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to think that learning to turn up regualrly and on time

(23 Posts)
InstitutionCode Sun 07-Jun-15 20:02:03

is actually an important life lesson?

Where I work we have a lot of temps passing through, although the good ones stay long term and are often offered permanent work, the numbers who are regularly late or only turn up sporadically amaze me. TBH it's not that much better among some of the permanent staff, although again, not the good or respected ones. being regularly late or having poor attendance, affects their chances.

However, maybe it shouldn't surprise me because there doesn't seem to be any real penalty for being late at my DCs school. DS, when small, even said to me "don't worry, you just have to say sorry I'm late". I would have been hated the embarrassment of being late for school at that age. I see lots of DC and parents strolling in as I'm coming away.

Now, maybe some of these parents don't think school is the be all and end all, but never learning to turn up on time and reliably will affect their children's life chances. Or AIBU?

PumpkinPie2013 Sun 07-Jun-15 20:10:06

YANBU! Yes, occasionally, stuff happens and you genuinely can't help being late (I was late to work this winter when we had bad snow because my car door opened and then wouldn't close! Something got stuck due to ice) but not regularly!

I teach 6th Form and the number of students who think it's perfectly fine to turn up late for no good reason is astonishing!

mrloverlover Sun 07-Jun-15 20:11:34


They lock the gates and you have to go and sign a late book at my DC school. Not sure if that's standard put certainly prevents us turning up late.

DisgraceToTheYChromosome Sun 07-Jun-15 20:21:48

YANBU. I posted about my main customer's rather lukewarm (as I thought) praise "we like you because you're on time and do as you're told" some while back.

Just worked out they've paid me about 15% more than I could have got elsewhere over the last 2 years. Money is always a compliment.

formerbabe Sun 07-Jun-15 20:26:59

I see lots of DC and parents strolling in as I'm coming away

Me too, at my dc's school, the same parents strolling in 5/10 minutes late consistently! In fact one does it literally every single day, I am genuinely starting to wonder if she has the wrong start time in her head!

CrohnicallyInflexible Sun 07-Jun-15 20:27:39

There are 2 types of 'late'.
One is before the register closes, in which case, yes you just need to apologise.
But once the register closes (usually 15 minutes or so after school starts), it goes down as an absence and you have to sign the late book. So if you are late too often, there is a procedure for the school to follow and it will be passed on to agencies that can offer the family support.
But really, what would it achieve to punish or humiliate a small child for being late? If we're talking infants (7 and under) then it is not the child's fault if they are late, there is nothing they can do about it, all that is going to happen if you punish the child is they won't want to go to school in future! (Even if the child is playing up and refusing to get ready for school, for example, it's quite likely that there is something else like SN going on and it's not something they can help)

EatDessertFirst Sun 07-Jun-15 20:29:21

I abhor lateness of any kind. Unless there is an 'act-of-god', life or death reason, lateness is unnacceptable. I can accept a timely phonecall or text message to explain unavoidable lateness.

People that are consistently late, without any communication, do so because they believe that other peoples time is irrelevant or less important than their own.

PtolemysNeedle Sun 07-Jun-15 20:31:13

I agree with you that punctuality is important in the workplace, but what sort of penalty would you expect for a small child being late for school. It's not their fault if their parents can't get their children to school on time.

InstitutionCode Sun 07-Jun-15 20:31:40

It's not the child's fault that they're late but they do need to learn that it's not OK. Otherwise, when they're that temp, or whatever, they'll never be offered the good opportunities.

I don't get he late before the register closes thing either. Colleagues who are 5-10 mins late every single day are the most annoying sort. If the start time is 9am, you're late at 9:01......IMVHO

InstitutionCode Sun 07-Jun-15 20:33:32

Perhaps penalty was the wrong choice of word, but there doesn't seem to be anything "wrong" with being late for school and therefore, many adults seem never to have learned to turn up on time.

Once school I know makes parents sign children in, and write a reason. Of course the regulars think it's a joke....

EmeraldThief Sun 07-Jun-15 20:35:58

I work in a school and it is always the same children who are late. Obviously at that age it's the parents fault, but I find it a bit disrespectful. I recall one little girl who always arrived during assembly and had to walk into the hall in front of the whole school and find somehwere to sit. A letter was sent to her parents threatening them with the education officer if it continued and they managed to get her in on time for a few weeks until she started arriving late again, that showed that they could get her in on time if they made an effort but they clearly just couldn't be arsed.

fastdaytears Sun 07-Jun-15 20:37:38

Agree so much. Also, you're not "on time" if work starts at 9 and you've turned up at 8.59 ready to start doing your make up, making cereal using the work milk, eating the cereal particularly loudly, arsing around online and calling nursery to see if your DS has been ok in the 11 minutes since you dropped him off. Not talking about one particular colleague though of course...and if I was she was sacked 4 years ago so I could start getting over it now.

CrohnicallyInflexible Sun 07-Jun-15 20:42:16

I don't fully understand the register closing thing either. But I think it might be to do with the fact that children have to have x hours of taught time per week. The 15 minute morning register period doesn't count towards that. Hence a child could be late but not miss any taught time. And schools like to differentiate because of OFSTED, if a child is late enough to miss some of a lesson it is counted as an absence, and OFSTED frowns upon schools if their absence levels are too high. Therefore it is in the school's interest to count children as 'late' rather than 'absent' if they can.

CrohnicallyInflexible Sun 07-Jun-15 20:43:38

So how would you let small children know that being late is wrong, without punishing or humiliating them, but in a stronger way than making them apologise?

cheminotte Sun 07-Jun-15 20:48:29

Yanbu. Being punctual and reliable is an absolute minimum to get anywhere in most jobs. Don't know what happens if you are late at DC's school as they never have been so far polishes halo

InstitutionCode Sun 07-Jun-15 20:48:54

How do primary schools deal with any other discipline problems and teach children how to behave?

Almost everything "wrong" about small Dc's behaviour is down to the parents. Reading book or homework not done, wrong uniform, no PE kit, it's not DC's fault.

CrohnicallyInflexible Sun 07-Jun-15 21:08:13

Which is why we don't punish for those things- at least not at my school.
Reading book/homework not done? We make time to do it with the children at school. Usually during register, assembly or playtime.
Wrong uniform? No PE kit? For the first week of term, there are usually a few children who have forgotten their kit (as they take it home to wash in the holidays), so they either don't take part, or do it in their uniform depending on what they are doing. By the second/third week we're down to one or two children whose parents simply won't give them a PE kit. So we have second hand spare items we can lend out, or have even given away to certain children.

We only punish children for things that are within their control- how they behave while they are actually in school. We teach them how to behave by modelling and praising when they get it right.

CrohnicallyInflexible Sun 07-Jun-15 21:13:54

By the way, I do agree with you that regular lateness is inexcusable, and turning up promptly needs to be encouraged. I'm just not sure that making small children feel humiliated by being late- when there's nothing they can do about it- is the way to go about it.

Let me give you an example of a child I know. They are regularly late for school as their older sibling brings them. Their caregivers (and I use the term loosely) are usually in bed until well past the time the children need to be at school. If they were to be humiliated by arriving late, do you think they would a)set their alarm clock earlier and try to do better in future or b)not bother even trying to get themselves to school? And yes, SS are involved, but that's another story.

Scholes34 Sun 07-Jun-15 21:42:33

I once did an assertions skills course over two days, with morning and afternoon sessions. At the start of each of the four sessions there was one participant who was always about five minutes late. The person running the course was very pleasant and nice and never said anything. At the end of the course he emphasised how important it is to raise issues you're not happy with with people who are able to do something about it and he turned to the woman who was always late and said in a very calm polite and measured way how disrespectful of his time and the other people on the course he felt her attitude to timekeeping was. She was somewhat gobsmacked. I doubt anyone had taken her to task on this before. She apologised and hopefully took on board his comments.

Scholes34 Sun 07-Jun-15 21:44:11

Ooh, Crohnically - the woman who was always late for my course was a social worker.

Goldenbear Sun 07-Jun-15 22:17:33

It's a 'necessity' to have a start time for school because of the number of people to organise but in a work setting it's more a reflection of a working culture that has not changed for decades, rather than something that necessarily is reflective of 'success'. My DH is often 2 - 5 minutes late maybe twice a week but at the end of the day he gives a lot back, often getting in at 9pm every night. As he works in a private Architects practice, the priority is 'money' and how talented you are in delivering the standard of work needed to get that money. Every so often they will need to stay late in to the early hours of the morning to complete a big project. He's not paid a huge amount to do all of these hours. As an employer you can't expect that level of commitment of hours and flexibility but not offer any in return- I.e turning up at 9.02.

emwithme Sun 07-Jun-15 22:22:09

This drives me INSANE (two ex-army parents drilled it into me that five minutes early is on time, on time is late and being late is unacceptable)

I do an evening course at college two nights a week. Most people doing the evening course work and some commute back from the nearest city - depending on traffic and accidents etc, this can take between 20 minutes and FOREVER, so sometimes people are a little bit later than the 6 pm start time.

One person commutes from a little further away. She is late EVERY week. Does she come in quietly, apologising etc? NOOOO. She barges in, clatters around, needs to sit in a particular seat even if someone else is sitting there, takes out her laptop (not sure why, it's a non-computer based class), and generally starts asking questions that have already been covered - either in the first part of class or on previous weeks. What annoys me most is that she's always got a cup of coffee and a snack in her hand (the college has a Costa that's open until late, and definitely still open when we have a break at around 7.10) so rather than come straight in, she's spent however long queueing for coffee and having it made etc. I found out a couple of weeks ago that she actually GOES HOME (20 minutes on country lanes the other side of college) before coming to college.

I used to commute to work (in the nearby city) by bus. I would leave home at 6.50 every morning, arrive in the city at 7.55 - 8.05 and start work at 9. If I got the next bus (7.20) it wouldn't be guaranteed to get me into work on time because of the traffic - some days it would, some it wouldn't - so I got the earlier bus even though I am not a morning person by any stretch of the imagination (I'd get on the bus and be back asleep again within three stops) and generally had an hour to "kill" (ie read paper, eat breakfast, have coffee etc).

Goldenbear Sun 07-Jun-15 22:24:52

So YABU to a point as whether it effects your life choices is dependent upon the type of work you do. Put it another way, you could be very punctual but actually crap at your job, producing poor quality work that has to be corrected or regularly helped with, in which case a lot of 'time' is lost in doing these things.

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