A shortage of full-time teachers has led to at least one Luton Primary school forced to close early on a Friday.
The Meads Primary School now closes shortly after lunch on a Friday in order to minimise its need for cover teachers.
Despite a consulation, a number of parents at the school were unaware of the changes until they went live last month.
In its September newsletter, the school said it was “disappointing” that some parents had missed the consultation.
Richard Jenkins, Headteacher of The Meads Primary School, said: “A proposal was considered by the governing body to close the school early on Fridays at 1.45pm.
“This was to enable classes to be taught by their class teachers, as opposed to cover staff, for a greater proportion of the week.
“The proposal was put forward in the best interest of the children, to help raise standards and to achieve positive outcomes as well as allow best practise to be shared more effectively.
“The governors and I were very keen to ensure all parents at The Meads had the chance to express their opinions and raise any concerns, so we carried out a consultation earlier in the year, resulting in over 70% of parents supporting the early closure.
“To mitigate the impact on parents we agreed to provide a free of charge childcare provision, for working parents, between the hours of 1.45pm and 3.30pm each Friday. This is open to all year groups, run by school staff and offers a range of activities including the opportunity to complete homework tasks. The Meads is not unique, as a number of other schools in Luton have adopted a similar approach to the school day.”
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