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Separating twins in reception - been told its not up for discussion by Head!

(6 Posts)
HammerHeadShark Wed 03-Jun-09 15:50:55

I would be very grateful for some advice/experiences of this. My non-id girls start reception in September. I had enquired to the school office and also on an open day of any specific policy on separating twins and was told there was none though separation was encouraged and usual, but it could be doscussed. Last night at a prospective parents evening I was told by the Head very firmly that it is school policy to separate twins and not up for discussion, after asking when it would be decided if they were separate or together.

I had been leaning towards keeping them together but am now shocked and upset at the "not up for discussion" stance, as I feel I only want my DCs to be happy at a big transition time.

I wrote her a letter outlining my concerns re: the confusion over policy, asking what would be in place to support them if separated and also if they could be placed back together if the separation did not work.

I have been summoned to the office next week to discuss and feel about 10 years old again! Would be very grateful for any advice on what to say or experiences of similar issues. I am wary of being labelled a troublemaker before they even start school, but feel I do need to voice my concerns. Many thanks for any thoughts!

shouldbeironing Wed 03-Jun-09 15:58:30

There is an organisation (charity?) called TAMBA which offers some really good advice about this and also helps people to deal with the schools etc - well they did for someone I know whose children were going to be sent to separate schools as they couldnt get into the same one. I think you should try and call them as they have lots of official/documented advice about separation/not separating and why a policy of separation should never be enforced without question.

Do call them. I am sure if you google TAMBA you will find their number.

ChopsTheDuck Wed 03-Jun-09 16:14:46

how do they feel about it?

If you have a google, there is loads of information as to why twins should be kept together, which you could collaborate to support your case.
e.g.

Twin Services, a non profit resource and consulting service for families with multiples, explains it this way. "Twins and triplets just starting school usually benefit from the social support they give each other when they are in the same room. They seem to find it easy to engage in different activities when they have the option of being together. When they are forced to separate into different classrooms, they get the message that there is something wrong about being a twin or a triplet. They may suffer emotional stress from worry about their absent co-twin(s) and find it difficult or impossible to do their school work."

I'd personally push for them to be placed together in reception with a view to seperating them in year 1. This is what is happening with my dts. The aim is that they will make their own friends and then when they do the end of year shuffle, they will go off independantly.

I think people do underestimate the bond between twins. When mine were asked what they wanted, even dt1 who I regard as more independant wanted to be placed with his brother.
I don't think its fair to run a trial of them seperately, because one will then have to give up their new friends to join her sister.

ChopsTheDuck Wed 03-Jun-09 16:16:48

another thought, how are they at preschool? Would the preschool maybe write a letter to back you up?

HammerHeadShark Wed 03-Jun-09 19:34:19

shouldbeironing - thank you - I am a TAMBA member but only rarely post on their boards - I will look for advice there - it would be good to be "armed" with some evidence that separation is not always the best thing. I think it is the policy to enforce separation with no discussion which has really upset me - as I do think that is wrong.

chops - Thank you - that is very interesting info from Twin Services - I agree that the bond between twins can be underestimated. I have not asked them what they want yet because I feel sure they will both ask to be together (they always have for any offer of separate activities, though we do try and do one-to one when possible) but I must broach it before the meeting I think.

At pre-school they have transformed from being very clingy to each other to confident and independent with different friends, but I think part of that is knowing the other is nearby if needed. I would hate to "un-do" all that good work IYKWIM as my instincts are to keep them together for reception and then separate - but I don't think that is an option. Their lovely pre-school teacher thinks they would be ok apart but was shocked at the lack of discussion also.

Thanks for taking the time to post - it is very helpful and much appreciated.

shouldbeironing Thu 04-Jun-09 09:55:44

Oh its good that you are a TAMBA member - i am not sure if the website helps but I know if you call them they should be able to help you - it is definitely something they have "official" info about as the person I know got info to take to the local authority about why her twins shouldnt be in separate schools (which would have been a nightmare) and I am sure they had stuff about what to consider when starting school and whether they should be in the same class or not.

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