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child starting reception in sep - home visit - why?

(62 Posts)
curryeater Tue 18-Jun-13 21:09:05

We have had a letter from the school informing us that we will be visited at home on a certain day at 2.40. we have been told to have the original birth certificate of the child to hand. And that the appointment cannot be rearranged. This would mean taking a whole day off work (if one of us even can) which is a bit of a problem. we have been forced to move house twice this year and with one thing and another are both really running out of leave.

We are told in the letter that if a meeting does not take place it may delay our child starting school.

Can anyone tell me what this is for, so I can work out how hard I have to try to make it work.

If it is about the birth certificate - there will be another way to do it, and there is no point in me taking a day off work so they can look at a document.

If it is about seeing our house, and home life, it is none of their business.

If there is some actually important reason why meeting the child at home is genuinely different from the other visits arranged with the pre-school, and important, maybe I should make the effort.

If not, I would prefer to use my leave on some time off together as a family in the summer, supporting my dd1 when she actually starts school, and as much time off at xmas as we can have so that we get a good break together after her first term. (not that I remotely have enough time for all of these things to the extent I would like!)

Can those who know about such things please advise me?

storynanny Wed 19-Jun-13 18:20:35

Of course the school needs to see your birth certificate, although doesnt need to be when they visit you at home. They need to ascertain that they are the age a parent says they are. Just in case a child starts school too young by "mistake" as has happened in the past.

LBsBongers Thu 20-Jun-13 13:17:46

My DS benefited from meeting his teacher and TA at home, teacher talked through things they will do at school and how they come into the building.

I do think some point to the visit is to check you live where you do and that you don't have dog poo on the sofa.

StarlightMcKenzie Thu 20-Jun-13 13:35:19

curryeater I'm in your club. We can hold hands.

We have also been told dd's home visit WILL be on x day at x time. This will not be rearranged. (we can't do that time)

Then there is a whole ranting page about unauthorised absences.

And then there is a bit about your child being able to start part-time if you want but that all children should be admitted in Sept, which has got me in a rage because I know that the LAW states that children don't have to be in school until after their 5th birthday - but that the school will lose funding if they aren't marked in in Sept. Grrrrrrrrrrrrr

So - lies. (and how can we discuss this if there is no home visit etc.)

Then there is a form I have to sign about not talking about the school or their decisions online (oops, breached that already), which iirc is expecting me to forego my lawful right to freedom of expression.

etc. etc. etc.

Like you, I have a massive distrust of schools based on past experiences.

StarlightMcKenzie Thu 20-Jun-13 13:37:58

Oh DD's school refused to reschedule........

Viviennemary Thu 20-Jun-13 13:43:17

I would think that this cannot be re-arranged visit was to confirm that you actually live at the address you say you do. I don't think there is any alternative but to ring the school.

StarlightMcKenzie Thu 20-Jun-13 13:44:26

I rang the school. They said 'tough!' hmm

daftdame Thu 20-Jun-13 13:49:45

I think this is why, once children are settled in school, people stop reading (or claim to have) newsletters, any letters, signing weird 'school contracts' etc. Parents 'dropping and running' as soon as they are able, or putting them in breakfast / after school club to avoid avoid avoid the school staff.

The schools find it difficult to chase them all. Would have difficulty making them adhere to all the non-statutory in law policies. The evade and avoid is just a less confrontational tactic that parents adopt, if they can. No wonder schools are moaning parents don't want to be involved!

LackaDAISYcal Thu 20-Jun-13 13:51:51

Our reception class doesn't start until 12th September because teachers are out doing home visits. I wonder how this sits with the staggered start stuff? Can I insist that they take him on September 3rd? I'm starting a new job as a college support worker, so need to be available from the very start of the autumn term.

I am horrified though that the school are being so inflexible. Surely they realsie that people work, and those that work will already have used a great deal of their annual leave covering the previous six weeks?

LackaDAISYcal Thu 20-Jun-13 13:52:58

OMG Starlight; they are making you sign a gagging order? shock

daftdame Thu 20-Jun-13 13:55:42

Starlight The 'gagging order' is also so impractical, if your child has to see anyone regarding their educational needs you would have to divulge the relevant information. They couldn't enforce it, could they?

StarlightMcKenzie Thu 20-Jun-13 13:57:19

Yes. It would seem so.

I think it might be fair enough to ask parents to refrain from discussing and naming teachers on social networking sites, but not to sign a form saying they won't even discuss any decisions that the school makes.

So, technically, I can't post and say 'ds' teacher seems to think she is on green book and she reads tangerine books at home, what should I do?'

or 'AIBU to think that if the school want dd to wear suncream they should apply it themselves' etc etc.

pumpkinsweetie Thu 20-Jun-13 13:57:25

My dc have all went to the same nursery and school,
but just recently upon my dd starting their nursery this september they also have changed the first visit from being at school to a visit in the home.
Must say not being used to this being the schools way, i thought it was rather odd and wondered why they do now do this-Can only come the conclusion, it is for address purposes ie: to check you really live in the 'catchment' zone.

StarlightMcKenzie Thu 20-Jun-13 13:58:36

daft It is to say you won't discuss the school or their decisions ONLINE.

They also say they will prosecute if they find this has been the case, which is a bit [confusing] as I don't know any laws that would allow this.

HumphreyCobbler Thu 20-Jun-13 13:59:51

Gosh Starlight, that school sounds shocking.

OP - I have taught in several schools that never did home visits. No problems resulted from this lack. I would not be impressed at having to take a day off work. I would phone the school and state that I could not be there on that day and say I would drop off the certificate in the office.

daftdame Thu 20-Jun-13 14:00:17

Starlight I'd like to see the IT dept that'll do all the investigation! grin

Maybe that's where all the funding goes...

StarlightMcKenzie Thu 20-Jun-13 14:00:26

Don't think so pumpkin as we have also moved twice in the last year and they couldn't give two hoots that we can't make the home visit due to our caring duties towards our disabled son.

I couldn't give two hoots either to be fair.

mrsmortis Thu 20-Jun-13 14:01:33

Starlight - I think they would have to sue you for slander or similar...

StarlightMcKenzie Thu 20-Jun-13 14:01:41

It's a well-known school with families falling over themselves to get into.....

StarlightMcKenzie Thu 20-Jun-13 14:02:33

Slander? For asking if AIBU about the sun cream policy?

pumpkinsweetie Thu 20-Jun-13 14:02:50

Oh gosh starlight that's me arrested then !
Many of time i have mentioned my children's school in statuses on fb as i have had problems with it since it became an 'academy'. Basically to get the word out that * academy isn't a good school so others don't send there kids there in future and to hear opinions from other mums of the school.

daftdame Thu 20-Jun-13 14:03:36

Not slander if you are only talking about decisions and not naming names.

StarlightMcKenzie Thu 20-Jun-13 14:06:26

TBH, I don't think I can sign the thing. I'm campaigning for MORE transparency within the public sector, and education in particular. It would go against my every fibre.

It's just turned an academy.

daftdame Thu 20-Jun-13 14:08:56

Starlight Bet they won't chase you for it anyway.

daftdame Thu 20-Jun-13 14:10:48

Starlight Do they ask both parents to sign? If not they've missed a trick...

StarlightMcKenzie Thu 20-Jun-13 14:20:37

Don't think so.

It's just one part of the whole home-school agreement document.

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