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A small issue, is it worth mentioning to the school or is it best to ignore and moan in private?

(53 Posts)
Eddas Tue 12-Jul-11 16:46:34

Today was dd's sports day. The advertised time was 1.30-3, I told dd I couldn't come to the whole things as I had to work but I would be there for the final few mins (20mins ish before the end) she was disappointed but happy that I would at least see some of it. So I finished work a little early (time I will need to make up) and turned up about 2.40 to see the final few mins to find that it had already finished, in fact it had finished at around 2.30!! I was really annoyed that after making a special effort I missed the whole thing. I appreciate that as a working parent I must accept I will miss things but I tried. DD is not normally the sort of child to worry overly, but she actually cried at pick up time today which is most unlike her. She said it was because she had lost but I think it had more to do with me not seeing any of it sad

My question is, is it worth mentioning to the school that it is quite annoying that it finished way before the advertised end?

I know is not a huge deal but I just feel like they are always doing this sort of thing, small annoying things rather than major issues but all that happens is people moan at the gate/on fb and never actually tell the school.

I'm not sure if there's an issue worth mentioning of if i'm just tired and grumpy grin

Malcontentinthemiddle Tue 12-Jul-11 16:48:54

It's really difficult with sports days though - hard to predict how long the races will take!

I see it is annoying, and sad for your dd, though.

Eddas Tue 12-Jul-11 16:52:32

see this is my issue, I do get that but would they really get it wrong by half an hour when the advertised time was an hour and a half? that's 2/3 of the time? just seems like such a large amount of time to be wrong by in proportion. If I had turned up as they were finishing I wouldn't have been so annoyed but they had been long finished. A fair few parents were moaning as they then had to wait 40mins til school pick up time to collect their dc!

oneofsuesylvesterscheerios Tue 12-Jul-11 16:52:55

What do you hope the outcome will be and what will the school be able to do? Save providing you with a time machine, it probably won't do you much good. I'm not trying to be facetious; I think it's best left. Sports days take masses of organisation and the staff will have worked really hard and they'll be exhausted now. Complaining that you missed half an hour of sports day will make them feel a bit confused or worse hmm. I'm afraid you might just have to suck it up.

. It's a shame your dd was disappointed but that's a learning curve for you for next time - tell her you'll do your best to attend things rather than say you'll defo be there.

reikizen Tue 12-Jul-11 16:54:16

I suppose I would mention it to the class teacher, in a friendly way, just to let them know the general feeling on the matter, not that it will change anything. Like you say, people tend to moan between themselves and the school may not even be aware of it.

Fimbo Tue 12-Jul-11 16:57:16

Oh ffs. Sometimes these things finish early because it has gone quicker than anticipated.

I am getting off these school threads now before I do someone an injury.

spanieleyes Tue 12-Jul-11 16:58:10

Ask if they can get the children to run slower next year!

Eddas Tue 12-Jul-11 17:11:51

As I haven't posted in AIBU I was actually hoping for helpful answers so thank you to those who have provided help as to the others, well meh!

This is actually dd's 3rd sports day so I am aware things finish quicker but they have never finished that early. I posted here for perspective.

The reason I thought about contacting them is that I am sick of all the bitching outside school about things like this when these people never think of telling the school how the feel. Sometimes they have a valid point but how can the school know there's an issue if no-one mentions it. I do realise that in the case I am perhaps overthinking it, which is why I came here rather than email the school. I know in this case if I did mention it it wouldn't change anything, but it's not all about what has happened in the past, sometimes to change things in the future you need to know what was wrong in the past don't you?

mrz Tue 12-Jul-11 17:17:44

It's very difficult to calculate how long something like sports day will take no matter how many run throughs it either takes much longer or is over much faster than anticipated. Sorry it's unfortunate you missed everything but I'm sure the school didn't expect things to run as smoothly as they obviously did.

mrz Tue 12-Jul-11 17:18:50

I also imagine the school is very aware that there will be disappointed children and parents.

spanieleyes Tue 12-Jul-11 17:20:53

But there is no helpful answer! I'm sure the school expected the sports day to finish at 3 but it didn't for whatever reason ( either they were more organised than usual, missed out a couple of races, hurried because of impending storms or simply miscalculated!) Children are very hard to timetable! They couldn't really be expected to do anything other than as they did.

TracyK Tue 12-Jul-11 17:23:00

Maybe wait till next year and then say to the head - what time will it finish this year - cos last year it finished x mins early and I know quite a few were pissed off? And if you don't think you'll make it in plenty of time - just say you can't go rather than run the risk of missing it again?
Do you have a parents council that could maybe make some enquries as to why it was SO early?
Our sports day was cancelled 3 times and then they ended up not inviting parents to the day they finally managed to get dry. I think they were fed up with re scheduling.

Eddas Tue 12-Jul-11 17:24:23

your last answer was more helpful than your first!

I guess i'm just hacked off at always feeling disappointed at missing things, in this case even when I did turn up within the alloted time. I guess that's my problem and tough luck for me.

Parental guilt strikes again. After 7 years of being a parent I should be used to it but it still kicks you in the stomach everytime.

Eddas Tue 12-Jul-11 17:26:38

oh and before you say I miss things due to work it's actually normally because the school deem enough notice as one week, which of course it isn't if you need to book time off work. And yes I do realise sometimes things crop up without much notice but not all of them.

Ormirian Tue 12-Jul-11 17:28:43

Not it isn't worth making a fuss of. If they started earlier than advertised for no good reason it might be, but you can't dictate how fast children run races! If it had rained or been too hot it would have been cancelled altogether and arranged for another day with no consideration given to parents' schedules at all! wink

I am on my 3rd primary schooler now and I have learned that the only way to manage is to:

1. Take time off for the whole thing
2. Get GPs or aunties or good friends to go in your place
3. Explain nicely that you can't be there but you will try to go to the next thing.

This summer I have 2 secondary acheivement assemblies, 1 'Pop project' at secondary, primary sports day, primary special assembly and a picnic to attend. DH can't do any as he is a teacher. I am relying on GPs stepping in, or winging it by sneaking out of work for a long lunch hour or getting in a bit later than I should.

Ormirian Tue 12-Jul-11 17:30:23

BTW I totally agree that school gate bitching is pointless. Even if the school tell you to sod off and dont be so daft, it is better to mention things if they are causing that much grief. I just don;t think is one of those things you can sensibly complain about.

Eddas Tue 12-Jul-11 17:33:35

yes you're right ormirian. I too have a rather ridiculous schedule of events, which is probably not helping as ds is leaving 2 pre-schools so I have 3 'schools' for 2 dc at the moment, roll on september when they're both at the same school! at least they'll only be one set of term dates etc. I can cope with missing ad-hoc come in and see our work days but they'll only be one sprts da, one disco etc etc <<<bliss>>>

swash Tue 12-Jul-11 17:34:59

That's tough, but I wouldn't mention it to the school. Save your battles for the really important ones. I would take my dd to the park and ask her to demonstrate some of the races, then go and celebrate with a huge ice cream. So that she still gets a chance to show me what she had done.

And I would send someone in my place next year too.

You just can't do everything as a working parent. It is tough.

Eddas Tue 12-Jul-11 17:41:34

next year i'll have the joy of dd being in juniors, morning sports day and ds in infants, afternoon sports day so i'll be booking the day off if I can. dd seems ok now having told her that I was sorry but reminding her I am taking her to the school leavers disco on Friday and taking her friend too.

southofthethames Tue 12-Jul-11 20:16:19

You can't mention it to the school - there's nothing they can do. If the kids complete the races faster or some things have to cancelled because of the weather, that's what happens. Even Wimbledon can't control what time they start or finish each day. Any reason why you couldn't take the whole day off if you were going to make up the time anyway? I know many working mums (incl mine) who did just that - first thing they did when holiday rotas came out....."I want sports day, speech/prize giving day off please." I do know one school who had their sports day rescheduled 3 times because it was just bad luck with the rain (heavy, pelting, random summer rain).

southofthethames Tue 12-Jul-11 20:20:31

PS People moan at the school gates because sports day finishes half an hour early??? Nice to know some people are lucky not to have any serious problems at all to moan about ;-)

cat64 Tue 12-Jul-11 20:51:31

Message withdrawn

hocuspontas Tue 12-Jul-11 21:03:51

You know that if it had overrun by just 10 minutes there would be at least a dozen mums complaining that they would be late picking up their other children, would miss an appointment, miss a train, be late for ballet, etc.

eandemum Tue 12-Jul-11 21:22:38

Hi - feel for you - this year I was in similar position to you - rushing out of work to make it - but I got to see her team games and her winning the individual running race.
Went back to work v pleased with self - everybody happy - I am a fab mum multi-tasking blah blah blah wink
BUT at home time DD (5) could only complain that as I had left before the very end - she had to nobody to wave to when going back to her class and had to make do waving to her friend's mum.sad

So we can't win smile However constructively next year if poss aim to get to the start rather than the end AND I would say to Head (informally) re: timings.
Yes they must be a nightmare to organise and hats off to all involved but finishing 30 mins earlier than thought is alot isn't it?

Panzee Tue 12-Jul-11 21:27:14

I think you make an excellent point. I organise the sports days at school and as I am very aware that this is the sort of thing I will probably have to do re my own son I think it is important. Just a quiet word with the PE co-ordinator (if you know who it is) should be enough.

And now you've raised it I've put it on my notes for next year to make sure I have a really good idea when it will end. It wasn't your school btw, we had ours weeks ago! smile

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