Should schools go down to a four day week?
Head teachers are understood to be thinking about making the school week four days in a bid to bring down costs. Some schools in England are also said to be seriously considering making the school day shorter or cutting staff as a result of budget pressures.
Findings in the School Leaders’ Survey showed that school finances are in such a dire state that there are fears that future generations could end up paying the price. The survey, which asked questions of 900 headteachers across England, found that a staggering 94 per cent were unhappy with funding levels from Prime Minister Theresa May’s government.
Out of those, three quarters of heads said they were very dissatisfied, which is a significant increase compared to last year and stands at the highest levels for three years. The majority of heads said they felt their challenge for 2017 was to try to mange their schools on low budgets.
Nick Mackenzie of Browne Jacobson, the law firm which carried out the survey said it was very clear from the findings that heads were genuinely worried about making ends meet. He added: 2he decision to delay implementation of the new funding formula means many schools are living on a financial knife-edge. We are already seeing some schools in the country seriously considering shortening the teaching day or going to a four-day week.2
Others, he said were considering reducing staff numbers of increasing class sizes. They are also looking into whether they can partner up with other schools to cut costs as well as considering new ways to generate income, such as using school buildings for events.
Headteachers criticised new Chancellor Phillip Hammond for failing to use his Autumn Statement to give further funding to struggling schools. School leaders strugging to make their finances add up consider his promise of £50 million to expand grammar school provision an insult.