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new rules re: lunchtime and toilets!

(53 Posts)
fostermumtomany Wed 05-Sep-12 17:59:58

My son and daughter returned to school today after the summer hols.
upon arrival they were handed a list of new school rules. two of these rules are:
lunchtime: 20 minutes to eat, then outside for 10 minutes exercise.
no re-entry to the building under any circumstances. They are literally locked inside for the 20 minutes eating time then once outside they have a small area to play for 10 minutes.
they have been told that if they want to go the toilet, they have to go on the way to classes, if they are then late for class, they will be given an hours detention after school.

the problem is is that if they are all waiting for the loo on the way to lessons, they are going to be late!
they are not allowed to go during lesson time, or at morning break. only after lunch on the way to lessons.

is this against some rule somewhere? surely they cannot dictate when kids can pee or not pee?!

kids have also been told that if they become unwell during the schoolday, they will not be sent home. they will be placed in a quiet classroom with a teaching assistant and will carry on with their work in a quiet environment.
im debating whetehr or not to remove my kids from this school.
i get that some kids will be messing about and ruining it for other kids, but it seems to be very very unfair to tarnish all the kids with the same brush and make them all suffer.

they are now getting a total of 10 minutes break in the morning, 20 miniutes to eat and 2 minutes to play at lunch, thats it.
is there anything that we, as parents can do about this?

tethersend Thu 06-Sep-12 00:47:11

Is this an academy by any chance?

It's the kind of absurd rules-for-the-sake-of-rules thing some academies are so fond of.

If it is an academy, there will be little the LEA can do.

I'm a secondary teacher, BTW.

Startailoforangeandgold Thu 06-Sep-12 00:48:23

Leave it, moan like mad if it actually lasts past 1/2 term.

It won't teachers have books to mark and coffee to drink.

tethersend Thu 06-Sep-12 00:48:33

I know of many schools which do not allow students to go to the toilet outside of break and lunchtime, periods or not.

This rule sounds even worse.

nameuschangeus Thu 06-Sep-12 00:55:56

These sound very similar to the rules at my senior school. Either outside queuing to go in to lunch, in the dinner hall eating or outside until bell went again. Not allowed back inside the school without written express permission from a teacher (club membership etc)
I don't remember it being a problem. You just adapt your behaviour and habits to suit the rules. I left school in 1984 so it's not a new concept.

RedBeret Thu 06-Sep-12 06:34:38

They will not be banning visiting the toilet in morning break. That is what break is for. I can quite believe the lunchtime bollocks, but morning break without the toilet, no.

schoolnurse Thu 06-Sep-12 10:06:17

"kids have also been told that if they become unwell during the schoolday, they will not be sent home. they will be placed in a quiet classroom with a teaching assistant and will carry on with their work in a quiet environment."
Is this a state school? Im assuming it is and therefore there are no medically trained staff on site all the time. The school _cannot decide_ who is genuinely ill and who isn't if they have any doubt about a child health they have a legal obligation to either seek urgent medical advise or in less urgent cases contact parents and advise them to seek medical advise. In my experience most schools send home children too quickly not the other way round!
Secondly all children suspected of having infective diarrhoea and vomiting have to be sent home form school and must not return for 48 hours following the last episode this rule in my actually usually over applied but it is done to protect all the other children and staff for a variety of reasons not just to reduce sickness but some who may have underlying medical conditions some may live with vulnerable elderly etc.
Your school cannot make a decision about a child's health only a professionally qualified doctor/nurse can do this. Incidentally the Gillick ruling states that all health problems are confidential and can only be shared with the school if the child gives permission for this.
I have no idea who you contact to stop this but I would start with the chairman of the governors copying in the LEA.

tethersend Thu 06-Sep-12 12:17:42

Excellent point, schoolnurse.

schoolnurse Thu 06-Sep-12 12:48:48

In fact refusing a child access to appropriate medical care they need in the event of illness is a child protection issue and contravenes the UN rights of a child.
It never ceases to amaze me that teachers think that they have a right to interfere/know about/make decisions about medical issues of the children in their school bottom line: they don't! Under the Gillick ruling once children are over a certain age this would definity apply to all over 13 yrs old even parents are not technically able to make these decisions and be given information about their childs health information can only be divulged with a child's consent.

fostermumtomany Sat 13-Oct-12 15:05:27

well, i went to see the head teacher and everything we as parents had been told, well it was all true. the head said they had had some issues with a few kids loitering in the toilets at break times so the kids were not being allowed in the building during break times at all for any reason.
i said what about kids that need the loo, he said they must go on their way to lessons. i asked if they were going to have more toilets installed, he said when the budget allowed. so i brought up the student-toilet ratio previously mentioned and he stammered a bit and then said he would speak to the board!
after an hour and a half of talking to him and basically getting nowhere, i told him to bring my children to me. now i must have come across quite insistant as he did as i requested. when my kids arrived in his office i informed him that as of that moment my children would no longer be attending his school, that i intended to home school them until i could obtain a place at a different school and that is exactly what i did. i wasnt th eonly one either. 17 other parents removed their children from the school and now the educaion offic eis investigating.
im sorry but if a c hild needs the toilet i dont see how a teacher can tell them whether they can go or not, nor do i find it acceptable for a teacher to decide whether a child is ill enough to warrent medical advice.
since i removed my kids there confidence has gone through the roof, their grades have already improved and they are much happier. i home schooled them for a total of 2 weeks before they were accepted into a different school in the area. the school is absolutely brilliant. the reltionship between the kids and the staff is exceptional.
thankyou everyone for your input it helped me greatly when i was speaking to the head of the old school. i felt informed and confident.

Frikadellen Sat 13-Oct-12 20:44:39

Thank you for updating and I am pleased you worked it out in a way that has been better for you all.

radicalsubstitution Sat 13-Oct-12 21:06:43

Good for you. As a teacher in a secondary school, I would NEVER send my child to a school with that sort of ethos. The rules speak volumes about the head - obvioulsly totally incapable of dealing with 'issues' such as loitering in toilets in a sensible and practical manner.

gingeroots Sun 14-Oct-12 09:38:36

Well done OP ,that must have taken guts .

No doubt Eviltwins /CricketBalls /Wilfself will go on pshawing about why can't they hold themselves/poor school must have had lots of troublemakers /don't believe your children .

So pleased you got your children into a saner school .

seeker Sun 14-Oct-12 09:45:27

Can you link to the press reports of this? I'd love to know what the local paper has made out of 17 families from one school all withdrawing their children at once!

EvilTwins Sun 14-Oct-12 14:27:37

I still don't believe it. Sorry. Where in the country is this school?

There is nothing wrong with expecting children to go to the toilet at a specific time, be that during break or on the way to lessons. The problem in secondary schools is kids wanting to go during lessons - it's disruptive. Unless a child has a medical condition, I don't know of a single school that allows it. It makes no difference whether the "allowed" time is at break or between lessons.

As for the other thing (dianosing illnesses) - schools can't win. Some parents get annoyed if the school doesn't let them know, and others get annoyed if the school does. We had one boy in school last week who vomited almost as soon as he arrived. The receptionist called his mum, and she said that she didn't want to have to get the bus to pick him up as it would cost her. She wanted to school to take him home, otherwise he could stay put. Similarly, one of the Yr 8 girls felt rough after her HPV jab and her mum said we should give her paracetamol and tell her to stop moaning!

gingeroots Sun 14-Oct-12 16:03:11

It's hard I know ( genuinely ) to run a big institution like a school ,but people are people ,they vary and have different priorities .
That's just life ,they're never going to all conform and shouldn't be regarded as an irritant because they get in the way of procedures ,policies ,rules and regulations .

auntevil Sun 14-Oct-12 16:06:33

Good for you fostermum , sticking to your principles.
I have 3 children at Primary school that have medical conditions requiring immediate visits to the toilet. Each 1 of them has had experience of a teacher saying wait until break - including my 10 year old. Going through school nicknamed 'stinky' is no fun eviltwins .
The rule at primary is that for every minute you are out of the lesson, it is doubled and breaktime is lost for that time and the work finished. It stops those that really don't need it. Those that really do, are quick!
At our school we have a ring in all cases for illnesses (primary though). We are not medically trained. Every parent has their own level of response. It is not a teacher's role to decide what the level should be.

gingeroots Sun 14-Oct-12 16:07:18

And when you say " win " I'm guessing you mean " get it right " .

It's not a competition or fight is it ?
More team work ?

EvilTwins Sun 14-Oct-12 16:48:32

At my school (secondary) students who need to go to the toilet for medical reasons have cards, which they can show if they don't know the teacher. Usually though, they just go. No need to ask, no need to interrupt the lesson, no cause for embarrassment.

And yes, I do mean "win". What's "right" for one parent ("thanks for calling to let me know my child is feeling sick, I'll be there as soon as I can to collect her") is "wrong" for another ("can't you just give her a paracetamol and tell her to stop moaning?") It's guess work. It should be teamwork, but it's not.

alemci Sun 14-Oct-12 17:07:50

it sounds ridiculous. i work in a girls school and they can go if they need to even in lessons.

last school, students were meant to go in break or lunch but nature doesn't always work like that and it was at the teacher's discretion. They didn't like teachers letting kids out because vandalism could take place etc.

they should be able to go in lunch or break at any time. not made to wait til going to class. how stupid.

gingeroots Sun 14-Oct-12 18:25:10

Of course you mean "win " ,how silly of me .

EvilTwins Sun 14-Oct-12 19:56:34

My point is that schools can NEVER get it right. No matter what we do, there will be as many parents who think it's stupid as who think it's fine.

gingeroots Sun 14-Oct-12 20:25:21

Of course there will be differing opinions amongst parents about policies - that's life ,that's normal .
The parents ( or the majority of them ) aren't trying to annoy you ,it's not a question of one side winning .

EvilTwins Sun 14-Oct-12 20:31:00

grin Some of them are. Refusing to pick your child up after he has vomited at school because you don't want to have to pay for the bus isn't exactly a valid opinion, is it?

Lots of people on this thread seem to think the OP has "won"- lots of congratulations as if it was School VS The People.

gingeroots Sun 14-Oct-12 20:37:01

Yes that sounds a dreadful ancedote but without knowing the circumstances it's hard to judge ( or should be ) .
Round here two bus journeys would cost just under a fiver and these days that can represent a meal for the family .

I think it was your post that introduced the concept of winning .

EvilTwins Sun 14-Oct-12 20:43:53

Yes, it was my post, but it was a figure of speech, clearly. Sadly no one hovers with medals and trophies waiting to leap out and award them.

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