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What was the final verdict on what was allowed about schools drawn out settling into reception processes?

(10 Posts)
littleducks Tue 04-Oct-11 19:41:55

DD is at local primary, she started there in the reception in November so missed out on the settling in processs. DS is due to start next Sept.

I found out that today was the first day the current reception class did a full day until 3.15, apparently they do two weeks of finishing at 12 (before lunch) then two weeks of finishing at 1/1.30ish after lunch.

I am at uni, so when dd started reception (at diff school) she had finished setttling in (a week of finishing after lunch) by the time my term started around 26th Sept and was going to afterschool club once/twice a week.

I am now really worried about ds starting school as there is no way I will be able to pick him up that early.

I suppose I could technically I could keep him at nursery (where he stays till 6 the one/two days dd is at afterschool club) but worried that he will miss out, I know he is missing nursery friend who went to big school this year so would probably feel awful to be left behind.

Is there any reason for the prolonged faffing about? He did a gradual settling to nursery at 2.5 but was withing a week doing a 'day' there so was used to the routine, I dont see the point in finishing at lunchtime for a month.....I think it will make it worse for him when he then has to stay for the afternoon.

I do realise this is a drawn out OP btw, apologies!

LovetheHarp Tue 04-Oct-11 19:55:17

I phoned our LEA and they confirmed that the law has changed in Sep 2011, which means schools are obliged to offer a full time place from day one. Sadly nobody knows about it but at our school I raised it with the governors so it has become more widely known. This has prompted many parents to go and talk to the head, who in turn is now offering parents a choice, officially.

If you feel your child should be going to school from day one, you are legally entitled to demand this. I would speak to the head and the LEA - they will support you. Good luck!!

whomovedmychocolate Tue 04-Oct-11 19:58:53

If your school provides wraparound and nursery care they may well offer to put your DS in the nursery for the afternoon to play to make up the hours. smile

littleducks Tue 04-Oct-11 21:07:00

It doesnt wmmc....just afterschool club till 5.45 hmm although I am sure 6pm would be far more helpful for most parents! It advertises a breakfast club, even has some cert at reception for providing wrap around care but the breakfast club doesnt actually exist shock

I may contact my LEA to see what their line is on this

prh47bridge Tue 04-Oct-11 23:16:55

I'm afraid LovetheHarp is wrong.

I am happy that some LAs think they have to offer a full time place from day one but that is not what the Admissions Code actually says. All that has changed is that they have to offer a place to all children who are 4 before the start of term in September. The Admissions Code is silent as to whether or not that has to be full time.

You are not legally entitled to demand full time education from day one. If the LA understands the Admissions Code properly they will know this and will not necessarily support you. However, that shouldn't stop you from talking to the school about your situation and seeing if they can help or at least point you to some wrap around provision that actually exists.

My dd1 has just finished a whole month of part time settling in. It's utterly ridiculous imo and the whole thing has been one long stress for me (I work ft). I realise that not every child has been ft in childcare like my dd has, but surely almost everyone takes advantage of the government funded hours? In the weeks where she did afternoons (alternated between mornings and afternoons each week) it was only 2 hours a day - even less than pre-school ffs!

I covered it with a combination of taking half days at work and help from the nursery where she now goes for after school care. When she was at school in the morning they collected her at 12pm and then put her in with the pre-schoolers for the afternoon (for the bargain price of £24 a day shock). The manager collected her in the car so it was less than 10 minutes out of the nursery, not a huge inconvenience really but I was grateful nonetheless!

I would speak to your ds's nursery and see what they can do. You may be surprised (I know I was). It's cost me an absolute fortune, but at least it's over with now. I'm very much hoping they'll have come to their senses and stopped this nonsense changed their policy before dd2 starts. They've got 4 years!

DeWe Wed 05-Oct-11 21:01:34

Well I'm going the other way.
My ds who was 4 in June has just started reception. He went half time for a week, then was straight in full time.

I didn't think school would be an issue for him, he loved preschool, and has big sisters at school. He first went into school at less than 8 hours old and has gone there pretty much every day it's open since.

The day he started full time he suddenly went very clingy, won't leave my side at home, is having nightmares and is clearly finding it very hard. Having sounded very excited about staying at school for lunch.

Academically he has no problems, he's a fluent reader, and can do fairly difficult sums, only thing he doesn't like is writing.

I would like to send him part time, but no other parent has taken this option up, so I don't think it would help in the long run to feel singled out in this way.
However I feel that if there were several of them going home it would be much better for him, and I know from speaking to the school that there are others who are also struggling in the afternoon, falling asleep, and concentration issues in the afternoon.

builder Thu 06-Oct-11 11:18:07

Our school has a practical approach.

Two weeks of part-time and then full-time, unless children are struggling.

However, our school is unique in our town - all the other schools string it out to half term which I think is probably far more unsettling to children and definitely for families.

The two part-time weeks were bad enough - the reception age dd still got dragged up to school at 3pm to pick up her older sister.

MoaningMinnieWhingesAgain Thu 06-Oct-11 11:46:58

DD's primary seems to be the exception - two 90 min visits before the summer holidays, then everyone started reception full time from September - 8.45 - 3.15.

She was attending preschool 9-3 anyway so it would have been strange for her to start doing half days. She has been tired/talking a lot in her sleep/getting in my bed during the night a bit more than usual but is loving it. Part time must be a nightmare for anyone working typical hours (we both do shift work so it's fiddly anyway)

cmgjh Thu 06-Oct-11 18:27:03

In Norfolk, the LA website states "By law, children must start statutory education full-time at the beginning of the term following their fifth birthday. All parents of children born between 1st September 2007 and 31st August 2008 must be offered a full time place from September 2012. Parents are entitled to defer their admission or request that their child attend on a part-time basis, however the child must start school on a full time basis during the academic year 2012/13 and no later than the beginning of the term after their fifth birthday."

I'm assuming from this that my DD will start full time in September unless I request part time. Hope the LA don't realise they don't have to as I'm kind of relying on her being there full time!

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