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Primary school changed hours without consultation to parents

(31 Posts)
Dorsetmummy2 Tue 10-May-16 19:41:41

My daughter is 7, our head the head teacher has advised that she will need to stay an extra hour from September. Ks1 is 8:45 - 3 and ks2 will be 8.45 - 4. My son will be in reception from September. A lot of parents are unhappy with this chamge and are passionately against this. it seems that we have no option but to complain to the board of governors, and after that Ofsted. Does anyone have any experience of appealing to Ofsted or any other tips,we are doubtful that the board of governors will do anything since they supported the motion in the first place.

rollonthesummer Tue 10-May-16 19:43:22

That is a long day for ks2 sad My secondary aged children are both out by 3.30.

Was there any sort of consultation period with the parents?

MooPointCowsOpinion Tue 10-May-16 19:47:03

That's far too long, poor KS2 children!

I hope you can petition against it. If you want to complain I'd start by writing to the head, cc in the governors, stating you are starting a petition, and that you will take it further if necessary, asking for details of complaints procedure. Academies have a different structure, but anything can be referred to Ofsted via the website.

soapboxqueen Tue 10-May-16 19:53:10

As far as I know, schools are supposed to consult with staff and parents about changes to the school day. I think if the day start and end times are to change, people are supposed to be informed upto 3 months before the meeting and allowed to hace copies of the proposals. However, things change rapidly now so this may no longer be true.

However, the school have no duty to change their minds after the consultation. It isn't a democracy.

You can put in a complaint to the head. Then if you are not happy with their response the governors, then the LEA or dfe if it's an academy.

Ofsted won't be interested but they can point you in the right direction with your complaint.

Stillwishihadabs Tue 10-May-16 19:53:59

Most prep schools have similar hours (8:30-4:30 is common) but do more sport, is that what is being suggested ? Most ks2 children don't have an afternoon break so if they re-introduce that (which I think they'd have to) they won't gain much time anyway.

Dorsetmummy2 Tue 10-May-16 19:54:01

Thanks, it's very disappointing, so many issues, double picks up, and extra 2 hours of RE (it's a CofE school), my child I know won't thrive and will have to stop her chosen after school activities which are seen as treats.

There was no consultation with the parents, as we aren't education professionals, we have asked for feedback after the announcement, but only regarding enrichment subjects.

CherishFindensRulerOfDeath Tue 10-May-16 19:55:34

I'd love it if DD's school went on til 4, if they used the time in a way that meant there was no homework.

Lilaclily Tue 10-May-16 19:55:39

If it's state you could go to your LEA and complain

Dorsetmummy2 Tue 10-May-16 19:55:59

Sport is limited to two hours a week at 3-4pm.

littleducks Tue 10-May-16 19:58:28

Whilst I wouldn't have a huge problem with the hours I would be so cross to hang around for an hour between pick ups of older and younger children.

rollonthesummer Tue 10-May-16 20:09:53

Double pick ups would be a total pain in the neck! My DD would have missed brownies (starts at 4.30 and we'd never have got there on time) and ballet (starts at 4). Small business and clubs locally will really suffer and children getting good at specialist/particular sports and hobbies (swimming/cricket/diving/diving) that aren't done at school will also be on the decline.

quarkandmarmite Tue 10-May-16 21:05:04

What the hell are parents supposed to do if they have a child in YR and Y3??? Hang around for an hour?

I understand that many independent schools have long hours but they also have longer holidays and I dare say that not one independent school has different times of an hour between key stages and even if they did, many KS1 children attend an after school club.

Utterly ridiculous and quite frankly scandalous. If they cannot be bothered to consult with parents, it isn't a good school IMHO.

admission Tue 10-May-16 21:09:21

I believe that if this has been to the governors and they have agreed it to start in September then the school have done anything necessary for it to be legal.
That is not the same as being sensible.
The bit that worries me is the comment on 2 extra hours of RE a week. I would be very upset and annoyed if a significant part of the decision was to ensure that there was more RE on the timetable.

shouldwestayorshouldwego Wed 11-May-16 08:31:01

I would see if they would consider starting at 8 rather than 8.45. Although it is a pain being up early, if you have a dh then maybe one of you can do the early drop before work, also do trades with friends. One takes the older and the other the younger etc. If you start early it doesn't feel as if you miss as much of the day. They are all fresher too. I wonder whether they will have more people withdrawing from RE if it is at the end of the day.

It's a lot of time to be hanging around with little ones every night. Occasionally for an after school club is ok. Also what are they doing about after school clubs? I would say that it is time to forge more alliances and get an older/ younger rota going.

What1984 Wed 11-May-16 10:34:01

If the school is an Academy there is nothing you can do. They can make that decision, and they have made it. In theory, if you do not like an Academy decision then you can always move your child to another school, as part of idea of the drive to full academisation, and the associated introduction of Free Schools was to introduce market discipline into Education. Just as, if you send your child to a fee paying independent, and they do something you dont like, your (in truth last resort) is to move to anoter school.

Temporaryanonymity Wed 11-May-16 10:36:19

It's one way of increasing revenue into their after school care...

What1984 Wed 11-May-16 10:39:32

If the school is a community school, that is NOT an academy.

1. Write to the chair, politely, ask what consultation was held (in case they held one and you somehow missed it) and explain your problems with the change.) Copy in the Head of Childrens services at your LA. Talk, if you can, informally to one of the elected parent governors who should at least explain the reason the decision was reached. They may convince you (!)

2. If you want to take it further talk to one of your local councillors.

t4gnut Wed 11-May-16 10:47:16

Schools are advised to consult on changes to the school day but do not have to do so.

OFSTED do not manage complaints against schools - not their role, they are not interested. Governors then LEA/DFE, however as the school has done nothing against any rules I'm not sure what you expect to happen. The governors will have been involved in the decision and the LEA/DFE will tell you the school has acted within its remit.

NotCitrus Wed 11-May-16 10:48:24

Wouldn't this be a rather significant change to teachers' conditions too? Have you asked what they think about it? Also an extra 2 hours a week of RE??

bojorojo Wed 11-May-16 10:58:22

I totally agree with admission. In fact, if the RE is at the end of the day, can you say you do not wish your child to participate and collect earlier? I would be furious at the prospect of 2 hours RE.

I assume this is a voluntary aided C of E school so the Governors do what they want, more or less. Local Councillors do not have jurisiction over this decision whatsoever. This will be a decision of the Governors and it is to them that you should complain. Getting lots of parents to sign a letter, or bombard them with numerous letters, is the best way to get your point accross so they understand the strength of feeling. Also, the Governors should allow a parent(s) to address their Full Governig Body meeting if they have any notion of what working with the parent community actually means.

What do the parent governors think? Have you asked them? Did they put forward the cons to this decision? They are not Parent Repreentatives, but they should have considered what the changes might mean for parents.

I would not have a problem with a 4 pm finish time if the extra time was used for art, sport, music, drama and other "fun" things that get squeezed out of a balanced curriculum. However, I can see that hanging around and missing clubs outside school is a real problem and this decision should be challenged.

bojorojo Wed 11-May-16 11:03:38

To do the extra hours, the school will probably employ external people, or supply teachers and give a break in the afternoon. The teachers hours will not change unless they agree to that. Or they may get part-time teachers to do more hours. There are lots of ways around this. If it is a voluntary aided school, the Governors employ the teachers, not the LA. They will have to negotiate how the hours will be covered with their staff and presumably this has been done. It will be interesting to see if there are lots of resignations between now and 31 May as teachers get new jobs elsewhere!

t4gnut Wed 11-May-16 11:14:10

I think you can safely assume the governors are fully aware. Your only real argument is strength of parent feeling.

caitlinohara Wed 11-May-16 12:19:56

I too would welcome a longer school day if it meant no homework. But the bit about different age groups having different hours hasn't been thought through at all. I would be livid, OP. If you can keep your temper there are some good suggestions on here about how to approach this.

NewLife4Me Wed 11-May-16 12:30:37

There will be a lot of people withdrawing from RE which will be a shame for their dc. Those not withdrawing will be favourably looked at in a CofE school.
My ds went to a RC school and we weren't RC, he missed out on so much and felt like an outsider when they all did extra RE.
We had to move him in the end.

bojorojo Wed 11-May-16 12:38:12

It is very unusual for a C of E school to be so religious though. RC are often more intense. I would definitely find out how the school day is to be structured. Withdrawing from RE at a C of E school that has changed the goalposts would not be unusual. It is very rare that 100% of a C of E school commuity are practicing C of E, assuming it has a catchment area of course. The RC schools around here are rarer and therefore are mostly full of RC children who do not wish to withdraw.

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