BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: UK: Education  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
England
N Ireland
Scotland
Wales
Politics
Education
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Sunday, 16 September, 2001, 23:26 GMT 00:26 UK
School abandons four-day week
Pupils who faced returning to school on a four-day week because of staff shortages are now starting the term with a full timetable - thanks in part to parent volunteers.

The autumn term for the 640 pupils at Oriel High School in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, was postponed by a fortnight to allow the head teacher to recruit more staff.


It is only fair to say that we are certainly not out of the woods yet

Head teacher, Michael Dopson
Oriel High, described as "challenging" by the Department for Education, has been struggling to recruit and retain staff for some time.

Parents were warned in July that timetable cuts would be necessary if six vacancies were not filled over the summer holidays.

Now the school's newly-appointed head, Michael Dopson, has announced that the school has filled three vacancies during the extended summer break.

And it is able to cover the others with help from Norfolk County Council, through flexible working by existing staff and through supply teachers.

Illness warning

But Mr Dopson has written to parents to warn them that, by using supply teachers to the full and staff in a "flexible" manner, the school was susceptible in the event of unexpected illness.

"While I am very pleased that we shall start the new term with a full timetable, it is only fair to say that we are certainly not out of the woods yet," said Mr Dopson.

"We need to recruit more of our own staff because, as things stand, we could face problems if we were to be faced with a spate of sudden illness.

"So we are taking a calculated risk, but I believe it is a risk worth taking for the benefit of our children as a whole," he said.

Parent power

Following news of the problems the school faced, about 15 parents came forward to offer to help in the classroom.

They had been trained and their services would be used in the coming weeks, Mr Dopson said.

"I was very pleased that a number of parents have come forward to offer their services to the school and we shall certainly be using them to assist in our classrooms as term progresses.

"We all want to achieve and create excellence at Oriel and the positive response we have had from parents shows that our aim is shared by many in the community as a whole."

Alec Byrne from Norfolk County Council said the news was a positive step for all concerned.

"Most of all I am delighted for the young people at the school who will not now be facing the disruption to their education that we envisaged a few days ago," he said.

nol graphic

Latest news

Analysis

Features

TALKING POINT
See also:

04 Sep 01 | UK Education
04 Sep 01 | UK Education
31 Aug 01 | UK Education
28 Aug 01 | UK Education
28 Aug 01 | UK Education
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Education stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Education stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes