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City of London Academy Islington plans to cut length of school days amid funding cuts and 'teacher recruitment crisis'

PUBLISHED: 11:08 23 May 2019

City of London Academy Islington was given an Outstanding Ofsted rating last month. It is now planning to slash its school days in response to cuts and the 'crisis' in teacher recruitment. Picture: Catherine Davison

City of London Academy Islington was given an Outstanding Ofsted rating last month. It is now planning to slash its school days in response to cuts and the 'crisis' in teacher recruitment. Picture: Catherine Davison

Catherine Davison

An Islington academy is planning to cut its school day by 50 minutes because of crippling government funding cuts and a "crisis in teacher recruitment".

City of London Academy Islington in Prebend Street launched a consultation on the proposals earlier this month and said initial feedback from governors, staff and students had been "overwhelmingly positive".

The survey closes tomorrow (Fri) and a final decision is expected to be announced after the upcoming half-term break.

The school, which was rated Outstanding - the top rating - in its latest Ofsted inspection earlier this year, is sponsored by the City of London 
Corporation and City, University of London.

In a letter to parents, principal Sonia Jacob said: "In light of national public sector spending cuts and staffing pressures arising from a crisis in teacher recruitment, we are proposing to reduce the length of the school day from September.

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"This move will not compromise the quality of provision for our students. Indeed, we believe that there will be multiple benefits arising from this change."

Among the benefits outlined in the letter are fewer lessons being taught by temporary supply staff, an "improved after-school enrichment and intervention programme", bringing the hours in line with other schools and "meeting the needs of younger students who often struggle to cope with the demands of the extended day".

The day currently begins at 8.30am and ends at 3.40pm. The plan is to start at 8.40am and finish at 3pm.

Last year the Gazette reveal another City of London Corporation academy, The City Academy, Hackney, was to cut its school day by half-an-hour due to funding cuts. The move saw lessons shortened from an hour to 55 minutes.

The school this week held a special event to mark its 10th birthday.

A spokesperson said: "The academy is committed to providing first class education for all its students.

"Parents, staff and governors are being consulted on this proposal. The proposed change would not compromise the quality of education for our students. Instead it would offer them an improved after-school enrichment programme. "

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