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To wish that our local primary and secondary school could have the same inset and occassional days

(36 Posts)
ReallyTired Sun 09-Feb-14 17:17:55

Now that the gove and his gang is allowing schools more freedom to set their holidays this problem is only going to get worse.

My children's school have hardly any cross over with inset days and occassional days. I can understand that inset days have to be when they can get hold of a particular trainer, but many inset days are just moderation. It would make family's lives easier if all the schools in a particular town could try to have their inset/ occassional days on the same day. I feel that inset days dedicated to moderation and occassional could be done on the same day across a town.

My children only share two inset/ occassional days (out of a possible 6 days each). For example the secondary school had a christmas shopping day, but primary school has chosen to have their occassional day at the end of the year.

I think that working parents must be fuming. It is really hard to do anything interesting with an inset day if you have to pick up the other child at 3.10. It would be lovely to go away for a long weekend without taking one child out of school.

BatmanLovesRobins Sun 09-Feb-14 17:22:09

What's an occasional day?

TheGruffalo2 Sun 09-Feb-14 17:25:43

Ours are all agreed by the local group of schools so all primary and secondary match up. Really useful as we sometimes share INSET, need to meet about various liaison things and keeps parents happy! We also agree and stagger start and end times to make it easier for parents with children at more than one school. We have great liaison, but then we don't have any academies or free schools within the group!

echt Sun 09-Feb-14 17:26:01

YABU. School must set their priorities according to what needs to be done. If they have external speakers, it's likely they.'ll have fit in with the times and dates they are available. The same goes for anything provided by the LA.

Believe me, teachers would rather not have these INSET days at all, taken, as they were, from their holidays.

poorbuthappy Sun 09-Feb-14 17:30:33

Inset days are dictated by the organisation doing the training. So not the schools decision.

ReallyTired Sun 09-Feb-14 17:33:11

Ds's school had a christmas shopping day last November. It was an an occassional day.

"YABU. School must set their priorities according to what needs to be done. If they have external speakers, it's likely they.'ll have fit in with the times and dates they are available. The same goes for anything provided by the LA."

I used to work in a school and certainly there was not external speakers every inset. The special school I worked in also had an occassional day in November for Christmas shopping which was held on a different day to the mainsteam secondaries.

Contray to popular belief school staff have to find childcare for inset days. I imagine that if a teacher had to find childcare for on ten different occassions because they had two children at different schools that they would be cursing. I can understand the inset days, but surely occassional days can be coordinated across a town.

TheGruffalo2 Sun 09-Feb-14 17:33:44

Sometimes they are poorbuthappy, and we have more buying power as a group of schools - £1,000 a day for a consultant is out of a single school's price range, but when a few of us with a similar focus (e.g. improving writing) get together it is more manageable and really useful to work with teachers beyond our school to share ideas and approaches.

Not saying one size approach fits all, but it works well for us.

ClaudiusGalen Sun 09-Feb-14 17:36:03

Our occasional days make up May half-term.

We do not have any INSET days for moderation. It is all done after school or in the holidays. All of our INSET days involve some sort of external agency.

ReallyTired Sun 09-Feb-14 17:58:59

I think that using the buying power of a group of schools makes it easier to focuss on the needs of staff in different key stages. Teaching writing in Year 6 is very different to teaching writing in nursery.

Secondary schools are set up for teaching huge numbers of people. I think it makes sense to get a huge number of degelates from the local primaries all together on the secondary site for a particular course if all the schools have the same inset.

I believe that both primary and secondary school teachers have a lot to learn from each other. Prehaps the advanced skills maths teachers in the local secondary school can help the year 6 primary school teacher get her gifted mathematicans up to level 6. (Costing less than 1K a day for training.)

"We do not have any INSET days for moderation. It is all done after school or in the holidays. All of our INSET days involve some sort of external agency."

Are you in primary or secondary? Certainly the special school i worked the teachers spent a lot of time doing moderation and writing IEPs.

cory Sun 09-Feb-14 18:01:16

But ReallyTired, surely you don't have to find childcare for a secondary school child? The OP talked about having one child at secondary and one at primary: I thought the procedure here was to take time off for the primary child and leave some food in the fridge for the secondary child? Or am I and my friends doing this all wrong?

Of course it would be nice to be able to take a long weekend away, but you can't exactly say it's a great inconvenience not to be able to do it.

cory Sun 09-Feb-14 18:01:40

Sorry, meant to say "Your OP".

ReallyTired Sun 09-Feb-14 18:10:21

I am happy to leave my just twelve year old on his own for a couple of hours, but not the entire day. I really don't want him roaming the streets unsupervised or inviting his friends round my house without me being there. If he was on his own all day then he would get very lonely.

https://www.gov.uk/law-on-leaving-your-child-home-alone

Children under twelve are rarely mature enough to be left alone for an entire working day. Many year 7s are only eleven years old. In someways a young teen has more potential to get up to mischief than a young child.

DoctorDonnaNoble Sun 09-Feb-14 18:13:53

I'm secondary. We never get to use INSET days for moderation. Wish we did.

spanieleyes Sun 09-Feb-14 18:16:56

nor do we get INSET to write IEP's ( although I accept special schools probably have more to write, I "only" have nine! )

JassyRadlett Sun 09-Feb-14 18:23:51

Question from the uninitiated - what is an occasional day? I get INSET days (and see the point of them though am despairing about how to juggle them once DS starts school) but I hadn't heard of occasional days.

spanieleyes Sun 09-Feb-14 18:26:08

No idea, and I'm a teacher!!

DoctorDonnaNoble Sun 09-Feb-14 18:27:15

I've never heard of an occasional day either.

BackforGood Sun 09-Feb-14 18:28:42

Never had time to write IEPs and 'moderate' in any INSET days when I was in Special school (or mainstream).

BackforGood Sun 09-Feb-14 18:29:17

Oh - never had 'an occasional day' nor a 'shopping day' in over 20 yrs of teaching either

Hulababy Sun 09-Feb-14 18:31:05

We only ever have INSET - no other occasional days off at all. Never known that at any other school I have taught at either.

In terms of setting INSET all the same - well that gets complicated. Most secondaries have 4 or 5 primary feeders. And some primaries have more than one feeder secondary.

So once you get into that chain - you may well be sayng that every state school in the LEA must have the same INSET day, which obviously is never going to work, especially when you have external agencies involved. Out of 5 INSETs this year at my school 3 have had external agencies involved.

BTW - with regards mismatced holidays - I can't see many schools gong down that route tbh. In our LEA even the independent schools set their holidays to match the state school ones. bar the extra 3 weeks on top.

Hulababy Sun 09-Feb-14 18:32:08

Never had INSET for moderation here either - 10 days at secndary, 5 years at primary.

ClaudiusGalen Sun 09-Feb-14 19:04:29

We have 3 occasional days which are used to make up May half-term. One day is a bank holiday, three occasional days, and then one day for which we do 6 hours of twilights.

I'm a secondary teacher, I teach both GCSE and A Level and will be spending 2 evenings after school moderating GCSE Controlled Assessment and 2 nights moderating A2 Personal Studies.

DoctorDonnaNoble Sun 09-Feb-14 19:12:05

Not sure what you mean by 'make up half term'. We get May half term. It doesn't include any of the days we're meant to be in school over the students. Do you break up earlier for summer?

ClaudiusGalen Sun 09-Feb-14 19:16:00

Occasional Days aren't training days. They are school holidays you can take anytime. We have exactly the same term dates as every other school in our LA, May half-term wouldn't exist without them.

DoctorDonnaNoble Sun 09-Feb-14 19:20:34

Ok - I had genuinely never heard of them before we haven't got them marked as such on our calendar.

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