Parents furious as school announces plans to shut at lunchtime every Friday so stressed teachers can 'chill out'

Bosses at Ashby Fields Primary School in Daventry, Northants, say drastic measures need to be made to stop teachers quitting the profession and give staff “a healthy work-life balance".

Teachers proposed to end the week at 1.15pm – with many parents still hard at work.

They say the only option is to end the week more than two hours earlier when the results of a public consultation are published in May.

It means parents will have to leave work to collect their youngsters or fork out for extra childcare.

The controversial proposals were revealed in a letter sent to parents by the school.

It read: "Many teachers, despite their love of frontline teaching, cannot manage this workload and maintain a healthy work-life balance, and subsequently resign."

But one furious mum blasted the suggestion, saying it does not take into account working parents.

Kelly Holmes, whose daughter attends Ashby Fields, said: "What do they intend to do to accommodate working parents?

"They're making working parents pay for extra childcare and we will have to fight it out for places.

"Fourteen days our children are going to lose over the course of an academic year.

"What are they going to do in terms of lesson plans?

"Will the children lose out on education?

"They [teachers] have the school holidays and bank holidays.

"They get more days off than working parents."

Another dad fumed: "I might be able to understand the reasoning behind this a little more if the teachers needed more time to lesson plan but it's not.

"What the school is basically saying to parents is that teachers need more time to chill.

"It's ridiculous, parents work just as hard as teachers but most of us don't have anywhere near the number of days holiday as teachers.

"They should work in the real world and then they'll realise just how lucky they are."

The school is proposing to cut two hours from its current 27.5 weekly timetable.

The Department of Education recommends Key Stage 1 children receive 21 hours of lessons a week, and 23.5 hours for Key Stage 2.



A joint statement by the school's chairman of governors, Paul Davies, and headteacher Jacqui Johnson stated: "As part of the on-going commitment to continuous school improvement, the senior leadership team and governors of Ashby Fields Primary School have been discussing possible ways to enhance the quality of teaching and learning at the school to ensure we meet with needs of our pupils and invest in our staff.

"One possibility is to review the structure of the school week in relation to an earlier closure time on Friday and as a result access additional staff development time to enhance the quality of teaching and learning."

The school, which caters for 400 boys and girls between 4-11, received a good rating in its last Ofsted inspection.

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