EDUCATION: Brutal council cuts mean schools could introduce a four-day week

Proposal to reduce learning hours is major blow to working families

Vale of Leven Academy, Dumbarton Academy and Our Lady and St Patrick’s Secondary plus West Dunbartonshire’s portfolio of primary schools would all be involved.

Some politicians are warning parents that they could introduce a four-day week because of swingeing  SNP budget cuts.

And that timetables will be restricted in schools which will initially plan to cut teacher numbers and increase class sizes to save money following clandestine sight of the SNP’s national budget.

The plan first reared its head in England in October, but these are believed to be one of the suggestions being made by council officers in West Dunbartonshire in order to alter the draft budget proposals for the next financial year.

£ millions  need to be saved by the new Labour administration to accommodate the budget cuts required by the SNP government and to make up for the losses they inherited when they took over from the basket case SNP Jonathan McColl-led council, which lost the local government election last May.

Young actors playing the part of pupils in the TV comedy Derry Girls.

Parent groups and concerned individuals have slammed the four-day plan, saying it would affect working families’ jobs and betray the children, who suffered from class-time deprivation during the two years of the covid pandemic.

West Dunbartonshire Council would neither confirm or deny that the four-day week for schools was one of the suggestions they were considering.

They refuse to speak to The Democrat, but First Minister Nicola Sturgeon made it clear in parliament that the government would only consider diverting money from the places where it plans to bring down the axe on condition that the proposer come up with an alternative in regard to what else should be cut – the NHS or the police budget for example.

Arabella Skinner, director of parent pressure group UsForThem, added: “Parents are in despair as to what this means for their children’s education, and also the impact this will have on their ability to hold down their jobs as we enter a cost of living crisis.”

Some 40 per cent of schools are thinking about reducing the curriculum while 98 per cent said they will have to make savings.

That reaction is almost certain to be repeated in West Dunbartonshire, where there are three secondary schools and a host of primary schools.

The modern day economy is based on two people working in each household and with the cost of living, energy costs and mortgages rising steeply at present, the four-day suggestion will go down like a lead balloon.

If adopted, the party which gives it the green light is certain to experience a huge drop in support and a hemorrhage of  votes at the next election.

A survey was held in England and those who completed it used words such as catastrophic and devastating to describe the financial situation they are facing and the impact on their pupils.”

Half of English schools are expected to be in the red this year and there are fears essential teaching and support staff will be lost as a result.

Larger class sizes, reduced curriculum options, and less support for students would also be a consequence of the changes, heads warned.




  1. Sacking a fifth of the teaching work force. Somehow I just don’t believe that one.

    And here were most people thinking the teachers were striking for extra pay increases.

    The smell of playing politics with base emotions is extant in this piece. But you know what, just what, the currently striking teachers, have for some considerable time been arguing for a four day week with the fifth day for home marking and lesson preparation.

    It’s pieces like this that makes you realise why independent trust schools out side of rotten council political footballing like this.

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