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School punctuality(139 Posts)
MNHQ have commented on this thread.
Part of my job role is to monitor attendance and punctuality in a school, the latter being an issue in our school. Parents will regularly rock up 15, 20, 30 minutes late for school. This obviously impacts on the kids and them settling into class, starting their learning etc. The reasons from parents are very often that the parent overslept or they didn't leave on time AKA not real reasons. Or no reason at all! It's always the same families, often multiple siblings. I'm thinking of bringing in a rule that once you've had five lates in one term, the child will start staying in at break to account for however many minutes late they are and catch up on missed work. This will obviously not include extenuating circumstances (SEN, medical etc). If there is a one off problem, this won't affect you (because they will have been late fewer than five times). Kids are primary age. What would you think? AIBU? Is it reasonable to be late more that five times a term for no good reason?
It’s unfair to punish a child for their parents’ faults. I’m a primary teacher by the way.
But isn't that punishing the child for the failure of the parent?
Isn't there some sort of app that could phone parents in the morning that would tell them its time to get up?
If there's not, I might invent one
Personally I don't think it's fair to penalise a 4 year old because of the actions of their parents
Or have I just reinvented the alarm clock
I was often late to primary school because my mum is not a morning person. I absolutely hated it and felt so embarrassed by it. I sometimes used to refuse to go into school because I didn't want to be late again. I still get incredibly panicky if I'm late. Please don't punish the children for something that they have little/no control over.
There is a child who is late by 30 minutes at our school every single day, and who looks very stressed when they turn up. Not their fault, so I wouldn't want to punish that child for something out of their hands.
Not the child's fault. I would put in a fining system. It might make them get their arses out of bed.
What does the school Attendance Officer suggest?
Does your school have an attendance governor?
Staying in at break is a bit of a Draconian punishment because at primary age, the time of arrival is normally in the hands of the parents, not the children.
5 lates in a term with no good reason is a bit ridiculous though, I agree.
I can't see how those people can constantly justify it. Also another voice for don't penalise the child because of the parent. It's not their fault their parents are unreliable.
That sounds reasonable to me. The only issue is that it punishes the kids for their parents' issues. That would work on some parents, but at the risk of gross generalisation, I wonder if the sort of parents who are late as standard are also the sort of parents who will complain about this and about how you're stripping little Emily's human rights to playtime.
I also think you leave yourself open to people coming up with all kinds of reasons for being late...how do you decide what is an acceptable excuse?
I don't know what other schools do but I do look askance a bit at the people I see strolling in 10 minutes late, seemingly without a care in the world.
Very unfair to punish children for the failings of their parents/carers.
It's also going to set an expectation that the teacher will have to be there at playtime to help fill the gaps . Young children won't catch up on missed work on their own, especially as it would be phonics, or the main input of a lesson that they may be missing.
thinking of bringing in a rule that once you've had five lates in one term, the child will start staying in at break to account for however many minutes late they are and catch up on missed work.
1) that unfairly punishes a child for having an ineffective parent
2) who will be supervising the work? The teacher? Who will either be busy or on duty or having 5 mins to have a cuppa?
Well I think something obviously needs to be done but you’re effectively punishing the children for what is probably the parents issue. In addition a member of staff would need to supervise them surely ? Rather than a punishment is there any way to offer incentives to the classes with the best attendance and punctuality? Certainly for my DDs school they publish graphs in the newsletter which show attendance with an expectation that each class will reach 95% attendance and the highest rating classes receive some treat or other. Perhaps this could be adapted for punctuality?
It's not tha kids fault thought at primary.
I understand your frustration. Could you work with parents and give them advice on how to get out earlier. To you it might seem basic to set an alarm and work backwards from the time you nerd to arrive to work out what time to wake up. However if parents have grown up in a chaotic house they may not have realised this.
You could run a workshop or when they sign the kids in, have a quick chat.
No it’s not the dcs fault.
I think sometimes the parents find it easier to be late. Plenty of parking, no waiting for the bell to go. So you have to make it harder for them.
Maybe a form to fill in with addresses on or something that takes a while. Or they have to wait with their child until a member of staff is free to take them to the classroom as too much office time is being wasted ferrying children back and forth. And of course it’s phonics at the moment so it will be twenty minutes...
Can a certain amount/time of lates be added up to being a half day absence? Or can you have the registration close earlier (I think ours close at 10)
Rather than a punishment is there any way to offer incentives to the classes with the best attendance and punctuality?
How could you do that without the same argument being put forward?
DS is late for school regularly. We rely on public transport and if the bus is late, he's late. Put hus service is crap and unreliable.
It's easier in spring/summer when we can aim for the earlier bus and he can play in the playground when its warm an light, but I dont feel happy leaving him to do so in the winter months.
I'm embarrassed about the timekeeping but theres genuinely not much I can do.
Its not reasonable to be late for no reason, but your idea of punishing the child with a missed playtime is dreadful.
The parent is to blame if the child is primary age, but you want to punish the child.
Keeping children in at playtime removes their chance to burn off energy and take a break and therefore negatively impacts their learning and concentration and potentially increases the likelihood of them being distributive.
Stigmatising a child by singling them out for a punishment visible to their peers for a crime they are not responsible for can isolate them socially and make them withdrawn and defiant and reduce their trust in those in authority to treat them fairly, which makes them less likely to behave well.
Punishments don't work anyway, consequences do but consequences of actions can't be meted out on the responsible person's children in some kind of old testament sins of the fathers style...
Lateness bothers me too but a consequence has to impact the parents which a break time detention does not.
Ask parents to attend a meeting after school to discuss whether they're struggling to get their children to school and need help? If they do need help then it's useful (you'd need to put together resources to point them to for support) if not it'll embarrass and inconvenience them.
You should not punish children for their parent’s negligence. The office staff must know the families that are problematic, could they not just give the parent a lecture when they come to drop the child off. Our school requires late children be signed in at the office by a parent.
I don't think you will modify the behaviour of the parents using this tactic
we've had some success with a very formal signing in form for children arriving late which the parents seem to find very official for some reason - it was actually a GDPR measure as the signing in book wasn't very GDPR friendly, but it had an unintended consequence of reducing lateness, locking the entrance gates bang on 9, so they have to buzz through to the office, being consistent with closing the registers so the right attendance code is put in (and the EWO can be alerted if necessary) and getting the home school link worker to phone for a chat in a collaborative way as things like slept in might be that mum does a late shift you don't know about, and parents evening it will come up that the child is missing x hours of learning by being late.
some parents don't realise the school day is structured differently and think their children are missing assembly not phonics for instance and just talking through the day makes them more aware.
we are super nice to the children when they are late as its not their fault and they are often really anxious about it.
I think it's unfair to punish children for their parents lateness, and as it is not aimed at the parents directly it might do nothing to tackle the problem.
I agree it's a problem and it happens with the same families regularly at our school, agree with a pp that fining might be a better choice!
As a teacher I would point blank refuse to do this.
1, Because it's horribly unfair on the children involved.
2, It will take up my valuable time to inforce.
This is why most schools go down the positive route of rewarding good attendance and punctuality. However, everyone complains about that just as much...
I would agree it punishes the child for the parent's cock ups.
Two weeks before half term, I legitimately overslept for the first time ever on their school day, DD1 takes herself to school but I was still driving DD2 a long way away and she has no concept of time so was just waiting for me on the sofa with cartoons on.
I was mortified but I still probably wouldn't be penalised too badly because I have severe chronic fatigue and fms, the fact I function and cope with parenting two SEN kids is a miracle some days.
It would have to go to government because it would be unenforceable otherwise, or council (not sure which) but fines for repeated lates by more than ten minutes would probably get the average parent moving.
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