A MUM says she is “deeply disappointed” after her child’s school is proposing to close early on Fridays as a way of saving money and coping with staff shortages.

Stanley Road Primary School has told parents pupils would finish at 1.15pm on a Friday – from this December if the plan is agreed. However, the plan has been criticised by Worcester councillors and parents. Mum Sheena Mackenzie has objected the proposed changes.

In a letter to the school, she said: “I am saddened and really upset that you would bring in such a change at this time. Everyone's experiences of lockdown have been different but it's almost universal that we have crawled out of this on our knees. This step feels like kicking us in the guts and teeth when we are down.

“We have been absolutely hammered over attendance over the years and told over and over how important it was for our kids to be in school. The disparity in our society has widened over lockdown. The kids have just had 6 months out of school.”

In a letter to parents, Amarjit Cheema, chief executive of Perry Hall Multi-Academy Trust, which the school is part of, says the extra time will be used by teaching staff to do their planning, preparation and assessment (PPA).


Worcester school to close early on Fridays to ‘cut costs’

Pupils sent home after positive Covid-19 test at school

Sheena added: “When Stanley Road was moving towards academisation it was expressly said in the meetings that there would be no change to school hours.

“I am deeply disappointed and actually disgusted and feel promises made by the academy have not been kept. Why are we the only school in Worcestershire who cannot afford to open five days? It rather looks like the cost of academisation is being borne by children and families."

A joint statement from the school’s headteacher David Brownsword and a spokesman from Perry Hall Multi-Academy Trust said: “The main driver for our consultation with parents to change the structure of the school week is to deliver high quality education and ensure the best possible outcomes for our children.

“If this change is put into place, following consultation, teaching staff will be able to attend training sessions and carry out planning and preparation on a Friday afternoon.

“This adjustment would prevent the need for teaching cover during the school week and therefore provide consistency and a higher quality of lesson delivery for the children. The full governing body at Stanley Road Primary are fully involved in the consultation process.”