“Leicestershire school plans early finish on Fridays due to cuts”

“A school in Leicestershire is proposing to operate on a four-and-a-half-day week due to budget cuts, confirming warnings by unions that changes to the schools funding formula would lead to schools closing early.

In a letter to parents, Danemill primary school in Enderby cited the controversial formula as a reason for its decision to end the school week at lunchtime on Fridays from October.

The letter published by the Leicester Mercury said: “As you may be aware the fairer funding formula has resulted in schools receiving significantly less money in their annual budgets from the government and Danemill is not an exception.”

To cope in the “current economic climate” it proposed early closing on Fridays. It says: “Effective from October 24 2017 the school day would end on Friday afternoons at 1.05pm.” It argued this will help maintain quality teaching and give teachers time to prepare lessons.

Parents have reacted with dismay, according to the Mercury. One unnamed father told the paper: “This is in the middle of the working day. Lots of parents have to work to make ends meet. It is unworkable madness.”

The school has proposed a limited number of “enrichment activities” on Friday afternoons for some children. The proposal follow warnings by teaching unions that schools would be forced to consider early closing because of a squeeze on resources.

Tim Stone, the chief executive of the Discovery Schools Academy Trust which runs Danemill, said the proposal to close early on Fridays was being put out to consultation with parents. …”