Some schools in the UK are said to be considering moving to three-day weeks this autumn amid fears over energy bill costs and teacher pay.
As the rising cost of living crisis continues to be making its impact felt across the country, it’s now being reported that headteachers, trustees, and governors are holding talks and discussions during the summer holidays in an attempt to work out how to keep schools afloat in the autumn term, according to The Telegraph.
It comes after schools have been facing considerable financial pressure as of late, despite the Government promising to boost budgets by an extra £7 billion in England by 2023.
Funding per pupil in England dropped by 9% between 2010 and 2020.
Now, with some schools’ energy prices expected to increase by 300% in the coming months, according to reports, costs are rising faster than budgets will allow, and then, with teacher pay rises also set to be awarded in September, it’s believed this will add another layer of pressure.
Mark Jordan, the chief executive of Creative Education Trust – a multi-academy trust – said he had heard discussions of a ‘three-day week’ as a way to save money, while Geoff Barton, the general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said schools were now holding “crisis meetings” to work out how to fund the increased costs.
Mr Jordan said that his trust is considering a recruitment freeze and redundancies, and may have to scrap the planned COVID catch-up programmes for children, as well as planned investments and improvements in school buildings.
“Others less fortunate are facing significant deficits and are already planning for teacher redundancies,” he added.
Mr Barton addd that some schools are even having to forego resources like textbooks.
The chief executive of one of the largest academy trusts in the country also anonymously told The Telegraph: “Shorter school days, fewer after school clubs and enrichment opportunities and draconian restrictions on energy usage will become a reality for all trusts and the situation is particularly challenging for smaller trusts and standalone schools.
“This is not a plaintive plea of poverty, nor is it the usual begging bowl moment ahead of a spending review.
A spokesperson for the Department for Education said in response to the report: “We recognise that schools, much like the wider economy, are facing increased costs, including on energy and staff pay [and] our schools white paper set out our expectation that the school week should last a minimum of 32.5 hours – the current average – for all mainstream state-funded schools.
“Thousands of schools already deliver this length of week within existing budgets and we expect current funding plans to account for this.”
Icelandic airline offering incredible Northern Lights holiday experience including hotel, breakfast and tours
Icelandair, the nation’s principal airline and proud flag carrier is offering an incredible package to holiday-goers this winter by giving them a chance to book their flights, hotel, breakfast, multiple unique tours and the opportunity to see the Northern Lights all in one affordable deal.
With the Northern Lights being one of the most magical tourist attractions in the world, its popularity only increases by the year and, as a result, so does the cost of going to see it.
That’s where Icelandair come in: the flight operator is offering Brits an amazing new package centred around the legendary natural light display at a discount. Trust us, you seriously want to consider snapping up this one whilst you can.
From this week, Icelandair is offering UK travellers a special package deal which includes a three-night holiday with return flights, a hotel room with breakfast and three unique and unforgettable Icelandic tours for just £459 per person.
This deal will see holidaymakers board an Icelandair economy flight from either London, Glasgow or Manchester Airport to the nation’s beautiful capital of Reykjavik, with a complimentary 23kg checked bag allowance, plus a 10kg in hand luggage allowance, your choice when it comes to where you want to seat, seat, on-board refreshments and a personal in-flight entertainment system.
For your accommodation, you’ll be staying at the four-star Hotel Island Spa and Wellness Resort, located right near the centre of Reykjavik and treated to breakfast every morning for two adults sharing a room. And then you get to make the most of what the country’s incredible landscape.
Onto the main event of your holiday: Icelandair’s Northern Lights experience is a breathtaking three-to-four-hour tour that allows you to see the glory of the incredible natural phenomenon with your own eyes.
As for the FlyOver Iceland tour, this unique experience is the ultimate flying ride which utilizes state-of-the-art technology to give you the exhilarating feeling of flight. During this virtual journey, you’ll experience the more remote but no less spectacular areas of Iceland through motion, wind, sound and even scents.
Last but not certainly least, you have the lava show, which is one of the top-rated attractions anywhere in Scandinavia, receiving numerous awards for innovation and educational value. You literally get to watch as they recreate a volcanic eruption and allow you to safely experience hot lava in close proximity.
Once again, all this is yours to enjoy from just £459 per person. We believe the phrase you’re looking for is ‘value for money’.
Available right now until 4 October 2023, you can book to travel to see Iceland and the Northern Lights from November 2023 right up until March 2024.
You book your flights HERE and find out more information about this incredible package via the Icelandair website.
After the team at home security experts ADT decided to do some research into the best places in the country for those looking to raise a family, Trafford has made it into the top 10.
The Greater Manchester borough has earned seventh place on the list after a number of factors were analysed for the research – including the quality of the local schools, the general safety of the area, and the number of parks within walking distance.
The top 10 most family-friendly areas in the UK
Crime Rate Per 1,000 People, Year ending March 2023
Burglary Rate Per 1,000 People, Year ending March 2023
Average number of Parks, Public Gardens, or Playing Fields within a 1,000 m radius
Percentage of Oustanding and Good Rated Schools and Colleges
Median House Price, Year Ending Dec 2022
Cost of a single bus fare, adult
Family Safety Score /10
Waltham Forest in London takes the top spot for the most family-friendly area in the UK, according to the research, as it ranked within the top 15 for both the lowest crime and burglary rates, and also ranked seventh for schools – with 82.8% having a “good” or higher rating from OFSTED.
Kirkless in West Yorkshire took second place, followed by Havering, Bexley, and Bromley all rounding out the top five.
As well as Kirklees placing second and Trafford being in the seventh spot, the Wirral and Newcastle-upon-Tyne are also fellow northern representatives within the top 10.
Sadly, on the other end of the spectrum, the least family-friendly area in the UK was found to be Birmingham, according to ADT’s research, as despite the average house price being £221,000, with a crime rate of 141 per 1,000 people, and a family safety score of just 2.5/10, the Midlands city takes the bottom spot.
On a more positive note though, when it comes the postcode area with the lowest crime rate in the UK, the North West is representing once again, as this has come out as CW12 3 in Cheshire East.