Schools in England to have set minimum week length

Schools in England to have set minimum week length

New government plans will see all schools in England open for at least 32.5 hours a week.

The length of the school day is currently decided by the headteacher with the governing body in England.

Some 70% of schools are already open between 32 and 35 hours a week, with a further 9% open for longer.

Starting next September, the new rule will hit the 14% of schools thought to be open fewer than 32 hours a week.

The data comes from a July 2021 government survey which asked schools how many hours a week pupils in years 3 or 9 had to be in school.

The government said the change would ensure children had a fair chance to engage with a range of subjects and catch uo support.

In the 32.5 hour school, week children will be expected to be in school from 08:45 to 15.15.

The government has argued that children whose school day is shorter by 20 minutes a day would lose two weeks of schooling over the course of a year.

Many pupils are still catching up after spending the last two years learning remotely due to the covid-19 pandemic, which forced schools across the country to close.

However, education unions said the new requirement would make little difference as most schools already met the threshold.

They suggested schools that did not could be in rural areas which face greater transport challenges.

Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi said the change was part of a wider ambition in “creating opportunity for all, with strong schools and great teachers for every child”.

He is due to set out the government’s wider plans for schools in England this week in a White Paper, alongside a review of the support available for pupils with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND)

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Ellie joined Gi Media in July 2021.