United Kingdom: Schools Are Considering Implementing A Three-Day School Week Due To Rising Energy Costs And Stagnant Budgets

Due to soaring energy costs and staff pay that are outpacing school budgets, several principals are contemplating cutting the school week down to three days.

In order to prepare for the next school year, principals all around the nation are convening emergency “crisis meetings” with their boards of trustees and governors. In some places, the price of energy is expected to go up by as much as 300 percent.

One of the country’s top academy trust CEOs recently said, “Shorter school days, fewer after-school clubs and enrichment opportunities, and draconian restrictions on energy usage will become a reality for all trusts, and the situation is particularly challenging for smaller trusts and standalone schools.” “This is not a plaintive plea of poverty. Nor is it the usual begging bowl moment ahead of a spending review – this is serious stuff. “

England’s per-pupil budget was cut by nine percent between 2010 and 2020. Even though the government has pledged an extra £7 billion for school budgets in England by 2024, the Institute for Fiscal Studies has cautioned that expenditure per child would still be lower than 2010 levels.

According to Dr. Robin Bevan, principal of Southend High School for Boys in Essex, “if a four-day week is not already being planned, it will certainly be being considered” by certain schools. In the absence of a long overdue above-inflation investment in school funding, it’ll become a realistic prospect sooner rather than later.

Dr. Bevan remarked that in order to keep his school running, he had to use some of the few funds on hand. The institution’s revenue will increase by £300,000, but its energy expenses will increase by £220,000. It will have to pay an extra £70,000 for teachers’ salaries, and it will have to find an additional $40,000 for administrative help.

According to Dr. Bevan, the future is “exceptionally bleak” since prices are increasing faster than budgets can keep up.

A Department of Education official stated, “We recognise that schools – much like the wider economy – are facing increased costs, including on energy and staff pay.” “Our schools white paper sets out our expectation that the school week should last a minimum of 32.5 hours – the current average – for all mainstream state-funded schools. Thousands of schools already deliver this length of week within existing budgets, and we expect current funding plans to account for this. “

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