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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?

Galena Thu 20-Jun-13 14:20:52

Starlight, could you adapt it to say you will not discuss them by name online?

daftdame Thu 20-Jun-13 14:25:03

Starlight I don't think schools are allowed to insist you sign home school agreements.

Ed Balls postulated a lot about this but the legislation he was proposing was relaxed. They can ask, but can't force or take you to court over breach.

Quenelle Thu 20-Jun-13 14:26:12

DS's school is doing home visits in September too. Fortunately ours is on a day when DH works from home so not a problem, although the school did say they would rearrange if it wasn't convenient. Is your school full? DS's class only has 24 children so not so difficult to fit in over a week and a half.

I don't think it's to check home addresses. We are out of catchment for DS's school. Different LEA in fact. And the school is always undersubscribed. I think it's partly getting to know child in own environment, and partly safeguarding.

And yes, the home visits mean that school starts two weeks into September, and then there are two weeks of half days so full time school doesn't actually start until 30 September. DS's preschool is on the same site and they will take the Reception children while they are waiting to start, but it's occurred to me today that he probably won't be eligible for the 15 funded hours any more, because he's registered at the Lower School. If that is the case September is going to cost us a fortune sad

Regarding the old feelings resurfacing curryeater, have you been invited to a parents' meeting at the school yet? We went to ours last week and it was very useful. I was amazed how much primary school has changed since I went in the early 70s. The teachers and HT were very friendly and approachable. It was a bit tiresome being spoken to like four year olds by the HT but hopefully that won't last... hmm

StarlightMcKenzie Thu 20-Jun-13 14:32:42

The thing is I WANT to sign it. I want the whole thing to be positive for the sake of everyone.

I don't want to be making a stand against a school my dd isn't even in yet. hmm I don't want any concerns or accommodation requests to be denied or ignored because I am 'one of those' parents, (though very likely I really AM 'one of those' parents).

I have no anxieties about dd starting school. All my anxieties are about MY relationship with the school.

daftdame Thu 20-Jun-13 14:38:27

Starlight I get it. Could your children's father sign it, if he doesn't mind? I don't think it would be enforceable any way...Could you doctor the document so it was unnoticeable through clever scanning / photocopying? I know you shouldn't have to...

newschoolmum Thu 20-Jun-13 14:43:37

I started a similar thread yesterday. Have politely asked for clarification of the purpose of the home visit and whether dc needs to be there...

DH does shifts so will be vaguely awake and grumpy at them.

Out of interest, am I right that they can't refuse to admit a child if you refuse to sign a home-school agreement?

StarlightMcKenzie Thu 20-Jun-13 14:47:54

I imagine daftdame If I scribbled all over the thing it will not be read, just filed as the purpose is not to contract the parents to do anything, - but simply by asking them to sign it you have increased the chances that they will have read the wishes of the school.

daftdame Thu 20-Jun-13 14:51:20

Starlight That is how I understand it too smile

I signed our school's. Not that I actually had the power to enforce the whole of its adherence by I just have to hope...

pointythings Thu 20-Jun-13 20:09:05

With DD1 the school did not do home visits, with DD2 they did but I was between jobs at the time. They offered to change date/time if needed and were very flexible, and no gagging orders on the home-school agreement. Personally I'd have run a mile from a school pulling any of that stuff...

lljkk Sat 22-Jun-13 10:08:13

One thing to learn about schools is that they decide a lot of things very last minute so what seems like dismissiveness is simply "We don't know yet"-ness.

Sounds like you might be off to a very bad start, CurryEater.

GibberTheMonkey Sat 22-Jun-13 11:17:38

I have been chased across a playground to be told I had forgotten to sign the home/school agreement by a secretary calling me very loudly.
She didn't seem to understand that I hadn't forgotten I had chose not to.
I will not be signing again with this new school.
Twice bitten... I'm not taking the risk of all the weight being on their side

GibberTheMonkey Sat 22-Jun-13 11:21:08


And this time I will be that parent rather than buckling

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