Scottish council proposes to close all schools at lunchtime on Fridays to save money

The BBC is reporting that all offices and schools in Highland Council in Scotland could be closed from lunchtime on Fridays under proposals aimed at saving the local authority money.

Views have been sought from the public on the plan and other ideas to help the council tackle a potential funding gap of more than £21m next year…

Chief executive Steve Barron said: “It is important that to note that this is currently a proposal only, one which needs further work and which would only be implemented with the agreement of elected members in February…”

A year ago, Highland Council delayed a proposal to reduce the time pupils in primaries 4, 5, 6 and 7 spend in class.

The local authority said the decision had been made because other councils were considering the same idea and it had now become a “national debate”.

But Highland Council had experienced an angry backlash from parents on the matter at the time.

A petition was raised against the plan and it also drew criticism from parents on social media sites.

Bob Coleman, of the teaching union the EIS, has raised concerns about the latest proposal.

He told BBC Radio Scotland: “The council has looked from time to time at cutting the primary pupil week and this might be an opportunity for the council to do that.

“We have always opposed cutting the pupil week in primary schools. 

“From an educational point of view that would mean a significant loss of teaching time. It would amount to something like 19 days per session – seven months over a child’s primary life.”

He added: “A child’s entitlement to education shouldn’t be sacrificed on the altar of austerity.”

More at: Highland Council offices and schools could close early

 

Presumably, unless parents don’t work, or are employed elsewhere by the council so will also stop at lunchtime on Friday, this is just going to result in a huge market in Friday afternoon childcare?

What do you think of the proposal?

Please let us know in the comments or via Twitter…

 

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