he won't actually ser the boys as he works weekends.

Great opportunity if run properly and for those that need it!

5madthings Sun 04-May-14 15:36:51

We don't gave to take our kids to activities anyway, many follow on from school for an hour and are run by proper staff and they use buses/ bikes etc, teens don't need to be transported everywhere.

whatadrama Sun 04-May-14 15:42:58

I think i'll have to shut up moaning about our Primary school which is increasing the day by 20 mins from September, your school is far more extreme!

Nocomet Sun 04-May-14 15:54:18

By their teens many DCs do their hobbies at a level that isn't the same as a school lunch time.

DD does gymnastics and trampolining at a sports centre with foam pits, full sized springed floor, tumble track etc. Facilities and coaching skills school couldn't begin to match.

Likewise the standard her friends run and swim at.

Solopower1 Sun 04-May-14 15:55:18

5madthings, yes - I do feel sorry for the teachers having to do this, and agree that they should get staff in to run them.

But it's great, and you are very lucky, that they are prepared to do it. If these sessions were not compulsory, especially the homework ones, maybe they would not be seen as 'cool' by the kids and no-one would go. Or children that were made to go would be stigmatised.

As I said, I think you and your kids are very lucky that you like/want/are able to spend time with them, and they already go to clubs. However, if they are watching TV, playing computer games or on facebook, you're not really spending time with them are you? And what about the other children at the school? Isn't it better for everyone if everyone has similar opportunities to do homework? Plus maybe other families can't afford the time or money, or don't have the transport for their children to join other clubs.

Surely most parents are grateful for these 'enrichment' activities, even if your children are lucky enough not to need them?

5madthings Sun 04-May-14 16:13:20

I agree they may be beneficial for some students but actually many studies show they are not, they don't improve outcomes and you just have tired and miserable children who suffer long-term.

And yes as no-comet says the level of these clubs is not appropriate for many children.

Yes we have a problem in this country with some children under achieving and families that don't support them (my partner works with some if them as he work in children's services) but a longer school day is not the answer to their problems!

And why should my children have to miss out on spending time with their own parent who does care?!! Them spending time with their dad, me and their siblings is far more beneficial to them than what's likely to be a badly run after school club by teachers who don't want to be there.

And there are many many parents at the school who aren't happy with these changes, particularly ad the school serves a rural area and many children will now have to walk home or bike home in the dark or rely on not great public transport. Or parents who pick up from the local primary at the regular finishing tome and then the high school having to make an extra journey in rush hour traffic. Also some high school pupils then go and pick up siblings and look after them til a parent comes home, they will now struggle to get childcare for the younger child, or may not even be able to afford it.

5madthings Sun 04-May-14 16:18:32

If I am watching tv then I am not spending time with them? I take it you never watch tv then? Fgs. And actually my teen doesn't use Fb as he doesn't like it, he is more into programming etc and my 11 yr old doesn't have Fb as he isn't old enough. They may spend some time gaming with their dad as they have some games they share a liking of, or they go out biking or they cook dinner (both like cooking) or we go for a walk Roto the beach, lucky enough to have nice walks etc locally. All stuff we enjoy as a family.

Ds1 has set up work experience in a niche area and was to be doing that after school, far more beneficial than 'environment' club.

I really don't see why I should be grateful for poor quality childcare that we neither want, nor need that is being forced on us and will be detrimental to the time we have together as a family given dps shifts.

5madthings Sun 04-May-14 16:22:29

nocomet I take dd to gymnastics at a place like you describe, she is only three but she loves it and they get to use all equipment, they lower the rings down a bit, it's amazing yo see her swinging from them and then jump into the big pit filled with foam! And jumping of the horse, balancing on the beams etc. It's great for het motor skills and it's a semi structured group perfect for he age, if she continues to enjoy it I imagine by teen years her level will be far above what the school could offer.

As an aside I LOVE the springy floor! And there is one bit that is like a running track only sort of like trampoline, I so want it in my house!

Nocomet Sun 04-May-14 16:58:51

I think that's the tumble track, you learn to do flips and walkovers and things on that first because it's bouncy and easier to get over than the floor.

5madthings Sun 04-May-14 17:01:10

Yes that's what it is, it's fabulous!

HolidayCriminal Sun 04-May-14 17:07:59

Does smack of cynicism, whole thing. OP's school is high achieving already, so the Trust has moved in to try to make it a flagship, capitalising on the high social status of parental intake, nothing the new management team did will be the reason why school did better, but they can pretend it's all to their credit.

Nocomet Sun 04-May-14 17:10:16

Don't get me wrong I'm all for more voluntarycheap/free enrichment activities and homework clubs after school.

I know my DCs are very lucky to be able to afford the clubs they do.

However, compulsion and teens never works. The very children who need something worth while to do in the evening are, sadly, the ones most likely to play up a young PE student and spoil it for the others.

(This is exactlywhat happened at DDs primary football club)

5madthings Sun 04-May-14 17:13:43

Exactly holiday and actually before the trust took over the lea got involved and sent in a 'superhead' who made changes and improvements so the academy conversion wasn't needed or warranted.

Sadly the same is hapopening at my younger kids primary, leadership issues, failed ofsted so lea head sent in and he is fabulous but will be in place a year tops and they are starting academy conversion despite parents not wanting it. And the credit will be taken by the academy despite it being a good school anyway with above average results for the county.

Yes Norfolk had issues with education bit conversion to academy won't address these issues.

5madthings Sun 04-May-14 17:14:47

Exactly nocomet I am more than happy for the school to offer these clubs but they should not be compulsory!

DespicableWee Sun 04-May-14 17:56:41

Mad are you north or south? If your school is the north one within that trust, I can definitely understand your concerns. It always had a good reputation, especially for pastoral care which can only suffer if teachers are frazzled and kids resentful of the extra hours. DS1 used to be at BL secondary until we moved out of the area and that was quite similar in size, ethos and pastoral care levels to H.

We are now in a city and DS1&2 go to different secondaries. Both are changing to academies in September despite neither failing Ofsted. It seems more and more schools are being pushed into it with increased work loads and requirements alongside decreased budgets and conveniently timed sponsorship offers from academy trusts. It's a big concern.

ibbydibby Sun 04-May-14 18:16:19

School is south, relatively speaking. 5madthings I was under impression that the only option for a school put in special measures was to convert to academy? (maybe am wrong though). Lots of interesting points apparently raised at one of the meetings last week (not the one I was at)...sticking point may be that, if children with outside clubs etc are allowed to leave at "usual" time, transport unlikely to be provided. So would be ok for children within walking distance, not ok for those in outer-lying villages.

DespicableWee Sun 04-May-14 19:30:12

That could be an interesting point to work on then. Assuming the outlying villages fall within that perfect distance that is too far to walk and so transport is provided free but near enough to be well within catchment. If there is no transport at 'usual' leaving time that would prevent village children from attending extra curricular clubs, they would be discriminated against due to circumstances outside their control.

Ah, south. Is the college an option to move to? I was always north of centre so don't really know the schools out the other side.

5madthings Thu 08-May-14 12:12:05

There was a meeting at school last night, dp went (I am going to the one next week) dp said the general feeling from the parents was negative, they do not want the compulsory longer day.

Also the students WILL still have homework to do at home, esp in the older years.

Apparently it hadn't Bern decided yet but it sounds like a done deal...

DontputyourfingerinthejellyNel Mon 12-May-14 10:39:42

Any updates, 5madthings or IbbyDibby?

5madthings Mon 12-May-14 13:26:33

There was ameeting last week
Re yr10. And their is a meeting tonight that I am going to.

I think it's a done deal, not happy and will be wwriting to Govenors and trustees but I inspiration trust are tweeting about it like it is happening.

SuffolkNWhat Mon 12-May-14 15:15:33

5mad if this is the school I'm thinking of (over the border) then it's not a done deal yet. I have friends who teach there and the unions are very much involved due to the dramatic increase in directed time.

5madthings Mon 12-May-14 17:10:41

Really Suffolk? That is good to know!! Anywhere anywhere I can write in support of the tteachers? I am going to write to ht and the trustees and governers etc!

Maybe pm to check it's the right school? And if anyone wants to get in touch.

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