Schools set to close early for crucial World Cup game

EDUCATION chiefs in Suffolk last night stressed there should be “minimum disruption” to the school day when England play their World Cup match next Wednesday afternoon.

The call came after it emerged schools across the county may close early ahead of the game against Slovenia.

Schools are being urged to accommodate children in the appropriate way to ensure that normal school routines are not disrupted.

While some high schools are opting to show the game on school grounds, it is understood that some headteachers may have taken the decision to close early.

Sue Hargadon, headteacher of Farlingaye High School, in Woodbridge. told the EADT that the school would close early but that lessons would not be disrupted.

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She said: “We will be finishing early, however lessons will be condensed into the shorter day meaning that lunch time and break time will be shortened.

“We were originally hoping to show the game in the sports hall but with exams taking place we were unable to do so. We consulted with the school council ahead of our decision.”

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Education bosses at Suffolk County Council are now urging headteachers to ensure that there is minimal disruption to lessons.

A spokesman for the authority said: “We are not aware of any Suffolk school closing for the afternoon of 23rd because of the World Cup.

“It is a matter for headteachers what accommodation they wish to make to allow the children to enjoy watching this particular England match but we would expect the minimum of disruption to normal school routines.”

Graham White, Suffolk’s secretary for the National Union for Teachers, said that he supported the decision to close schools early under the conditions that the curriculum was met.

“From an education perspective, I think the curriculum has to be achieved and that would be my only concern,” he said.

“I think that it is reasonable to close schools because it only comes along every four years and it broadens their horizons.”

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Essex County Council said: “The decision to allow pupils to go home early in order to watch the World Cup is one that is made by each individual school.

“There may be some schools that choose to show the game. Essex County Council hasn’t been made aware of any schools that have made arrangements to allow pupils to watch the game.”

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