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To think school should give people a chance to be late?!

(43 Posts)
BlueBananas Tue 05-May-15 09:51:07

We were late for school this morning
Lines go in at 8:40, register is taken at 8:50, if your child is absent you have to ring by 9:20
So this morning we were running late because of my morning sickness, at 9am school are ringing me, I didn't answer because I was rushing around trying to get everyone ready and minimise the amount of time we were late by - as you would
So we arrive at school at 9:10 and I'm signing the kids in when the receptionist is all huffy saying "I rang you before why didn't you answer?" I said "because I was running late and busy" she said "well I needed to know why they weren't coming to school" I did this face hmm and said "but they were coming to school, they were just late, if they weren't coming in I'd have rang by twenty past 9 as per the rules" (probably in a more clipped tone than I usually would)

Now I'd had a very stressful morning already and this seriously pissed me off! AIBU to think that sometimes people are more than 5 minutes late so give them bleeding chance before you assume they're absent? And also to think, what's the point in the 9:20 rule if the staff are going to ignore it?!
Willing to accept it's my hormones but this has really pissed me off!

WorraLiberty Tue 05-May-15 09:52:55

You should have simply answered your phone.

It wouldn't have slowed your down by more than 2 minutes maximum.

ilovesooty Tue 05-May-15 09:55:22

People would be fast enough complaining if absence weren't followed up promptly.

AuntieStella Tue 05-May-15 09:55:24

I'm going to say, as gently as possible, that it's your hormones.

It's a good thing when schools check promptly if pupils are unexpectedly absent. And the sooner this can be done after registration the better. They may well not keep track of who travels alone and who is dropped off, so have the same urgency for everyone. It's better for some families to have a mildly annoying phone call, than for a child to be unaccounted for.

Iliveinalighthousewiththeghost Tue 05-May-15 09:58:09

Huffy receptionist. She's in the wrong job. I'm a receptionist and I Am not allowed my off days.

BreconBeBuggered Tue 05-May-15 09:59:28

Annoying for you, but it wasn't personal. If it happens again, just say you were too busy throwing up to answer your phone.

Morelikeguidelines Tue 05-May-15 09:59:48

My first reaction was yanbu. Although it all depends on the tone she used to say she called you.

On the other hand, I suppose they need to chase up quickly in case something has happened on way to school, eg car accident if someone else was taking you child in etc.

Stopandlook Tue 05-May-15 10:00:13


They should have waited until 9.20 to phone, yes.

But, you can get there on time and save yourself a lot of stress. Aim to get there at 8am, that allows time for last minute puking or whatever. This worked for me when I had a newborn and a school run. Yes we were ridiculously early for a few months but I was so much calmer.

Coffeethrowtrampbitch Tue 05-May-15 10:00:27

No, she was BU. If you must ring in to report an absence by 9.20, chasing you up before that time is not on.

You don't sound that hormonal cos when I was going through morning sickness I think I would have chucked the phone at the wall rather than ignored it!

SurlyCue Tue 05-May-15 10:01:03

Im with you OP. Tbh i completely ignore a ringing phone in the mornings unless i am actually ahead of schedule and know i have time to be held up. Twenty past 9 would have been the time for the school to ring. No point having a rule that you have that half hour to call if they are going to call you before that anyway! Seems a bit of waste of their time to be ringing parents before the half hour is up actually.

HetzelNatur Tue 05-May-15 10:01:07

Well she's kind of jumping the gun and potentially wasting her own time if she rings everyone before the 9.20 deadline.

I think she'd be wise to wait until after that.

LonnyVonnyWilsonFrickett Tue 05-May-15 10:02:50

But school can't possibly know which children are walked and which come alone. So if a child isn't physically there at 850, they need to take action. That's half an hour before anyone realises a child is 'missing'

YABU but I suspect it's hormones...

SunnyBaudelaire Tue 05-May-15 10:04:12

well they do have their policies for a reason as lonny said.

SoupDragon Tue 05-May-15 10:05:41

TBH, you should be glad that the school are so hot on pupils who are unexpectedly absent at registration.

However, you are stressed, pregnant and throwing up so I am not surprised you are (ahem) somewhat irritable smile

TeddTess Tue 05-May-15 10:06:52


are you often late? if so i suspect she has been told to chase you up?

bigmouthstrikesagain Tue 05-May-15 10:07:24

I have to say I have never been called by a school to find out if kids are coming in. I don't think you are unreasonable ignoring phone I don't always answer mine if I am busy. If you saw it was the school calling then you perhaps should have though.

The receptionist was not being helpful huffing about you not picking up the call - 10 mins later you are in the school with the kids... Mystery solved. So treating you like a naughty child does not help anyone. I can only imagine that the school has a poor attendance record at the moment so are being sensitive about itconfused.

In the immortal words of Elsa "let it go" op and I hope your morning sickness improves soon.

lordStrange Tue 05-May-15 10:07:56

Well she shouldn't have been huffy with you, so she can fuck off for that smile.

cailindana Tue 05-May-15 10:08:55

For all the receptionist knew, your child had been dropped off and then didn't make it into school for some reason. Would you be happy for school staff to notice your child wasn't around and then wait a good half an hour before contacting you? That would be plenty of time for a child to wander into a road or if in the rare situation they'd been abducted, plenty of time for whoever had them to get away. Unless you have rung beforehand to say your child is ill and won't be in, as far as the school is concerned they are responsible for your child from 8:50 onwards. If that child is totally unaccounted for - no phonecall, no sign of parents etc - then it is good procedure for them not to sit around waiting for the situation to get worse but to quickly ring the parents and be sure that child is safe. The receptionist was taking care of your child and you were snippy with her for that.

School doesn't give people a chance to be late simply because they don't know that you are late. For all they know anything could have happened. Your child should be in school by 8:50, if they're not, have some courtesy and give a quick ring to reassure them the child they care about and have responsibility for is ok.

That secretary is clearly very diligent - most wouldn't have the time or bother to ring. She takes her job seriously and you should be thankful for that. Someone is properly watching out for your child and will notice if things go wrong.

WyrdByrd Tue 05-May-15 10:09:33

As someone who had horrendous morning sickness I do feel for you.

As someone who works in a school office - it's a bloody full on job and the sooner registers are finalised and put away the sooner the staff can get on with the rest of the endless to do list.

Having said that it does sound like her parent relations skills could do with a brush up.

Hope you're feeling better soon thanks.

GoblinLittleOwl Tue 05-May-15 10:19:56

Do you realize it takes at least an hour to ring all the parents who don't bother to notify school of their child's absence.
Do you realize it was set in place because at least two children were abducted on the way to school and their parents didn't know until the end of the school day.
Do you realize lateness is counted against the school- unauthorized absence and they are blamed.
An apology is in order.

Chattymummyhere Tue 05-May-15 10:21:25

School are just doing there job and its good manners to let people know if you are going to be late.

Pregnancy sickness is horrendous but it does not take more than a few moments to ring or answer a phone and say the children are coming in just running late. Then when you get there expect to be asked what made you late.

SurlyCue Tue 05-May-15 10:27:37

Do you realize it takes at least an hour to ring all the parents who don't bother to notify school of their child's absence.

Well 1. OP hadnt failed to notify of absence.
And 2. If it takes an hour to ring all those who failed to notify then it seems ridiculously inefficient to waste time ringing those who arent in before 9.20 as well! Far more logical to wait til 9.20 and only ring those who actually are absent.

LonnyVonnyWilsonFrickett Tue 05-May-15 10:31:34

TBF I don't understand why there's a half hour between registration and parents phoning in to say their child is going to be absent. Far simpler to have the deadline for calling in earlier, so the secretary can tally who is in against who they know isn't coming in and spot any missing DCs then? We are supposed to call by registration time at our school.

Whathaveilost Tue 05-May-15 10:35:03

But school can't possibly know which children are walked and which come alone.

All the schools my children went to and the one that I deal with borough my job have a fat information sheet with info on how the child gets to school, emergency contact numbers and other info ( doctors name, who picks up etc)

I thought all schools would have this information.

SurlyCue Tue 05-May-15 10:36:51

Yes that would make much more sense lonny. Surely if a child is to be absent the parents know before 9am (or 8.40 in this case)as they would have had to leave the house before then. Much more logical to have the ring-in cut-off before the arrival cut off.

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