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To think that there should be a cut-off point in the day/week when a primary school shouldn't be sending out emails?

(38 Posts)
Rivanshine Wed 08-Mar-17 09:37:23

Our school has been using the 'Parent-mail' system since last year and it all started out well and good with us receiving the end of week newsletter and the odd reminder or notice of something extra happening at school in the near future etc.

However nowadays, and with increasing regularity, emails are being sent out from teachers during the evening/night (i.e. 9pm+) for extra things required (or even extra homework being set last minute) for the following school day. Sometimes we get them during the weekends too. Not all of the parents have (or want!) regular access to these emails and.......shock horror.......some parents have already gone to bed or are even working at the time but the school doesn't seem to realise this and those children whose parents aren't in the loop are turning up without the required contributions/pieces of work/items.

AIBU to think that the kids, parents & teachers should be allowed to have a 'shut off and decompress' amount of time each day to themselves? If only for sanity's sake?

Another thing that the school has also started is the use of 'Google Classroom' to set & submit homework. However we're not thrilled about the children publicly messaging each-other on their main classroom page where sometimes it's got a bit too competitive & nasty and the teacher has even had to step in (online!) to calm it all down! A couple of the other mums have said that they're still going in to ask for a paper copy of the homework each time because they haven't got laptops or desktop computers at home and apparently they've been questioned as to why they don't have the required technology before being reluctantly handed a print-out!

Anyone else experiencing a similar situation with their kids schools? brew

MrsTwix Wed 08-Mar-17 09:46:41

If it suits the teachers to work after their DC are in bed it's not unreasonable of them to use the system at that time. However for the next day that's ridiculous.

Personally I'd send an email to the head saying that you check your emails at e.g. 4pm 6pm whatever you think is reasonable, and you are sure that they will understand that anything sent after that time won't be seen until the following day.

I think online homework setting in general is a good thing, it stops the DC saying I lost it I forgot it etc, but I see no need for the children to use the online classroom as a social media area.

MrsTwix Wed 08-Mar-17 09:48:27

Any children who don't have a printer at home should be able to and encouraged to print it out at school. Themselves not the teacher in my opinion.

MrsTwix Wed 08-Mar-17 09:51:22

Just to be clear that's my view as a teacher and a (step)parent. I always make sure children can print if needed when I set stuff online, and my DSD usually prints hers at school even though we have a printer here. Not sure why she does that, now I think about it, but she is one of those born organised people.

Laiste Wed 08-Mar-17 09:52:46

YANBU i agree there should be a minimum amount of time (24 hours?) between an email request for something and it's deadline.

You can't be emailing parents at 9pm for stuff to be in/done the next day!

thepatchworkcat Wed 08-Mar-17 09:55:49

That sounds like a bad system - as a teacher we can't email/text parents ourselves at my school, only the office can send out messages. The teachers are not being unreasonable working in the evenings but I agree they shouldn't be sending messages to you late at night and expecting things done in a short timescale! I think the school might need to review this system.

BitOutOfPractice Wed 08-Mar-17 09:58:10

24 hours isn't enough. Parents also, like teachers, have jobs and other commitments that they can't just drop to organise stuff

At DD2's school they had a good trick. They'd tell you months in advance that the school play would take place on x week. But not tell you the day until the very last minute. Right. So you want me to take the whole week off so as not to miss the play? Utterly ridiculous.

I know teachers are busy and work hard. And I appreciate that. But some of them are shockingly disorganised and/or have no awareness of what impact their requests have on parents and the children.

budgiegirl Wed 08-Mar-17 09:58:31

I think it's fine for a teacher to email at any time of day to suit them, but not requesting items / setting homework for the following day. Not sure what age your children are, but surely many children would be in bed at 9pm, so when are they expecting them to do the homework?

Laiste Wed 08-Mar-17 09:59:36

''A couple of the other mums have said that they're still going in to ask for a paper copy of the homework each time because they haven't got laptops or desktop computers at home and apparently they've been questioned as to why they don't have the required technology before being reluctantly handed a print-out!''

<groan> this will be us in a couple of years. Not everyone has the tech for this and it shouldn't be frowned upon. Internet connection ... fair enough pretty standard and to be expected as an educational tool once you have DCs, but a printer, decent paper, ink refills and and devices which will link to a printer - not so standard yet.

Laiste Wed 08-Mar-17 10:00:49

And yeah - 48 hours min. notice from an email.

BertieBotts Wed 08-Mar-17 10:02:33

I think yabu to request no emails be sent, the whole point of email is that you can do it at any time. But yanbu to expect a reasonable amount of notice for requests.

I don't know about Google classroom, can the work be done on a tablet? I don't think it's unreasonable for the school to expect families to have some kind of tech available. But a print out seems reasonable if not.

Room1o1 Wed 08-Mar-17 10:19:28

Agree with most of the above.

The beauty of emails is to send them at any time without bothering anyone, so absolutely no issue with email send at 9pm or 3am.

Less than 48 hours notice is however ridiculous. If you must send an email reminder for the next day (I don't know, don't forget your water bottle/ special notebook and paper for a school trip), then strictly no later than 7pm!

steppemum Wed 08-Mar-17 10:23:02

I do think sometimes this is just thoughtlessness on behalf of staff/school, and in my experience, once things are pointed out they do get better.

So, I would write a very clear letter, expressing what you have said in the op with clear ways forward (we did this over dress up days, we asked for 2 weeks notice, and at the very bare minimum, a weekend, so working parents had a chance to do it)
So, requests for work/items to be brought in should be 48 hours notice.
All work on google classroom shoudl also be available offline, or in downloadable for so that parents can chose to opt out of the on-line debate.
Point out that not all families are able to provide the computer/printer access needed, (we used to live in a village with zero broadband, doing any on-line research was just not possible) and suggest:
All on-line/printable work should be:
1. available in paper form on request (chilc should be able to request it, parent shouldn't have to go in
2. homework should be able to be emailed in for school to print out if no printer at home OR the pupils should be able to go to library/computer room at break to print it out.
3. if computer based homework is a continual problem for some families (I am assuming they don't have many PP kids then??) that there should be homework space provided at school. EG, computer room available at lunchtime for their use. (dd does a lot of her homework on the library computers at lunchtime)

FiveMinutesAlone Wed 08-Mar-17 10:24:45

Agree that it's not the time of day emails are sent that's the problem - it's the short notice.

They really should have a minimum amount of notice between the email and the deadline. Longer than 24 hours if it's about extra things to bring in or extra homework.

seven201 Wed 08-Mar-17 10:25:43

I send school emails in the evening but there's no way I'd give such a short timeframe.

EnormousTiger Wed 08-Mar-17 10:28:15

The general point that schools should give parents enough notice is very valid. I put school concerts, sporst days etc in my diary and I have work engagements backing up to 2018 already so the sooner the school can give me a dat the sooner I can make sure I don't book a work meeting when it is on. We got a school letter in the post which arrived 1 hour before the children had to tell the school their lunch choice at a restaurant recently for a school trip. I emailed immediately and said we'd just got the letter and I texted my son at school the menu and the school allowed a bit more time. Apparently it takes far too long for the office to post the letters.

melj1213 Wed 08-Mar-17 10:29:39

YANBU to be annoyed by late notice emails - my DDs school used to do the same until a few of us parents all grouped together and agreed that if an email was sent to us after about 6/7pm for the following day we weren't going to do it. My boss wouldn't give me less than 12 hours notice to get an important piece of work together, why does my DDs teacher think she can? Especially when the message isn't recieved until she is getting ready for or in already in bed ... it just meant she was sent to school with a note saying "DD didn't bring XYZ today as we didn't have one to hand and with less than 12 hours notice it was impossible to get one overnight."

We spoke to the teacher but when the late/short notice emails still didn't stop we made an appointment with the head teacher and took in a list of emails, the timescale and the the request to show how unreasonable they were and how frequently it was happening. She hadn't realised just how often the teachers were using Parentmail for last minute requests that were understandably impossible and she had a meeting with all the teachers and things got a lot better.

ellesbellesxxx Wed 08-Mar-17 10:31:22

We have been told 5pm cut off for texts for Reminders. But at least a weeks notice for events etc (if not more!)

Youdosomething Wed 08-Mar-17 10:33:30

Working in schools I would have been delighted that parents had brought this to our attention. Perhaps the school will feel they can say to staff that there isn't a need to contact parents after say 7pm and staff will be delighted too.
I spent many an evening responding to parent emails late at night, parents who required and expected an immediate response that I felt I needed to act upon.
Might suit everyone all round to have the conversation and put some suitable expectations in place.

Rivanshine Wed 08-Mar-17 10:35:06

Just to clarify.......

During the week we get emails that turn up the evening requesting things or contributions that are then expected to be brought into school the very next morning but, as I said before, if we hadn't read the email then the kids (and me!) are turning up empty handed I'm afraid!

It's at the weekends that an extra bit of homework will sometimes appear online and it's expected to be completed and submitted via the Google Classroom program (sometimes using the Sumdog app as well).

Usually the homework needs to be typed up (or like last weeks you needed to use 'slides' - basically Powerpoint - to present the piece) so using a tablet is nigh on impossible for the task.

Oh, and our DD's are only 9 & 7 but at 36 I feel like a dinosaur compared to them and their tech usage! wink

steppemum Wed 08-Mar-17 10:36:16

can I also point out that I have a smartphone, but do emails on my laptop, which I use during the day for work.
So, once I have done school run, I do not see emails until the following day.
texts yes, emails no.
To me it is ridiculous to have an email at 9 pm for anything. Kids in bed or on the way to bed anyway. (and I have 2 at secondary)

Actually, havign battles with short notice (as I said up thread about dress up days) it really only hcanged whe we got a new head who had kids herself, and then out constant requests for a diary of events in advance etc suddenly happened. The teachers would have Dec 3rd in their diatries from sept for nativity, but let parents know with 6 days notice.

steppemum Wed 08-Mar-17 10:41:14

9 and 7!!!!!

I assumed you were talking about secondary.

No, no, no to any homework being set at weekend for Monday at primary level.
What if you had (heaven forbid) been OUT at the weekend and hadn't seen the email!!
And, given all the fuss about kids and social media I am amazed that your school is encouraging primary aged kids to use classroom ap as a way of chatting to each other.

Rivanshine Wed 08-Mar-17 10:41:17

And the only reason I brought this up today was because it happened to me again this morning.......

Fired up the laptop.......logged into emails......two emails sent last night at 9.30pm requesting pictures of family members to be sent in today for a project at school because.......

the language teacher had forgotten to mention it after their last lesson LAST WEEK hmm

BitOutOfPractice Wed 08-Mar-17 10:42:43

I do think sometimes this is just thoughtlessness on behalf of staff/school, and in my experience, once things are pointed out they do get better.

Never got better at DDs' school. Communicating with parents was just never a priority. Drove me mad.

Another thing they do, send out a 3 page newsletter with "nice to know" stuff then, right at the bottom, tucked away is the "need to know" stuff e.g. A dressing up day, an outing etc. Stuff that parents need to know. Also drove me mad and loads of parents missed stuff

Astoria7974 Wed 08-Mar-17 10:45:33

Dsd's school does this too for kit requests, so I've taken to checking the email system before I go to bed. I don't think it's unreasonable for requests - mostly because around here parents commute so are up ridiculously early: can pop to the shops and find most things before school starts. However I'd be very annoyed if my child was receiving last minute homework in this way - def have a word with the school.

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