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4 day week for schools?

(130 Posts)
Daisymae Mon 15-Aug-22 11:29:51

Apparently according to an article in the Times, there's a campaign for schools to consider a 4 day week to help with financial difficulties. Schools are struggling financially in the current climate but surely children have fallen behind enough? I don't expect that private sector schools have any such plans. How is this allowed to happen?

Calendargirl Mon 15-Aug-22 11:41:43

Not sure how a 4 day week will help. Is it for the benefit of the parents or the school? Cheaper heating bills in the winter for the schools for example?

NotSpaghetti Mon 15-Aug-22 11:49:22

I like this idea.
In my opinion children spend far too long in school.
Maybe a shorter week will motivate the disaffected too. ?

Gillycats Mon 15-Aug-22 11:53:13

I hope this never happens. The standards have fallen so I think kids need the time in school. Plus, what about childcare? How are lower paid parents supposed to find the extra childcare costs for that extra day? Wonder what genius thought this would be a good idea. Certainly not someone on low income, that’s for sure!

eazybee Mon 15-Aug-22 11:56:46

In my opinion it is neither for the benefit of pupils nor parents but for the Academy Trusts, who are in it for the profit. Do not be deceived by the 'non-profit organisation' mantra; they are run by business people whose purpose is to make money and who are not known for their altruism.

Elizabeth27 Mon 15-Aug-22 12:00:40

I think families are struggling enough without an extra day of childcare for working parents.

When it gets colder it would benefit children of poorer families to have extra time at school where there is heating and hot food that may not be available at home.

growstuff Mon 15-Aug-22 12:37:24

Of course schools shouldn't go to a four day week, but what are they supposed to do when they don't have enough money to pay their energy bills? They still haven't recovered from paying for the extras they had to install for Covid. They need an immediate cash injection.

FannyCornforth Mon 15-Aug-22 12:44:00

I predicted this. ?
The heating bills are going to be through the roof. Councils won’t be able to afford it.
I think four days is on the optimistic side.

FannyCornforth Mon 15-Aug-22 12:44:54

Sorry growstuff, I’ve just repeated much of what you said!

growstuff Mon 15-Aug-22 12:49:40

No need to apologise! The more who get this message out, the better. It wouldn't surprise me, if teachers get "blamed" for wanting a day off! Schools need money - and the latest formula for funding means the schools in the most deprived areas have lost out - so much for levelling up!

growstuff Mon 15-Aug-22 12:50:24

PS. Most schools are now academies, so pay their own energy bills - not the councils.

FannyCornforth Mon 15-Aug-22 12:52:24

Ah! Okay, thank you growstuff I didn’t realise that about the heating bills.
At least it won’t be added to the Council Tax then

Chardy Mon 15-Aug-22 12:54:10

Secondary schools can't fit in all the things they're supposed to be teaching now, so how will a 4 day week help? Y9s and Y11s can't do the option combinations they want for the following year. A pupil might have 2 or even 3 different English teachers in a week or non-specialists teaching a subject that's not their own. because the timetable is so complicated.
Changes are supposed to improve the child's education not make it worse.

FannyCornforth Mon 15-Aug-22 12:55:13

I don’t think that anyone is saying that it’s a good idea

FannyCornforth Mon 15-Aug-22 12:56:28

Sorry, NotSpaghetti did. Right, I’ll leave the thread alone, I’m making a mess of it! smile

Chardy Mon 15-Aug-22 12:58:03


PS. Most schools are now academies, so pay their own energy bills - not the councils.

Academies get their funding directly from central govt. When the heating bills go up, something else has to be cut. The easiest cut is to get rid of experienced staff and pack the school with those new to teaching.

GrannySomerset Mon 15-Aug-22 13:02:09

Even when under local authority control schools have had to pay their own fuel (and cleaning and day to day repairs) from the budget given to them so academy trust or not the school will have less money to spend on actually educating its children. Not sure what schools can do other than reduce expenditure on staff, hardly a desirable outcome. And particularly bad news for experienced staff.

GagaJo Mon 15-Aug-22 13:10:05

It could be a way to reduce teachers unmanageable workload.

Chardy Mon 15-Aug-22 13:17:08


It could be a way to reduce teachers unmanageable workload.

Teachers will still be expected to get through the same amount of subject content, but on less time. The school day would probably lengthen and non-contact-time would all be shoved into the 5th day of the week when the heating was off.

Baggytrazzas Mon 15-Aug-22 13:26:17

I've not read anything about how this idea might help financially but without detriment to education.

Maybe it means that teaching will take place on any 4 days staggered over 5, so schools will still be open ( and heated) over 5 days but teaching only taking place over 4 of those and not necessarily Mon - Thursday. And anything not covered in school might need to be continued at home.

Chocolatelovinggran Mon 15-Aug-22 13:53:05

Growstuff and FannyCornforth hit the nail on the head. Schools are required to keep their budget in the black. This year's budget, set some time ago, will have no provision for the massive rise in energy bills.
Even more troubling, this will be doubly difficult for special schools, with frail children who must be in warm rooms at all times and children with statements necessitating regular stints in the ( hot!) hydrotherapy pool the school must provide.

Lathyrus Mon 15-Aug-22 13:54:22

It will cut running costs, but the biggest saving will in teachers and other staff employed for four days in stead of five.

Academies tore up National conditions of their employment ages ago.

Management wil, of course, be needed to be employed on full time contracts.

HousePlantQueen Mon 15-Aug-22 14:02:53

Many schools are reported to be having to cut Learning Support and Teaching Assistants as the much heralded pay rise for teachers did not bring an increase in schools' budget with it. Add on uncapped energy costs and desperate measures will need to be taken.

DaisyAnne Mon 15-Aug-22 15:11:25

Most private schools work a 5.5 day week with a longer day.

Normandygirl Mon 15-Aug-22 15:12:45

Primary schools here in France have always been 4 days a week, Wednesday a day off. The hours are longer though 8 am until 4-30 or 5pm. Working parents usually take Wednesday off and a lot of government offices are closed on a Wednesday to allow time off for parents. It all seems to work well.