With the nation expected to grind to a halt at 2pm on Thursday, when England take on Wales in the European Football Championships, one Leeds school has come up with an innovative approach to keeping pupils on-side.
Leeds West Academy will be screening the match in specially designated classrooms.
The move, outlined in a recent newsletter to parents, is aimed at keeping up attendance. It reads: “On Thursday 16th June at 2pm, England will play Wales in the European Championship. To ensure we maintain excellent attendance on this day, all students who wish to watch the game will be able to do so in specially designated classrooms in the academy. Students who do not wish to watch the game will attend their period 5 lesson.”
Some parents have criticised the plan, with one commenting: “If I let my children have the afternoon off to watch football at home, I would be fined.”
However, another parent backed the scheme, adding: “I think it’s a good idea, it keeps pupils engaged, not everything in school is about the three Rs and this is clearly a one-off situation.”
The school, formerly Intake High, became an academy in 2009 and is part of the White Rose Academies Trust, sponsored by Leeds City College. It has about 900 pupils aged 11-18. In 2012 it was praised by Ofsted, who said its leadership and management were excellent.
I think it’s a good idea, it keeps pupils engaged, not everything in school is about the three Rs and this is clearly a one-off situation.Parent comments on school plan
Some other schools in the area are also thought to be televising the England match.
The Yorkshire Evening Post contacted the academy on numerous occasions but no-one was available to comment.
On its website, executive principal Annette Hall, who is due to step down at the end of the current academic year, said the school aims to “continuously improve educational outcomes for our students”, adding: “We believe education is the key to transforming life chances.”