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Will I be in trouble for sending my child into school late?

(40 Posts)
wools Sat 10-Oct-09 07:22:08

DS1(Yr 2)has just started a new school last week. DS2(Reception) is in a school 7 miles away from his brother. Most of the time DH and I are able to drop and pick up both boys on time by doing one school run each. Next week, however, DH won't be able to help with the drop offs on two occasions so I have two school runs to do at exactly the same time. Clearly I can't be in two places at once so was hoping to drop DS2 first and then DS1 - he could be late by 30 minutes. My main worry is this may happen again from time to time as DH cannot always be around to help. We have recently moved to the area and I don't know anybody well enough to ask to help. My question is could I get into trouble for this?

norksonmywitchesbroomstick Sat 10-Oct-09 07:26:30

No actual knowledge of the legal stuff, but I wouls say it depends on why they are in different schools - if it is your choice it may be frowned upon, but if these are the only places in the area, I would have to say they need to lump it, what would they expect you to do if you were a single parent

LadyMuck Sat 10-Oct-09 07:29:47

It depends...

And it definitely depends on what you mean by trouble for you. At the worst extreme you might get a visit from the Education Welfare Officer, but it is hard to imagine that you would be top of their list of priorities. Certainly it is disruptive to the rest of your son's class, and I assume that the teacher and headteacher would want to see if there was any way of avoiding this situation in order to minimise that. Are you trying to get ds2 into the same school as ds1?

Feenie Sat 10-Oct-09 07:35:45

Do they have a breakfast club at ds1's, so you could drop him off earlier?

Or you could also do as one of my parents did this week, and drop one son off at halof past 6 in the freezing cold because she had to be somewhere....hmm

I would speak to the school, who are likely to be understanding if it is only occasionally and they know why. If it happens on a regular basis, they will be unhappy - being half an hour late often will mean your older ds could constantly miss the beginning of a numeracy/literacy lesson.

Feenie Sat 10-Oct-09 07:36:27


wools Sat 10-Oct-09 07:37:22

Thanks for your replies.

Ladymuck - yes I have DS2's name on the waiting list for the same school as DS1. Until last week, they did both attend the same school but a place came up for DS1 and it is my first choice school so felt I had to take it. He is so much happier at the new school so I know I've made the right decision. I am however very stressed with all the running around between 2 schools.

wools Sat 10-Oct-09 07:39:29

Feenie - DS2's school do have a breakfast club which I did investigate. It is very rigid though and you have to book a whole term ahead. DH only gets his rotas 3 weeks in advance so it doesn't really work for us.

Goblinchild Sat 10-Oct-09 07:42:19

Legally, if he's half an hour late after register then the EWO usually gets involved.
I'd work very hard on building up a reciprocal arrangement with another parent as quickly as possible.
In my school, he'd be missing a lot of quickfire numeracy and targeted reading activities, and it is unsettling for everyone, especially if he's a sensitive child.

Feenie Sat 10-Oct-09 07:42:50

Any chance of explaining how your dh's rota works to the people who run the breakfast club? 3 weeks notice is quite reasonable, under those circumstances.

wools Sat 10-Oct-09 08:22:53

Thank you. I will speak to the Breakfast Club and see if they can be flexible.

purepurple Sat 10-Oct-09 08:34:29

Your best bet would be to make an appointment with the head at DS 1's school. Explain the situation ans ask for advice. Ask about the waiting time for DS2. If you explain that you are anxious that he is missing out on vital minutes of his school day, you never know, you might move up the list.

wools Sat 10-Oct-09 08:43:29

Thanks Purepurple. Headteacher of DS1's school is aware. I guess we'll have to hope a place comes up sooner rather than later.

roisin Sat 10-Oct-09 09:32:00

I think this is completely unacceptable from the school's position and you need to find a solution asap.

The start of the school day is very important, and it's massively disruptive if children come in 10 mins late, let alone 30 mins late.

If the breakfast club people are not able to be flexible to help you, there are other options:

If ds1 has just moved to a new school and arrives this late on several occasions, you will have yourself labelled as an unco-operative parent!

Which is the nearest school to your house? I would contact the children's services section of the council and get recommendations for childminders in the area, where you could drop ds2

roisin Sat 10-Oct-09 09:34:30

.. for them to take him to school.

Alternatively, what about sending ds1 to his school in a taxi? The school or EWO may be able to offer some help/suggestions in suitable firms.

FINALLY the best solution is to get on and make some friends. Chat to people at the school gate, invite them round for coffee and/or playdates. When you get to know them better you can explain your predicament, and see if you can do something to help them out in some way in some kind of reciprocal arrangement.

purepurple Sat 10-Oct-09 09:41:06

Wools,what time does a teacher appear in the yard?
At DD's primary school, the bell went at 9 am but children were supervised from 8.45 am by a teacher.
I used to leave DD as I had a bus to catch. A 30 minut journey, so it was important to catch it, as the bus only came every 30 mins.
Parents arrived from about 8.30 and many stayed with their childre, some didn't.
Could you leave DS with a friend and his parent?

PfftTheMagicDragon Sat 10-Oct-09 09:57:36

If you have no choice but to drop one late then IMO it makes sense to dropt he reception child late and get your Y2 child in on time.

wools Sat 10-Oct-09 10:02:32

I agree Roisin - it is unacceptable. Of course I will try and get to know other parents who may be able to help. I only recently find myself in this position hence my dilemma. Thank you for your suggestions - I hadn't thought of a taxi firm.

Purepurple - the teacher appears at 8.50. Until then the parents supervise their children. Thanks for your help.

Clarabel22 Sat 10-Oct-09 10:50:43

I agree with the above suggestion -surely it makes sense to drop your youngest off first, as your loyalty is going to be with the nearer school soon. Also, if your youngest is not yet 5 and therefore doesn't legally have to be at school yet, you won't be breaking the law by turning up late, just irritating the school.

I'd be surprised if Breakfast club weren't prepared to accommodate your needs on a PAYG basis.

Good luck with getting a place soon.

wools Sat 10-Oct-09 10:57:30

Thanks Pfft and Clarabel. My youngest isn't 5 yet - just not keen to get on the wrong side of either school. I will call the Breakfast club again to see if they can be more accomodating. I really do hope a place comes up at DS1's school soon. Thanks for your advice.

cat64 Sat 10-Oct-09 11:14:52

Message withdrawn

gerontius Sat 10-Oct-09 11:21:18

If the teacher appears at 8.50 surely you could drop DS2 then and then go to DS1's school? Even if you didn't do that why does it take you half an hour to go 7 miles to DS1's school?

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

wools Sat 10-Oct-09 11:59:29

Gerontius - ds1 and ds 2 start school within 5 minutes of each other. The reason it can take up to half an hour to drive 7 miles is the traffic at that time of day.

Cat64 - I do agree it is unsettling and of course I have to try and find a solution.

The mildmanneredjanitor - that is very interesting - only 5 minutes late on one occasion shock.

Summersoon Sat 10-Oct-09 12:06:44

No way would I send I primary age school child in a taxi by himself - and I sort of doubt that a reputable cab company would agree to accept him. The only way I can see for you to do this (short of cajoling the breakfast club) is to get a taxi (I assume you don't have a car yourself, otherwise 7 miles would not take 1/2 hour), get the first child to whichever of the two schools opens first, keep the cab waiting while you drop of DC1 and then go on to 2nd school.

The other thing is: are you sure you can't ask another parent to help? If you DS1 has made any new friends could you not ask whether you can drop him off there 15 minutes or so early? I know that I really wouldn't mind at all especially if this was only on a very occasional basis. Of course, you would immediately offer to return the favour.

purepurple Sat 10-Oct-09 12:32:53

Summerson, lots of children go to school by taxi, by themselves.
There are taxi companies that have contracts with the LEA and their drivers have CRB checks.

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