Extend the school day

Extend the hours of the school day to 9-5 with children split into groups attending either Monday and Tuesday or Thursday and Friday. Wednesday would be used for deep cleaning schools. Children would have work to do at home on the two days they are not attending physical school. Teachers that cannot physically attend school would run online classes and support, while teachers who are physically able would manage the in-school time.

Why the contribution is important

Enables schools to reduce the number of pupils attending on a single day. Establishes a fixed pattern of schooling to help families develop a routine which is goos for everyones mental health and allows planning for returning to work. Increases hours available when pupils are at school which provides more time for lessons but also to vary break and meal times during the day. Allows for deep cleaning between groups.

by Slaurand on May 10, 2020 at 08:37AM

Current Rating

Average rating: 3.4
Based on: 17 votes


  • Posted by EleanorM May 10, 2020 at 08:53

    The current school day was set when Scottish schools originated and most children lived in rural areas. Children had work to do early in the morning and late in the afternoon and so could only attend for the short day that we still have. It is definitely time for a change.
  • Posted by JulieColl May 10, 2020 at 08:55

    Kids need to go to school, for so many different reasons, but at this time it’s so much more important for children moving from primary and secondary education. This preparation time is vital for their Smooth transition.
  • Posted by petermuir79 May 10, 2020 at 08:58

    I like the idea of splitting the school week in half. Would allow us to get into a rhythm and kids learning again. However kids get tired and would be a long day. Perhaps 9 till 4
  • Posted by Sarahj May 10, 2020 at 09:31

    What about teachers home lives? Their families? They may have young children and no one to care for them after the usual school day?!
  • Posted by bluebird19 May 10, 2020 at 09:36

    There may be scope to do something like this- many nursery settings are open 8 til 6 for example- however it would need shift staffing and I don't think our schools have the capacity to do that. There is also issues around working time/marking , prep and correction time. This would all need discussing.
  • Posted by Sooziniz13 May 10, 2020 at 09:45

    Like the structure suggested but not the longer hours. Kids would find this hard and not sure of real benefits, thinking about teachers too. Part time classes would really help with structure and learning and mental health.
  • Posted by gw09garciachristine May 10, 2020 at 09:55

    Deep clean, or extreme cleaning will have to be done every day as a Matter of routine. Having only one cohort of pupils per day is best to avoid cross contamination on a large scale between 2 different large groups of pupils and staff. One week on and one week off might work better? With a deep clean at end of the week/weekend? It's important to note with caution, any proposals which would necessitate a change to any persons current working conditions/days ...these are not times to be piling more stress on people. Some people may wish to volunteer for such changed work patters IN THE SHORT TERM...none of the practices adopted for short term, acute relief of covid response, should be viewed as a permanent change to the education system. Reassurances to this effect would perhaps enable people to be more confident in participating and volunteering in the interim period.
  • Posted by CitKat1 May 10, 2020 at 09:56

    Great idea, what about 8-4! What is the working week hours as a teacher? What are the contracted hours? Is it 37.5hrs or something else? What is a normal working day for a teacher? Can it not be worked out this way? Need to know this to manage this. Definitely think this is a possible way to go?,, 👍
  • Posted by Lawmonkey May 10, 2020 at 10:26

    I am all for ways to reduce class sizes in order to create a healthier learning environment. However, will teachers be working on the same schedule as their own children and on their days home they produce online learning? Who will look after teachers children if we are back full time and our children are on a rota? I think that staff should be on a rota to suit their children’s school shifts and to then provide relevant online teaching to their own class. Teachers know how to provide continuity for their own class, having someone else ‘who cannot physically attend’ doing that is not the way forward. Teachers know their own class and children.
  • Posted by EleanorM May 10, 2020 at 13:29

    The notion of children not managing longer days is flawed. In a rural area, children leave at 7.30/8 am and are home from 4.30-5pm. Many of the older children manage part-time jobs too. All children will soon adjust.
  • Posted by InglishTeecher May 10, 2020 at 18:33

    For the poster who asked: The weekly working hours for a teacher are 35 (although many go beyond this each week, voluntarily). This is made up of 22.5 hours class contact time (in front of children), 7.5 hours preparation and correction time (marking, setting work, making resources) and 5 hours of collegiate time (developing courses, carrying out other work as decided by the school improvement plan, etc). Almost all primary teachers and the majority of secondary teachers are at their maximum class contact time every week, and those that aren’t are often asked to cover for absent colleagues, taking them up to maximum.
  • Posted by CitKat1 May 10, 2020 at 19:49

    Thanks inglishTeacher. So is it possible to adapt these hours to suit what was suggest in the first instance?
  • Posted by InglishTeecher May 11, 2020 at 17:40

    I don’t think the timings would work. 9-5, assuming an hour’s break (15 mins mid-morning and 45 mins for lunch, which is probably the minimum you can manage it in under normal circumstances) is 7 hours in a classroom. Aside from the fact that children and teachers would be exhausted for the last hour to hour and a half of the day, that adds up to 24 hours contact time a week, 1.5 hours more than teachers are contracted. I know this doesn’t seem like much, but it takes away time that is needed for preparation and correction. I think there’s definitely merit in the idea, but the timings would need to be looked at. The other issue I see is break and lunch times - who is supervising these and how would you get half a school through a lunch queue while socially distancing in the space of a lunch time? Also on lunches, many secondary schools are now built without the capacity to be able to serve all pupils at the same time, banking on the fact that they will leave the premises for lunch, which is another thing to consider.
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