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School Day

Question for Department for Education

UIN 125884, tabled on 31 January 2018

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent assessment he has made of the number of schools reducing their school week to fewer than five full days; and if he will make a statement.

Answered on

5 February 2018

All schools have the autonomy to decide the structure and duration of their school day, which includes the flexibility to decide when their school day should start and finish. The Department does not collect data on the number of schools who have chosen to make changes to their school days. We trust head teachers to decide how best to structure their school day to support their pupils’ education.

The Education (School Day and School Year) (England) Regulations 1999 require all maintained schools to be open to educate their pupils for at least 380 sessions (190 days) in each school year. There are no specific legal requirements setting out over how many days in each week these sessions should be delivered, or how long each individual school day should be. Governing bodies of all maintained schools in England are responsible for deciding when sessions should begin and end on each school day. They are also responsible for deciding the length of each lesson and the timings for the morning session, the midday break, and the afternoon session. Academy and free school funding agreements state that the duration of the school day is the responsibility of the academy trust.

In the event that a school decides to make changes to its school day, it is our expectation that the school should act reasonably; giving parents notice and considering those affected, including pupils, teachers, and parents.

Named day
Named day questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.