Staggered School Starts - Brilliant or Barmy?

Dreading The Staggered School Start...
1 September 2016

I realise this whole Back to School focus must be wearing thin for those of you whose little darlings have already been back long enough to have already scuffed the toes of their very expensive school shoes, but tomorrow is the big day in my neck of the woods, so bear with me.

Because I need to ask a question; does anyone else feel like the whole staggered-start to the first term of school or nursery is deliberately intended to send you demented?

No? Just me? Ok, I thought as much.

But then I am *that* mum who sent her kids into school on an inset day because she doesn't check the school bags regularly enough to keep track of changes to the school calendar. And who only realised her error when her friends started posting pictures on social media of their kids enjoying their extra day off. (Yeah, sorry about that again, kiddos.)

So, yes, I fully expect to be shouted down by scores of teachers and more diligent parents reading this who will tell me that staggered starts are for the benefit of the children and that I should be putting their needs beyond my own self-interest and desire for a simple life.

But I still wish schools would do away with the whole staggered start thing and just find a way to manage the melee of a whole class full of bewildered kids all getting to grips with their first day at the same time. Too much to ask? Probably. But wouldn't it be nice to know whether you're coming or going as the new school terms gets underway?

For the first time in my parenting life I am about to have three kids at three different schools and that's a logistical nightmare I'm just not quite able to wrap my head around. Factor in needing to consult my diary for the first three weeks' of my youngest child's school term to ascertain what time she's supposed to be where, and it's surely no wonder that I already feel like my head is fried before the term has even begun.

That said, my youngest's school is actually going about the whole staggered-start thing in a very sensible fashion compared with how her brothers' school handled things way back when. Let's just say there were literally months of me dashing back and forth to the school gates several times a day at one stage – and don't even get me started on the years where one child's day finished thirty minutes earlier than his brother's. I could have written a novel in the hours I spent killing time between those pick ups.

My tongue is firmly in my cheek, of course. I know that teaching staff do a cracking job and that I ought to be grateful for their commitment to my child's needs and their willingness to carefully plan the start of school so as to best prepare my special little snowflake for all that is ahead.

I suppose I just wish someone would staple the schedule to my forehead to reduce the chances of me ending up in the wrong place at the wrong time at some stage over the next few weeks. Although - let's face it - not even that would likely save me.

But what's your view on this? Do you share my fear that you'll be the lone parent standing in the school playground at the wrong time or - worse - the one who doesn't turn up at the right time during your child's staggered start to nursery?

Or are you a terribly organised parent who thinks this is all pure nonsense and I should just sort myself out for back to school season without complaint? Leave us a comment below or join the debate over on our Facebook page.


  • Steph O.

    They are doing away with it in Wales, my daughter started at Easter, has done 1 term then had 7 weeks off! From 2017 all children will start in September, which I think is much better for children :slight_smile:

  • Janet M.

    Not great most of the children have had at least 15 hours of pre school , by the time they go full time it will probably be half term .

  • Natalie R.

    My little boy that is starting next week isn't going in till Wednesday.. That's just for the morning, then he's doing Thursday afternoon.. Then a week of half days till 1.30 then in full time

    Mean while his two brothers who also Attend the school start back Monday, as much as I think the gentle approach when starting school is nice I also think it's going to confuse the one starting Seeing his brothers go to school and him go in mid week

    • Amy C.

      I agree plus I think they should go off the individual, my daughter although a young one had gone to nursery 3 full days a week so a school day was already short in comparison, my nieces school would do it dependent on the child which I think works better personally x

    • Kaylea F.

      This is the same way my son is doing his settling as of next week. Both my children have been in childcare for a young age so it's a step backward and very confusing for them. I work in a preschool so children of a younger age and our settling process isn't as dragged out as schools and all out new children settle just fine. Seems silly and very unnecessary

  • Joanna P.

    I think staggered starts are ridiculous and unsettling for children as they start to get used to half days and then have to do full days. Children who attend nursery before school are normally more used to full days as well.

  • Shelley M.

    Ridiculous. 2 weeks of faffing about before she gets a full days school. Big sister is already at school but it means 2 drop off times and 2 pick up times not to mention how do parents who work manage?

    • Kerry B.

      I have 4 weeks faffing. 3 of 1.30-3pm then two days mornings no lunch and 3 mornings including lunch then her first full day 3rd October :scream:she will already be 5!!!

    • Cara S.

      Oscar is full time from day 1 (Monday) A bit scary but it's a small school and he went to preschool there. My school are 2 days mornings then full time from next Wednesday. We have a 60 cohort!

    • Kerry B.

      she is going crazy at home. I can't believe they have such a long induction. She's been used to 3 days a week 9-3 and because we had to appeal her place she's an extra so is doing he induction with the younger half of the year to even numbers! They were due to take 45 but ended up with 51

    • Jasmine S.

      It's bloody stupid. Cause it makes kids get used to not being in a full days for a few weeks then boom. They are hit full on after all the stupid faffing. They should just start full time on the first day

  • Emelie M.

    I think they are more for the teachers benefit. Some schools around here have 6 weeks of half days!

    • Rosie B.

      I don't think it benefits teachers either, it's a right faff. I think it's a throw back from when children went from nothing to school so was with the best intentions, but just not relevant any more!

    • Melissa A.

      It's not for the teachers benefit. It's to help children settle and it eases then into it. Some children are very confident and ready to do full days straight away were as other children less so. Having half days makes it less scary for children rather than throwing them in at the deep end

  • Catherine B.

    Barmy. Parents have already had to sort out time off work for holidays and messing with an hour/half day here and there is a pain for them and employers countywide.

  • Samantha G.

    I think it's a pain personally. I mean I understand settling in but most kids have been to nursery day care ect and I work and my partner works so difficult to arrange childcare x

  • Natasha P.

    I think it's daft, my son starts next Tuesday but doesn't actually go full time until the 26th September! Even though he's use to doing school hours after attending pre school since 2 1/2 Luckily I'm a stay at home mum but for those at work I think it's crazy having to work around the silly hours for the first couple of weeks

  • Susan M.

    It's a complete pain as both of us work. Luckily my daughter only has 4 days of late starts and just doing mornings but my parents have had to come and stay in order to sort out collecting her as we can't use the afterschool club.

  • Isla G.

    My sons school decided not to do staggered starts this year. He went straight in from 9am till 3pm and he didnt even bat an eyelid!

  • Janine T.

    Our school doesn't do half days just has about 3 or 4 kids start each day over a ten day period so they can settle. Which I'm happy with. Goes by when their birthday is so eldest start first - my son starts a week after term starts - means a quick cheap holiday before he starts which is nice for the family too. Might feel different if I wasn't on maternity leave and had to arrange around work

  • Stephanie P.

    My daughter will start Monday. Her first week she will finish at 12, the next week she will stay for lunch then it will be her third week before she goes all day. When my eldest started she didn't start till nearer the end of September as they staggered the start dates of reception and she was one of the youngest in the year. When I started school we just started, all day. And we just got on with it. It would do children no harm to start full days straight away

  • Susan E.

    My wee girl did 3 weeks of 9-12:15 then went full time but when my now 2 year old starts school it will full days from day one.

  • Gemma L.

    My daughter when she started reception had about 2 and a half weeks of half days mixed between morning and evenings then started full time was just drawn out and rediculas

  • Susan L.

    I think staggered starts are a great idea however my daughters school does full days and they start off with the younger children 1st so it gives them a chance to settle in with less children. It works really well for them.

  • Katherine S.

    A complete pain, my son doesn't start his staggering in sessions until the 12th and then starts full time on the 19th. I'm very lucky to work for a company who understand and support my needs as a single parent otherwise I would have to take the time off unpaid. It's very disruptive and would do them no harm to start full time straight away.

  • Beverley H.

    My daughter started school last year and hated her staggered start.

  • Terean R.

    Neither of mine done this staggered lark both did one yr in nursery 3-4 reception full time from day 1 and they both loved it

  • Helen B.

    I think it's ridiculous! My little girl will have one week of afternoons, one week of mornings, one week of staying till 1.30pm then one week of staying till 2.30pm! It will be October when she starts full time! She's attended the nursery there and is more than capable of staying all day. On Tuesday Iv got to take her big brother to school at 8.55am and then after telling her she's also starting school that day - that no actually you can't go in yet, you need to come in after lunch! It's a nightmare for working parents! I'm going to be spending the majority of the next four weeks walking backwards and forwards to school as Iv also got to take her brother at 'normal' times!

  • Maria C.

    I wish it was optional, she doesn't go full-time until after half term. Mornings and afternoons with the odd lunch here and there are there is going to be a nightmare with two in nursery to pick up and drop off at different times as well

  • Liz L.

    They will never be able to please everyone as all kids are different x my eldest really benefitted from the staggered start and could really have done with doing it for longer as he is anxious in general and needs a lot of help, but my youngest had already been in full time nursery for 2 years, is very confident and outgoing and really didn't need the staggered start at all especially as his birthday means he's the oldest in the year.

  • Jo G.

    It just makes childcare impossible. My son was summer born and wasn't allowed to start full time for a couple of months. In my opinion, this widened the gap between him and the older children.

  • Sarah T.

    My son will do 4 weeks of mornings, then 1 week of mornings with lunch. He doesn't start full time until mid October! Then it will soon be October half term and another week off, oh and an inset day!

  • Emma G.

    Great idea. Our local school had a fortnight of half days before full days started. If anything, I think the shorter days should be up until the October holidays, gradually lengthening the days - stay half day, stay till lunch, stay til mid-afternoon etc. They're only little once and I think starting school at 4/5 is bananas anyway. We should follow Finland and start at age 7!

    • Sarah T.

      My son's school pretty much does this, he'll be doing 5 weeks of short days, which nearly takes him up to the October half term :smiley:

  • Gillian C.

    As long as it is no longer than a week as difficult to ask for more time off work following the summer holidays!!

  • Leah G.

    Our sons new school starts mon and do full days BUT they are then tailoring it to the child. So if after this first week he's just not coping we can drop his days to a few full or part time ... which I think is pretty good . Each child is different after all

  • Tan1

    My son has been at nursery full time since he was 6 months due to me needing to return to work. Now his new school has a staggered start of 5 weeks! Week 6 is half term. I understand it's exhausting etc but his nursery hours were 7.30am till 4.30pm. So the staggered start for 5 weeks is just uncessary for him. Maybe 2 weeks of adjusting to the setting would be better. Should depend on rhe child.

  • Rachael C.

    I hate the gentle start, most children have already been to nursery since 3 yrs old! I think it's more unsettling has just has they start enjoying it its time to come home. People work as well and also have to sort extra childcare out aswell

  • Emma D.

    It's all over the shop between different schools! I guess the approach will vary for different kids- mine are used to similar school hours at present school so probably won't be too phased, but I know some kids who haven't done the pre school experience and this could all be quite daunting.... Who knows!

  • Gayle T.

    A few days is ok...but my little one has 2 weeks of staggered hours and when you have a toddler too and also working its hard to be back and forth and arranging to have someone pick him up after 2 hours for the first week as you are at work it's abit ridiculous

  • Rachel E.

    I get that it is difficult for parents, especially working parents (I am one!), and I get that it is not the right approach for all children, but it is an approach based on extensive research and experience of what is most effective for most children. Half days usually mean half the class, so fewer children at one time - 29 other children can be overwhelming for some children. It also gives the staff more time to get to know each child better, as an individual. Even for those who did full days at nursery, it is very tiring to start in a new place - transition is exhausting for all of us. In the grand scheme of things, the disruption to parents is for a relatively short time, compared to the benefit of making a good start to what will be many years in the education system.

    • Louise C.

      Thank you, Rachel for speaking sense!

  • Kim P.

    I think it is ridiculous. My daughter has started today. She has been in nursery since she was 7 months old because I had to go back to work. She is on hand days for 2 weeks, one of those weeks is effectively 2 hours a day. I can't take that kind of time off work so despite the fact that her attendance is now compulsory and I believe am having to pay for both of school fees for the session she is not in class then additional fees for the before and after school club as pre school finished at 3.20, the same time as the school. How does that work?!?!

  • Samantha W.

    My girl has just started p1 and they go straight in at full days which I'm so glad of the school use to do staggered starts but stopped a few years ago and so glad they did she has settled straight in and no confusion

  • Jay J.

    Ours have gotten rid 90% of the class's went to nursery there for full days so they scrapped it, if you feel you little one needs it you can still do it but i prefer the deep end straight away no delusions of coming home at dinner lol x

  • Vicky H.

    My little boy starts back Monday with half day Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday pick up 11:45, Thursday he stays for lunch pick up 1pm then full day Friday onwards

  • Donna S.

    My 3 go back Monday .. And youngest daughter starts reception mon,tues and wed she's doing half days then Thursday onwards full time think it's a good idea ease them into it cause throwing them all into a class of 30odd at once for 6 hours be to chaotic and hard work for the kids and teachers

  • Emma M.

    It's stupid. My daughter attended the school nursery and then was given a start date of 19th September to start reception due to a staggered in take. She was literally moving into the classroom next door and ended up with over 2 months off school over the summer!

  • Chloe L.

    My son starts a new pre school in a couple of weeks and their first day they just go in for half an hour!! He loved his previous nursery and only reason he isn't there anymore is because we moved. He's do the whole 3 hours given half a chance!!

  • Rachel L.

    Pointless! Send 'em in and they'll be ok.

  • Karen R.

    I'm feeling very thankful for my kids school. They do a staggered intake, but it's sonthat the oldest (born Sept to Dec) start on the first day, for the whole day, then those born Jan to March a couple of days later, the the rest the following week. No messing about with half days and if you request they start on the first day they usually say yes.

  • Gemma H.

    It would be nice to have the choice. My little one is starting school next week and he will have 3 weeks of half days. He has been doing a 10 hour day at nursery once a week since he was 9 months old, he won't be bothered by a 3 1/2 hour day at school!

  • Debbie P.

    My boys school does full days but older half two days younger half two days then all together so gives them a break after two full days before launching into a full week, works well and much better than half days as most have done half days through nursery

  • Danielle N.

    It's ridiculous. My kids were used to 10 hour days at the childminder's. My son didn't go to nursery, so he was on a special watch list :unamused: But after 2 days he was complaining, asking when he could start school properly! My daughter has been to nursery at the school, so she really doesn't need to start off on 1hr 20min days!! We're very lucky our childminder is able to accommodate us with the awkward times!

  • Rochelle S.

    Last year I had one in year2 one in reception And one in nursery. Drop no1 and no3 off at 9 Drop no2 off at 10 Pick up no3 at 11.30 Pick up no2 at 2 Pick up no1 at 3 So back and for 5 times :joy:

  • Geraldine M.

    When I started u were in for the whole day from the outset. Too much faffing about

  • Kirsty H.

    My daughter starts part time on the 12th and not full time until the 23rd. I feel like this will be quite unsettling for her and has been a pain sorting out work shifts

  • Kayleigh S.

    My boys school only does the first day starting at a later time then full days at normal times from day two, my middle one is starting reception he starts 2 weeks after his older brother goes back.

  • Tasha R.

    Youngest starts reception next Thursday. One of the last lot to be settled in of that week. From what the teacher told me some will be doing half days some will be staying for lunch then going home then some will stay all day from the start. It is totally dependable on the child. And the school works with what the parents think suits their child best. Me personally I think it's a good idea I know my son is going to struggle and I need him to settle in as school is supposed to be fun so if it means I've got four different pick up drop off times so be it. I don't want him to dislike school so if I can make it easier on him I'm willing to do it. I've got two different schools to get to every day in different areas that involves a bus there and back and getting off and on but I have to do what needs to be done. Good luck to all new little ones starting school x

    • Amelia A.

      I think that's really thought out idea, my daughter starts Monday I know she will be fine, big sister is there, and did one day a week last term. But her little sister starts next September, hasn't doesn't nursery, she is very different child, I think she will struggle. A school that cares for children and let's parents decide what's best, would be nice if other schools could take this approach. I hope your son settles in has a good time :)

    • Rachael W.

      My son starts 9th and will be staggered starts and finishes he has an older sister who is going upto juniors on the same site. He has only just turned 4 so the school have said we will work with what suits him if after the first week of him doing part time he is ready to go full time then great but if not he will gradually increase. It worked well for his sister as she was the youngest in the year as well x

  • Maxine W.

    I did staggered starts with my eldest four (17,16,13 and 13) didn't rate them, im now preparing to send my only just four year old into school next Wednesday full time 8.50 start 3.15 finish let see how this goes.

  • Sarah M.

    My son starts on mon that week he is doing 1.15-3.15pm all week the 2nd week on mon, Tues, n weds he is doing 8.55-12.30 and stays for lunch n Thurs n Fri he does 8.55-2.30 and the next week he starts full time 8.55-3.15. I think it's nice for the first week for the teacher to only have to get to know half the class at a time and get to know their personalities and where abouts they are developmentally. I think some children need the gradual hours and others won't, personally it doesn't effect me as I only work part time

  • Nicola T.

    A massive faff. My son starts on the 12th on half days for TWO weeks, then a week of half-days plus lunch, and then full time from the beginning of October - all of 2/3 weeks before half term! What the hell is it with soft starts?

    I mean, the school is good and hopefully knows what it's doing, but still - I've had seven weeks of him already, and we are so fed up of each other

  • Vivien C.

    Scottish schools started back 3 weeks ago and my daughter started Primary 1 then doing full days from the start. She is absolutely exhasted when she comes home, not enjoying school because she is tired and is really struggling with the full days. From her point of view, I would have prefered her starting with half days for a while but as a working parent understand the benefit to me of it being full days. I know she will adjust to the schedule in time but certainly a baptism of fire. She was at nursery before but only half days.x

  • Becky G.

    I've been out the country for 11 years so I didn't quite fully understand what this staggering meant till I saw this article. As a former Pre-K teacher from an international school I find this staggering a waste of time and just prolonging the inevitable. Get them all in, at the same time and for the same length of time. The kids will be fine. Yes, a few upset days but that's why routines are important and are consistent. Kids adjust easier than parents like to think they do. Also, if this staggering has to be part of starting school, surely it should be up to the parent if they want their child to do it. As a parent, if you feel your child is ready and confident enough than this staggering shouldn't be compulsory.

  • Vicki T.

    My daughter is starting in reception and they just break it down into three groups of 10. Youngest start Monday 5th full days, middle months Thursday 8th full days and eldest the 12th full days. Don't mind that as my eldest will start year 2 on Monday so I get to take her in and line up with her for 3 days and then swap lines to reception.

  • Katie S.

    My little girl doing 9-11.30 mon and Tues 9-1.00 to say for lunch wed thur Fri then full time the following week so only has 1 week of half days my boy did the same 2 years ago and worked brilliantly the head did say that if they did have a child that is struggling with full days they can do half days for awhile longer but most children are ready for full days from the 2nd week :relaxed:

  • Karen P.

    Personally I think people underestimate children and their ability to cope with playgroup/nursery/school :couple::couple: xx

  • Yasmin A.

    My girls had a couple morning sessions before the holidays. They will both start full days on Monday. So glad one drop off and one pick up after a year of two drop offs and two pick ups!!

  • Grace P.

    Depends on your kiddos! Eldest and youngest raring to go middle oh my no where near ready! He was an August babe and was pretty much a babe! He needed much longer. I wish they would go with the child! My grandson who is a July baby will be ready to fly! Wish they did not box kids up with age!

  • Natalie B.

    Omg don't get me started!! Frustrated about a month of half days is not the word! Thank god I have my mom to help out or I'd be screwed as I'm a working mom!

  • Mandy E.

    Stop winging , you kids are healthy and here some parents /grand parents would give thier right arm to be taking thier loved ones to school wether it be staggered or not , sadly instead some of us can only put a bunch of flowers on a grave !!!!!

  • Nikki P.

    My daughter started straight away full time, and it was a walk in the park plus she was used to full time hours due to goin to nursery full time. Why drag it out - get them in straight away so that they can settle into a routine and get used to school life

  • Sheetal P.

    So true Laura. Staggered start is silly. No consideration of impact it would have on working parents! Kids are fine if just be chucked into deep end. !

  • Amy B.

    My son starts school next week, they all just go in on the tuesday the same as the rest of the school and do full days from the first day, didnt even realise schools did "staggered" starts x x

  • Siobahn G.

    I think it's stupid. Unless the child is a nervous child throw the little monkeys in full days from the start. Never did me any harm :joy::joy:

    • Sherene W.

      100% agree :thumbsup_tone1:

  • Rebecca L.

    My daughter's school does two half days then they go in full time as the Headteacher said they consider working parents.

  • Samantha S.

    My children's school has them starting full time straight away. It's so much easier for me and better for them. They get used to it earlier.

  • Emma W.

    My boy has 2 1/2 days then straight into full days thank god!

  • Clare P.

    I think it's great

  • Rachel S.

    Annoying! My daughter starts on Mon for 2 weeks of half days, her friends are going to a different school and starting on full days :disappointed: the whole class are doing 2 weeks half days.

  • Lisa D.

    More differentiation is needed and staff to support it for those children who need it in reception. Listening to parents explain what their children are like and areas for support helps too.

  • Claire M.

    For my daughter it's better, but it means I can do any drop offs and I'm relying on my mum for two weeks while I'm at work

  • Claire B.

    Our school started them all full days. Found this much better for her getting into a routine and knowing what was happening. My son had started on staggered days and he found it really frustrating.

  • Kerry P.

    They're just confusing for the kids. I remember having to explain that there was no school tomorrow after my son had spent his "first day" at school and was met with a look of confusion.

  • Janine B.

    My son starts next Wednesday and then the following week my daughter starts reception so that week she is doing two days till 12:30 the next two days until 1:30(will have lunch there) and then full day on the Friday

  • Shelley H.

    I had this dilema last year when my daughter started reception. It was a staggered start in that the first day was a couple of hrs, the next day a bit more, then stay for some lunch, but go home straight after, then stay until mid afternoon, and then finally the whole day. My daughter was all for going full time from day one. So, i sent her in and she was going to have the 'picnic lunch'. Bless her, there were only 4 other children staying and she panicked at lunchtime because they hadn't asked her what she wanted (they had said they would) and she thought she'd be made to have the hot choice! They called me to come and get her!! I felt terrible! But, she did continue to go in full time, just with a pack up. She was fine and I actually think they should just get on with it!!

  • Holly B.

    It's a compete waist of time. It drove me crazy with a new born and it didn't do my daughter any favours. She didn't know whether she was coming or going! Although it was mornings for a weeks then afternoons for a week it didn't help in the settling in period. It made it horrendous! She was an anxious child anyway so it didn't help. I'm glad with her going into year one its just back to normal. I know there will be wobbles but she will settle a lot quicker this term!

  • Gem H.

    Mine is goin straight in on full days think this is better than eldest did same they know where they srand from.the off then. I work at another where they do stagger n the children get so upset by it cus they get used to the idea of only doin a half day.makes them take longer to settle x

  • Emma P.

    My daughters school don't believe in half days. She starts on weds. Does a half day before lunch on weds & thurs. until after lunch on Fri. Then full time:relaxed:. It worked well with my son, he is doing the same as everyone else pretty much straight away, also got him straight into a routine. Made my life easier with work and dropping off and picking up.

  • Kelly O.

    It's far to long a process xx

  • Jacqueline L.

    It's just a pain in the butt going backwards and forwards to school more than necessary 9 till 11.30 back 3 afternoons morning sessions ridiculous it settles into routine after a week thank god kids like to know where they are and so does mommy

  • Jacqueline L.

    We never had staggered days it's mad x

  • Melanie H.

    Our school are doing the 1st week till 1pm and the second full day which I don't think is too bad. Pointless starting them on half days again

  • Helen S.

    My daughter can't understand why she has to 'practise school' (her words :laughing:) when she's already visited and knows what school is. She went yesterday and isn't in again until next Tuesday, she's very put out that she can't go like her big brother xxx

  • Vanessa P.


  • Elaine I.

    I do think it's silly as a parent, having kids start different dates, times etc. However, not all children are the same. Having small groups start at different times, allows the teacher to get to know the children better and then see how they cope when other children join the class. Letting children stay longer each day/week allows the children to adjust to routine of classroom better and again allows teacher to see how each individual child deals with this. If a teacher had 20 odd children all start on same day at 9-2/3 they couldn't get an individual assessment of each child as well as they could when it is staggered. So although it can be an inconvenience or seem unnecessary to some parents, I do think it's best in the long run

  • Amy G.

    I think it's ridiculous. My son starts this month too but he has a home visit on 5th, then 1 morning on 13th, then week of mornings starting 19th, then full time starting 26th. Bloody ridiculous.

  • Julie C.

    Once again, most people thinking of the inconvenience to themselves rather than what is best for the children. There are very good reasons for staggered starts. Starting school is a big thing, it's very different and more tiring / overwhelming than nursery, so staggered starts ease them in gently. They also allow the teachers to get to know the children - and vice versa - in smaller groups. Personally, I cherished those extra few special days at home with my daughters before they both started school.

    • Lisa-Marie W.

      I agree with you Julie. Staggered starts are in place for a reason.

  • Zoe O.

    My second son starts reception on Monday . He will do mornings with lunch for one month then full time . If he gets to tired we can pick him up after lunch till he manages the school week. I think this is good but the only problem we have is our children go to a village school and we are both working parents so we would prefer one week of half days then full time . :slight_smile:

  • Keira H.

    when my daughter started school they did a 3 week staggered intake first week was half days for the children at the nursery then 2nd week was the children who were born in 2007 then it was children born in 2008 so she didnt start till near the end of september and couldnt understand why she had to do half days and others got to stay for lunch. after teh second day i asked if she could do full days and they could see she would cope fine and let her. I kinda see why they do it but some schools really over complicate it.

  • Pauline P.

    Ridiculous idea. I had to take 2 weeks holiday from work as my little girl was only half days. This meant we couldn't go on a family holiday over the summer holidays as had to save my holidays for her starting school :rage:

  • Jaime H.

    Staggering days is great not only does it prepare my child, but also me! In fact, I don't think they stagger in enough.

  • Alison G.

    My son started school 3 weeks ago they went from 9 until 1.30 which ment school lunch from day 1 then they went in at half one when bell went after lunch to collect bags coats etc they started full days this Monday and will Finnish at 3.15 today seems to work quite well and it's not much of a change as his school has an early years building which houses p1/2 and nursery he went to

  • Donna H.

    Riddiculous. Its prolonging the upset for them. The sooner they start full time the sooner they get used to it.

  • Laura L.

    were no the only ones then! x

  • Bethany J.

    My son does half days for 3/weeks then goes full time after that. I think it all depends on the child and most schools give you 3 options to choose from. My son only ever did one full day of nursery a week so I want him to settle in before shoving him in the deep end. School is a very big thing and can seem so big and scary to a small child so I think ppl need to be a little bit more thoughtful when they say the kids should just get on with it!!

  • Caroline S.

    I think I would make it harder on the children as there's no regular routine. And a nightmare for the parents especially working ones. I don't understand the point really. My son starts school for the first time on Monday, his school just start full time straight away thankfully.

  • Natalie N.

    Perhaps the parents should have the option of whether they want to be staggering their children's start. They know their child best so would know if they could cope with a full day from the beginning. It's an absaloute nightmare for working parents. I know I'm going to struggle with this next year and would rather just start how we mean to go on.

  • Jennifer H.

    Get rid of it. I work my son going into year 1 is a September baby so started full time straight away but his two younger sisters will do staggered starts, financial a bigger strain as childcare costs for longer. They already do nine hour days at the childminder so the school day is actually shorter for them so they would be fine full time.

  • Emma G.

    Nightmare! Trying to juggle new times, childcare and work all just for 2 weeks, especially after intro days, teacher visits, classroom visits,open days...Just going to get used to half days then all change and more new children for them to get to know!

  • Carrie I.

    Barmy!! Nightmare for parents who work too!

  • Jasmine S.

    Totaly stupid

  • Carla D.

    Ridiculous that any child should even start school before age 6 never mind the staggered settling in.....

  • Julie-Ann A.

    Ridiculous. A nightmare for working parents and should be unnecessary now that 3 year olds, and some 2 year olds, are in nursery 15 hours a week.

  • Kimberley B.

    Pain in the backside due to childcare! Nursery was fine as was half days but we will have to pay full day childcare as for 2-3 weeks my son goes in for 2 and a half days. He also don't start till the 16th

  • Ciara M.

    My son starts his first day of reception on 15th sept and only for 2 hours a day for a month then starts full time by nearly end of October in the mean time it's constant time of work and now a nearly 10 week summer holiday / he's used to 9.30-3.30 he's been at pre school and nursery he's bored!! I hate it :see_no_evil::joy:

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