Furious debate as headmaster gives exhausted teachers extra day off every two weeks

People are having their say on a trial being run in a school in the West Midlands to give teachers an extra day off each fortnight -Credit:PA
People are having their say on a trial being run in a school in the West Midlands to give teachers an extra day off each fortnight -Credit:PA

A local school is set to give teachers a day off every fortnight amid huge recruitment challenges - and people haven’t held back in sharing their opinions of the idea. Many readers pointed out how much marking and extra work teachers have on top of classroom hours and welcomed the move.

Others questioned how it would work in practice and whether it would mean parents having to find more childcare for their children within traditional school hours. Headteacher of Solihull ’s St Peter’s Catholic School Stuart Shelton explained that a tightly organised rota will mean there is no reduction in teaching levels in the classroom.

He added that the idea is ‘a different way to attract and retain staff’.

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One reader commenting on the article, Bandit mk2 shared a story that shows why teachers are so busy: “The other week at my daughter’s swimming lesson a lady walked in pulling two cabin-style suitcases. She sat down and started pulling out school books. I asked her why, she said it was do it then or on a Sunday. She told me three quarters of her day is marking, preparing, writing reports. She also explained teacher training days are often first aid courses, classroom movements, risk assessments for children with problems.”

Over on Facebook, Soo Livingston said: “Those teachers need medals looking after 30+ kids all day and trying to teach them, I wouldn’t do that job for anything.”

Hayley Middleton said: “It’s not actually any more time off, it’s collating their normal PPA into one day rather than two half days and allowing them to do it at home, just like many professions work from home at times.”

And Glenda Rushton said: “All these people making ridiculous comments about the easy life that teachers have, have absolutely no idea! If it’s so great then why are teachers leaving the profession in their droves.”

But not everyone was a fan of the idea. Sharon Jane Burton said: “Unbelievable, what a joke idea.” And many others pointed out that teachers already benefit from time off in the summer, at Easter and Christmas and during half terms.

Julie Gregg said: “Teachers have more hols than anybody, it should be stopped. Most people get 28 days a year.”

And Emma Barratt said: “Wow really, they get half terms off, six weeks holidays, they get more time off than anyone else.”

And others pointed out that parents get fined if their children don’t attend school. Aaron Barber said: “Make sure they pay a £60 fine then like we have to.”

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