Confessions of a Grumpy
School’s back then. Or for some it is. For the little
ones just beginning at primary schools in Lewes, it can be
a slow start, three weeks in our case. It is a thoughtful,
child-oriented approach, which feels hard to rail against,
but I’m going to anyway. The problem is this. The schools
assume the presence in the family of a full time, 1950s style
housewife. Not many Lewes families have one of these in 2006,
many are single-parent households, and most of us are scrabbling
through life with either full or part-time work or study.
Many of us don’t have families around for back-up, and
however guilty, I for one wish school started more quickly.
A gentle first week to adjust maybe. Very few 4/5 year olds
are new to being away from their mums or carers. Most kids
have been going to one of the many nurseries in the area anyway,
often for much longer time periods than the 9-12am sessions
we will be having at school until Easter. As a family, we
are managing by juggling taking time-off work separately,
which means reducing whole-family holiday time, and negotiating
child-care swaps with friends, but our nursery was at the
university, so not many of our son’s friends live locally,
and Brighton schools seem to start back more quickly. I want
schools to be child-focussed, but is it possible to find a
way to do this that supports whole families?