Sunday, February 06, 2011

Schools face 4-day-week?

It is, apparently, one of the options seriously being considered by North Ayrshire Council:
"As Scotland braces itself for the full impact of spending cuts, officials from a cash-strapped local authority have put forward proposals to save money by introducing a four-day week in all primary and secondary schools."
The piece goes on to tell us that "critics have slammed the move as "stupid" and "a sad state of affairs"."

They're always 'slamming' things in newspapers. Why is this? Anyway, it has been inaccurately described as thinking the 'unthinkable'. What rubbish. Some of us have been thinking about abolishing Monday for ages and have long been of the opinion that it is an excellent idea. Yet it is absurdly described as a 'doomsday senario'. Hmph!

They won't do it, of course. I have a serious idea that would no doubt lose friends and alienate people in the teaching profession. Just about everyone seems to agree that small classes are a Good Thing. While I would agree that all other things being equal, they are usually better than big classes, I'm not convinced that they are all they're cracked up to be.

So I was wondering: rather than simply lifting the statutory maximum, is there any reason why we couldn't have flexible class sizes? Apparently the cost per pupil rises as they move up the school. But it is with these senior classes that I've often thought that the style of teaching you use could easily be applied to much bigger classes. You could do that for a few periods and then have one or two where they break down into smaller groups, perhaps?

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