Back to school induction

school uniform5th September

My Timeline on Facebook this morning (and yesterday) was full of the sweetest children all dressed in the cutest school uniforms of all colours, red, green, blue and yellow too and where’s our uniform? Still in the wardrobe upstairs, freshly pressed, labelled and just itching to be worn.

I am very pleased with our choice of school it’s voted Outstanding by Ofsted, we’ve had a couple of visits in July where the children were invited along to ‘class’ with their teacher. I met the headmistress briefly who even gave me a guest post on How to prepare Little Ones for Big School but here we are still waiting to start, drumming our fingers and wishing time away.

I think back to when I went to school and the first day was The First Day and from that day on you simply went to school. I think back to my older kids who went to school in Italy, different country but they went to school on their first day and simply carried on going to school from then on. Even their nursery school (scuola materna) was start by jumping straight in and getting used to the idea. After all the teachers are trained to help settle children in their new environment.

Not at our school, we are being subjected to a namby-pamby induction process¬†‘to help the little ones settle in’¬†How does that translate?

School Induction Programme

Week one (w/c 3rd Sept) the entire infant school start but we are invited in for one morning only from 9.15 to 11.30. Also the class has been split over two days so in effect half the class will be missing. Total school for this week 2 and 1/2 hours

Week two (w/c 10th Sept) We sit at home all week and wait for a home visit which, for us, will take place on Wednesday. 20 minutes per child with lots of paperwork to fill in! (sounds like a Labour idea to me – they loved paperwork didn’t they?) I find this a total waste of time and very frustrating. If I lived in the Bronx or a ghetto somewhere I could maybe understand. If I lived in a community of alcoholics, drug addicts, thieves, murderers and other society misfits I could maybe understand the need but I live on a lovely estate with good people, we may have the odd idiot in our midst (hasn’t every community?) but just a quick visit to our school fetes, or the local shops will prove it to be the decent area I’m telling you it is. As much as I will enjoy Mrs T’s (name changed) company on Wednesday I’d much prefer my twins were getting used to proper school. Total school for this week 20 mins

school uniform

Week three (w/c 17th Sept) Oh no, our induction isn’t over yet, it’s merely beginning! Children attend school mornings only and to be collected at 12. So childcare needs arranging for working parents every afternoon. Total school for this week 15 hours and 3/4

Week four (w/c 24th Sept) yep we’re still being induced. Children can stay for lunch and therefore need collecting at 1.25pm. More childcare needs arranging for working parents. Total school 23 hours and 3/4

book bag and school hat

Week five (w/c 1st Oct) we finally start school

Now I realise by speaking out I may upset the headmistress or the teachers or the governors and really start the year off on a bad footing but the old fashioned First Day of School worked for years (I’m talking decades) so why change it? I have seen tearful mums shed tears as their little ones start the journey of growing up, I’ve seen over-protective mums anxious to keep control of their offspring, was it their moaning and complaints that got us in this position? If so as a normal mum who accepts time moves on and kids grow up do I get a voice in this or should I just stand back and keep quiet?

Will my outspoken moaning now cause grief for my girls at school? I sincerely hope not. I would hope that the points I make will be taken into consideration for future years, I hope people will read it as the person who stands up at the village hall and dares to speak against decisions made before them.

Let’s bring back First Day of School as it always was and how it should be

P.S Weds 12th Sept – We’ve just had our home visit, post to follow, and it was very enjoyable. Mrs T arrived with Miss A (name changed) the teaching assistant. We went through a lot of paperwork and there was an opportunity to ask questions which I did and I challenged Mrs T as to why this drawn out process mentioning the fact that after an initial visit they then had to wait 10 days to go back. Well, from the teacher’s point of view it it is actually a very helpful process and makes first days less traumatic for the children. So I eat a bit of humble pie and wait for Monday our 1st day


  1. September 6, 2012 / 8:11 AM

    That does seem to be an extremely long induction process. Ella’s induction lasted for the first week. They split the class into 2 and had one half in for half the week and then the other half. The next week they all went together.
    I think with an induction process lasting an entire month I’d be annoyed as well.

  2. September 6, 2012 / 8:55 AM

    Oh, I find this very odd, too. Especially as so many of the children will have been attending to pre-schools for ages anyway. At ours, it’s not so bad, because they go for mornings for a few weeks, then stay for lunch two weeks before half-term and do a full-time week the week before half-term. It’s still a nightmare when you’ve been used to them being in full-time pre-school before and if you work. It confuses them if they’ve been in full-time pre-school, too, I think.

    Perhaps offering the option of half days to those who haven’t been at pre-school would be sensible and let everyone else come in full-time? It’s really not that hard a transition, is it?

    (I’m ignoring the dig at Labour about paperwork. OK, no I’m not. I think they’ve done more for education and children in poverty than has been done for a long long time and am very upset about the current ones meddling and making it all back to elitist, useless twaddle.)

    • Mari
      September 6, 2012 / 11:18 AM

      Leaving Labour digs aside (it’s only the excess paperwork that drives me mad, I know they did a lot of good) Most children are used to full time like you say and it’s only by thrashing out a problem publicly can we come to some form of agreement that benefits everyone, after all at the end of the day it’s our children’s positive experience of school that we are looking to achieve.
      I’m not sure how to tell them tomorrow they’re not going back to school for another 10 days (17th Sept). That to me is ridiculous what kind of message is that?

  3. Emma Day (Crazy with Twins)
    September 6, 2012 / 10:12 AM

    My daughters school did this last year. It was very annoying. They spent weeks trying to “ease them in gently” – which meant weeks of her crying at home time because she wanted to stay there for lunch! Then for year one – they take her away from all of her friends and put her in a different class with two girls that are regularly mean to her, and no friends. What was the point in taking until mid October to ease her in last year, only to completely upset her school experience this year?!

    • Mari
      September 6, 2012 / 11:14 AM

      OMG you must be so angry? Can you get the decision reversed? Did you have any say in it?

  4. September 6, 2012 / 5:19 PM

    Poppy had a morning yesterday, next week does 4 mornings, week after stay for lunch and then finally start week after. It does seem too long…she’s dying to just start xx

    • Mari
      September 6, 2012 / 6:11 PM

      Yours sounds slightly better than ours and like Poppy the twins are dying to start, why hold them back?

  5. September 6, 2012 / 5:58 PM

    Love the photo of your two little ladies.

    • Mari
      September 6, 2012 / 6:11 PM

      Thank you :)

  6. MsXpat
    September 6, 2012 / 7:30 PM

    How confusing. Does this make the experience any better for the kids? Why have they done it that way? The girls look adorable :0)

    • Mari
      September 6, 2012 / 7:43 PM

      I imagine they do it to help them settle in ‘better’, they’re doing it in the interest of the children only from a parent’s point of view it’s very stop and start and dragged out, hence my rant :)

  7. Littlesheep
    September 7, 2012 / 2:22 PM

    That does seem a very long and drawn out process… my eldest had a few weeks of half days but when they combined the nursery and reception to make a EYFS unit as my middle one started nursery the teacher in charge decided that it was ridiculous drawing it out as they all had to go full time at some point so they changed it to everyone in full time from day one with allowances made for individual children as appropriate, Now they offer full days for nursery children too so most of the reception children are used to at least one full day a week (mine did three last year) and they are just getting on with it.

  8. Jo Jo
    April 25, 2017 / 5:21 AM

    I am looking for summer uniform amd your girls dresses are the nicest I have seen. Please can I ask where you got them. Thanks x

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