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Change to timing of school day - anyone experienced this?

(95 Posts)
ibbydibby Wed 23-Apr-14 22:20:15

School switched to academy status in autumn term, following notice of special measures earlier in year. Sent out letter during Easter hols informing us that from Sep 2014, will finish at 5pm 3 days a week, with slightly earlier finish other 2 days.

Has anyone experienced this? ie school/academy done this? Am just a bit freaked by prospect of longer day, tired DS (will be year 8), impact on family life (will mean we eat later etc).

Extra time at school is to accomodate homework and sports/hobbies.

MrsMaturin Sat 03-May-14 09:12:34

Well unfortunately for you schools are always going to make arrangements which suit the majority and I suspect this arrangement will suit the majority. I take it you don't work atm? Why not get a job as well. Might change your perspective. I can assure you that your family will still function fine and you might not feel as bad about this change in time with the children if you did something else with it. Obviously waiting at home for them to return two hours later every day will be a bit dreary. The other options are change school or as I said in my earlier post see how enforceable this is - because I suspect you'll find it IS NOT enforceable - and then you don't need to worry anymore. At least until your kids demand to stay with their friends - which is a possibility.

5madthings Sat 03-May-14 09:47:32

I don't have a job as my youngsters still a toddler, five children and a partner that does shift work including nights, eve and weekends etc isn't conducive to both parents working.

I will prob start an MA once my daughter starts school. I already volunteer and help out etc, I will go back to work between then it will be part time to fit around school etc.

You talk about schools catering for the majority like it's a good thing, children and families are not automatons, hence why flexibility ie not making the longer day compulsory would be logical.

You haven't said when you think teachers should do their planning and marking? Funny I know many teachers and not one thinks having these after school activities run by teachers is a good thing. But then sadly the changes Gove is making mean trained teachers will not have to be employed. He wants the longer day similar to private schools for all,but they get longer holidays to compensate, they also have different staff to run the after school sessions so teachers aren't over worked and of course much smaller class sizes. We actually looked at private education and it was the longer days and in some cases Saturday classes which put us off.

I take it you get weekends off? And bank holidays? How about I enforce childcare for all your days off so you barely see your children, that is what the result of this will be for my partner. It's not good for children to not see their father Ffs.

When we signed up to state education and chose this school it had a regular 8:40-3/3:15 school day, it's not wrong to want them to stick to that, or at least consult with parents and offer flexibility.

Normal lessons will all be on usual school hours, this is 'emrichment' activities and I could do most if them myself or if it was something they really liked we would pay for them to do it at a club/group with the proper training and expertise, not at a club run half heartedly with a teacher who doesn't want to be there.

Oh and get list with your assumption that I sit at home pining for my kids to get in, we are a busy family of seven with all of them doing a variety of activities on various days and going to friends or having friends over etc just like most families but x5 as we have five children. But yrs we like to do things as a family when we can and all the kids like to as well even the teenagers, some teens do like to spend time with their family as well as their friends, funny that. Or maybe they just appreciate the time they get to spend with their dad as he often works 36hr shifts and works unsocial hours.

And no changing schools is not an option given local schools, plus they are all turning into academies in our county there is a massive push towards this. Though one local school us going to the high court soon to fight the process, and maybe Gove will be out of a job at the next election. We can hope anyway.

Btw I used a nursery whilst I finished my degree, I have used some after school clubs(paid for and run by private staff not teachers) my kids regularly go to things like this and even holiday clubs etc I have no problem with them being away from me and doing activities as you insinuate, we just choose ones that fit into our needs, just like you do with your childcare!!

WhereTheWildlingsAre Sat 03-May-14 11:07:57

* I take it you don't work atm? Why not get a job as well. Might change your perspective*

Why should she? confused. She has already said that this is the lifestyle she has chosen.

Why so agressive?

5madthings Sat 03-May-14 11:57:00

Even ofi

5madthings Sat 03-May-14 12:00:13

Even if I did work I wouldn't want my teenagers in what is effectively 'childcare' after school hours, some days they choose to do clubs etc bit others they are home by 3:45ish and I am often out with the younger three, thru use the time to get changed, chill out, see friends, start on homework or cooking dinner. I sometimes leave a list of jobs they need to do, sorting their laundry, hooveirng etc and they will do those. But having that responsibility of being home alone is good for them!

5madthings Sat 03-May-14 12:03:28

The longer days and transport issues mean they mean kids can't go to scouts, cadets, st John's ambulance, other clubs etc.

What about organisations that provide after school clubs and care and childminders.. All out of a job because schools insist on longer days and just use the teachers to provide this care... The teachers who btw are NOT being paid any more despite the increase in hours and paperwork and responsibility.

Geraldthegiraffe Sat 03-May-14 12:05:58

I clicked on this as the school near me (different area) is an academy and is about to go to 4.30 several days a week. It's not for enrichment though - its so they can fit in extra 1-1 english/maths or an extra gcse.

I really don't like where its going sad

5madthings Sat 03-May-14 12:07:52

Nor do I giraffe,I have a threAd in 'the staffroom' about it as well.

Its not good, it is the privatisation if the education system and academies lack of accountability is very worrying sad

5madthings Sat 03-May-14 12:10:25

The link to my thread is on p1 of this thread.

ivykaty44 Sat 03-May-14 12:19:40

my dd2 school looked at altering the school day so that they started 15 minutes earlier and left 15 minutes later and had friday afternoon off school or stayed for sport. It was stopped by many parents complaining

sadly dd and her year would have loved this set up and were very disappointed as they wanted to be doing sport on a friday afternoon.

It would have meant for us a tight fit for evening sports sessions which are tight anyway - but in the long run having the afternoon on a friday to go and do something else would have been excellent.

Not sure that dd would like to be doing hoovering though after school grin I think she would rather a longer school day than chores at home

Geraldthegiraffe Sat 03-May-14 12:22:02

I've just foudn the thread, thanks. If some schools start doing it, it will soon become the "norm" wont it sad

DontputyourfingerinthejellyNel Sat 03-May-14 12:27:37

5madthings very well said smile.

MrsMaturin you are coming across as very much having a chip on your shoulder and assuming that 5madthings should get a job and assuming that this is a good thing for every family. Not every family needs or wants childcare until 5. I would be homeschooling if this happened.

5madthings Sat 03-May-14 12:33:06 this makes interesting reading.

ivykaty it's not either or with regards to the sport or hoovering though, mine do sport and clubs etc on some days, but they are home by 4:30 ish. On others they are home earlier and do some stuff around the house, see friends, follow their own interests, ds1 is into programming and making animations and java script and other techs stuff, ds2 likes to make YouTube videos or go to the park and play football or go to the skate/scooter ramps or they go town if they have money they want to spend or dp takes them out or we do family stuff. The point is in having a choice to structure our And their free time as we as a family see fit!

Seriously if kids are going to be out from 7;40-6pm five days a week what next compulsory boarding schools. It's essentially telling us as parents we aren't fit to organise our family life and extra curricular activities. We like the majority of families are perfectly capable of doing this ourselves. Offer the option yes, but it shouldn't be compulsory.

And many studies show that it isn't beneficial, doesn't change outcomes and actually isn't worthwhile for students or staff.

If you want to improve education have smaller class sizes, make sure teachers are properly supported by ta's and children with special needs have the support they need... Only academies like private schools can get away with not supporting children with special needs and there is no accountability for this.. Great system, not.

5madthings Sat 03-May-14 12:36:12

dontput we home schooled our eldest two children until they were nine and six, it was what was best for them, many primary academies are enforcing longer days, my younger kids primary is looking likely to become an academy, if they tried to enforce the longer school day for my primary kids then we will be looking at our options including home schooling again, thankfully the county we are in had a good home ed network with lots of support etc and we are in the position to consider it, not all families are that lucky.

ivykaty44 Sat 03-May-14 12:50:59

I really do think that homeschooling will increase in numbers with the way that schooling in general is going. Longer hours busier days and a general dictatorship by the schools and education departments of what you can and can't do will result in children suffering and the only option will be to take children out of mainstream school and educate them at home.

I have one year and two weeks left to go till we are out of this system

Geraldthegiraffe Sat 03-May-14 12:57:41

Won't it just become the new "norm" though? So that younger parents may go with it, and then new parents who have been through it themselves will accept it as normal etc. And as above many working parents may go with it etc.

I'd potentially be interested in home schooling but I always said I'd school for secondary as I want the subject passion and experience.

ivykaty44 Sat 03-May-14 13:05:54

what the new norm for children to have breakdowns from pressure and exhaustion - yes probably

Geraldthegiraffe Sat 03-May-14 13:10:09

I agree, it's horrible. I think the only teachers that will be employed by some of these academies will be young and/or cheap, not yet old enough to have become disillusioned or worn out. There's a danger we will lose experienced/ dedicated teachers, which I think we already are with GOve's reforms.

I really don't like the whole picture that is emerging.

MrsMaturin Sat 03-May-14 14:17:50

Many countries have longer school days than the UK. This plan is not exceptional - especially as it includes time to help children do homework and extra curricular stuff rather than formal lessons. I think we need to remember that not all dc are raised in homes where they can easily do homework comfortably and consistently. Extra support for those children - without singling them out - is surely to be welcomed?

No I don't have a chip on my shoulder but crikey 5madthings certainly does. I didn't realise that suggesting a capable adult might enjoy paid work outside the home was a mortal insult. One of the ways around a situation when one partner works so much they don't see the family is for both partners to work but doing less hours. I have many friends who have BOTH gone part time (ish) for this reason.

I have also repeatedly pointed out that it may not be possible for the school in question to enforce this. An issue nobody seems bothered about but it is of course key.

WhereTheWildlingsAre Sat 03-May-14 14:23:27

MrsMaurin, it's not a moral insult unless you are suggesting that any other lifestyle choice in unacceptable/undesirable. And that is how your posting reads.

There is nothing wrong with being a SAHM, I work but I completely accept that is a choice others make differently. Stop making it quite so personal and stop being so grumpy!

ivykaty44 Sat 03-May-14 14:24:56

Many countries that have longer school hours have higher suicide rates in under sixteens

MrsMaturin Sat 03-May-14 14:29:57

Where have I said being a sahp is undesirable? hmm 5madthings is complaining that this change will impact on her family life. I suggested that she could make other changes to that family life to mitigate this change (or challenge it or move school). If anybody is judging other people's choices then it would be her with the remark that 'Getting home at 6pm is not conducive to family life' - which is of course absurd as that is exactly how many families successfully manage their lives.

5madthings Sat 03-May-14 14:46:57

My dp can't go part time, if he could he would have done. He works in child protection actually so I know all about kids that need extra support, as does he. The studies show that for those children a system of longer days actually doesn't improve outcomes. They need help and support, as do their families, longer school days don't address the problems they have, it's merely a way of trying yo plaster over the cracks and it doesn't actually help.

Yes many countries have a longer school day and more pressure, they also have higher rates of teen suicide.

There is no reason why it should be compulsory and it us and can be, if you read the link I posted earlier it addresses this issue ad Gove abolished the statutory schooling hours and in academies parents and pupils have few legal rights or ways of addressing any problems.

We have and are challenging it, the inspiration trust who run the academy have form for just dismissing parents concerns.

And it's not as simple as just moving schools, other local schools are becoming academies, one School we took ds1 out of due to bullying and parents who still have kids there have growing concerns. The other option is a Catholic school, we aren't Catholic and wouldn't get a place. I wouldn't move a child in yr10 and doing their gcses.

Ds2 is settled and enjoying school, it has a good pastoral support team (though how long for is anyone's guess) there is lots I am happy with at the school. I will change schools if necessary though am not sure where to.

It's about choice and flexibility, parents shouldn't feel railroaded into having to conform to the system, esp not when they change the goalposts so dramatically, this is not what we signed up for when we chose the School.

5madthings Sat 03-May-14 14:49:59

So if you get home at 6pm and your kids go to bed at what 8-9pm you see them three hours a day, I am guessing you get weekends, which my partner does not and even if he did work part time (which he can't) he would still have to work weekend's so it wouldn't actually resolve the issue. But hey you live in your dream world of 9-5 jobs, parents home every evening and weekend and school fitting in nicely to this and providing free childcare for you. Bugger anyone else if it works for you.

5madthings Sat 03-May-14 14:53:43

And you have conveniently ignored the issue of more work for the teachers 're planning and running these clubs, the loss of time for all their normal planning and marking and the lack of extra pay, but yes let's just shaft the teachers because it suits some parents.

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