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To think my childrens school is not thinking of the working parent. To the detriment of the child?

(247 Posts)
SayHelloToYourNewLUHuvahh Thu 21-Jul-16 20:45:21

At the end of every term and half term, so every 6 weeks, the school has a 'parents open afternoon' so the school opens its gates at 2.30pm and you can go and see their work at 2.45.

School would usually finish at 3.15.

My kids get picked up by a childminder who has several other children to pick up.

I got all my children's work home today and in bother their learning journals was a photo of them (separate classes, separate year groups) in their class with their work laid out in front of them, next to all their friends and all their friends parents looking at their friends work and them say there with an empty space.

It makes my stomach turn with guilt just typing that.

I asked a friend to look through my boys work as she passed just so someone looked, but she has 2 kids of her own so I doubt she'd have had min chance and it's not really the point.

Am I being precious?

Euphemia Thu 21-Jul-16 20:47:19

What solution would you like? No open afternoons? Open evenings?

PotteringAlong Thu 21-Jul-16 20:47:21

Yes. Because the only option is to not do it at all.

Haggisfish Thu 21-Jul-16 20:48:26

Can't you take a half day holiday? Or have you asked if you can go in a different time?

lljkk Thu 21-Jul-16 20:49:43

I'm sort of thinking 50:50 wrt precious. I don't know why you got a picture of the empty space, that seems weird.

Teachers work long days and I'd feel guilting in demaning from them an extra evening once every half term for a very optional event.

Stinkerbelle37 Thu 21-Jul-16 20:49:56

I feel your pain. I have been both a SAHM and not. I do feel guilt that I can no longer always make that sort of thing. We have an equivalent every week in reception class. Sometimes I go, sometimes my mother goes, sometimes I ask a friend. (It's just a 15 min thing). Whenever I go, I always sweep up any kids that don't have a parent with them. And I just hope that when I'm not there, someone is doing the same for my DC.

But I wouldn't want the school to not do it. Although it gives me the guilt for not always being able to go (hardly ever in fact), I appreciate its a lovely thing to do.

MrsTerryPratchett Thu 21-Jul-16 20:52:02

It's shit. DDs school send things home all the time with guilt tripping, "please make sure a family member is there if you can't be"... Except we both work and the nearest family is 2000 miles away! And there were two in two weeks last term.

Nice to do but if it's always the same children hurt the school really needs to sort it out.

VelvetSpoon Thu 21-Jul-16 20:52:57


There is a presumption in many primary schools that there is always 1 parent in every family who either doesn't work, only works pt, or is self employed so can set their own hours. My DCs school had no end of open mornings or afternoons, school plays starting at 1pm (so I had to take a whole day off), not to mention parents' evenings (ha!!) that finished at 5.30, before I'd even finished work.

It is shit, and unfair. It gets better (slightly) when they get to secondary.

Before anyone pipes up about teachers having lives etc, when I was at primary in the 1980s all events at my school were from 7pm. I know this because my dad didn't get home from work til 6.45 every night, but he never missed one.

divafever99 Thu 21-Jul-16 20:53:41

This is one of the reasons I work part time. I have sacrificed a lot pay wise, had to drop 2 pay bands and obviously work less hours. But I want to be able to take my dd to school a couple of times a week and attend things like this. If it makes you feel any better I have noticed at events like this the teachers make a fuss of the children that don't have a parent attending.

PurpleDaisies Thu 21-Jul-16 20:53:58

Am I being precious?

Sorry but yes. When else would they do the open afternoon? There's no way your children will be the only ones without a parent there.

Lurkedforever1 Thu 21-Jul-16 20:54:40

Yabu. Your dc are unlikely to be the only ones to have working parents. Book some half days and go a few times a year.

SayHelloToYourNewLUHuvahh Thu 21-Jul-16 20:54:54

Teachers work long days and I'd feel guilting in demaning from them an extra evening once every half term for a very optional event.


For the very first poster, yes. The equivalent would be to not do it. Why do they anyway?! We have parent teacher meets and the work all comes back to I is in Easter, Christmas and New Year.

Why do we need to have the guilt every 6 weeks?!

iwanttobeanonymous Thu 21-Jul-16 20:55:08

It isn't the fault of the school that you are not there.

Crankyblob Thu 21-Jul-16 20:55:12

Our school do the same but at the start of the open event teacher reminds everyone that some children have parents "who like her have to work so they can buy them nice things" kind of makes everyone standing there feel a little bit shit.

Parent hood = guilt

GoOnThenYouMightLikeIt Thu 21-Jul-16 20:55:43

We have a lot of parental involvement activities in the school day, probably 2 a term. We can't go to all of them, but do ask friends to keep an eye on DD when we can't. But our school had one evening event like this instead of a day one and you can also look at their work at parents' 'evening' which is a bit early for most working parents. So it is possible to offer things in the evening if you can get the staff to give it a go.

iwanttobeanonymous Thu 21-Jul-16 20:56:16

It isn't the fault of the school that you are not there.

kilmuir Thu 21-Jul-16 20:56:21

Surely you could arrange your work . You know they are happening. Sort it out. Poor kids

Carrados Thu 21-Jul-16 20:56:56


VelvetSpoon Thu 21-Jul-16 20:58:07

Oh, and the 'a family member should attend' dearly being a single parent with no living parents, or grandparents (all died before DC were born) what am I meant to do? Shouldn't I have had children?!

Schools with attitudes like this make me so cross.

PurpleDaisies Thu 21-Jul-16 20:58:16

Surely you could arrange your work . You know they are happening. Sort it out. Poor kids.

Yeah, those poor kids who have a roof over their head hmm

Phineyj Thu 21-Jul-16 20:58:24

I think it is a silly thing to do in this day and age. Something like 80% of mums work and nearly all dads. Not everyone can get time off (I can't - I'm a teacher). So unless you're in an area with high unemployment or unusual numbers of SAHP, that's at best half the parents able to make it. Why not photograph samples of the work and share it online, or have one open evening once a year? It would be less hassle for the staff than what you describe.

PippaFawcett Thu 21-Jul-16 20:58:48

YA soooo NBU.

We get so many invitations to things at the very last minute at my DD's school and that pisses me off no end because if DH and I have a bit of notice, we will try and flex our diaries so one of us can be there, but we can't do it with a day's notice.

It is not fair on the children, a bit more organisation from the school and timing something like this on the same day as the sports day/leavers assembly etc would be great as one half day of holiday would cover it.

To a PP who said to book holiday, the school often gives so little notice there would be no chance of having holiday and holiday is so precious with such a lot of school holidays to cover.

SayHelloToYourNewLUHuvahh Thu 21-Jul-16 20:59:36

Surely I could arrange my work?!

Every six weeks take a half day so I could leave at lunch time to travel that far to ensure I reached my child's work.

People really aren't in the real working world are they? And if that's possible for them and on their life then bloody good for you. I envy you, and feel guilty enough already. Thank you.

SayHelloToYourNewLUHuvahh Thu 21-Jul-16 20:59:59

*childs school

ethelb Thu 21-Jul-16 20:59:59

Yes and no. My parents were never able to attend these things as they both worked full time not close to my school. My mother was a teacher so was absolutely never able to come.

Yes there are one or two times I really missed them when other people's parents were there, but it honestly didn't affect me that much. My parents were still very involved in my education in other ways, more so than some of the other parents tbh.

I do think there has been an increase in this stuff in recent years however, and your children having to sit through this in school time every SIX WEEKS is a little harsh on them tbh.

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