End-of-term half days to be scrapped in Fife

As reported by The Courier, half days before Summer and Christmas holidays will be scrapped across Fife to save money

Fife pupils have, for decade, enjoyed a half day at the end of term – however, this tradition will soon come to an end.

Prior to Summer and Christmas breaks, local children would normally leave school at lunch time.

As of 2019-20, this practice will end.

The hope is that this will save money normally spend on transporting children and won’t affect staff, who are already contracted for the entire day.

Shelagh McLean, head of Fife’s education and children’s service, commented: “Historically, Fife pupils have left school at lunchtime on the last day of the Christmas and summer terms.

“However, last Christmas, a change to school transport legislation resulted in costly and complex arrangements having to be made to transport pupils, across Fife, home at lunchtime.

“Therefore we’ve taken the decision that, as of school session 2019-20, on the last day of each term the pupil day will end at each school’s normal time and we would encourage all pupils to attend.”

It is understood all staff have been notified in the past week.

David Farmer, from the Fife EIS union, said the decision will probably make little difference to members.

“There’s no overall change to the number of days – so we haven’t gained or lost any through this,” he explained.

“Some people have talked about staff Christmas lunches being held in the afternoon but I think a lot of staff social things don’t really happen to the same extent any more.

“There will still be some schools who have got this tradition of gathering when they finish up but I would strongly suspect that’s a minority of schools in Fife now, whereas in the past it was probably the majority.”

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