Harlow Fields parents oppose Send school hour reduction plan

Education: Secondary / Tue 16th Apr 2024 at 08:54am

“HURT and upset” parents whose children attend a special needs school (Send) are campaigning against plans to cut its hours reports the BBC.

Harlow Fields School and College on Tendring Road wants to bring its school day in-line with other Send schools in the county from September. 

Parents believe the proposed changes would reduce school time by 9%, while the school said it would be nearer 4%.

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12 Comments for Harlow Fields parents oppose Send school hour reduction plan:

2024-04-16 13:13:43

These kids need as much social contact as possible.

2024-04-17 06:41:37

Its hard to see something like this as anything but financially motivated. Perhaps the Governers have no choice. It is sad to read about, Eddie is 100% correct

Donna Day
2024-04-17 10:03:02

As a parent of this school I have a child with severe learning disabilities, autism and other health needs and disabilities who struggles to sleep as a result, meaning we are not going to sleep up until 1am on a nightly basis ( medication unfortunately does not work effectively) I have to wake him up from his sleep and because of tiredness this can lead to challenging behaviour and lack of cooperation. I think the later start time would be beneficial to my child due to our individual circumstances and would improve our morning routine. I’m not affected personally by the proposed change to school hours as I’ve now given up my job to care full time for my disabled child but I know other parents will be affected negatively by this which will be hard for them should this change happen. Also I personally know other parents who will be in favour of the proposed changes as they have to get up extremely early on school mornings to ensure all personal care, medications, physio, feeding schedules and other needs are met before their children are either collected by transport over a hour before school starts or they have to bring their child in themselves, many not living local to the school, it’s exhausting! I think as parents with children with complex needs at the school we have to be respectful of everyone’s opinions on this proposed change as everyone’s circumstances are different.

2024-04-17 16:32:23

I also have a child in this school in the sixth form college when he started the school time was the gates opened between 8.50 and 9.10 and pick up time was between 3 20and 3.40 which for me personally was ideal as I'd put my other children in a school near by which was manageable for all of them, then they changed the time after covid to 9 o'clock and 3.15 which made things harder meaning I had to pick my other children up a bit earlier,I also work like many parents have to. I started in the evening but this was very hard with my child's needs so I had to change my hours to half nine till half 2 I don't drive so its a struggle now to get in on time every day but I can do it just about if the kids go in on time but moving the school start times and finishing times I will loss an hours pay a day which obviously ands up over the month. Plus all the days and hours I'm having to miss due to all the half days they have introduced since September along with the standard non pupil days and school holidays. I spoke with head about this last summer before it started and she said maybe we could sort out clubs on the half days for parnent that work and that has never happened. If this happens and I loss the money it won't be worth me working so I will probably have to quit and go back on benefits. It also stated in the letter that it was to coinside with other local send school but looking on there Web sites most start at 8. 30 till 3.30

Clair Mackenzie
2024-04-17 19:14:38

I found it hard to hold back the tears on the BBC news when filming… EVERYTHING is a battle for my child with additional needs. I have NEVER heard of an educational setting cutting hours!?! The children are already on a back foot, so why not take away their education too? I have tried mainstream school for my son and he couldn’t tolerate it. The children deserve MORE, NOT LESS!!!

2024-04-17 19:23:57

The school has already reduced the hours after Covid (15 mins per day) now they are looking to reduce by another 50 mins per day. This is outrageous and would never be allowed in a mainstream school. These children are being discriminated against!

2024-04-17 20:04:40

I really can't understand how this is even being considered. To use the excuse of it gives teachers and tas more time to plan is not true. The school has been fine for many years with the way it was before covid ( when the time was already changed). Most children who attend harlow field, this is there only form of social life and parents only form of restbite. Changing this is also going to put many out of jobs. Very sad times we are living in with the school already closing there swimming pool for cost cutting, classes still closing for staff shortages and now a shorter school day yet again. What chance do these children and parents have with support when the very school listed as special needs is letting them down.

2024-04-18 05:57:22

As a parent at Harlow Fields I approve of the changes. Me and my child get up at 4:30am, not through choice but to make sure all care needs are met before school. Term time is exhausting. A later start would have a positive impact on our home life. If this change had been suggested a few years ago I would be actively campaigning in favour of it. But as my child only has a year left I’m also fine if they leave it the same at this point. I understand why some don’t want the change. But for my personal situation the change would be a good thing.

2024-04-18 06:59:39

I got a kid at that school he uses the school transport he leaves to early and gets home to late I want them to change the times

A tired mum
2024-04-18 09:21:25

My little one uses the home to school transport. When you factor in the transport time their school day is long. We have to get up really early to be ready for the pick up. I would like to see the times change to the new times.

2024-04-18 13:15:37

My friend sent me this article and honestly I’m shocked to find that some parents feel this way. I only know a few parents at the school because I don’t go there often but the few parents I do know are all speaking positively about the changes. If it helps the staff to plan better how can that be a negative thing for our children? Plus I selfishly want the extra time in bed in the morning lol.

2024-04-21 21:05:28

I don’t know about the rest of yous kids but mine will be grateful to spend less time at school. I don’t mind having them home with me either.

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