Westwood School, March, reveals plans to end school week at 1.30pm on Fridays - earlier starts and shorter lunchtimes too

PUBLISHED: 22:51 03 May 2017 | UPDATED: 22:57 03 May 2017

Shorter week planned for Westwood School, March. The plan is for school to finish by 1.30pm on Fridays

Shorter week planned for Westwood School, March. The plan is for school to finish by 1.30pm on Fridays

Archant

Grown-ups have their own acronym for leaving work early on Fridays and now children at a March school will need to find their own after being told the week will end at lunchtime.

Cutting the school week to four and a half days is the radical proposal unveiled today by Gill Thomas, the head of Westwood Primary School, Maple Grove.

“Our proposal ensures that children receive the same amount of quality teaching by qualified class teachers and get more time with their families with Friday afternoons off,” she told parents by letter today.

She said that since 2005 teachers have been entitled to planning, preparation and assessment (PPA) “non contact time” within the school week.

“This is a statutory right,” she said. “To ensure consistency across the year groups, Westwood ensures that class teachers in the same year group have their PPA at the same time.

“For a number of reasons we feel that there is a better way to provide this valuable PPA to support your child’s learning and, with this is mind, we are proposing a change in the school week.”

The head she says hopes parents and carers will attend one of a series of meetings this month to discuss the reasoning behind the proposal.

For those not able to attend a power point presentation explaining the proposals has been put on the school’s website.

She is anxious that parents keep comments outside of the school to a minimum and asked for them not to be discussed on social media.

The plans would mean:

•School will begin at 8.45 am for all children.

•The lunchtime will be shortened to 45 minutes for pupils in Years 1 to 6.

•School will end at 1.30 pm on Friday to allow all teachers and teaching assistants to participate in PPA.

•For working parents childcare will be offered on a Friday afternoon at a very reasonable cost.

The school has around 350 pupils – its last Ofsted report two years ago rated it ‘good’.

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