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School meetings during the day

(12 Posts)
HebeJeeby Fri 23-Sep-11 19:36:47

My daughter has just started Reception and her school has already invited parents to find out about the Reception class and our children's routine, what they'll be learning this term. However, this was at 3.15 pm and there was no similar meeting planned for the evening, for those parents who both work during the day. Then today I receive another e-mail inviting us to a training session about Story Sacks and how we can get involved with our children's reading at home. Again there is only one session planned for the whole academic year and it is at 2.30 pm. The e-mail states that if we have not attended this training session our children will not be allowed to bring a story sack home. Both my husband and I work and we are unable to get time off work to attend these school meetings. To clarify - our employer would let us attend but we have long-standing commitments that can't be rearranged with less than 2 weeks notice. However, I imagine there would be other parents who would have to take holiday to attend, or sacrifice some salary.

I want to be part of my daughter's education and be involved with the school and other parents. I don't want my daughter to be disadvantaged either (academically or socially) because her parents haven't been to mandatory training. My question is - is the school obliged to arrange duplicate meetings in the evenings so that parents who can't get time off work for whatever reason can play a part in their child's education?

Thank you for reading.

bumpybecky Fri 23-Sep-11 19:47:38

I think the school are being a bit unreasonable - I've had story sacks from two different schools for reception age children and never been trained - it's not rocket science!

I don't think the school is obliged to run the meetings twice, however it doesn't seem fair that your daughter isn't allowed the story sacks unless you go. Who normally collects her? can they attend the meeting instead?

I think I'd reply to the email (very politely!) explaining the situation and either asking for an alternative time and date or for a copy of the training notes. If the teacher isn't helpful then contact the head teacher.

Feenie Fri 23-Sep-11 19:49:35

This kind of thing pisses me off too - I am a teacher, so can rarely attend stuff like this at my ds's school.

The story sacks thing is ridiculous; I would be Kicking Off!

anonandlikeit Fri 23-Sep-11 19:52:56

Sometimes i take time off, sometimes i just accept i cant attend. Thats life!

You can always offer some constructive feedback that perhaps they would consider scheduling some events for evenings to amke them more accessible to a different group of parents.
Schools generally do want to encourage parental involvement & if meetings are always at the same time they will only get the same parents attending.

That said, dont forget the teachers are likely to have home/life/family commitments and will not want to come nback too often fro eventing meetings.

CaptainNancy Fri 23-Sep-11 19:59:29

That is pretty unreasonable of the school much notice are they giving?
I would be putting a complaint in in writing tbh.

MirandaWest Fri 23-Sep-11 20:08:33

That is not good - especially not being allowed to have the story sack unless you've been trained hmm.

They could easily send instructions home - my DCs school had meetings at the beginning of term for meeting new teacher but letters/emails were sent afterwards and there was no pressure put to attend.

ilovesooty Fri 23-Sep-11 20:27:30

I don't think the school should put the children of working parents at a disadvantage here. Either run the course in the evening or allow the story sacks to go home with instructions.

ilovesooty Fri 23-Sep-11 20:28:18

You might want to tell them it's indirect discrimination...contrary to the Equality Act.

Feenie Fri 23-Sep-11 21:07:46

That said, dont forget the teachers are likely to have home/life/family commitments and will not want to come nback too often fro eventing meetings.

Or the teachers who ARE parents and can't attend things like this.

anonandlikeit Fri 23-Sep-11 22:31:25

the story sac rule does sound a bit of a jobsworth rule, but honestly..parents evenings etc yes should be in the evenings & flexible to accommodate all.
But teachers aren't that stretchy to be there 24 hrs to accommodate all parents work rotas.
Its one of the things you have to accept if your a working parent, you simply cant be in two places at once, its just a choice thing!

HebeJeeby Sat 24-Sep-11 13:39:02

Thank you all for your comments they are much appreciated. I agree that us both working is a choice and that teachers are entitled to a life too - I just got a bit annoyed that we can't have the Sack unless we've been trained. Unfortunately, my childminder who has my daughter after school, and whose son is in my daughter's class, can't attend and take notes for me either as she is looking after other children during the day. I have brought it up with the school and apparently someone will call me back on Monday. I think I'll have to press to test on the mandatory training and see if written training will suffice, otherwise I'll be brushing up on the Equality Act!! Thanks once again.

MindtheGappp Sat 24-Sep-11 15:31:46

You can't please everyone all of the time.

For every parent that can't make a meeting around school pick-up time, there are just as many who can't make evening meetings because of childcare issues.

The school should send a letter to non-attendees conveying the information given in the meeting.

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