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Schools Bill - why is this a good idea?

14 replies

pollyglot1 · 07/02/2011 12:44

Is it just me or is anyone else concerned about the removal of the requirement for a school to give parents 24 hours' notice of a detention? The Academy my DS goes to has told them they will be able to keep them for 2 hours with no notice. Quite apart from the worry if he was 2 hours late coming home, what if he has dr/dentist appointment etc - how can I cancel or does he just not turn up - how is that going to help? He is not allowed to take a mobile to school (school rule) so would not be able to txt me.

I simply cannot understand how this helps parents and schools work together - anyone else have any views?

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Niceguy2 · 07/02/2011 13:03

So if that happens would school not inform you? I'd have thought that would be the sensible thing to do so like you say, you are not worried.

Personally I support the idea that detentions are done & dusted but there does need to be some common sense around making sure parents are informed.

I'd be more concerned about what my child had done to warrant a 2 hour detention than whether or not I got 24 hours notice.

pollyglot1 · 07/02/2011 13:11

The point I am making is that they would not inform me. And the Academy my son attends give detentions for anything and everything - the latest was for shouting YES with pleasure when he saw he had got a 6c in a maths test, a huge achievement for him. That same day he also got one for arriving late from previous lesson (they were dismissed from class row by row, he was in last row, hence late to next class). Then another because the tail of his shirt was hanging out when he took off his lab coat after a science experiment. I never fail to support the Academy in their discipline strategy, but I still think it is a two way thing - when DS goes out in the morning I should be able to expect him to be home on time unless he has something prearranged. I already arrange all medical appointments etc outside school time, but how would I let them know if he wasnt going to turn up?

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Chil1234 · 07/02/2011 13:38

I thought most secondary school-age kids had their own phones these days - or at least have a mate that did? Couldn't you arrange with him to contact you if he's got detention?

Niceguy2 · 07/02/2011 13:40

That does sound like stupid reasons. But my DD's had a couple too for what I personally think are stupid reasons.

My main point was that common sense dictates that they should call you. Can you check with the head?

pollyglot1 · 07/02/2011 13:53

Re phone - the Academy has a no phone rule i.e. NO PHONES - DS never takes a phone to school because if it were discovered - detention or, if deemed serious enough, isolation unit.

I am trying to point out that the new schools bill will remove the requirement to let parents know - at the moment they have to let parent's know in writing, so they put a note in DS's homework book so at least I know.

I am sure some heads will use their discretion and will have a common sense approach. However, now that there is no requirement they do not have to. DS's Academy is already telling them that they will not be notifying parents.

I cannot see how this benefits anyone. DD is older, (16) and the only way I know she has a detention is when the head writes to me (her school hardly ever give detentions) because DD simply wouldnt tell me, and she goes out with friends after school so I wouldnt know. At least the head's letter keeps me in touch so that I can reinforce things with DD.

I feel that people will only realise the ramifications of this once it has been voted through and they feel the effects.

Eg it is not inconceivable that a 16 year old might have to pick up a younger sibling (schools finish at different times, parents work etc) - who tells the younger sibling there is noone to collect them that day?

This may seem like an over reaction but I am just thinking through the ramifications of it, and i cant see the benefits - it is just as much a punishment if it happens on the same day or the next.

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onimolap · 07/02/2011 14:01

I think it would be wrong for schools to keep children outside school hours without warning. This could be less than 24hours, but there may be important out-of-hours prior/regular commitments and it should not be assumed that the school's requirements are always more important than all the others.

Sadly, it does look as if this Bill would allow the schoolmtomtrump all other arrangements.

I think this is wrong.

And in schools with a "no mobiles" policy could precipitate a great deal of anxiety to a parent if a child fails to turn up at the usual time.

I suppose the ground rules will have to be negotiated by parent bodies with each school individually now. I do hope there is some common sense about.

Hassled · 07/02/2011 14:04

I'm with you - if my DS2 (12) wasn't home 2 hours after the expected time I'd probably have called the police.

You could write to the Chair of Governors asking him/her to clarify school policy?

pollyglot1 · 07/02/2011 14:05

When you say parent body do you mean A PTA or something - there is no parents association at DS school, and at DD school I dont think the head would think this an appropriate matter for the PTA.

I always tend to feel on my own as a parent (I was a parent governor for 13 years and found that in general parents are really not held in high regard by schools, more of an inconvenience really).

I would like to know how to object to this aspect of the bill. I tried to meet with my MP but he only holds surgeries during working hours when I am at work.

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pollyglot1 · 07/02/2011 14:07

And re calling the police if 2 hours late - that the kind of thing I am talking about - what do we do if child doesnt come home when expected. Think it through, it is a really bad idea, and I cant see the justification for it.

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DiscoDaisy · 07/02/2011 14:08

My eldest DD goes to school 20 miles away on a school bus. We don't have a problem going and picking her up if we have notice but sometimes even with notice it can mean alot of rearranging.

pollyglot1 · 07/02/2011 14:15

So would this issue affect you? Have you thought about it?

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DiscoDaisy · 07/02/2011 14:20

I would affect us big style. It is always possible for me or OH to drive out to pick her up if she misses the bus but if OH isn't around then it normally means one of the other children has to miss their activity that evening.
At the moment her school gives a few weeks notice for dententions so parents have time to arrange alternative travel as 90% of children go on school buses to and from school.

pollyglot1 · 07/02/2011 14:30

Well it looks as though your school would still do that do you think? My problem is that the Academy is already saying that they won't, and law hasn't even changed yet, they are just waiting for it.

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pollyglot1 · 07/02/2011 18:54

Anyway, i was posting this in the hope that someone might be able to give me some advice how to object to this proposal, and also to see if others thought it was a bad idea, or just another thing to get on with.

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