does a school have to consult parents before implementing a 4.5 day week?

(233 Posts)
fivennotfour Sun 10-Feb-19 09:10:21

got letter home last week. After the summer, school will only be open 4.5 days instead of 5 due to budget retrains.

there will be limited placed for the Friday after school club - probably nowhere near as many needed. Many working parents will be shafted.

Anyhow, there was no consultation by school. just a letter letting us know that these changes will come.
Can they just do it.

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immortalmarble Sun 10-Feb-19 09:11:35

shock I didn’t even know they could do this.

Nodrama999 Sun 10-Feb-19 09:14:33

Is this for children who have not reached 5 yet. I thought full time schooling had to be provided for children 5 and above?

superram Sun 10-Feb-19 09:16:11

Yes, governors decide.

FusionChefGeoff Sun 10-Feb-19 09:16:56

You need to mobilise the parents and all write to your MP.

A daily mail sad face article too.

It's absolutely disgraceful.

But, unfortunately I can't comment on whether it's 'allowed' or not.

Is it an academy?? As they have a lot more autonomy I believe.

You can of course complain to the trust or LEA.

I'd also start having conversations with your work / childminders / family / partner about how you can make it work.

Could you group together with some parents of DC friends to arrange a sort of rota to have them on Fri afternoon???

Horses4 Sun 10-Feb-19 09:17:47

All schools in my city are half-day. I don’t think they do have to consult.

FATEdestiny Sun 10-Feb-19 09:17:50

I'm assuming longer days on the 4 days.

This is ultimately a governors final decision.


Horses4 Sun 10-Feb-19 09:18:13

(Just on Fridays, sorry, that wasn’t clear.)

Ratbagcatbag Sun 10-Feb-19 09:18:21

I thought if had to be full time education, but when I had similar with preschool and strikes, I looked into it and it was to do with teaching hours.
Maybe they're condensing the teaching hours into those 4.5 days (shorter breaks, less assembly etc) so they still provide full time education hours, but don't have to pay staff for the half day closure. I could be wrong totally.

It's scary that schools are having to do this though.

spreadingchestnuttree Sun 10-Feb-19 09:18:33

Is this a state school? I would contact the LEA and see what they think about it.

FATEdestiny Sun 10-Feb-19 09:19:50

It could be that staff all get their PPA time during the half day the children are not in school.

That is not, in itself, a bad idea now I think about it.

CleverWittyUsername Sun 10-Feb-19 09:21:22

@fivennotfour this happened to us too. (Maybe it's the same school!) I'm really worried about it. If mine don't get into the club I can't work on Fridays. It's ridiculous. They've also waited til after everyone's applied for the reception places to tell us.

Will your school discuss guaranteed places? I don't know what to do, there's no other schools nearby so can't move the kids

fivennotfour Sun 10-Feb-19 09:22:21

Yes, it is the whole of the primary. Slightly longer days Mon-Thurs (no learning time lost).

Letter is signed by the head of governers.

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spreadingchestnuttree Sun 10-Feb-19 09:22:30

According to this, there is no set minimum number of hours, but a recommended minimum of 21 hours in KS1 and 23.5 hours in KS2. So there may be nothing you can do about it, but the lack of consultation is shocking.

ChangingStates Sun 10-Feb-19 09:22:53

I know a couple of primary schools near me that have moved to this and almost all secondaries in my area have an early Close 1 day a week. As long as they are still doing the required teaching hours they can do it. It's a sad state of affairs that school budgets have become so tight that schools are having to think of new ways to provide education to a decent standard within their squeezed budgets. I expect all teachers will have their PPA (preparation planning & assessment) time during that afternoon saving a huge amount on covering them all during a full week, and support staff will have hours reduced making further savings.
Whilst as a working parent I would struggle with how to manage this I get it from a school perspective- the gripe here is with a government doing nothing to sustain school funding at a manageable level! Parents as well as schools need to be putting far more pressure on the government then they currently do, situation in education is increasingly desperate!

Youmadorwhat Sun 10-Feb-19 09:22:57

I know it’s not answering your question but schools in Ireland finish at 1.20- 1.40 for the infants and 2.20-2.40 for the rest EVERY DAY and Irish parents seem to manage. Personally I think the us school day is too long as it is!! An hour for lunch is unnecessary, ours get s half hour. Maybe the School could adopt a similar system!

Youmadorwhat Sun 10-Feb-19 09:23:29

Uk school day*

spreadingchestnuttree Sun 10-Feb-19 09:24:13

Ah, cross-post. So they're not actually losing any teaching time. How does it save them money, and how much money do they project saving by doing this? I would certainly want some more information from the school to understand how they made this decision.

fivennotfour Sun 10-Feb-19 09:24:48

LEA school, not academy

clever, school has not been specific about how after school club places will be located (and there is a fee - another penalty for working parents).

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greenelephantscarf Sun 10-Feb-19 09:26:28

dc's (secondary) has one half day once a week.
tbh on the afternoon of that day they offer 1:2 for those pupils who need extra tuition.

fivennotfour Sun 10-Feb-19 09:26:56

How does it save them money

as far as I understand, Friday PM will be planning time for teacher. So all the other staff needed to cover lessens can go home. Plus numerous redundancies. It does add up.

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spreadingchestnuttree Sun 10-Feb-19 09:28:27

@Youmadorwhat wow that's a very short day! Personally I think the hour long lunch break is positive for play and exercise so I wouldn't want it shortened. Many secondary schools where I live only have a 40 minute lunchbreak but the primary schools all have an hour.

Ginxed Sun 10-Feb-19 09:30:23

spreading normally a school pays for a qualified teacher to cover each class while the class teacher does their planning (PPA). By closing early, all class teachers can do their PPA on the Friday afternoon with no addiional cover costs, depending on the size of the school and number of teachers involved this can be a significant saving.
Unfortunately the budgets are just so stretched at the moment some schools just don’t have any other options.

spreadingchestnuttree Sun 10-Feb-19 09:30:32

To be fair it does make a lot of sense using Friday afternoons for PPA time. Does this mean each teacher is doing more hours than before though? ie PPA is in addition to teaching hours rather than replacing one afternoon or teaching hours?

fivennotfour Sun 10-Feb-19 09:31:54


where are your DC whilst you work?

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