A PARENT has slammed his sons' school for running "yoga, glow in the dark table tennis, bread making and badminton" sessions for teachers during a term-time inset training day.

Headteacher Mark Williams has defended the 95-minute "team building and staff well-being" activities organised for staff as part of the initiative at Kingsmead School, Wiveliscombe, tomorrow (Friday).

The inset day, when students will be given the day off, includes sessions in areas such as safeguarding, learning and various subjects, as well as updates on the new curriculum model and paired lesson observations.

But Martin Tier, who has two sons at Kingsmead, accuses the school of doing "this rubbish at the expense of our children's education".

In a letter to the school, he said: "I always assumed that the point of these days was to further your knowledge and to aid in the education of our children.

"However, it has been brought to my attention that this inset day will include such arduous tasks as yoga, glow in the dark table tennis, bread making and badminton. Seriously?

"You have half term the week after. Why not do your leisure activities then?"

Mr Tier, who says he and his wife will have to pay for childcare on the inset day as they both work, said he appreciates teaching is "very hard", but added: "Come on. You get more holidays than God.

"I would kill for a five-day week and six weeks off in the summer.

"If I wanted to take my children out of school for a day playing ping ping, you'd quite rightly say 'no'. Possibly even issue me with a fine."

Mr Williams responded that schools have to take a number on inset days during the academic year and 95 minutes given to team building and staff well-being is not "disproportionate".

He said: "This is especially the case when you consider the amount of time given freely by teachers to run sports clubs, public speaking teams, trips abroad and many other opportunities for young people.

"The workload of teachers is well documented and is excessive, which is why staff well-being has become a big issue nationally, as a response to the large numbers of teachers leaving the profession.

"Furthermore, it is well documented that the corporate world use teambuilding events as part of staff development.

"It seems a shame that when public services try to use creative ideas to support staff well-being, they are criticised and ridiculed."

Mr Williams added that the sessions support Kingsmead's ethos of 'Achieving through Caring'.