Schools: Finance

Department for Education written question – answered on 10th July 2019.

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Photo of Jim Cunningham Jim Cunningham Labour, Coventry South

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many hours of schooling were lost due to schools reducing the length of the school day as a result of insufficient funding in the 2017-18 academic year.

Photo of Nick Gibb Nick Gibb Minister of State (Education)

Information on when schools finish their school day is not held centrally.

It is unacceptable for schools to shorten their working week when it is not a direct action to support and enhance their pupils’ education. According to the Institute for Fiscal Studies, funding for the average primary school class is £132,000, and funding for that same class of children in secondary school would be £171,000. These amounts are to cover a full five-day week in term time.

All schools have the autonomy to decide the structure and duration of their school day, which includes the flexibility to decide when their school day should start and finish. The Department trusts that headteachers will do this in a sensible manner.

All maintained schools are required to educate pupils for at least 380 sessions each school year. They cannot reduce the length of the school week if this would take the total number of sessions below that.

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