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Having to attend nursery 5 days a week?!

(26 Posts)
PasstheTwiglets Wed 15-Jun-11 19:59:57

DS (3.5) is in the nursery class at our local state primary school for 2 or 3 days a week. We recently got a letter from the Head, saying that due to the way that the nursery places are funded, all children are expected to attend 5 mornings a week. Can he really ask us to do this? If full-time education isn't compulsory until age 5, is he really within his rights to demand that a child attends every session? He did say that it didn't matter if a child couldn't attend a particular session but they are expected to attend all 5 when they can. Surely it's not a case of 'my school, my rules', is it?

I am not prepared to send him 5 mornings a week yet, as I think it's way too much for him. I'm not overly concerned because the nursery teacher agrees with me that 5 mornings is too much for DS and she said that she just won't mention that he's only doing 2 or 3 sessions... but I'm just curious as to whether the HT is really entitled to demand this?

littleducks Wed 15-Jun-11 20:03:07

If a child is regularly not attending a session then the setting cannot claim the EY funding for it (the 15 hours free).

PasstheTwiglets Wed 15-Jun-11 20:26:20

But does the Head have the right to refuse us a place because of this?

Where I am, Manchester. The school nursery's are all time 9-3.15 from 3, 5 days a week. To be fair all the children, all 26, love it, as does my aug born son!

littleducks Wed 15-Jun-11 20:32:30

He has to offer you a full time space (5 sessions), if you ds is 'ill' or tired regularly on days that vary (so not every Fri) it shouldnt be a problem

It does upset other people in areas where there is a shortage of nursery places if someone is holding a full time slot but not using the hours. The head may get a lot of complaints from parents who want a nursery space but cant get one, if the nursery is popular

clemetteattlee Wed 15-Jun-11 20:38:59

Our school pre-school (which offers places to 4 year old) is five mornings or nothing. Those who want to do fewer just use one of the other preschools in the area.
Free pre-school education was introduced for educational reasons. You don't have to take it up but you can't dictate the terms on which each institution offer it.

DesolationAngel Wed 15-Jun-11 20:40:15

No he is not entitled to demand it. You are entitled to 15 hours free nuresry education and you can share this between 2 providers, so in theory you could send your DS to School nursery for 3 sessions (9hrs) and a private day nursery for 2 sessions (6hrs).
I suspect he is trying to get all the funding, full 15 hours.
Hope that makes sense

clemetteattlee Wed 15-Jun-11 20:41:53

He is entitled, whether you approve or not. Providers can set their own conditions, parents can choose to go elsewhere.

DesolationAngel Wed 15-Jun-11 20:44:46

Not in our Authority, the parent has the choice as to where and when they take up provision. If they want to share it we have no choice but to agree.

purepurple Wed 15-Jun-11 20:49:19

In our area if a child is attending a state nursery then the parents can't claim funding at another setting. So it's all or nothing.
If you don't want a full time palce, then send him somewhere else and let some other child have the fulltime place.

clemetteattlee Wed 15-Jun-11 20:58:14

School nurseries are not funded by the education authority but still have the fixed costs of qualified teachers and teaching assistants. They base their staffing costs on a certain number of full-time places.
It is free education that we were not lucky enough to have. You have a choice- just send him elsewhere.

DesolationAngel Wed 15-Jun-11 21:14:16

From the code of practice.
o They are entitled to 570 hours of free provision within a year, with the full amount to be taken over no fewer than 38 weeks, and that they can take up as much or as little as they wish.

clemetteattlee Wed 15-Jun-11 21:18:16

Yes, of course they can. If the school was the ONLY provider in an area they would have to offer flexibility, but as they are not (I assume) then they are conforming to the code of practice.

DesolationAngel Wed 15-Jun-11 21:21:41

Yes but schools can only claim what they deliver. This HT obviously let the OP DS in knowing he was doing upto 3 days, so can claim 9 hours funding why now say you have to do 5 days.
Just sounds to me that they are after the money which they are not entitled to.

OvO Wed 15-Jun-11 21:27:16

When my DS1 was at nursery we received a letter telling us that our DS's attendance was too low and if this continued his place would be pulled and given to another child. They asked us to write them a letter saying we no longer needed/wanted the place!

His attendance was about 89% if I recall so not even all that bad.

clemetteattlee Wed 15-Jun-11 21:36:29

The fact is, the Head IS allowed to run a nursery that stipulates that a child has to attend every day. The OP asked if the Head was allowed, the answer is yes.
(PS Lol at the demon head teacher "grabbing" extra money to spend ... for the benefit of children in a school. What a bastard)

elphabadefiesgravity Wed 15-Jun-11 21:36:29

In Stoke it has been full time 5 days a week for several years.

I know a few parents who snet their children over the border in Staffs or privately becasue of it.

DesolationAngel Wed 15-Jun-11 22:08:11

All I can say that in my authority guidance for schools state that schools have
- To enable parents who wish to take up less than 15 hours per week across 38 weeks to do so
- To make no conditions in respect of a child’s minimum free entitlement
- To ensure that parents are aware they can access the EYFE of 15 hours per week at a maximum of two providers.

I cannot say if this is standard across the country.

Sorry OP, not really helping much are we!

PasstheTwiglets Thu 16-Jun-11 08:17:54

Thank you, everybody. Hmm, well some of you saying he's allowed some of you saying he's not... ! I think I will contact our local LEA to find out the position here. I'm reluctant to bring it up with the Head because at the moment I don't think he knows that DS only attends 3 x a week and I don't want to bring it to his attention smile

mrz Sat 18-Jun-11 09:18:29

He can not force you to send your child to pre school/nursery every day perhaps a compromise would be you stating that you only require x number of hours/sessions and the school offering the unused time to other children as I'm sure you aren't the only parent not wanting to access the full 15 hour entitlement.

AlsoAvailableSober Sat 18-Jun-11 09:24:06

We can attend as many or few sessions as we want (mornings & afternoons) and can claim over more than one setting. DD1 ended up doing 6 sessions (we paid for the extra 3hrs) which was two full days and two mornings, DD2 now does one full day.

Whether ours have the same code as DesolationAngel i'm not sure but that is what we seem to have access to.

clemetteattlee Mon 20-Jun-11 22:13:44

OP did youhear from your local LEA?

b1uebells Sun 26-Jun-11 09:11:04

Any update op? Would be interested to hear what LEA said as at our nursery the chn are expected to attend every morning, no leeway to that!

amidaiwish Sun 26-Jun-11 09:26:17

in DDs nursery, in theory you accepted a place for 5 days and agreed to go everyday (and therefore they got funding for 5 days) but in practice they didn't have to go all 5 days. It was totally up to you in reality and many started going 3 days, gradually increased to 5, others only ever went 3 or 4 days max.

but you couldn't do say 3 days there and 2 days somewhere else because of the funding issue.

which is fair enough - the funding is so tight, they need to claim the max.

Tanith Tue 28-Jun-11 18:39:14

"The fact is, the Head IS allowed to run a nursery that stipulates that a child has to attend every day. The OP asked if the Head was allowed, the answer is yes."

Not necessarily. It depends on your Local Authority. Some have deemed this to be discriminatory and unfair to those children who can't attend for a full week: in those Authorities, the answer is No.

Only the Local Authority can give the OP a straight answer on this one.

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