Primary school’s Friday lunchtime closure plan scrapped

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primary classroomImage copyright PA/Dave Thompson
Image caption Ashby Fields Primary in Daventry considered closing early on Fridays from September

A school’s proposals to adopt a four-and-a-half day week to prevent staff “burning out” have been scrapped.

Head teacher Jacqui Johnson had suggested closing Ashby Fields Primary in Daventry after lunch on a Friday.

A consultation had been due to run until Friday but a statement from the school said it has “decided not to pursue the proposals”.

One parent, Katrina McGregor, said she was “very relieved” the “ludicrous” plan had been dropped.

In a letter to parents, Ms Johnson had said a “huge workload” meant teachers work an average of 60 hours a week during term time and holidays “to keep up”.

Reaction to the plan had been mixed, with some parents raising concerns about the financial impact of extra childcare to cover the gap.

Impact ‘too great’

Minister of State for Education, Nick Gibb, had said it was “disappointing” if a school wants to reduce its hours.

The school released a statement on Saturday following a consultation meeting on 25 April.

In it, Ms Johnson and chairman of governors Paul Davies said “although some parents supported the intentions behind the proposal” others had raised concerns.

It added: “The governors and senior leaders have decided not to pursue the proposal beyond this informal consultation stage”.

Mrs McGregor, who has two boys at the school, said: “The impact to our children would just have been too great.”

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