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Teachers speaking out about parents' long working hours

(413 Posts)
vestandknickers Tue 15-Apr-14 08:21:32


Interesting. I think it is good that this is being raised as an issue.

I am not anti working parents at all, but surely a society that thinks it is ok for children to be at school from 8am to 6pm needs to look at itself.

Hopefully it is still a small minority of children who spend five days a week at school for these hours, but it is good that teachers are speaking out before it becomes seen as an acceptable norm.

meditrina Tue 15-Apr-14 08:24:07

I wonder what jobs they expect the parents to be doing instead then?

I think it shows quite a lack of understanding tbh.

PotteringAlong Tue 15-Apr-14 08:25:43

I'm a teacher - my children are in childcare 7am - 5pm. Teachers know it's the norm because they have to do it.

What a ridiculous notion to suggest otherwise.

WorrisomeHeart Tue 15-Apr-14 08:32:20

What will be interesting is what proposals they have for changing this - I can't see the govt providing any kind of support to those parents (and I am one of them) who need to work full time to be able to provide for their family. My DS is in full time nursery at the moment and when he starts school next year I will need to try and fight my corner with my work to cut back to part time to allow me to do 2 or 3 of the school pickups a week. But on the other days, he will need to be in childcare until we get home at 6. And there is no way around that. We can't afford for one of us to give up work full time (London house prices / commuting costs /living costs have put paid to that) so unless there is suddenly some form of subsidy for parents to allow them to spend these formative years focusing on their children rather than keeping their family afloat, it's impossible. From my pov, all this kind of report does is to make working parents feel worse about the time they can't give to their kids.

Meglet Tue 15-Apr-14 08:40:39

Maybe they'd prefer to be speaking out against children who don't have enough food and are homeless because the bills aren't paid?

Legologgo Tue 15-Apr-14 08:41:49

We have kids outside at 6.30 am. Unsupervised. We also have kids waiting in the foyer after clubs. Till 5.30. Free childcare I suppose.

Don't get me started on the parents who arrive an hour late to pick up kids after residential trips. Whisk them off no sorry no thank you.

mrsbucketxx Tue 15-Apr-14 08:47:24

I dont like the Inference that my children are like ghosts being in full time care quite the opposite,

There needs to be , more care options so parents can work.

mrsbucketxx Tue 15-Apr-14 08:48:36

Or is this another pop at "working" parents by teachers who basically have part time hours.

Meglet Tue 15-Apr-14 08:52:01


LittleBearPad Tue 15-Apr-14 08:52:22

Yes they dint seem to be suggesting any alternatives do they - just raising the concern.

Meglet Tue 15-Apr-14 08:52:38

Oops.. There needs

Fairylea Tue 15-Apr-14 08:56:15

Companies need to pay more, reduce the working day as other countries have, hire more staff if they need more doing than those hours allow and we all need more holidays. In an ideal world. But it's not an ideal world.

meditrina Tue 15-Apr-14 08:56:32

It's not a great article is it? And I does mak this union look very out of touch.

Though the BBC do seem to have ade a whole article about a conference debate which is yet to happen.

Perhaps the actual debate will be more interesting and less unrealistic than the current article. And, as LittleBearPad suggests, there wil, be practical, workable steps to effect change in the areas they define as needing alteration.

Meglet Tue 15-Apr-14 08:57:06

Aaghh. There needs to be more flexibility from employers so parents can juggle work and kids. Its a bit like the proposal to open GP surgeries 7 days a week. Heaven forbid they give business a kick up the backside and make sure workers can manage appointments / parenting during the week.

5yearsandcounting Tue 15-Apr-14 08:57:15

I don't understand which teachers are raising this. I am a teacher and my children are in child care from 8-6 so I can work. The quality of childcare needs to be looked at in these schools if the children are becoming unsociable and ghostlike. Ridiculous!

BoffinMum Tue 15-Apr-14 08:59:08

A lot of after school clubs are all toast and beanbags and games and friendships. It can be done.

LittleBearPad Tue 15-Apr-14 09:03:49

Surely an after school club is better for kids than being a latch key kid - or dint these exist anymore (Dd is too young for this yet, although she's in nursery 8.30-6 three days a week - she doesn't appear particularly ghostlike)

chibi Tue 15-Apr-14 09:04:14

i am a teacher. my children are at school from 7:30 (cm then breakfast club) until nearly 5. it is totally necessary so both dh and i can work

it is also a bag of shite. i would much prefer both dh and i cutting hours/days so we could be with them more

my children aren't ghosts but i would be deluded to think that 9-10 hours daily in a school setting is great

i don't see this as a pop at parents but more at the whole culture of work here, where 12 hour days and/or a ridiculous commute are necessary and the alternative is living in poverty.

chibi Tue 15-Apr-14 09:05:32

lol at teachers working bascically part time hours. i bloody wish hmm

hercules1 Tue 15-Apr-14 09:07:39

I'm a teacher so dd is at school from 8 to 6. Ha! at comment re part time!

cosikitty Tue 15-Apr-14 09:07:52

I work in a school, and those children that frequently use the before and after school care are often more tired, and somehow they seem more needy than those who go to their family at 3.30pm. I am thinking of one little boy (whose parent is incidentaly a school teacher) who is dropped off at 7.30 each morning and not picked up until 6pm). I think it must be incredibly hard for the family, not only do they get precious little time together, the child has no time to relax. Kids that go home can choose to be alone, watch tv or interact with their friends. Those that go to a kids club continue to be part of a large group, often the children they have spent all day with and are expected to partake in activites and more social interaction etc. This can be stressful.

I understand that parents often need to work. I wonder though, for some families, if some of this is social pressure to increase standard of living. In the 1970s when I was at primary school hardly any of the mums worked, or if they did it was part time. There was an expectation that someone would be there until the kids could look after themselves before and after school. My mum got a job when I started secondary school and was able to be in the house on my own for a couple of hours. We didn't have a lot of money, but there didn't seem the same pressure to pay for the things that we do now, there were no private swimming lessons, no expensive computers and devices, latest branded clothing or holidays abroad etc. We were happy though.

I don't think extending schools until 6pm is the answer. I don't know what is though.

stillenacht1 Tue 15-Apr-14 09:10:10

Chibi totally agreesmile

Goblinchild Tue 15-Apr-14 09:11:32

They've expressed it badly, but wouldn't it be wonderful if we were able to make our work-life balances more even, and if UK businesses were more flexible with their workers?
So that we didn't have some of the longest working hours in Europe, and some of the most stressed children? We should be importing good practice from other nations that seem tobe managing needs better.

NeverQuiteSure Tue 15-Apr-14 09:14:56

It depends on the child's age, the child's temperament, the hours in childcare and the quality of the childcare. Ultimately however, as said up thread, full time childcare is vastly superior to poverty.

What I would like is for the government to stop confusing education and childcare. Both require different standards and a different focus.

horsetowater Tue 15-Apr-14 09:14:59

Women have dug our own grave on this one. Two working adults in a household meant more mortgage and an upward push on house prices. High house prices means you need two incomes to survive, so families have no choice any more.

This is completely out of hand and children are suffering no longer because their parents want a nice big house but because they need a roof over their heads.

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