Northamptonshire primary school scraps proposal to close early on Friday

A Northamptonshire primary school has scrapped its idea to close early on Fridays to help prevent their teachers from burning out.

Monday, 30th April 2018, 12:29 pm
Updated Monday, 30th April 2018, 12:56 pm
Ashby Fields Primary School (Picture: Google)

Last week, Ashby Fields Primary School announced the start of a public consultation into its proposal and was intending to announce the results on May 4.

But after hearing from concerned parents in writing and in person at a meeting last Wednesday, the school's leaders and governors have ditched the idea.

A school statement read: "Following the consultation meeting with parents on Wednesday, April 25, the governors of Ashby Fields Primary School met with the senior leadership team to review the feedback from the meeting as well as other comments from parents received via email and letters.

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"Although some parents supported the intentions behind the proposal, others raised concerns about the impact it would have on them.

"As a result, the governors and senior leaders have decided not to pursue the proposal beyond this informal consultation stage."

Ashby Fields was proposing to cut two hours of teaching from its current 27.5 hours a week timetable so that its teachers could maintain a healthy work-life balance and avoid burnout.

The plan was for staff to use the additional time for preparation and marking.

Kelly Holmes, whose daughter attends Ashby Fields, said the suggestion did not take into consideration parents in work and argued that spaces at the school's on-site childcare centre - Orchards Wrap Around Care - were limited and cost money.

A Department for Education spokesperson said: “The Education Secretary has been clear that his priority is to work with teachers and make sure teaching remains the attractive and rewarding profession that it is.

“We recognise the pressures that teachers can face, particularly regarding workload, and we are working with the profession, unions and Ofsted to strip away work that does not add value and keeps staff from doing what really matters.

“We have also announced that there will be no changes to the curriculum or new tests for primary schools for the remainder of this parliament and across the country we know academies and free schools are using their freedoms, including the ability to set their curriculum and tailor their working day, to meet the needs of staff, students and parents.”