Schools may close half a day a week

Schools in England could close on Friday afternoons as a result of a row over teachers’ workloads, it emerged today.

Growing financial pressures are forcing many headteachers to consider shutting at lunchtime on the last working day of each week, giving pupils half a day off, according to David Hart, general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT).

Under an agreement with the Government, all teachers will, from September, have a legal entitlement to spend 10% of their time away from the classroom to allow for marking and preparation.

But leaders of the NAHT have pulled out of the deal, claiming their schools do not have enough money to implement it, reports The Independent.

Headteachers argue that the only way they could stay inside the law is by sending children home, because they will not have the cash to hire stand-in staff for lessons while teachers take their time off.

Hart told The Independent: “There will be a number of schools struggling. I can see a winter of discontent if there are significant numbers of schools that simply say we’re not going to implement the agreement because we can’t do it.”


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