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Parent dropping reception age child off at school before gates open?

(19 Posts)
SandyChick Wed 26-Feb-14 11:55:55

Hi, this has been playing on my mind all morning. Don't know if I should maybe mention it to school or just mind my own business.

This morning at school we arrived rather early at around 8.40. We aren't usually there so early. The main gate to the school is unlocked at 8.45, the doors to class rooms (2 separate entrances) are then opened at 8.50 by teacher/TA.

Because we were there so early we waited in the car park as the main gates weren't yet open. There was maybe a handful of kids and parents waiting at this time.

A parent pulled up in their car, let their reception age child out and drove off. She seemed to be in a hurry and was not hanging around. The child ran towards the gates but when saw they were locked shouted of her mother and ran out of the car park toward where she had been dropped her off. As the parent had drove off the child came back towards the gate and was just playing in the car park. A few minutes later the main gate was opened and in the child went to wait by her classroom door until the teacher opened it. Parents of reception age children are allowed into the classroom to help with bags etc and go into the classroom to collect them at the end of the day.

Is the an ok things to do? I always take my ds around to his classroom or he sometimes likes to walk around on his own but I always hover around until I know he is in the classroom.

Indith Wed 26-Feb-14 11:59:46

Hopefully the parent was just in a rush that day and didn't realise they were too early.

Our gates are open quite early but there is only a member of staff there from 8.45. I have often merrily dumped my children and run away at 8.45 but only after checking there is a staff member.

MrsRuffdiamond Wed 26-Feb-14 12:06:33

I would probably also feel I had to say something in this situation, without specifying who it was. Maybe mention it to someone in the office?

It may prompt a general reminder note in book bags, that parents must check that the school gates are open, before dropping their children off, and maybe for infants (R-yr2) that parents must wait with their children until the classroom door is opened.

MumbleJumbles Wed 26-Feb-14 12:07:59

I would be slightly concerned like you - our school is infants and juniors on one site, but with a short walk from one drop off playground to the other (via a car park).
I witnessed a reception child walking round to the infant playground from the juniors on their own one morning (pre christmas, so only been at school 10 weeks) whilst the mother walked the other way out of school.

I felt for this poor little chap, why the mother couldn't have walked the child round to their playground I don't know. There is always a teacher on the gate of the infant playground so she might have seen the child arriving alone, who knows.

If I saw again or regularly, I would probably have had a quiet word with the school secretary (she is so familiar with the comings and goings of kids as her office overlooks the arrival point), or the head or something.

Like you, I didnt want to pry / appear nosey / interfering, but that sort of thing just worries me slightly with reception kids, I feel they're a little too young to be relied on to make their way into school alone. We're a big school (3 class intake) so the playground / school walk can get very busy and hectic. I guess just watch out for it in future and have a quiet word if it continues?

GwendolineMaryLacey Wed 26-Feb-14 12:08:19

We're not allowed to drop and go until Yr 3 so our school wouldn't be best pleased in this case. May be worth a quiet word with someone so a reminder can go out.

EdithWeston Wed 26-Feb-14 12:08:31

The thing that bothers me is an unsupervised child running around in a car park.

Not enough info to know whether the family is making the best of a bad day by dropping off like this. It's obviously not right as a daily occurrence, but it seems OP doesn't know whether or not it is.

BuzzardBird Wed 26-Feb-14 12:10:00

I would mention it as I can't believe the parent didn't watch to make sure their child got through the gate safely. My school would not be happy with a reception aged child not being accompanied to the door tbh.

MumbleJumbles Wed 26-Feb-14 12:11:13

Also, how does your school let the kids go home from school for reception year?

Ours won't let a child go home at end of day until they've (teacher AND child) spotted a parent. And if its not the usual parent, an email has to be sent. Because of this going home procedure, I understood the school to feel similarly about arriving eg don't just dump and run without checking child has made it into the playground first.

JessMcL Wed 26-Feb-14 12:12:09

I wouldn't be happy with it if i'm honest. I understand some people are in a rush- but what possibly could be more important then the safety of your own child?

SandyChick Wed 26-Feb-14 12:18:34

Thanks everyone. Think I will pop into the school office later.

There is no staff on the gate only on the doors to classrooms once doors are opened.

The school's policy is that they technically don't open doors until 8.55 so parents shouldn't expect to be able to drop children off earlier than this. I don't think the parent realised the gate wasn't open but still at that time the classroom doors wouldn't have been open anyway so she knew her daughter would be left on her own.

I don't really know the child but I felt I needed to keep an eye on her and make sure she got into school ok.

It's really scary to think that that little girl could have easily walked away from school and no one would have know probably until her mother went to collect her at the end of the day and she want there.

SandyChick Wed 26-Feb-14 12:21:01

Mumbles - parents queue up and go into the classroom and children are handed over inside.

cathpip Wed 26-Feb-14 12:26:10

At our school children are the responsibility of their parents until the bell goes at 8.55, even if they are in the playground. I would be having words with the school personally. Irrelevant of the fact it was the school car park, this parent still abandoned a 4/5 year old in a car park.........

shallweshop Wed 26-Feb-14 12:27:07

I would be concerned if I saw this too. My DS is in year 2 and parents have to see their child into school in the morning and the teacher won't release them at pick up until she sees the parent. I agree that a word in the office would be a good idea so that hopefully a reminder can go out in the newsletter.

littleducks Wed 26-Feb-14 12:43:02

There is no breakfast club at our school so I used to drop dd off before the whistle went. They run around in the playground which is supervised from 8.40 at our school.

I know I was judged for it but she was sensible and did as she was supposed to. DS was less reliable and I only started leaving him in yr1.

In other places kids walk to school alone from 6 so it didn't seem to be too big of a deal to me.

SandyChick Wed 26-Feb-14 13:27:15

Littleducks- they aren't supervised at all. Technically school was closed. No staff on duty or around at all.

The school is very clear that children aren't the schools responsibility until the bell goes but it seems a lot of people find if acceptable to leave their child much earlier without anyone supervising them.

HSMMaCM Wed 26-Feb-14 13:31:03

Our school offered supervision from the time the gate opened, but before the gate opens, or before the school accepts responsibility should definitely be raised with the school, as they may not know.

ThePippy Wed 26-Feb-14 14:14:35

I would never leave my reception age DD at school without knowing she was with a teacher or at the very least one of the other parents I know well. However a full time working mother I understand the pressures of being in a rush and school start times not leaving much scope for a commute after that. Fortunately my DD's school operates a breakfast club to help parents with this very issue.

If your school has no scope to offer breakfast club, maybe one thing that would ease the situation would be if the school could be persuaded to operate a "kiss & drop" service, where people can pull up and without the need to find parking or get out, leave their child with the designated teacher(s) who would be waiting outside the gates. I know several schools in my area who operate such a scheme as it really helps with car congestion at drop off time.

SandyChick Wed 26-Feb-14 17:42:12

ThePippy- there is a breakfast club and after school club and the parent in question wasn't on her way to work either.

I know how difficult it can be to get everyone to the right place on time. I really don't think the parent realised that the main gate wasn't open but she was still sending her little girl in knowing that the doors into the classroom wouldn't be opened for a good 15 minutes (reception is always the last to open) without any supervision at all from a teacher or another parent. It was still very early and around the school was still like a ghost town with only maybe 3 parents waiting at this point.

Mintymoomoo Wed 26-Feb-14 21:00:57

I drop my year two off outside but she is with her older siblings in years 4&6. Never done this when she was in reception though and I never drop them off early when gets still closed

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