A number of UK schools have decided to shorten the school week to deal with budget crises. A primary school in Leicestershire is the latest to announce it will end the school week on Friday lunchtime. A Essex secondary school has decided students will get an hour less teaching a week and is considering cutting back subject time for PE and PSHE. Instead of squeezing top pay, schools are cutting the number of staff.
Cutting subjects allows them to get rid of teaching posts. Teachers in other subjects have more lessons squeezed into their week — which means an increased workload. Shortening the working week in primary schools allows schools to cut down the amount of hours they pay a worker to cover teachers when they are released for their planning, preparation and assessment time.
The Department for Education has said the head teacher of the Leicestershire primary school should not link the decision to cut the school week to the new funding formula, as the funding formula had not yet been implemented. But if schools are already facing budget crises severe enough to make them cut the school week, imagine how bad it will become when the new funding formula is introduced!