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Is it just me, or does anyone else think inset days are completely unreasonable?

(53 Posts)
thumbsucker Mon 18-Apr-11 11:26:37

As a parent, it's hard enough trying to juggle work and child care during the school holidays, but I COMPLETELY fail to understand why teachers get about 13 weeks' holiday a year and then take additional days for training. Why can't they take a little bit less holiday (it's only 5 days, so that's um 12 weeks holiday - still WAY more than anyone else) and make it easier on parents? Anyone??

Clayhead Mon 18-Apr-11 11:30:58

Inset days were taken from teachers' holidays in the first place.

RatherBeOnThePiste Mon 18-Apr-11 11:31:26

Inset days come out of the holiday time

We have to do 190 days. Inset days don't come out of that!

JoyceEasterBunnyaby Mon 18-Apr-11 11:36:47

Was just about to post that, Clayhead!

Also, OP, don't be fooled into thinking 13 weeks non-teaching time is 13 weeks holiday!! As most teachers will tell you, this is far from the case! I could go on at length about this but it would boring - suffice to say I left the teaching profession because I didn't feel the hours/ time required were compatible with the way I wanted to be a parent.

I'm afraid I also think you're unreasonable because schools aren't there to make parents' lives easier, they are there to provide education. Now that I'm a parent, that can make like more difficult for me and my friends, but that doesn't change my opinion.

GypsyMoth Mon 18-Apr-11 11:38:22

op,so you disagree with them because they make finding childcare difficult for you???

jade80 Mon 18-Apr-11 11:44:16

Rigggght... so you pop out kids then whinge about having to find childcare for them during the occasional inset day? Maybe you should have only had kids ifyou could afford/be bothered to arrange such things, rather than dictating what you think counts as a reasonable holiday for someone else, who does a job you probably couldn't...
Maybe you should have thought about it and taken a job with different holiday allowances, or perhaps even (shock horror) as a... teacher?! Oh yeah, but then you'd still need to find someone to look after your children on inset day, oh dear. Maybe it would be worth it for those 13 weeks of holiday, during which you wouldn't have to lift a finger at all?

Yeah, that's an unreasonable statement for me to make- but not more so than your OP!

thumbsucker Mon 18-Apr-11 12:53:14

Crikey Jade80 tell me what you really think! Clearly this is a contentious issue and I'm not whingeing, just really asking a question. I don't doubt teachers work hard. I know they do. I work hard too, despite you suggesting I would rather not lift a finger!!

Don't get angry - I would genuinely like to know what teachers do if they don't get all that time off. Honestly, I think teachers believe everyone knows how hard they work but we don't actually follow the detail of what you do, we just drop our kids off and pick them up and thank you when they come out of school able to read and write.

Poogles Mon 18-Apr-11 13:17:54

I would rather they grouped the inset days together and had them as a whole week either at the beginning/end of summer, or some other set time.

I think the point OP was trying to make is that it is a nightmare trying to find childcare for random days here and there. If the inset days were taken in a block then some of the holiday clubs might run during this period making it easier for working parents.

I researched how I would cover school holidays etc before having kids but holiday clubs don't tend to run for just one day which does make inset days a nightmare for working parents.

JoyceEasterBunnyaby Mon 18-Apr-11 13:20:45

You ask what teachers do with their 'time off' - I think you mean outside term time. I worked in state secondary education and during term time, I tried to leave the school building by 6pm (although often later if we'd had a meeting after the kids left - perhaps twice a week) but always had to do additional marking and preparation for a couple of hours in the evening and at least one morning at the weekend. This wasn't even to do any 'extra', this was just trying to keep up to date with everyday work. During the 'holidays', we had department planning meetings, exam marking and lots of personal lesson preparation. The government seems to demand more and more paperwork from teachers on a daily basis, so from what I hear from friends still teaching, this has only got worse!! On the plus side, during the 'holidays', I didn't work evenings and weekends and I always took a two-week break during the summer break.

Obviously, you can't have any time off during term time so during my years teaching I missed the graduation of a family member and the funeral of a friend. I did ask for unpaid leave, but this was denied.

Many jobs require the same level of dedication, it's just that because most people only see the contact time with students as 'work' time, it can be a rather misunderstood profession!! A profession that, as I said in my earlier post, wasn't for me in the end.

thumbsucker Mon 18-Apr-11 13:41:30

Thank you Joyceeasterbunnyaby. Clearly I've misunderstood the profession. As I said, I think a lot of teachers assume non-teachers know all this. I, for one, didn't quite appreciate the extent of it.

PeachyAndTheArghoNauts Mon 18-Apr-11 13:46:35

I do think that lumping them together would make things easier but it's not always that easy- for example the schools have to get in trainers for teh days so work about that.

I'm quite aware of variations in inset- I do support work 9currently unpaid) at an SEN Base, and after September will have children at 4 different schools: none of which have their days at the same time (should probably point out that's not from choice; 2 diferent SNUs, plus a junior school and a pre school run by LEA).

If we didn;t have an at home absed parent it would be impossible to manage.

Goblinchild Mon 18-Apr-11 13:52:27

Sometimes you have an inset day and you learn something and you spend time implementing and embedding it. Then you have another one.
Ramming them all together would make nonsense of that.
Sometimes you have a visiting speaker who has a crowded timetable.
Some inset days are seasonal, and link to key events in the year like assessments, new government initiatives...
There are dozens of threads complaining about inset days, so if you are feeling lonely OP you could always have a little search and be in miserable company.

ChateauRouge Mon 18-Apr-11 14:21:50

Blimey- since when have we had a 'school holidays' topic?

mnistooaddictive Mon 18-Apr-11 14:32:36

One of the days in secondary is often fir coursework moderation. This has to be done as late as possible to allow for students to improve as much as possible but before exam board deadline. Putting it with a holiday often isn't feasible.

echt Wed 20-Apr-11 23:28:02

They? They?

Who are these teachers who make these decisions?

In every school I ever worked in in the UK, both timing and content of the INSET days were determined by SMT, not by the rank and file. For most teachers they were felt to be a waste of time,as well as being their stolen holiday

ScarletOHaHa Sun 24-Apr-11 10:46:26

Yikes at Jade80 shock

It is almost impossible to arrange childcare day to day and for school holidays. Add in time taken off for illness and the wheels come off. Cue very difficult negotiations with employers and tensions with work colleagues. I work long hours and during 'holidays' too.

Not all teachers are as diligent or conscientious as those posting here (not my FnF anyway). Teaching is a very important job and Pay/ Terms and Conditions should reflect this (it probably doesn't).

The holidays are a break for the kids. Whilst I agree that schools are there to educate, there is a massive gap in help for working parents. I feel the same as you thumbsucker.

clam Sun 24-Apr-11 11:03:23

OP, for the record, school is not childcare for working parents.

And, as a hard-working teacher, I don't accept your belated attempt to "appreciate" teachers when your OP is unpleasant and inflammatory.

BeehiveBaby Sun 24-Apr-11 11:06:04

4 days a week 45 weeks of the year or somthing towards that would be easier to organise IMO.

PureNewWoolWithPerfectStitches Sun 24-Apr-11 11:11:42

<applauds Clam>

<removes itching fingers from keyboard to prevent explosion of vitriol at OP

pozzled Sun 24-Apr-11 11:18:06

"I would genuinely like to know what teachers do if they don't get all that time off. Honestly, I think teachers believe everyone knows how hard they work but we don't actually follow the detail of what you do"

I'm a primary school teacher. Most teachers in my school do around a 50-hour working week in term time. (A lot are onsite from 7.30am -5.30pm, with a 20 min lunchbreak if they're lucky and still take work home). Most of them will also do at least a day's work every holiday, so that's another 30+ hours. This time of year, we have our reports to do- that's at least another working work to be fitted into weekends and evenings.

It does (of course) vary from school to school and teacher to teacher, but IME the majority of teachers work bloody long hours.

I once sat down and calculated how many 37 hour weeks I work in a school year. I think it came to about 48 or 49 so comparable to someone working standard office hours.

2cats2many Sun 24-Apr-11 11:21:12

What a completely ignorant OP.

I'm not. Tacher, but I know lots of people who are and they work much longer days than me, work at weekends and through their holiday for much less money.

I think the odd training day (which is actually for your Childs benefit after all) is hardly unreasonable.

2cats2many Sun 24-Apr-11 11:22:06

Frickin' iPad!!!!!

That was meant to read : 'I'm not a teacher'

clam Sun 24-Apr-11 20:43:00

And for every parent who would prefer INSET days to be in one whole clump, there's another who prefers them spread out.
But as they're not planned for the benefit of parent's work schedules, it's largely irrelevant. They have to reflect the needs of the school, be it individual training, consortium training with other local schools, taking on new government initiatives or whatever.
And I'll repeat what others have said on here also, just so everyone's clear: THEY WERE TAKEN FROM TEACHERS' HOLIDAYS IN THE FIRST PLACE.

southeastastra Sun 24-Apr-11 20:45:17

i hate them too, also wish schools would stay open until 5 shock so i could work full time

nancy75 Sun 24-Apr-11 20:46:34

I really don't understand teacher bashing - they can have as much holiday as they like in book, after all most of their time is spent locked in a room with 30odd kids, it sounds like a nightmare - they probably need the break!

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