Short changed by convenience;Opinion
There is no reason beyond relatively recent custom. Paul Dumbleton, whose daughter is among special needs children shortchanged, knows the specious answers to his question about losing 1,500 hours' teaching time but is rightly unconvinced.
Teacher convenience is at the root of practices that parents are beginning to question. If nursery schools exist not just to begin the long process of education but to benefit working parents, a purpose blessed by government, they have to accept that Friday afternoons are not a winding down for the weekend. Likewise, special schools have to accept that education takes more time, not less, than in mainstream establishments. Relatively generous staffing helps to compensate for the attendant difficulties.
No one is now fooled by the idea that schools which close early one day a week work more productively on the other days. Teachers have to cram too much into every day. Time with children is more important than notional time spent on professional activities. Ask any parent.