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school half day at end of term

(110 Posts)
mumzy Fri 14-Dec-12 17:42:03

My dcs state primary always closes at 1pm at the end of each term after they have taken the afternoon register. Its a pain as I work and either have to take a half day or arrange childcare. Having spoken to a teacher friend it seems the school is giving the impression they are providing a full days education. Does anyone elses dc do this and is it legal?

mummytime Sun 16-Dec-12 05:52:59

DCs at State schools, Seniors finish at 1pm, Infants 1:30, Juniors 1:45. Time difference for Infants and Juniors is to allow parents to go from one site to the other. The same is true for all schools around here, unless the last day of term is an INSET day.

SunflowersSmile Sun 16-Dec-12 07:06:21

We are lucky then- normal time and After School Club as usual...as it should be in my opinion.

exoticfruits Sun 16-Dec-12 07:11:13

At primary they finished an hour early and at secondary they finished at lunchtime. Schools are not childcare.

BooksandaCuppa Sun 16-Dec-12 08:53:23

I recall we had early finishes when I was at school but none of the local schools do that now.

I agree it's not a problem as long as you know in advance, but surely, as mentioned upthread, schools shouldn't be taking a register then immediately discharging the pupils as that's claiming they're educating them when they're not?!? (2.30pm finish would be one thing - 1pm is most definitely a bit of a cheat!)

SunflowersSmile Sun 16-Dec-12 08:58:20

Hate the child care argument that comes out on these threads.
Fair enough if child is sick/ school flooded/ no heating etc - but Christmas is no excuse to send children home early. A school day that a working parent should expect to stay as one.

EuphemiaInExcelsis Sun 16-Dec-12 09:05:49

I'm a teacher, I need to organise child care on that last day too!

SunflowersSmile Sun 16-Dec-12 09:10:59

So I guess you understand frustration of half days Euphemia!
A pain for all....

ByTheWay1 Sun 16-Dec-12 09:16:27

our primary closes end of day as normal before every holiday, our secondary (along with most in our area) closes at 2 - straight after afternoon registration - a bit of a cheek really.... but they arrange for the school buses to come early too.. and at 12 dd can be left home alone for 40 min til I've picked up her sister.

If you want to pick up your child before lunch however, it counts as an unauthorised absence!! They have to stay for lunch, then get their name ticked before they can go!!

ohfunnyface Sun 16-Dec-12 09:17:48

Never heard of it in primary.

We use it in secondary for whole staff meetings/admin/last minute issues that need to be sorted before the holidays.

They miss one lesson, so not a half day, and the buses collect them early so no waiting around.

yousankmybattleship Sun 16-Dec-12 09:19:17

All the schools in my area close at 1.45pm. I like it!

EuphemiaInExcelsis Sun 16-Dec-12 09:20:24

In Edinburgh and the Lothians, school finishes at lunchtime every Friday! I suppose if it's regular, making childcare arrangements is easier.

SanityClause Sun 16-Dec-12 09:30:14

The HT at my DD's school changed to this from full days when she started a few years ago. It was, and remains, deeply unpopular but she refuses to discuss it. I suppose in a few years time, everyone will have become used to it.

We were given the option in the junior school, where lunches are paid for termly, to have our DDs stay for lunch, or pick them up before lunch. Of course, everyone chose to have the lunch that had been paid for, and the extra hour before having to pick up!

The reason given was that parents like to get off early on holiday. But apparently, we don't like to get off early on holiday at half term, as there is a full day of school before the half term holidays. confused

TheOriginalLadyFT Sun 16-Dec-12 09:30:17

DS's prep school always finishes at 12.30 at the end of term - its clearly flagged in the term dates calendar. Not a prob as I work from home, but remember the days when I didn't and was more of a problem, especially when we had moved away from GPs who had previously helped in these situations

Would say it was a bit unreasonable for schools to only let parents know last minute

IwishyouaMerryChristmas Sun 16-Dec-12 10:36:09

Schools are no childcare I agree, but working parents need notice of changed from the norm.

As a parent who works in the community, I would have no problem with an arrangement like this if we were told at the start of that half term.

Last minute changes will always result in difficulties for working parents and schools should be able to recognise this, planning ahead and communicating accordingly.

exoticfruits Sun 16-Dec-12 11:12:46

I don't think there is lack of notice- it happens every end of term for as long as I can remember.

Ronaldo Sun 16-Dec-12 12:39:15

It just seems to me much of this thread is an " I want free childcare and I work so I dont want my DC off schoiol early" Or maybe you dont want them off at all?

They are not gaining anything from a last afternoon at school. In my school we spent the last three days clearing up, tidying, final assembly, Cathedral carol service and Christmas Faye and school concert ( not in that order). No lessons. The pupils wont concentrate anyway as they are tired.

Personally I want some time with my family so I like the klunchtime finish on last day of term. In my school mostof the pupils have gone anyway by last day (usually a couple of days before).

It means I can get away too and see my family. For those pupils whose DP cannot or will not collect them, there is always the houseparent. But maybe for them Chrostmas at school beats Christmas with parents who dont want them or cannot find time to want them - at least thats what it seems like reading this.

fivecandles Sun 16-Dec-12 15:53:14

'if you have a problem greeting your kids from school at the end of term, I'm afraid you need to REALLY re-evaluate your priorities.'

What an extraordinary thing to say. Perhaps your priority at that particular moment is keeping your job so that you can support your kids, or performing life saving heart surgery or even teaching other people's kids. None of which would make you any less good a parent than the ones who are able to be at the school gate at 12. Sheesh!

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Sun 16-Dec-12 16:02:06

Ours is 1:30, but makes it clear inthe list of term dates at the start of the year. It does seem rubbish, OP, if your school is changing it with sh

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Sun 16-Dec-12 16:02:18

...short notice.

mumzy Sun 16-Dec-12 16:28:17

It may be ok for those parents who have flexible working arrangements or relatives nearby who can do early pick ups or if their dc are secondary school age and self sufficient but in order to accommodate the schools half day I have to either cancel a clinic for which there is a long waiting list or arrange child care which because it's a one off will be difficult to find and ,no doubt, expensive.
My issue is the school gave me the academic term dates in September which stated they closed at 3.30 pm on the last day of each term then a few weeks ago in their newsletter they included a 'reminder' for parents to collect dcs at 1.30pm on the last day. The school has not been upfront and it smacks of them taking a sneaky half day.

olguis Mon 17-Dec-12 17:46:30

our school finishes at 12. but if your child don't show up for those 2,5 morning hours during which they watch cartoons, you're made nearly a criminal (unauthorised absense!!!!!)

EuphemiaInExcelsis Mon 17-Dec-12 17:50:39

My class won't be watching telly - I'm going to do a handwriting lesson. smile

<evil Mrs Grinch mwah hah hah>

SunflowersSmile Mon 17-Dec-12 18:31:44

Ronaldo- what a shortsighted and rather nasty post. As others have said parents do work and as far as I know the last day of term is a school day- even with play and cartoons or whatever....

mrz Mon 17-Dec-12 19:22:08

I've never taught in a school that finishes at lunchtime and my class will be working on Friday

SetPhasersTaeMalkie Mon 17-Dec-12 19:23:38

We are going to church on Friday.

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