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Change to finish time

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by tickly_lizard, Jul 22, 2020.

  1. tickly_lizard

    tickly_lizard New commenter

    We received an email from the HT yesterday with draft plans for when we return in September.

    Our contract states we finish work at 16.10 (the school day usually finishing at 16.00), which is when I usually leave to collect my daughter from the childminder. If I left any later there would be a greater financial cost for me.

    They are now proposing staggered finish times (But no staggered start times), with the last year group finishing at 16.20, meaning we would be expected to be there until 16.30.

    Is this change in contract allowed at the moment because we are expected to be flexible because of Coronavirus? How/would you respond to the email?
  2. Corvuscorax

    Corvuscorax Star commenter

    I think that most schools are going to have to extend the school day to account for staggering of year groups.

    We are deleting morning break for teachers, and our nearest neighbouring school has actualy cancelled lunch time in favour of a series of staggered breaks. Both mean longer contact time for teachers.

    Thi is presumably directed time, so will be taken off after schol meetings or similar.

    No harm in speaking to your manager to see if there are some days that you can still leave at 4.10.

    But I have to say, this would have been incredibly early to be allowed to leave a school, so you have probably been excessively lucky to have ever been allowed to leave at this time, and don't have much to complain about if this changes to 4.30. This is still 45 minutes earlier than we are allowed to leave.
    agathamorse and nomad like this.
  3. maggie m

    maggie m Lead commenter

    Lucky??? I have never worked in a school (London / Essex ) where staff were directed to stay more than 10 minutes after the pupils left if there was no meeting. For me that has meant I could be off the premises at 3.30 not that I did so very often. Most staff stayed much longer but very handy for those in the OP's position or if you needed to get to the gp or dentist.
  4. Corvuscorax

    Corvuscorax Star commenter

    I think you just pay for longer child care. This is a wonderful problem to have. it is far more common for staff to be struggling becasue longer child care is not available, they get there at 6pm, or whenever the last possible moment is. Having to extend past leaving at 4.10 when longer child care is available, sounds very easily resolved. Child care costs are part of choosing to have a child.
    andthentherewerenone likes this.
  5. SCAW12

    SCAW12 Occasional commenter

    Speak to your LM. They may cover you. Failing that a colleague. But if there is no cover available then sadly a child care change is necessary.
    TheoGriff, agathamorse and phlogiston like this.

    ACOYEAR8 Star commenter

    What is this extra 10 minutes all about ?
    If it's supervision of students until they leave, then there might be someone you could swap with.
    If it's about the amount of time you are 'working on school site' are you able to come in earlier ?
    I'm lucky enough to work in a school where, by and large, if the work gets done then we can go home before 4.
    Robberto, agathamorse and strawbs like this.
  7. Morninglover

    Morninglover Star commenter

    If secondary schools are staggering their finish times, how will the buses cope? Or will those pupils let out earlier have to wait for 20/30/40 minutes at the bus stop or on the bus?

    I suspect that might have (totally expected) "unexpected" consequences!! :eek:
  8. install

    install Star commenter

    Teachers have children too and sadly some hts forget this. I would check with the Union first and get them to send a response to the ‘draft plans’. The timing is pretty awful too and poor form of the ht imho. The HT was clearly expecting only a few to look at the ‘draft’ in the hope of minimal reaction. It’s also a crafty way of setting a precedent whereby the school day is extended permanently - so Union, Union, Union.

    The HT should have considered earlier finishes leading up to the last one being 16.10. Adding 20 minutes to your day without agreement is a breach of your contract - just as much as you leaving 20 mins early is. So it’s Union all the way.

    Many schools would have made the staggered finish start sooner leading up to the normal closing time - not the other way round. So don’t think for a second that many schools are extending their day because they are not in my experience.

    Is your head consulting with the Unions at all?
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2020
  9. sunshineneeded

    sunshineneeded Star commenter

    I think this will be happening in many schools. We are having staggered start and finish times, for different year groups - the school day is still the same length, but Year groups are starting between 8.45 and 9.15 and finishing between 3.05 and 3.35. I don't have childcare or family commitments so it won't make any difference to me, but I can see that it might have a big impact on those with childminders or who need to collect their own children from other schools. It will also be an issue for parents with children in different year groups - they could be starting and finishing half an hour apart. Will the parents just wait outside school? Not ideal, when the whole purpose of this is to avoid large groups of people together!

    Is there someone you could speak to before replying to the email? I think I'd want to try that first. Maybe your line manager or a member of SLT that you have a good relationship with. Explain the situation and see if there are any options for you. Good luck!
  10. Stiltskin

    Stiltskin Star commenter

    You say these are draft plans though. In which case a discussion with the head may be all that is needed. Explain your childcare issues as I am sure there are a number of staff in school with the same. Also perhaps suggest staggered start times as well - which means you could cover the early start but early finish.
  11. BelleDuJour

    BelleDuJour Star commenter

    I'm so glad I've retired..........that's all I can say.
  12. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    By emailing back and asking to discuss domestic arrangements with the Head so I could explain that there could be child care problems with the proposed changes.

    .... Long before complaining about it on social media.
  13. install

    install Star commenter

    Looking at this again, I would certainly approach the Union first for advice before the Head.

    Check with them what the exact wording needs to be and be careful of agreeing to anything without double checking. You certainly don’t want to be targeted as happens in some schools for even raising it.
  14. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    State school or private? It's very unusual for the finish time to be specified in the formal contract of employment. Are you sure it's in the contract?
  15. Corvuscorax

    Corvuscorax Star commenter

    The buses will cope far far better than when 1000+ children all hit the bus stops together.
  16. scott1980

    scott1980 Occasional commenter

    My local school after school club finish at 4.30 on a Friday. There is no other alternative. Not everyone covers till 6.
    agathamorse likes this.
  17. Morninglover

    Morninglover Star commenter

    Really? In some of the schools I was working in, only one bus served certain villages or routes, so it would have to wait until all the pupils who lived in those places (who would come from a variety of years) had finished school.
    jlishman2158, agathamorse and strawbs like this.
  18. ACOYEAR8

    ACOYEAR8 Star commenter

    No clubs until after October in my school.
    agathamorse likes this.
  19. nomad

    nomad Star commenter


    If it is a time specified in the Directed Time Budget then the HT can alter that as long as the changes are reasonable.

    With regard to becoming a union-botherer, even before discussing a possible resolution with the HT... Really?
    jellycowfish, Pomza and Piranha like this.
  20. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    I believe schools are not allowed to change the amount of lesson time due to staggered starts and finishes. If you finish later then you should also be starting later.
    I believe you have to be given reasonable notice for a change of contract. Ours is a term, but yours may be different.
    I'd reply to the email by setting out the difficulty in staying until 4.30 and offering to do an early shift or extra break duty or some such to mean I could still leave at 4.10.

    Maybe see if other staff are in the same position and send a group response/request for the rethink?

    It's largely irrelevant what other schools are doing, your school is proposing this.

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