School That Keeps Office Hours

July 31, 2011 § Leave a comment

The London Times reported on a new school opening in Norwich, England, which will be organized around the needs of parents and children rather than teachers. It will be open 51 weeks of the year and keep nine-to-five office hours rather than the six hour day most schools offer.

The article quotes the head as saying “If you’re a working single parent it costs more to put your child into after-school and holiday care than you earn in a week.” So the school, which will operate out of an office building in the business center of Norwich, will provide cheap child care after school and all day on Saturdays. The only time the school will close will be Sundays, public holidays and the week of Christmas.

The teaching year will be split into six blocks of six weeks with a two-week break in between, and four weeks in summer. A team of  non-academic leaders will take over from the teaching staff to provide activities, games and trips during the holidays.

Predictably, the teachers’ union opposes the concept, as it will obviously put pressure on existing schools to match what is being provided in Norwich. teachers can see that in that situation they would have to work longer hours without much extra pay.

But this is where education is going. The old system suited the providers – teachers and administrators – rather than the consumers – students and parents. This is a transition stage to new education.

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