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Half Days?

(26 Posts)
SarahAJ Tue 03-Sep-13 16:57:28

My DD is due to start in Reception next week.

The late start (Thursday 12th September) I expected. But what I did not expect was three and a half weeks of half days. Shes not full-time until Monday 7th October! Is this normal?

Not only this, but I only got this info this morning after phone calls during the last two weeks of July to the school and emails all summer (I thought someone might be answering out of office?) and finally insisting that I need the information as soon as possible due to working shifts part time. The teacher I spoke to also got incredibly snotty at me when I suggested that perhaps they should have sent a letter to parents earlier. Was this unreasonable?

Elibean Tue 03-Sep-13 17:00:58

Normal at our school, yes. But not normal to only get this info now - that is the bit I would be hmm about.

Galena Tue 03-Sep-13 17:01:44

DD is also full time from 7th Oct. Starts tomorrow though. And a friend's DS started today and isn't full time till 14th Oct. I agree you should have had this information before the holiday though. We knew what was going on at the info meeting in early July.

Elibean Tue 03-Sep-13 17:01:56

Thinking about it, you should have had this information at the new parents' evening, or, if you didn't make that, in your information pack that is given out (at our school) at that point.

SarahAJ Tue 03-Sep-13 17:06:09

We went to every single meeting and got all the information avaliable except this. They weren't going to tell us this until they come to our home this Friday for a home visit. I only got the information because I kept calling. So frustrating!

Elibean Tue 03-Sep-13 19:41:57

How annoying! And silly, on their part - non-communication about something that affects childcare/work for so many is totally daft in PR terms.

12345Floris Thu 05-Sep-13 17:14:51

From what I've read over the years , all Reception starters are part time until the first week of October. Then 2 weeks after that, they're off for another week October half term! No wonder it's easy to be cynical about teachers complaining about their job...

pyrrah Thu 05-Sep-13 17:27:35

By law your child is now entitled to 195 days of school a year, so you can just tell them that your child will be staying for full days and they will have to sort something out. Might be worth getting a group of parents to insist on this. If they try to refuse then talk to the LA who will deal with it.

DD's primary found the half-days and staggered starts a very odd way of doing things and so half of reception started full-time today and the other half start full-time on Monday.

BrightnessAndWallpaper Thu 05-Sep-13 17:36:27

I think this is normal at many schools.

I can't help but think it is ridiculous though - not to mention very difficult on working parents and time off etc.

StarvingBookworm Thu 05-Sep-13 19:16:46

Floris definitely not all reception starters. At DD's school she is doing 3 hours today/tomorrow, 4 hours mon/tues (so staying for lunch), then full time from weds 11th. Some of her friends at other schools won't have even started by then!

spanieleyes Thu 05-Sep-13 19:21:55

Ours were in today from 8.45 until 12.45 ( so stayed for lunch-we provide free school meals for today, tomorrow and all next week) same again tomorrow. Then full time.

When my youngest started, it took until half term to be full time-drove me mad!!

Galena Thu 05-Sep-13 21:16:04

DD isn't full time till Oct 7th. Her friend isn't full time till Oct 14th... Glad I'm not trying to fit in working too...

Jinty64 Thu 05-Sep-13 22:25:44

Ours were in full time from day 1. I took the first week of work but couldn't have accommodated a long staggered start.

AbbyR1973 Fri 06-Sep-13 17:19:27

Full time from day 1 although reception class not starting until Monday, whereas the rest of the school have been back since yesterday. We were given the option for half days had we wanted it but I don't think anyone in DS1's class took it up last year.

BucketsnSpades Fri 06-Sep-13 17:26:10

DS is not going full time until the beginning of November. DH and I both work. Our bosses have been very accommodating but even with this we are unable to cover such an extended 'settling in' period and so we are relying on the kindness of friends and neighbours for free childcare and also requesting authorised leave for some days that we just cannot manage so that we can pack him off to a distant relative who is the only person available at that time. It will be the most haphazard and disruptive period of his life so far. Needless to say I'm pissed off.

TallyGrenshall Fri 06-Sep-13 17:34:43

DS started yesterday, half days until the 16th Sept although we had the option of half days until Jan (all the children born in 09 instead of 08 had the choice).

The school has a nursery attached so I pay £9 a day for him to stay all day.

October seems an awfully long settling in period to me

Oblomov Fri 06-Sep-13 17:59:31

OP, there was a new law in 2011, to support working parents.
It basically says, if parent wants, school HAS to, HAS TO, offer full days , right from the start of term.

I e-mailed my Head and politely asked if ds2 could go full time asap. She agreed.

The link , on the law change, is here:

Oblomov Fri 06-Sep-13 18:02:11

BucketnSpades, there is no need for you to put up with this, you do know that, don't you?

mrz Fri 06-Sep-13 18:20:57

All our children start full time from day one (unless parents request otherwise), we've done this for over 10 years.

Panzee Fri 06-Sep-13 18:28:00

My son has done 3 afternoons this week and will be doing 5 mornings next week, then full time. I don't see the point myself. I'm on maternity leave at the moment but if I wasn't this would be virtually impossible to do without using grandparents, childminder etc. Not fair for a new starter!

Lalamum18 Fri 06-Sep-13 20:12:15

Local to us the general rule is ALL 1/2 days until end of autumn term !! So almost 4 months worth!!

BucketsnSpades Fri 06-Sep-13 20:14:24

Thanks for the link oblomov, I had heard about this but didn't know if it had any basis in law. Things differ so much from one county to another. I'll be raising with our head. I still doubt they'll actually offer a full time place since Ds would effectively then just be sat on his own all afternoon with a teaching assistant but I do just want to make the point to the school that it's just unworkable and unfair on working parents.

Iwillorderthefood Fri 06-Sep-13 23:08:53

Us too [lala]. I am happy with this as DD is just 4 and sleeps most afternoons still.

Fuzzymum1 Sat 07-Sep-13 20:53:32

Our school does half days for the first week now. When DS2 was in reception a million 11 years ago they did a full half term of half days which was a nightmare for working parents.

DuchessofMalfi Sun 08-Sep-13 07:09:57

DS started Reception this year and has gone into whole days straight away. The option is there to do mornings only if you want that for your child, but only one parent had taken up that option.

When DD started school (different school) they messed around with half days - two weeks of mornings then swapped to afternoons and back again) all the way to Christmas. Frustrating.

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