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Straw poll. Have and schools in your area gone part time due to budget?

(62 Posts)
StrumpersPlunkett Fri 07-Jun-19 15:18:09

And where are you?
I am in Cambridge and a few schools around the one where I work have closed for a half day each week.
Is this happening across the country?


isabellerossignol Fri 07-Jun-19 15:20:44

I'm in N Ireland and only heard of it here for the first time recently, and not in my area. But there are definitely noticeable budget cuts. Eg parents now needing to supply all the glue, crayons, tissues, paper, scissors etc that used to be supplied by school.

StrumpersPlunkett Fri 07-Jun-19 15:24:06

Interesting. How do the parents feel about it? We have talked about having an amazon wish list for craft supplies.

IggyAce Fri 07-Jun-19 15:30:12

North-East and no changes at my ds Primary school.
From September at dd secondary they will only get 45minutes instead of an hour for lunch and will therefore finish at 3:10pm instead of 3:30pm. This will probably save money as they will be paying lunch time supervisors less and I’m sure support staff will have some reduction to hours too.

isabellerossignol Fri 07-Jun-19 15:32:16

I think the parents who are invested in their child's education don't really mind. It's not a lot of money and they're ultimately getting a free education so it's not a big deal.

On the other hand there are parents who constantly complain about everything the school does and those ones complain and refuse to pay. So it's really only some contributing because obviously the teacher can't say 'no art for you Sally, your dad didn't buy you any colouring pencils'. Then the first set of parents begin to resent it and a vicious circle erupts of people refusing to contribute. It's a minefield.

isabellerossignol Fri 07-Jun-19 15:34:08

Some of the more affluent parents might make a bulk donation eg buy the school a couple of hundred sticks of glue instead of sending in one at a time for their own child, and obviously that is hugely appreciated.

CassianAndor Fri 07-Jun-19 15:34:15

SE London - not as far as I'm aware. Our school has had it's budget cut and has lost some staff.

StrumpersPlunkett Fri 07-Jun-19 15:35:21

I think that anonymity was why we thought about the wish list so it wasn’t about kids bringing bags of crayons in front of the others?

anothernotherone Fri 07-Jun-19 15:37:19

I used to teach at a school which had cut breaks to a bare minimum and each year group only had 30 minutes for lunch (on a rota) to curb fighting and antisocial behaviour, rather than to save money.

What's actually being cut by losing half a day? Teaching time? Sport? Music? Or just assembly or something?

isabellerossignol Fri 07-Jun-19 15:37:23

The wish list is a good idea, I might suggest that.

BiBabbles Fri 07-Jun-19 15:38:19

That sounds like a great idea Strumpers. I think there are also ways, I want to say through paypal, but I not certain on that, people can pool together money for things? Sad to have to crowdsource these things, but it may be needed these days.

isabellerossignol Fri 07-Jun-19 15:43:15

The shortening of the school day that I read about recently didn't seem to bother people all that much here. People in N Ireland are used to younger children having much shorter school days than in the rest of the UK, so if you have eg a six year old, a nine year old and a twelve year old, as many families do, you'll be used to juggling three different finishing times anyway.

BigGlasses Fri 07-Jun-19 15:50:52

They have discussed it a few times here in Fife but not implemented it at Primary school level as far as I know yet. The Secondary school works a very asymetric week and finish a lot earlier on some days than others. They have worked a 4.5 days week in Edinburgh for some time (decades?) now and it works there. I'm not sure if Edinburgh did it for financial reasons or now.

I think the savings are to be had in support staff and possibly heating/lighting. If the pupils are only in school 4.5 days, all teacher prep (non contact time whatever you call it) can be done in that afternoon off so there is no need to pay for a teacher to cover the class to give the teacher their non contact time. This probably saves a whole teaching post in larger primaries. There is also saving in support staff (pupils with 1:1) as they will reduce their hours. And some small savings in potentially closing off some areas of school, heating less of the school.

It's not popular around here though. I think because when it was last proposed it wasn't just working condensed hours, but actually shortening the amount of teaching time.

Drasticaction Fri 07-Jun-19 17:01:39

Isabelle once we've could only afford 50p for teachers collection.
No one else can judge what someone else can afford.

You can be incredibly invested in child's education but not be able to afford wish lists..

Sometimes schools themselves turn parents away by operating on un fair lines ( friends of head etc benefiting , cliques! Scathing judgement on those who have children suffering in the school but rubbing in their faces how great the school is) * yes for you perhaps your besties with the head.

Opblush I've gone off on an awful ramble.

No cut hours around here. Our school budget is managed Very well, and we have surplus pool of money.

Justgivemesomepeace Fri 07-Jun-19 17:07:00

It's happening at one of my local primaries from September. They are starting slightly earlier, finishing slightly later with Friday finishing at 1pm. The children have no less learning time. All the teachers then spend Friday PM doing PPA time. It saves the school money on cover/PPA staff. The parents are up in arms and have started a campaign and sent a petition to the MP.

LittleDoritt Fri 07-Jun-19 17:08:38

Nothing like that in my area in the West Country. I think people round here would be outraged if they had to pay for childcare for an afternoon when school was "supposed" to be open.

isabellerossignol Fri 07-Jun-19 17:20:31

You can be incredibly invested in child's education but not be able to afford wish lists..

I totally understand that, but at my child's school it was not the parents who were struggling who made a huge fuss and refused to contribute. People are generally willing to subsidise those who struggle. But if you pull up to the school gates in an expensive car, scoot off to Vegas for a weekend break and are standing at the school gates ranting into your top of the range iPhone, no one is honestly going to believe that you are so strapped for cash that you can't send in a few sticks of glue. When people like that refused to contribute then others dug their heels in too and said 'why should we pay when they won't?'

LeekMunchingSheepShagger Fri 07-Jun-19 17:24:52

A few have in my area (West Midlands) and I'm sure it won't be long before others follow suit. My dc's Primary have made it clear that it won't be happening there any time soon. I guess it's an absolute last resort.

Gertie75 Fri 07-Jun-19 17:30:03

I'm in Staffordshire and none of our local ones are, dd goes to an academy, I'm not sure how it differs with the finances but it seems to do well, they do hold fundraising events such as fayres and themed discos and in the year dd has been attending they've bought playground equipment, outdoor benches and tables and are just about to build a two classroom extension.

happypotamus Fri 07-Jun-19 18:45:41

I'm in Birmingham. DC's school is doing this from September. They had already cut lots of staff. It is very sad that the education system has come to this.

Sockwomble Fri 07-Jun-19 18:55:19

Birmingham schools are really suffering from lack of funding. I know a few people who have children without a school place because mainstream schools haven't got the funding or staff to support them and the special schools are all full.

MollysMummy2010 Fri 07-Jun-19 20:03:48

My daughter needs a new reading diary and they won’t give one out because it’s June. I will buy her a book but it’s crazy.

IncyWincyGrownUp Fri 07-Jun-19 20:42:46

My youngest’s school implemented it this year. They reduced lunchtime from an hour to 45 minutes (two sittings, one for each key stage) and the day finishes fifteen minutes later Monday to Thursday. This allows the school to close at 1pm on a Friday. It saves money and cuts down on a massive amount of unrest among some children that was being seen on Friday afternoons.

SavoyCabbage Fri 07-Jun-19 20:48:33

No but I go to different schools all the time as a supply teacher and I can't remember the last time I saw a lunchtime supervisor. It's pretty much all done by TAs now where I am and then they either go home as they work half a day or they have 30 minutes break when the dc come in after lunch.

Or in some schools, the teachers go i with the dc and eat with them while the TAs are on their break and then when the dcs are outside the teachers have their break.

FannyFeatures Fri 07-Jun-19 20:52:55

Yes, I'm in Scotland.

Secondaries finish at 1.10 on a Friday.

Primaries are in discussion about finishing at 12.40 on Friday's too.

Purely to cut costs.

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