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To expect school to have some consideration for working parents...

(31 Posts)
wishingchair Tue 09-Jun-09 15:31:13

... and that a teacher casually mentioning this morning that the afterschool club that afternoon isn't happening due to a staff meeting is a bit unreasonable.

I had rearranged meetings to fit with said after-school club and had choice of looking like an idiot rearranging them again so I can pick DD up, scrabbling around to find someone else to walk her home or not attending meeting (not good option).

I work from home so I can do school runs but need a bit more notice than that. Not the first time stuff like this has happened (2 days to make an elephant costume anyone?) but surely they should know that parents have other commitments, some of them very rigid commitments at that and we're not sat here doing nothing all day waiting to attend to whatever request they throw at us??? Makes me very angry

rubyslippers Tue 09-Jun-09 15:32:26

maybe something last minute has come up for the school as well??

i am assuming that schools sometimes have to deal with staff shortages etc as well ...

wishingchair Tue 09-Jun-09 15:36:02

It was a staff meeting that had been arranged for that time for some reason. Accept stuff comes up at last minute but it is the "no big deal" attitude that annoys me.

Peabody Tue 09-Jun-09 15:37:10

I am keenly interested in this as my kids are currently pre-school. Having looked at the situation for working parents, I am forced to conclude that I could happily return to work providing I worked in a school, with the same hours and holidays as my children.

Any other working pattern seems to me to be unmanageable for the very reason discussed by the OP - lack of reliable wrap-around childcare, lack of childcare for holidays.

I can only imagine that other working parents either have very accomodating relations, or spend a lot of money on playschemes...

rubyslippers Tue 09-Jun-09 15:39:14

maybe she was embarrased becasue she knew people would be pissed off?

wishingchair Tue 09-Jun-09 15:43:30

ruby slippers - she's a great teacher and I have a lot of time for her so this isn't directed at her at all. I just find that there is so much stuff that gets organised for during the day that working parents would find it very difficult to attend (drop in sessions etc). The only things that are scheduled for the evening are parents' evenings and PTA meetings.

It is a reasonably wealthy catchment area and as such there are many mothers that don't work. As a result, it feels like the school assumes that mothers have total flexibility during the day.

peabody - I'm very lucky to be able to do my job from home and part time. If not, I agree, you have to spend a lot on childcare.

wishingchair Tue 09-Jun-09 15:44:42

(btw - was not suggesting that SAHM have total flexibility during the day, just possibly a little more than those in jobs)

frankbestfriend Tue 09-Jun-09 15:45:18

If you need reliable childcare you need to pay for an after school child care place.

After school clubs run by members of staff are not meant as child care places. At our school they often have to be cancelled or rearranged due to lack of staff or facilities.

Annoying, perhaps, but inevitable.

Katisha Tue 09-Jun-09 15:45:48

Oh don't start me. In the 5 years since DS started school I have been constantly depressed by the assumption that plans can be changed at the last minute, or that you don't even get told things until the day before, that children can be transported by me to other places during the school day, that I can attend meetings during the working day, and that it's all OK because other non-working will provide lifts/pass on info/whatever.
I had a thread the other day on being expected to ferry DS to a football tournament some distnace away during the working day.

I will resist the urge to rant on and on some more.

angelene Tue 09-Jun-09 15:50:21

If she hadn't 'casually mentioned' it to you what would have happened then? This worries me enormously TBH, like Peabody my DD is pre-school and while I'm lucky that DH is a teacher and will cover holidays, he is not in a position to collect DD at 3.10 every day.

I work 4 days a week 45 minutes away and my employer is not terribly accommodating. I also really dislike working from home. If after school clubs are not reliable I suppose I'll have to look into a child minder or something.

idranktheteaatwork Tue 09-Jun-09 15:57:19

angelene - i think the op is talkig about a school club as in perhaps media club or football club etc.
You are talking about after-school club as in the paid for child care? They are reliable in my experience and usually very cheap.
Most tend to be attached to a school or very near-by so that the children can be collected/dropped off to school. They tend to have to stick to rigid hours because most are run from a community centre/church hall type setting, ie 7.30am - 8.45am and 3.20pm -6pm so you just need to make sure that your employment will allow you to get there on time.

Also check on the people employed there, ie are there enough experienced staff as well as the younger less experienced therefore cheap staff.

cat64 Tue 09-Jun-09 16:09:49

Message withdrawn

angelene Tue 09-Jun-09 16:15:45

idrankthetea - thanks for that, really useful! I really need to look into it all as at the moment I'm clueless and worried which is not a good combination, but your post has put my mind at rest a bit!

cheltenhamgal Tue 09-Jun-09 16:22:14

I have had after school clubs cancelled too(the ones where the teachers volunteer)but the regular afterschool club I use and pay for are excellent

Katisha Tue 09-Jun-09 17:00:22

Slightly bizarrely, my DSs school has just sent out a letter about starting an after-school club, and encourages us to talk to the organiser about it. When does she suggest we do this? At the school gates, anytime.

The assumption being that everyone is at the school gates at some point. But the working parents who need the club most are the ones NOT at the school gates.

mrz Tue 09-Jun-09 17:06:33

Remember the teacher probably has to find childcare for anything arranged for evenings it's not that we want to be awkward but how many other services would you expect to work unpaid hours to suit your convenience?

piscesmoon Tue 09-Jun-09 17:17:12

I think you are confusing an after school club run by a teacher, with an after school club that is about child care. The first is run by the teacher, in her own time, for free as a good will thing. If something comes up like a staff meeting she can't do it and cancels-it is not child care. If you want child care you need to book them into afterschool club with is separate from the school. You can't rely on a free, good will club as child care. If people start complaining I would imagine that the good will would be withdrawn and the DCs would miss out.

Katisha Tue 09-Jun-09 17:22:08

I should clarify in the example I have just given, this club is being marketed as a child-care solution.

Blondeshavemorefun Tue 09-Jun-09 17:35:24

a bit more notice would have been nice

Katisha - did you sort out the football thing - i sorted out my farm thing and also now have 0 spaces left in my 7 seater - 2 other working mums asked if i could take their child

pointydog Tue 09-Jun-09 17:42:46

Isn't this an exact reperat of a thread we had a week or so ago? Uncannily similar.

Anyway, YABU.

AFter school clubs run by teachers out of school time do not constitute childcare. You cannot bank on them happening every week so you shouldn't organise anything during them that cannot easily be rearranged.

SoupDragon Tue 09-Jun-09 17:45:24

Why shouldn't school arrange things within their working day? Are teachers meant to work late for your convenience?

piscesmoon Tue 09-Jun-09 17:49:45

If it is marketed as a child care solution that is what you would expect, but in the case of OP it is a good hearted teacher running a club in her own time for free and shouldn't be taken as a right or as a child care solution.

sunburntats Tue 09-Jun-09 17:54:13

this would drive me mad as well.
Although ours is actually very good and not run by the teachers.
It generates a very good income for the school.

I place my child in the to facilitate my working after school finishing time.
Also, he absolutely LOVES it, he would be gutted if they cancelled it.

It would drive me mad yes, so yanbu.

My job is not the type of job that i can just leave, impossible, when i am sheduled to work i have to, to the end.

I would not be able to just rearrange at last minute, no way.

mrz Tue 09-Jun-09 18:08:15

My job is not the type of job that I can just leave, impossible, when I am scheduled to work I have to, to the end. I'm a teacher ...

Northernlurker Tue 09-Jun-09 18:20:54

I don't think the issue is with teachers working after school closing time is it? I think it's with a scheduled activity being cancelled at short notice.

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