Controversial plans to rip up the timetable at Lenzie Academy slammed

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THE school day at one of the district’s top schools could be set to change, despite opposition from teachers.

The Herald understands that Lenzie Academy head teacher Brian Paterson has put forward proposals which would see the current 30 period school week changed to 33 periods.

If the changes go ahead it would mean individual classes would be shortened by five minutes, the daily lunch break reduced from an hour to 40 minutes, and early finishes for pupils on Wednesday and Friday afternoons.

Management have launched a consultation about the proposed changes, however, it has been claimed that more than 90 per cent of Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) members at the school are against the moves.

Teachers are worried that the changes will have a negative effect on extra-curricular activities and the school in general, while union chiefs say the prospective changes are already causing “stress” for staff. They also claim that parents will only be given three days this week to make their feelings known.

EIS official Kenneth Brown said: “We feel this could have been handled far better. The main concern of the staff is what is best for the pupils - but they are being ignored.

“We approve of the way East Dunbartonshire Council has allowed schools to choose these changes, but we do not approve of the undemocratic process this individual head teacher is pursuing.

“In a letter to staff the head teacher specifically said that it was not an exercise in democracy and nor was it designed to be. He has made clear that he is going ahead with it no matter what the outcome of the consultation.

“In a similar exercise at Boclair Academy the fact that the teachers voted against the changes was enough to stop them.

“What is the point of a consultation if you are just going to ignore it?”

East Dunbartonshire Council education officer Jacqui MacDonald said: “Consultation is underway in a number of East Dunbartonshire secondary schools on proposed changes to the structure of the school day.

“It was approved by the education committee that it was for the staff, pupils and parents of each secondary school to be consulted on these proposed changes.

“The consultation at Lenzie Academy is currently taking place involving staff, pupils and parents. Details have been posted to all parents and there is an information evening this week to provide an opportunity for discussion and questions.

“The consultation closes on March 16.”

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