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Why do schools have so many inset days?

(43 Posts)
seasider Thu 03-Oct-13 15:07:24

My younger son has just started high school and tomorrow he is off for an inset day. He is also off from 1.30pm every Thursday for teacher "planning". If I wanted to take him out of school, with permission, for a holiday, I would be fined because he is missing valuable school time. Am I missing something??confused

Aka Fri 04-Oct-13 13:27:25

Rant over, everyone waking up. Bye hmm

gillybob Fri 04-Oct-13 13:27:30

I am not sure what you are getting at Aka. Teachers choose to be teachers surely and just like in all other walks of life there are some very good ones, some average ones and some rubbish ones. I accept that there are some teachers who go the extra mile and some schools that provide "extras" such as afterschool clubs and breakfast clubs but the school my grandchildren attend is not one of them.

Ariadne Fri 04-Oct-13 13:32:09

And more's the pity, gillybob!

gillybob Fri 04-Oct-13 13:33:26

Yes Aka their website is shocking. Almost all of the staff pictured have left, the SAT's results are for last year, the news is old news. All in all it is rubbish. The Ofsted report for this year was shockingly bad too. There are some nice (although that doesn't make them good) teachers but on the whole the teachers seem to attend the school (when they are not off sick which is mentioned in the Ofsted report) and do very little else. My two grandaughters are extremely bright children, they could both read fluently before they started school. This is despite the school not because of it.

Mishap Fri 04-Oct-13 15:13:15

INSET days are usually spent learning about the latest assessment and monitoring processes required by government rather than discussing imaginative and inspirational teaching - which is what the teachers would far prefer to discuss I am sure!

The statistics that result from all this are so misleading - as stats often are. In our local school a reault of 25% of children in a year group not meeting the "required" standard is misleading nonsense and leads us to be flagged up as failing - the fact that there are only 5 children in that year group and two have special educational needs is completely ignored!

gracesmum Fri 04-Oct-13 16:06:04

INSET days are not usually additional holiday days for the children, but taken out of the holiday allocation, staff still have to do whatever number of hours the current contract says (is it 3 million and two?grin) It is just the timing of them which I imagine some parents find hard, although in my experience it used to be mostly a case of first day or last day of the holidays. I am sorry your GCs school is so poor Gillybob - that is another matter but on the whole most of the teachers I have known work way beyond the hours required - it is like being a Mum, you are never done!

leslies Fri 04-Oct-13 16:23:59

Schools are not there to provide babysitting facilities for children - if the school is closed to the children for inset days, bad weather etc then it is up to the parents to sort out childcare. I fail to see why people moan because their usual care provider, ie the school, is closed.

Mishap Fri 04-Oct-13 19:15:56

I agree that schools are not child care facilities for people who work. I am always slightly disturbed by the fact that children spend so long at school from breakfast club in the morning to after-school club. Let us hope that it is a place that they like to be.

harrigran Fri 04-Oct-13 19:35:50

GC's school has not updated their website since January. DIL does her best to keep us informed.
Worrying Gillybob when you have bright children not being stretched. Perhaps your GC would like the private education we offered ours but had turned down grin

seasider Fri 04-Oct-13 22:32:07

I don't expect the school to babysit my son (our school has no breakfast or after school provision) but he has barely been at his new school for four weeks and he is off for an inset day. Some of the local junior achools are off next week which makes it very difficult for parents with children in two different schools. I have to arrange my leave almost a year in advance and my OH and I split our holidays so my son is cared for. I know teaching can be a difficult job but I do have friends who teach because they can have all the holidays off with their children. When I was at school the school day was longer and I don't remember having any extra days off unless the school was being used as a polling station. The teachers were interesting and inspiring. I guess it is all the extra paperwork and the boring and restrictive national curriculum that is causing all the pressure on teachers!

janerowena Fri 04-Oct-13 23:30:24

In a way my DH is a victim of his own success. his school is way at the top of the rankings of school that are good at maths and now he has to keep it there or his school will be penalised. So not only does he have to stick to the curriculum, he also has to find ways to squeeze ineven more of the subject and also to keep the children interested and inspired, especially the girls. So if he gets a year that is girl-heavy for example he knows that his figures will be down, because they have been conditioned even in this day and age by mummies and grandmas saying 'girls aren't as good at maths as boys'. He says that so many of them say that and his heart sinks.

I repeat - they can't all have their inset days at the ends of the holidays because they can't all have their courses run for them on the same days as each other. They have to be scattered throughout the term, for the most part.

School websites are one of the first casualties of cost cutting. IT teachers are needed on a permanent basis to get children started and to help in classes where the teachers are older and don't have time always to figure out how the multitude of curriculum, timetabling, marking and assessment forms are all meant to tie in with each other. DH's school had three six years ago when he started, now they are down to one who is rushed off his feet and IT GCSE has been dropped. All teachers are expected to fend for themselves, which means that all the teachers who know what they are doing are also having to do much of their colleagues' work for them. This includes the elderly Head's secretary who when she started off at the school only had an electric typewriter. they have spent two whole years trying to teach her how to use the signing in and out software, inputting sick pupils and so on. She repeatedly starts off early in the morning ok but halfway through changes to pen and paper. BUT it would be cruel to sack her after 30 years when she has only one more year before retirement.

There is so much going on behind the scenes that parents are blissfully unaware of. DBH has had so many lessons interrupted today because the mother of a boy in his tutor group repeatedly breaks into the school and goes into her son's lessons to 'observe'. She has even been seen driving him from one part of the school to another. he gets picked on for being a Mumy's boy, she then complains that he is being bullied but can't see that she is smothering him and causing the teasing.

As for me, why am I ranting on here? Because I am the one who watches my husband worrying and caring about it all both day and night and today it is my birthday and he spent much of the meal out with our son who we haven't seen for two weeks, trying to calm down an upset young new and enthusiastic maths teacher who she fooled into allowing her into his lesson and then accused him of being boring in front of the children.

JessM Sat 05-Oct-13 22:09:38

lots the thread a little at the end there jane - the parent you mentioned earlier upset the young maths teacher? Why has the head not got some kind of restraining order/injunction on this woman if she breaking in and harrassing staff?

Aka Sat 05-Oct-13 22:48:37

Jane Happy Birthday flowers
Teaching has changed so much over the last 10 years that it's impossible for most people to understand the pressures on staff, especially senior staff who still hold down a full time teaching timetable plus management responsibilities. My daughter is a Head of Department in an 'outstanding' school. The pressures on her are tremendous.

janerowena Sun 06-Oct-13 18:22:16

There is a restraining order on her now JessM! She slipped through. As you can understand, it's a new term and there is always a big turnover of new teachers who don't know her, and also she looks quite young apparently. She just slips in. Nice polite children let her in. The poor boy, I hate to think how he will be when he is older.

janerowena Sun 06-Oct-13 18:31:36

Thank you, AKA! It made my birthday just seeing my son again, I fear I am a dreadfully sad empty nester.

Years ago, I can remember asking my husband why teachers didn't explain to parents what went on. I was as ignorant of it all as the next person. He just looked at me, and said after a while that he wouldn't know where to start and they would think he was exaggerating.

JessM Sun 06-Oct-13 19:45:32

WE had one a bit like that when I was C of Gvs jane but fortunately she confined herself to emails, texts, letters to the school and letters to the press. hmm

MaureenM Sun 06-Oct-13 22:37:23

I loved teaching, but took early retirement a year ago. There are some things I miss, but a lot that I don't. Inset days have to be agreed a year in advance and are sent out to parents, when they are given all the dates for the school calendar year. They didn't exist until Baker introduced them and were taken off the holidays, so children had the same number of days off as they had before, and teachers had to work five more, in order to keep up with training.