…not to demand everyone else do so:
Event manager Lucy Dixon is a single parent who has worked full-time since her son was five-months old. George is currently in childcare from 8am to 5.30pm. This means, Dixon points out, that a normal school day is going to be on the short side for him – and she’s dreading the prospect of several weeks of “settling-in” with shorter hours when he starts in reception.
The settling-in period, when infant schools sometimes accept children for only part of a day, can cause big problems for some parents, it seems.
“It’s ludicrous,” says Dixon, from Suffolk. “It’s like schools assume there’s a woman at home baking cakes and waiting for pick-up time while their husband’s out earning a salary.” September is always the start of her busiest time of year, and she is “already panicking” at the thought of how she will manage if the headteacher at her local school isn’t willing to be flexible.
Christ, I’d hate to hire her as an event manager, she’s totally unprepared for an event that she could see coming more than 9 months away!
Another parent, a doctor married to another doctor in Northumberland, describes a mixture of short days and then having to collect her daughter for lunch and then take her back again. When her son starts school in September, it’ll be the same. “I have protested because it’s so difficult with our hours, but the head wouldn’t budge.”
Why should she? You chose to procreate, despite knowing what the rules were…
And why do schools feel the need to do this anyway?
Why do infant schools feel the need to impose a short day in those first few weeks? The National Association of Head Teachers’ president, Tony Draper, says it is important for schools to get to know a child well before they go full-time, and the stakes are high. “If it goes wrong at the start, it can sour the whole of a child’s school life,” he says.
Ah. I see. They are thinking of the child. Pity the self-absorbed parents who want to treat schools as baby-minders don’t try this, eh?