Ex-Headteacher opposes English schools closing a day early for Christmas

9 December 2020, 16:02

By Sam Sholli

This ex-headteacher explained why he was vehemently against the Government allowing English schools to close a day early for Christmas.

The Government is set to announce an inset day that can be used on Friday 18 December which means schools have the option to close a day early for the Christmas holidays.

Schools Standards Minister Nick Gibb told MPs an 18 December inset day would allow teachers to have a "proper break" without having to "engage in the track and trace issues" on Christmas Eve.

Speaking to a virtual Education Select Committee, Mr Gibb said: "We are about to announce that inset days can be used on Friday 18 December, even if an inset day had not been originally scheduled for that day.

"We want there to be a clear six days so that by the time we reach Christmas Eve staff can have a proper break without having to engage in the track and trace issues."

Chris McGovern, who is also the Chairman of the Campaign for Real Education, was asked by Nick Ferrari if teachers need an inset day.

He responded: "No they certainly don't and they won't be using it as an inset day...they'll be using as a shopping day.

"Look, I have some sympathy for my teaching colleagues. I worked with them for 35 years. But I have more sympathy for the vulnerable [and] the poor."

He added: "Parents and children are going to have a tough time on that day. It's going to disrupt their lives and a lot of children have suffered already."

He later said: "It sends entirely the wrong signal. We have to keep schools open. I'd keep them open longer than the 18th. I'd keep them open until Christmas Eve because we need our kids educated."