End of free childcare at Luton school on Friday afternoons?

The Meads Primary School
The Meads Primary School

A Luton school forced to close early on Fridays due to staff shortages could soon be charging working parents whose children remain behind in the afternoon.

The Meads Primary School on Sawtry Close, Luton, introduced Friday closures at 1.45pm in October last year due to lack of teaching staff.

Until now, the school has offered working parents free childcare on Friday afternoons until they can collect their children.

However, one parent contacted the Luton News claiming they'd been told that as of next year, parents could be charged £3.50 for children looked after on Friday afternoons.

In response to these claims, The Meads Primary School headteacher Richard Jenkins said: “The Meads, like all Luton’s schools, seeks to provide first class education for all its children while facing increasing financial pressure.

"It already runs a wide variety of pre- and after-school clubs which complement classroom lessons through group and teamwork activities.

"As the school closes at 1.45 on Fridays it provides after school care provision at no cost for those who find collecting their children at this time difficult.

"This provision will continue to be free of charge throughout the next academic year, however the school’s governing body will review whether this might have to change in the future.”