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To expect more notice for changed pick-up time?

(26 Posts)
Smithagain Mon 21-Sep-09 15:27:00

DD2 starts school in eight days' time. She will be part time till half term

I have been juggling work commitments throughout this month, as a result of her very late start date. Thankfully my work is very flexible and I've managed to organise things around her, but it's not always been easy.

Today I've received a letter from school announcing that they are bringing the pick-up time for part timers forward from 12 noon to 11:45. Which is "only" 15 minutes difference, but makes it much harder for me to get there on certain mornings, when I have work commitments finishing at 11:30! The reason for the change is to help them get the full timers into the lunch hall promptly for 12 noon (it's a new school site and I know they are having problems juggling much larger numbers of pupils at lunch time).

I'm on very good terms with school, in general, and normally favour going with the flow and picking my battles. But this feels like the final straw after a long, drawn-out month of waiting for her finally to get to school!

So how much fuss do I make???

overmydeadbody Mon 21-Sep-09 15:38:11

Well, they've given you 8 day's notice, YABU to expect more!

Presumably, with the other kids being back just over a week now, it's taken them a while to realise that actually 11:45 would work better.

You cannot really make a fuss just coz it inconveniences you. That is just life I'm afraid.

bigchris Mon 21-Sep-09 15:40:32

i wouldnt make any fuss, it wont make any difference and they'll see you as awkward

overmydeadbody Mon 21-Sep-09 15:42:42

yeah there is no point making a fuss, the time inconveniences you, it doesn't impact on your DD or her learning so not really the school's issue.

You could ask if your DD can stay for munch though if you think she's ready and that would make it easier for you? Are'nt schools quite flexible about that?

Smithagain Mon 21-Sep-09 15:51:15

So you think it's OK for them to assume that I will be able to reorganise my day, rather than sort out their lunchtime issue internally? (There are only about 10 part-timers, so not sure really why they can't find someone to look after them for 15 minutes!)

OK - interesting and I will try and calm down.

dogonpoints Mon 21-Sep-09 15:52:02

It is annoying, I can see that, and you have every right to be irritated. I think schools should just get themn all in full time after two weeks max.

But the school's priority is smooth organisation of dinner time so no point complaining.

Smithagain Mon 21-Sep-09 15:55:52

(sigh) you're probably right.

Now have to work out whether to get someone else to collect her some days or change times of meetings already organised. Both a hassle and am getting sick of school-related hassle atm!

dogonpoints Mon 21-Sep-09 15:57:37

It certainly isn't easy, smith, agreed

diddl Mon 21-Sep-09 15:59:21

Schools aren´t run for the convenience of Mums, though.

ssd Mon 21-Sep-09 16:00:38

OP, welcome to the world of school

I find they change things at a moments notice

dogonpoints Mon 21-Sep-09 16:01:11

No, diddl, they are not but it is always appreciated when they do take parents into account whenever possible. And sometimes parents just need to moan a bit.

famishedass Mon 21-Sep-09 16:02:03

"So you think it's OK for them to assume that I will be able to reorganise my day"

I doubt very much indeed whether the school assumes you'll be able to reorganise your day. It is much more likely that they simply haven't given you any thought whatsoever and are just doing whatever they feel is best for them and the children grin.

I'm afraid you've got another 12 years of this to go. Better get used to it.

overmydeadbody Mon 21-Sep-09 16:03:34

It isn't easy id it?

But their priority is working out what is best for them, as a school, not whether or not the parents will be inconvenieinced.

famishedass Mon 21-Sep-09 16:05:12

Actually YABU.

Do you really think they were thinking about you when they changed their timetable shock Really?

diddl Mon 21-Sep-09 16:05:22

But it sounds as if this is for pupils benefit.

I would certainly ask if there is a way around it.
But not fuss.
There will be a solution or not.

And from the schools point of view, I suppose they think that if you could collect at 12, you can at 11.45

Tidey Mon 21-Sep-09 16:07:47

YANBU for being cross with the school for thinking everyone can rearrange whatever they're doing, but I think 8 days notice is ample warning of such a change.

Not really the same thing, but I waited outside of school last week only to realise DS's class were leaving from a completely different part of the building than they had been and I was late getting him. In his bag was a letter they'd just been given, saying 'Miss X's class will be leaving school from <new door> from today onwards'. Now that's short notice. smile hmm

happywomble Mon 21-Sep-09 16:08:07

YANBU - they should have decided on the picking up time last time and let you know well before the start of term.

I also think part time school hours should be 9:00 - 12:00 minimum.

OtterInaSkoda Mon 21-Sep-09 16:08:07

I agree that schools aren't run for parents' convenience but 8 days notice is cutting it fine imo. I'd take a pragmatic approach and ask that your dd stays behind an extra 15 minutes. IME it takes at least that long to get them all out of the classroom anyway. Or, could she not stay and have munch lunch, like omdb suggests? I think my ds's school would've been cool about that.

happywomble Mon 21-Sep-09 16:09:12

should have said "last term" rather than "last time"!

Ivykaty44 Mon 21-Sep-09 16:09:42

welcome to the world of schools and changing things at the drop of a hat.

If you complain you will be seen as unreasnable and difficult.

I would have loved to have complained but have been afraid that it will be taken out on my dc.

I have been told by one teacher it is my choice to work as I was having difficulty with homework timing on the days I work. blush

It is not easy but there is nothing you can do they will not change sad and take account of working mums.

Smithagain Mon 21-Sep-09 16:15:26

For the record, I already have a daughter in Year 3. I am well aware of schools' habit of changing things at a moment's notice. Which is why I have made sure my work is as flexible as possible. But this did feel even less reasonable than normal.

I still think this is very, very short notice to announce that everyone has to be there earlier than expected. But since the vast majority of people think this is par for the course, I will not make a fuss.

Sidge Mon 21-Sep-09 16:34:40

YANBU - that would really annoy me too. I know school isn't childcare for working parents but IMO they should have a back-up plan for those parents who can't get to the school when timings are revised. 8 days notice for me would be inadequate, as I have clinics and patients booked in and I can't just leave 15 minutes earlier.

Luckily DD2s school is fairly good - even though as a working mum I am the minority there they do try and make allowances. For example on days when they have a big activity like a concert, and the children can leave on completion a little earlier than usual, they always have a TA available to care for the children that can't be taken earlier. They will keep them until the usual pick-up time.

I wouldn't complain but I would start a conversation asking if there is any leeway for pick up given that things have changed at relatively short notice.

FabBakerGirlIsBack Mon 21-Sep-09 16:37:01

Mine will finish at 11.45 until he breaks up for Christmas and there is no negotiation about him starting full time longer.

Smithagain Mon 21-Sep-09 17:12:19

"I wouldn't complain but I would start a conversation asking if there is any leeway for pick up given that things have changed at relatively short notice."

Thanks Sidge. I think that's what I've decided on. Having reviewed the diary, most things can be adjusted to fit the new time. But once a week I am running a toddler group that finishes at 11:30. (This is part of my paid work - not voluntary - so can't just drop it for a few weeks).

I am going to explain that it will be genuinely very difficult to get there by 11:45 on those days. I will try my best, but what contingency plan do they have if I don't make it.

And before anyone starts - I do have back-up plans for childcare. There are three people I could normally call on - one runs a playgroup, so will be at work - another already has a school pick-up to do in another town, and the other will be with me at the toddler group.

FabBakerGirlIsBack Mon 21-Sep-09 17:13:26

So how will it work when you do need a back up if they are all busy?

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