Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Schoolgirl error

Oops. My boy was almost humiliated by his useless mother who was convinced that he went back to school tomorrow, but was helpfully disabused of this impression by some helpful school mum friends. Trouble is my boys' school loves to play musical chairs with inset days in order to bump up its attendance figures.

Don't get me started on quite why the teachers can't train during the aeons of school holidays they already spend out of the classroom, but if we are to accept the argument that teaching is so arduous that you need at least six weeks off to recover from a term of managing primary school children, which now I come to think of it isn't quite as preposterous as I first thought, the school regularly snatches back inset days from us parents chomping at the bit to return our beloved offspring to the classroom.

Quite what inset days are for I am not sure, perhaps the teachers simply sit around knocking back neat vodka and having a calming smoke in preparation for the new term. Well I know that is what I would need if I were subjected to a class of 30 under-10s day in day out. I am a jibbering wreck after just six weeks in the company of my four small boys.

Whatever it is they get up to, the school has decided to get smart and match up inset days with the days with the days their pupils are most likely to skive off anyway. In our area of North London that means that the we have two inset days booked for the end of next week, that conveniently match up to the Jewish New Year.

However, there is another inset day that is to be held tomorrow, thereby delaying the start of school by a full 24 hours. Not sure what the purpose of this one is, other than to make all of us who paid through the nose for full price holidays gnash our teeth. For if all three inset days had been tacked on to the end of the holiday, the children would have had this (infinitely cheaper) week off school and I could have gone to a tropical island paradise instead of having a wet week in Wales.

Ah well, at least my son was saved from walking up to a closed school gate tomorrow, and at least I am all up to date with uniform, thanks in part to the kind donation of a school uniform pack from the lovely people from Clothing at Tesco. In return for their generosity I have posted a picture of some of my goodies below and I am nominating fellow mummy blogger Adventures of a Lady in Training to receive her very own pack of school clothes.  Enjoy.


  1. They do get far too long off; it interferes dreadfully with the routine of a child's life. My daughter, Amy, is autistic and needs so much routine and stability in her life but the school holidays of almost 8 weeks (yes, I said 8) is to me totally ridiculous. And then of course there are the teacher training days. Hmmm.

    CJ xx

  2. Thanks for nominating me!

    I don't have an issue with the holidays that teachers and kids get from school, having taught in the dim and distant past. The inset days are usually when teachers knock back vodka and commiserate with whoever has been stuck with the brattiest child do training on things like child protection, first aid etc or fill out the mountains of registration forms & disclosure forms or plan out events that the school does together.

    My problem is with how the holidays are divvied up. With each authority (and sometimes each school!) picking when their inset days are, when to start back & when to finish up it can be a nightmare for parents who teach. I think holidays and inset days should be set across the board across the UK so there's none of this nonsense about Scottish children back at school a month before their English counterparts!

  3. We all know inset stands for
    I'm a

  4. Perhaps we should have a straw poll to discover how many parents actually see the point of Inset Days?