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Mum wants Highland youngsters to get more hours in class and has launched a petition calling for Scottish Government action

By Scott Maclennan

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A Highland mother is rallying support in a bid to increase the number of hours children are taught each week.

Susan Crookes from Evanton has called on the Scottish Government to get involved to push Highland Council to raise the amount of time P1-P3 spend in class.

She has set up a petition on the Scottish Parliament website calling for the current 22.5 hours a week to be increased to 25 hours a week.

On the petition she wrote: “At present, Highland Council (there may be others) only provides 22.5 hours a week for all infant children (P1 to P3). If children live in a different authority area they get 25 hours teaching a week.

“Over a four-week period many Scottish children are missing out on 10 hours of teaching other authorities provide. We would like to see equal schooling hours for all children in Scotland, regardless of which local authority they live in.

“It is unfair that many children receive more education than others. We believe that every child should be given the same opportunity and not denied based on where they live.”

Highland Council responded saying each local authority sets its own terms and school holidays while the usual length of the week for most primary school pupils is 25 hours and usually infants get reduced hours.

A spokeswoman said: “P1-P3 pupils in Highland attend 22.5 hours per week and teachers take their class contact reduction (CCR) time of 30 minutes per day outwith the contact time with children, saving the need for CCR teachers in P1-P3.

“P4-P7 pupils attend 25 hours per week. Class teachers deliver 22.5 hours of the curriculum and then 2.5 hours is delivered by a CCR teacher. Start and finish times to the school day can vary by school which means that P1-3 children who use bus services may have to wait for their P4-P7 peers to finish school as this service is shared.”

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