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can i insist on full days?

(18 Posts)
thisisyesterday Tue 29-Sep-09 20:39:19

at ds1's school they have a policy in reception that children born between sept and christmas go full time, and children with birthdays after christmas go part time til january.
they are very strict about it, the head said at the pre-starting-school meeting that they would absolutely not let them go full time before then

i was fine with this at the time, in fact, i think i'd h ave been happy for him to not even go every day, or to starty in feb. I only say this to show that i am not being a pushy parent, BUT, ds1 wants to go all day

each time he comes out looking all sad and saying he wishes he could stay for lunch, and that some of the other children do but he isn't allowed.
he is fairly sensitive, and perceptive and he thinks this is grossly unfair, plus he really enjoys school and wants to spend more time there!

he is used to doing 5 hour sessions at nursery, so it isn't like he is not used to it time-wise

i don't know whether to talk to the teacher and ask if it would be possible, or whether it is totally up to them whether they let them or not.
what do you think?

optimisticmumma Tue 29-Sep-09 21:16:39

I think you should leave it.
There will be good reasons for the school operating this system and they have already said it's not negotiable.
If I were you I would say a hearty 'never mind' to your DS and arrange some fun things to do at lunch time with the other part-timers!
He will be in full time school soon enough for long enough so make the best of now and enjoy this extra time with him.
Take it from a teacher with teenager children of her

thisisyesterday Tue 29-Sep-09 21:50:28

thanks for replying, i know they have their reasons, mainly the younger children getting tired easily
it just seems weird to have a one-size fits all blanket ban. if he'd been born 5 weeks earlier he'd be on full days already!

he finds it hard to integrate into groups, and i think this is making him feel left out a bit.
i'd just like to try a few full days and see how he went, if it was too much then put him back to part time.

i just wondered if I could actually insist on him doing it or whether it was something that twas totally up to the school

doubleexpresso Tue 29-Sep-09 21:54:24

I agree with optimisticmumma. Being at school full time is completely different to being at nursery. The demands on 4 year old children are bigger at school than in a nursery environment. The school have already stated their position clearly and approaching them will be awkward for both parties. It's great that he's enjoying school so much. Let him relax and enjoy being at home in the afternoons.

doubleexpresso Tue 29-Sep-09 21:55:48

If you 'insist' it will make you might unpopular with the staff where your child is going to spend the next 7 years...

doubleexpresso Tue 29-Sep-09 21:56:17

mighty unpopular, not might ...

thisisyesterday Tue 29-Sep-09 21:57:22

yes i appreciate that, and tbh i probably wouldn't go in and actually insist. just ask his teacher if it was possible
i don't do confrontation lol

doubleexpresso Tue 29-Sep-09 22:01:26

You could ask in a roundabout way if children are very settled is there a precedent for allowing the younger children to start full time before Christmas? But, it does sound as if people have tried this before and been given short shrift by the Head.

BoysAreLikeDogs Tue 29-Sep-09 22:03:43

hmmm EYFS is about the unique child rather than a one size fits all approach, yes? Obv it's easier for school to split the intake like this

I might be inclined to do a wee bit of research around EYFS before querying with HT


flame17 Tue 29-Sep-09 22:17:16

It will probably be the education authorities policy to do this, school probably don't have any control over it.

I work in a school in an authority where children born between Sept and end of March are full time now and the rest go full time in January. However, just up the road, in a different authority they just take all children full time in September.

tkband3 Tue 29-Sep-09 22:28:32

DD1 was like your DS...her birthday's in July, so she was on half days till half term but she came out crying on her first day saying she wanted to stay. I did have a word with her teacher - just an off-the-cuff remark saying how pleased I was that she wanted to stay and that I didn't suppose there was any chance...

They said no - said it was something to do with insurance - I didn't really see how that would have anything to do with it, but I didn't push it. But then her half days only lasted till half term, not a full term.

My DTs have just started in reception and, as their birthday is in March, they have done a week of half days, a week of coming home straight after lunch and are now staying all day. And they're exhausted and they seem so little to be doing a full day and I kind of wish they were still doing half days... so I guess you can't win either way.

I think the schools just have to have some sort of cut off point and splitting the class by date of birth is the easiest way.

In the local authority next to ours, they have two reception intakes, so later birthdays don't start at all till January.

mazzystartled Tue 29-Sep-09 22:52:29

I expect it is at least partly to do with funding, and the levels of staffing required for the number of children.

They are all F/T from the off round here.

Whilst I understand what some posters are saying about the time for f/t school coming soon enough, I also think it would make it harder for the part timers to make friendships and get into the swing of it.

I would ask at LEA level about the policy, and maybe make enquiries with the Head if you really feel it is affecting your son's happiness and ability to settle.

optimisticmumma Tue 29-Sep-09 22:53:31

thisisyesterday - I'm pretty sure it's up to each school to decide what works best if they're in a twice a year intake area.e.g. my DCs school had 90 in reception so couldn't possibly have taken them all at once! Another school does because there are only 12 in the year group. Both in the same authority.
How many of the DC in your Ds's class are part-time? If it's half and half then you'll have to work at integrating him into the PT group. If it's only a couple, including your DS, you would have a stronger case.
I would still advocate that you leave it. It really will make no difference to your DS in the long run and will in all probability benefit him so try to turn it into something positive.
Glad he's loving school though!smile

risingstar Wed 30-Sep-09 07:36:44

you cant legally insist on your child having a school place at all until the term after their 5th birthday, so in answer to your question, no you can't insist at all! grin

thisisyesterday Wed 30-Sep-09 12:53:01

it is a school thing not an LEA thing, some of the schools in the area (inc one he could have gone to) do full days from the off, unless you choose to only do half days!

the class is around 20 kids i would say, and about half of them come home at lunchtime.
as far as I can tell the staffing doesnt' change. it's the reception teacher and a teaching assistant the whole time

I do feel that as he struggles to make friends he is at a bit of a disadvantage as those going all day are tending to stick together a lot more already, but maybe i just need to try and engineer some friendships within the part-time group?

i'll see how he goes, but thank you all for the input!

optimisticmumma Wed 30-Sep-09 13:36:32

Sounds like a plan smile

Kitchens Tue 06-Oct-09 23:31:38

I am pretty sure it is to do with the funding of the school from the Local Authority.

Acinonyx Wed 07-Oct-09 10:14:35

A friend in the next village is in this situation and the school are adamant about waiting until Jan. Dd was also born in July but went FT from week 2 with no problems - different school where you have the choice.

The 2 girls she plays with most though are doing half-days hmm so we have your problem in reverse. I am having them over to play but it means they go home than come out again.

So IIWY I would suggest playdates with some other PT children on the same schedule. But I agree - this is a one size fits all solution and I would not be at all happy with it myself.

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