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Inset days....again!

(115 Posts)
Zarbi Mon 14-Jun-10 16:37:41

I was dismayed to learn that my son's primary school has suddenly added on 3 inset days to the end of the summer holidays. I have no annual leave left, no family locally and by then I will have surely run out of favours with friends & neighbours. Why do schools never consult with parents about how we prefer inset days to be allocated? (ie in blocks added to holidays or randomly scattered throughout the year?) Schools expect so much support from parents, yet they make decisions that impact on childcare without the slightest attempt at consultation. Apart from a general moan, does anyone out there have experience of a school that really tries to actively consider the needs of working parents (for inset days, attending daytime performances and assemblies, etc)?

GypsyMoth Mon 14-Jun-10 16:41:29

parents wouldnt all agree anyway,so no point in consultation

for me....these days at the end of the year would work best anyway

what woyuld you do if your dc were ill??

cece Mon 14-Jun-10 16:42:24

But whenever they are you will have to find childcare for them. There should be 5 a year. You know this will happen every year. I can't see the problem myself if you plan for it.

Yes they are a pain if you work but they are there and have to be worked around.

said Mon 14-Jun-10 16:43:44

To be fair, inset days usually are tagged on to teh beginning and end of holidays so not really unforseen that this would have happened. Hard when you're new to school routine, of course.

Galena Mon 14-Jun-10 16:44:40

As a teacher, I can tell you that it's impossible to please everyone. Some people will be delighted the days are on the end of the holiday, some aren't. We're damned if we do and we're damned if we don't!

admission Mon 14-Jun-10 16:44:42

Primary schools will have 6 inset days this next school year, so they are using up 3 in one go, which may or may not be better use of their resources but you are right the school never considers the consequences of their decisions before making the decision.

mrz Mon 14-Jun-10 17:20:13

Zarbi my school has an inset day on Friday because that is the day staff are attending a national conference led by an international speaker. Other inset days are organised when the school can book consultants to provide training. Sorry but it isn't just a matter of agreeing with parents which days are most convenient for them, it is the days when training is available. Not much point in arranging days that suit parents if there isn't any suitable training available on those days is there.

JohnPeelwasmyhero Mon 14-Jun-10 17:24:43

It may be that they are having work done in the school or are about to embark on a new curriculum / assessment method, etc and would benefit from 3 days working on it.

It is pretty common practice for schools to have 2 INSET days at the start of a new school year, and as many of us seem to be goiing back extra early on the 1st, maybe they thought they'd rather do that and then have the children start with a full week?

ChasingSquirrels Mon 14-Jun-10 17:26:51

some are set by the county, some are chosen by the school.
Schools use outside providers for training - so some of the days have to tie in with the availability of these trainers.
They don't consult you about the holiday dates either, do you expect them to?

Hulababy Mon 14-Jun-10 17:50:37

How come school have only just told you about the INSET days?

I work in an infant school and our dates are published in September at the start of each academic year.

Galena Mon 14-Jun-10 17:55:21

"the school never considers the consequences of their decisions before making the decision. "

Oh but they do - it's this ridiculous attitude which really, really irritates me! (Sorry admission, if you feel aggrieved at my reply) Do you really think schools DON'T consider parents at all when they make decisions. If it's the case that, by having 3 INSET days at the start of a new term the children start on a Monday, then many many parents will appreciate the fact that they have another whole week in which they can go away/visit relatives. Surely it's better that than random days interspersed through the year, possibly midweek, so you can't take advantage of them?

Schools can't please everyone so have to make the decisions they feel will be most popular.

mrz Mon 14-Jun-10 17:56:52

Hulababy from the OP the three inset days are in the next academic year - in September after the school holidays.

Lancelottie Mon 14-Jun-10 18:03:37

Well, I have three offspring at three different schools (not by choice) and could in theory have to accommodate 15 different Inset days, most of them not yet fxed, so ner
(feels OP's pain and triples it).

I know for sure that one school breaks up three days before the other two, and goes back three days earlier confused

We have been know to <whisper> get it a bit wrong... blush

Feenie Mon 14-Jun-10 18:08:06

So that's 12 weeks/3 months notice - not unreasonable, imo.

Op, you know there will be 5 days throughout an academic year that you will have to plan for, and your dc's school's only crime is that they have chosen to take 3 at the very start. hmm Don't really get your beef.

ultra Mon 14-Jun-10 18:15:26

What I don't understand is why some shcools let you know the dates for all the inset days a year in advance and others cannot get organised and let parents know - 12 weeks notice is not much notice when I have to let my work know my workdays for the whole academic year 2010/2011 by end of this month.

Feenie Mon 14-Jun-10 18:21:05

"I have to let my work know my workdays for the whole academic year 2010/2011 by end of this month."

I would say that that is what is unreasonable - not the 12 weeks notice. Schools often need to arrange their training days around outside agencies and trainers.

A term's notice is good practice, usually.

clam Mon 14-Jun-10 18:25:54

INSET days are not optional jollies. They are training days for staff, and therefore, as others have said, need to be planned around the individual school's training needs. And hence around the availability of external trainers in many cases.

And for every parent who likes them spread out, there's another who likes them blocked. But that's not the issue anyway. It needs to be about the school, not an individual parent's needs. Sorry.

hana Mon 14-Jun-10 18:28:03

it's not the end of the school holiday - it's at the beginning of the next academic year.

TheFallenMadonna Mon 14-Jun-10 18:33:49

These are next year's INSET days. So look on the bright side - they will only be able to spring another two on you after that.

You cannot possibly please everyone re INSET days. And of course, this is how they used to be - part of the school holidays.

Hulababy Mon 14-Jun-10 18:37:46

Ah yes, I see. IME many schools have 1-2 INSETs at the start of the new academic year.

Not sure when our school formally announces return to school dates hav to admit.

Hulababy Mon 14-Jun-10 18:39:11

I do think, however, that 12 weeks notice is quite a lotof notice. TBH having to tell work the entire holidays for a year in advance - as per yourwork - is the place being unreasnable.

mrz Mon 14-Jun-10 18:42:19

I've just checked our holiday/term dates list and it says break up 23rd July - return to be confirmed ...

Hulababy Mon 14-Jun-10 19:18:21

I know the term dates for DD's school for the next academic year and have done so for ages. The 2011-12 dates will be out in Septmeber too. They don't have INSET in term time, so the dates are as they stand. So DD retrunes on Tues 7th Sept.

I know the term dates for the school I work at for 2010-11, as these are published well in advance on the LEA website. However, the INSET days are not published on these as yet.

We return on Wed 1st September - I suspect at least 1-2 of those will be INSET.

Zarbi Mon 14-Jun-10 19:31:35

Thanks for the comments on inset days, guys. What do we feel about being invited to attend school assemblies, harvest festivals, Easter mornings, where our children are acting/singing/dancing etc? We seem to have 3 or 4 of these events a year. Are schools putting too much pressure on working parents by encouraging them to attend these events as well as take time off for inset days? (I always feel so guilty if I can't make these 'extras'.)

mrz Mon 14-Jun-10 19:37:14

Zarbi as a teacher I always feel guilty that I am unable to attend any of my children's school events.

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