A FORMER English Schools Foundation (ESF) executive member yesterday called on frustrated parents to demand a greater part in management of the foundation. Former vice-chairman Mr Andrew Scott said the present ''dispute'' over an ESF proposal for a shorter school day was ''a product of parental frustration that has built up as a result of having their views persistently disregarded''. ESF summer school hours have been from 8.45 am to 12.30 pm for 63 of the 185 annual school days; winter hours have been from 8.45 am to 3 pm for the rest of the year. The ESF has proposed a shorter school day from about 8.30 am to 2 pm. Teaching hours would not necessarily be cut. The proposal has rankled some parents, who suspect their children may miss out on socialising and lunch or teaching time, and that school staff just want a shorter day. Supporters of the proposal have denied this. The South China Morning Post has received three phone calls from parents who said they felt ESF decisions were made by teachers and the executive, who disregarded parents' views. The nominated ESF spokesman and chairman, Mr Ken Woodhouse, declined to return calls from the Post. However, the Joint Council of Parent Teacher Associations chairman, Mr Paul Holmes, denied last night that parents were ignored. He said a few people felt parents should influence decisions more, ''but some have said quite clearly the decision should be made by professionals''. He had not yet collated findings of individual association submissions on the shorter day which were presented to a joint council meeting last night. Submissions from some of the nine schools had not yet been received, but early indications suggested ''no clear majority'' supporting any one proposal. He expected to present findings to the next monthly ESF executive committee meeting at a date yet to be decided. The ESF would then decide whether to change the school hours. ''Our overriding concern is the interests of the children in the schools. We hope to consider all interests and address all concerns,'' Mr Holmes said. However, Mr Scott said parents felt frustrated because they provided directly 70 per cent of ESF funding yet had virtually ''no say in the management''. He said the executive committee consisted of the secretary and a government nominee, and seven members, of whom five were staff, staff nominees or related to staff. Of the two remaining members, one, who was supposed to represent parents, came from the Joint Council of Parent Teacher Associations, of which half the members were staff. The final place was taken by the chairman of the School Council committee and depended on the other six for his nomination. Mr Scott said there were ''blatant conflicts of interest'' and nothing had been done to safeguard the organisation for the future, despite the firm recommendations of a Board of Enquiry report submitted a year ago. ''A momentum has been built up by those in control to ensure that the staff get the most benefit over the next few years,'' he said. However, the joint council's Mr Holmes said teachers did not ''turn out in a majority to vote teachers in''. Parents were mailed an ESF newsletter to keep them informed, and could take part in decision-making. ''We welcome worthwhile suggestions, and we want to hear these opinions. These people should turn up at meetings and express their particular point of view.''