Youngsters left to their own devices on Friday afternoons?

By davidmay

Like many others I have real concerns about this change so that our secondary schools will effectively close on Friday lunchtime, which the council voted through despite the fact that I and many others opposed it
At the recent Children and Learning Committee I commented
Cuts in teacher staffing in Angus was always going to be a possible outcome when Angus Council agreed to change the structure of the secondary school week from the current thirty five period structure to a thirty three period structure. The council view at the time was that these changes will help schools to maximise the resources they have available and that amore efficient staffing model will be reflected in the formula used to staff secondary schools.”
As a former timetabler it is clear that what is meant by a more efficient staffing model is another way of meaning cuts in teachers numbers, as £370,000 is needed to implement the changes.
Although I can see that having an afternoon available for work experience, extra curricular actvities sport etc. could add to pupil experience and skills, I am concerned as who will organise it and monitor it as this is outwith the teachers contract. We are speaking about thousands and thousands of pupils for this Friday afternoon across the whole of Angus, and I have serious doubts that their will be enough employers, volunteers, sports clubs etc. be about to carry this out.
However, it also seems from todays meeting that they hope to have it ready for the change in timetable in June as otherwise pupils will have Friday afternoons free and concerns have already been expressed to me that parents as well as many others are to say the least unhappy about this and not only will alternative activities not be available it is also the case that this is totally voluntary for the young people from 1st to 6th year to take part in if they wish.” Essentially I work that huge numbers of Angus youngsters in all our secondary schools will be left to their own devices every Friday afternoon.

From:: David May

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