Parents fury over school hours squeeze

Complaints about Rawson School, Boothtown, changing it's times. From the left, Lee Power, Georgina Leech, Jenny Zaccardelli, eight, Roberto Zaccardelli, Emma Power, Anna-Maria Zaccardelli, four, Sophia Zaccardelli, Philip King, councillor Tim Swift, councillor Megan Swift and Leanne Sprint.
Complaints about Rawson School, Boothtown, changing it's times. From the left, Lee Power, Georgina Leech, Jenny Zaccardelli, eight, Roberto Zaccardelli, Emma Power, Anna-Maria Zaccardelli, four, Sophia Zaccardelli, Philip King, councillor Tim Swift, councillor Megan Swift and Leanne Sprint.

Parents are up in arms by the decision of Halifax primary school to shorten class hours by closing at lunchtime on Fridays.

Rawson Primary School says it is making the change in order for staff and teachers to spend more time on class preparation and training.

But parents have criticised the decision to implement it during this school term and they say they were given really poor communication from the school.

Sophia Zaccardelli is a mum of two, she says she has to find an extra £1,000 now in childcare due to the shake up in order to cover for the school’s reduced hours. She said: “We haven’t seen the headmistress at all, I know she is fairly new and at her previous school they made the changes. But it’s going to cost me in childcare.”

Protester Philip King complained about the lack of communication from school bosses. He added:“They are changing everything too quickly. We had a meeting at the school and they couldn’t answer any of our questions. They gave out no reminders of the sudden change.”

Local councillor Megan Swift said: “I have been supporting parents who don’t feel they have been consulted properly.

“Changing hours so that school finishes at lunch time on Friday worries working mums. Parents want to see the head but the head apparently doesn’t speak to the parents.”

Head teacher Lianne Lomas said: “As the school leader, I am striving to make Rawson School a place where children can have an outstanding education. This inevitably involves change. We have consulted on making some changes to times of our school day to allow teachers more quality time to work collaboratively to improve lessons in school; and to offer our children a wider range of enhanced after- school clubs such as IT, Sports, Forest School, Cookery, Study Support and Life Skills.

“We are confident that the changes we make will improve the school and that children will experience better quality learning experiences.”

Calderdale Council’s Director of Children and Young People’s Services, Stuart Smith said: “These adjustments will give teachers additional time to plan high quality lessons and adapt to the new national curriculum. It’s also clear that the free after school club on Friday afternoons will give children a broader education, giving them new experiences which would not be available to them during the standard school day.”