School proposes Friday afternoon closure

A primary school is considering closing to pupils on Friday afternoons to help stop teacher "burnout".

Thursday, 26th April 2018, 6:20 pm
Updated Thursday, 26th April 2018, 6:26 pm
Moving to a four-and-a-half day week would give staff more time to develop an "exciting curriculum" for students

Moving to a four-and-a-half day week would give staff more time to develop an "exciting curriculum" for students, according to Ashby Fields Primary School, Daventry.

It is running a consultation with parents on the timetable change, which would start in September if agreed.

The move comes amid an ongoing national debate about heavy teacher workloads, with ministers pledging to act to deal with the issue.

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A document published on the Northamptonshire school's website says it is proposing closing to children at 1.15pm on a Friday afternoon.

Pupils would still get more than the number of hours of classroom time per week recommended by the Government, it says, and "wraparound care" would be offered to parents who cannot collect their children at this time.

The document says that recruitment and retention of high-quality teachers is a national problem that has an impact on children's education, wellbeing and confidence.

It says that the "huge workload" faced by teachers means that they work 60 hours a week on average and that many, despite their love of teaching, cannot manage the workload and keep a work/life balance and end up resigning.

The document goes on to say: "We can offer our teachers more time out of the classroom to be able to collaborate with their peers and develop the exciting curriculum we want our children to receive, without 'burning out'."

The BBC reported that at a public meeting earlier this week, parents had mixed reactions to the plan.

A consultation on the proposal runs until Friday May 4.