A school in Hounslow has moved one step closer to cutting its working week to just four-and-a-half days due to budget constraints.

St Mary's Catholic Primary School, in South Street, Isleworth , has been consulting with parents to close the school at the earlier time of 12.45pm on Fridays.

As part of these changes infant play will be removed and replaced with the "Daily Mile", where children run, walk or jog for 15 minutes every day as well as a slightly shorter lunchtime.

There would also be a privately run after school club with 150 places operating until 3.15pm - the normal time the school day ends.

In a letter to parents, chairman of governors Jacqui Corley said: "As a priority we will establish criteria for the allocation of places which are likely to give priority to pupil premium and other disadvantaged children."

However, parents have been urged to "actively start investigating childcare options" in preparation for the shorter school hours from September 2018.

Ms Corley added that during the consultation parents suggested making a contribution to meet the deficit in the budget, yet this would cost £400 per child per year.

"This is an interesting idea which we had put on one side since we considered that it would be an unwelcome imposition on parents. If parents are willing to pay we would re-consider," said Ms Corley.

"However, the contribution per child would be about £400 per year. This option would only be viable if all parents agreed to contribute that sum but it would have to be voluntary as we are not able to require such a contribution."

St Mary's Primary School consults with parents on shorter school week

Ruth Cadbury , MP for Brentford and Isleworth, has voiced her concerns over the "drastic" move.

In a statement, Ms Cadbury said: "To have to consider closing school on Friday lunchtime shows the impact government budget decisions are having on schools and the lengths they are having to go to, to make ends meet.

"The head and governors at St Mary's Catholic Primary School, Isleworth, are consulting parents on a proposal to close the school at lunchtime on Fridays. This involves containing the same number of school hours in a shorter week, by saving the costs of cover for teachers’ statutory non-contact time.

"Parents are understandably very concerned about the plan.


Ruth Cadbury MP for Brentford and Isleworth


"This drastic option is being considered because funds the school receives from Government has not kept up with rising costs, and comes after five years of significant cutbacks at St Mary's."

The school has already had to make drastic cuts over the past five years including losing a music teacher, gardener and scrapping violin and clarinet classes.

It has also been forced to ask parents to buy classroom writing materials such as pencils and colouring pencils, the letter revealed.

St Mary's Catholic Primary School, South Street, Isleworth

Ms Corley said the local authority had estimated the situation would get even worse when a new national funding formula is implemented.

"The responses to the consultation illustrated how difficult it is to appreciate the singular complication of the government’s arrangements for school funding.

"In essence the government provides a fixed sum of money for each primary child with additional funding for children who are disadvantaged – either with a Special Educational Need or eligibility for Pupil Premium.

"Despite the austerity policy of the previous and current government this sum has been maintained, but no allowance has been made for inflation or movement in salary costs or imposition of additional costs."

A statement from the school's Facebook page says: "At this stage no decision has been made and the governors, following the consultation with the parents, are now consulting with staff.

"There's a lot more reflection and prayer to go until a decision is made."

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