..another is having second thoughts

6th May 2005 at 01:00
Alan Garnett had agreed with staff and governors to break the law by refusing to implement PPA because of concerns that standards would fall if support staff took classes.

But the head of North primary, Colchester has now decided to ask parents what they think about closing early on Friday instead. A survey has been sent out asking if they would be happy for the day to end 30 minutes later between Monday and Thursday and 12.30pm on Friday.

Mr Garnett has always been against using support staff to take lessons alone. "A number of them are parents and don't want their children taught by non-qualified staff. If they had wanted to be teachers, they would have trained to do so."

He believes asking parents to adapt could be the solution. "The best way forward would be for the Government to introduce a change in hours so all schools shut at lunchtime on Friday." Ideally, he says, working practices would change to let working parents spend Friday afternoons with their children.

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