School not full time until November

(70 Posts)
Oysterbabe Mon 10-Aug-20 20:33:33

DD is due to start reception. I keep hearing promises of schools fully reopening in September. We have received her schedule for settling in and her first day at school isn't until 1st October and she's only doing 8 days in school before half term. She will start full time after half term, on 2nd November. The school has decided that, as they have been closed for so long, the existing children will go back into their old classes and resettle for a month before moving up a class and new starters will be delayed. Can they do this? Can I complain to anyone?

My partner and I both work. I've managed to arrange for her to stay in nursery for an extra month but it's going to cost a grand because it's not funded, the school are getting the funding for her. The other days she's not in school we're going to have to cover somehow with annual leave and grandparents. We also have to pay nearly £400 for afterschool club for up until half term that we will use 8 times. The club is a private company so, whilst sympathetic, it isn't their problem that we don't need them and I have signed a contract.

I just feel really fed up, like we're being completely shafted financially.

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Redlocks28 Mon 10-Aug-20 20:35:13

Our EYFS have done this as well-I can see why it would be a pain, but nothing has been or will be ‘Normal’ for a while due to COVID.

WoWsers16 Mon 10-Aug-20 20:47:17

That's terrible! I also feel that the school is really dragging the process out- children need to be back in their new classes to get focused for the year - having a term in their old class means they will basically miss a term of their new year group?! Crazy.
I would be majorly annoyed about costs and childcare issues - I have a feeling that schools have to take your child from September - as I remember other threads a long this line.
I wouldn't be happy and I hope you get sorted x your child will be missing a term of their education which I feel is not actually needed as they could be in - what's the year 6 teacher doing??

Marmite27 Mon 10-Aug-20 20:51:13

When is your daughter 5? I understand they have to be in school from 5. Is it called compulsory school age?

My eldest starts this year and will be starting full time on 7th September, but a friends child has a 1st October start too. DC1 is a September birthday though, and will turn 5 almost as soon as school starts. Friend’s child has a late October birthday.

Parker231 Mon 10-Aug-20 20:55:38

You have the right to send Reception full time from the start of term. You don’t have to accept a staggered start. We did this as didn’t have the luxury of nearly a month of work but not sure how things will work this term regardless of your statutory rights.

parietal Mon 10-Aug-20 20:57:50

Pre-COVID some schools would have v long settling in times for reception kids.

Friend of mine had to work and told the school that her child had the right to education 9am -3pm and she wasn't doing all the half day settling in nonsense. And they took the child full time from day 1.

But that might be harder to push now.

BikeRunSki Mon 10-Aug-20 20:59:17

Staggered starts for Reception are not unusual, nothing to do with Covid, but IME schools are terrible at telling parents about it in advance.


Oysterbabe Mon 10-Aug-20 21:01:55

A staggered start is normal for her school but they have pushed the process back by a month.

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domesticslattern Mon 10-Aug-20 21:03:54

I'm really sorry but staggered starts in reception were totally normal pre Covid. One of my DC didn't start full time till after October half term, I think the other one was nearly as bad. This thread appears every year when MNetters find out for the first time that some schools do this.
It's a massive ballache and I feel your pain.

LoeliaPonsonby Mon 10-Aug-20 21:05:30

You have the right to insist on full time placement from the start of term, this hasn’t changed due to Covid. You’ll need to push and push - but the school need to get their act together.

LoeliaPonsonby Mon 10-Aug-20 21:06:18

Also, staggered starts are not normal everywhere, round here they are the exception and most schools start full time from day 1.

Sirzy Mon 10-Aug-20 21:07:52

I don’t see how going back to their old classes for a month will help the older children either, surely that is just going to confuse them when they change again so soon after?

All of our school are back in on the same day in the new classes with the new start methods etc so they all get used to it

Oysterbabe Mon 10-Aug-20 21:30:44

Thanks for the input.
She isn't 5 until December. I was well aware of the staggered start and we had planned for it. If it weren't for Covid her staggered start would start on 2nd September and she'd be full time by October.
I feel like I do want to push it a bit but can't see how they will take her, as they've planned for no reception children for the first month, her teacher will be teaching a different class.

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napody Mon 10-Aug-20 21:33:42

That does sound tricky but I agree you cant very well push for Sept start and have her the only Reception child in! You could push for her to skip the Oct staggered start though and go straight to full time, surely that would help a bit?

napody Mon 10-Aug-20 21:36:13

I'm a Reception teacher and although a staggered start is really valuable for some children, a Decepmber born girl used to full time nursery is more likely to take full time in her stride!

Drivingdownthe101 Mon 10-Aug-20 21:39:36

Bloody hell at our school reception children start full time from day 1 and will be this year too.
I know some schools do staggered starts as standard, but not to this extent. There will be many people who cannot facilitate this without having to quit their jobs.

LoeliaPonsonby Mon 10-Aug-20 21:43:05

You absolutely can push for her to start full time. It is not your DDs fault that her school have decided her teacher will be doing something else. School may be relying on you not making a fuss, but they are legally obliged to take her.

Pud2 Tue 11-Aug-20 09:53:55

I think that is extreme and unnecessary. There’s no need for children to go back and spend a month in their old class. Children are more resilient than people think. Our reception children are doing mornings only for the first week and then they’re in full time. No point stringing it out.

sirfredfredgeorge Tue 11-Aug-20 12:14:06

You are entitled to a full time education from September, and your admissions authority has to have made this clear to you.

Both your school and the admissions authority appear to be breaking the admissions code (ie the law) and there has so far been no COVID legislation enabling that.

Of course enforcing the law is difficult, but I think you should at least start by seeing what the admissions authority say when you ask them as they are likely working at the moment.

ExCoffeeAddict Tue 11-Aug-20 12:22:53

Wow thats tough on your whole family sorry your in this situation sad
If i was you I would speak to school to see if any other arrangements can be made flexibly
Speak to LA
I have a DD starting reception sept- shes a jan baby and so ready for it. Goes to nursery full time so i know i would feel deeply aggrieved in your situation

I really hope something can get resolved here sad

drspouse Tue 11-Aug-20 12:26:19

A month!
My DD school moves them up a week before the end of term. KW, Y1 and YR did the same this year. I'm in Year 2 she now says proudly. The others got virtual tours and chats with their new teacher.
Can you look into the funding? The EY funding can stay in the nursery setting if a child isn't 5 yet I know.

BluebellsGreenbells Tue 11-Aug-20 12:31:06

Hang on
I assume either year 2 or year 6 have left the school freeing up teaching staff?

So they should have teachers available, if the reception teachers has also moved up leaving staff out of reception they surely the year 6/2 teachers can take over for a month?

admission Tue 11-Aug-20 21:38:47

Agree with others, you need to be talking in writing to the LA about this situation. Putting it in writing to the Director for Education or whatever their title is will get a response. If that response is not that you should be in full time education from 1st September and that the school is going to comply with the law, then you need to pushing it further up the monkey tree to the Dept of Education.

Pl242 Wed 12-Aug-20 12:01:44

Wow! My DD starts reception this year too and whilst we have a staggered start too (I think they always do this and has been pushed back re COVID, but only by a week) she will be full time from last week of September. I know schools all do things differently but the idea your child won’t be at school full time until November seems extreme to say the least. Afraid I don’t have any practical suggestions but I do feel your pain.

Oysterbabe Wed 12-Aug-20 12:07:08

Thanks everyone, this has been helpful.
In the first instance I'm going to email the school regarding their obligation to take her and see what they say.

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