View Full Version : Shorten the school day?

29-Aug-12, 13:03
One possible way to make savings say cash-strapped council

HIGHLAND COUNCIL has launched a budget blog (http://www.highland.gov.uk/yourcouncil/news/haveyoursay/budget2012/) on the home page of its web site: www.highland.gov.uk (http://www.highland.gov.uk/), which asks the public about some of the suggestions that have been made for possible savings.
The first is the suggestion that if the school day for Primary 4 – 7 pupils could be shortened by 30 minutes, to the same hours as Primary 1-3 pupils, a substantial sum might be saved.
Class hours for pupils in P 4-7 are currently 25 hours per week. The maximum class contact time for teachers is 22½ hours per week and so additional teachers are employed to cover the 2½ hours per week which cannot be covered by the normal class teacher.
Shortening the school day by 30 minutes per day would reduce the requirement for additional staff to cover those hours and a saving of £3.2m per annum could be achieved. This could possibly be achieved by the school day starting later, finishing earlier or lengthening the morning break and lunch break. The blog will ask what the public think of this suggestion, and what the consequences or problems might be.
The blog is a forum for discussion during the Council’s Budget Consultation, which runs until 31 October and will involve 12 public meetings.
It will be moderated by Councillor Dave Fallows, Chair of the Council’s Finance Housing and Resources Committee, who will be seeking views on a different topic each week. The aim of the consultation is to help bridge a budget gap of around £30 million in 2013-14 and 2014-15.
Councillor Fallows said: “I hope people will sign up and add their views and comments to the budget blog. Although there are a number of ways people can get involved in the budget consultation and feed in their views, the blog allows us to have an interactive discussion and for people to share and comment on views. The issue of the length of the school day is an important and challenging one which may have a wide range of implications and I look forward to hearing what people think on this topic.”
The first budget consultation meetings (http://www.highland.gov.uk/yourcouncil/news/haveyoursay/budget2012/budgetconsultationevents.htm) take place next week. They are at Portree High School on Monday 3 September and Caol Community Centre on Tuesday 4 September. Both meetings start at 6.30 pm.