Shared parenting and schools


We're looking for one or two people who can help us with an article about shared parenting, and what that means with regards to communicating with your child(ren)'s school.

It obviously raises a few issues about who gets the newsletters, who gets invited to the parent-teacher meetings, who gets the phone calls from the school secretary or nurse, etc. We'd like to help parents who have recently found themselves in this situation with a personal account or two from other parents who have gone through it themsleves, sorted out the details with their ex, and spoken to their child(ren)'s school about the change in circumstances.

We won't have to use yours or your child(ren)'s real names in the article.

If you'd like to share your experience with us, please let me know via a comment below or  PM, and I'll send you some questions. You're of course welcome to leave a comment and not be involved in the article! 

I'm first contact for both schools for the children.  They do also have exH's details I think, if I could not be contacted for any reason, but as he is often a couple of hundred miles away, it is more sensible to contact me in the first instance.

I'll be really interested to read this article, I imagine it can cause quite a lot of difficulty, not least for the schools.

I'm first contact for both the girls. ExH get notification via text/email the same as me with info. And we both get a copy of the termly reports in the post. He arranges his own appointments for parents evening to save faffing, although we have gone together on occasion when we were both available at the same time.

Hmm, don't get me started on the "shared parenting" thing!!!

I'm the contact for school if anything goes wrong. They do have his contact details and on the one occasion shool weren't able to contact me he left such a nasty message and slated me at the school that I told him if he behaved like that then I wouldn't put him down on the contact list next time I was asked to update it.

He gets a copy of the school reports via post, but has been known to keep "my" copy if he picked the kids up on the day they were sent home.

The school will only make one appointment per child for the parent's evening so I have always made the appointment and let him know when it is. He's always been there, but it can be a very uncomfortable 15 minutes for me - and probably for him.

Any text messages or information that I get, if it's to do with the times when he is taking them in or collecting them, I will forward to him. Things like "ED will need a packed lunch tomorrow as she's on an outing from school". If that is required while she's with me, then I don't pass the info on.

I find that the hardest thing to manage is when there are plays etc at school - for example for the Nativity each family is only permitted to buy 3 tickets when they first go on sale. It may be possible to get extra, but these are dependent on the numbers. Now ExH has only been to one nativity, but if he wanted to and we do only have the 3 tickets - who gets the extra?!! His new wife or my mum or my gran.......?

I'm the first port of call for school, and always have been. We live about 30 minutes from Olly's Dad, so DH is down as secondary contact as, logistically speaking, it makes more sense. His Dad isn't down on the list of people authorised to collect him from school, I'm not sure why; probably because it just wouldn't happen, even in an emergency. 

His Dad gets a copy of school letters and reports, and I keep him informed. He chooses not to be overly involved in stuff there, and it works out ok. DH comes to parents evening, but that's because Olly's Dad doesn't want to. The option is always there for him to take part in stuff, and it tends to work out quite simply in the end.