Report attacks Four-day-week

It is time to go back to the four-and-a-half day model in primary schools, says a parliamentary report

9 December 2010

THE four-day primary school week should be scrapped, says a parliamentary report into school timetabling.

The current arrangement in most schools, since the abolition of Saturday morning school two years ago, is described as “wacky and absurd” by experts in the body’s natural rhythms, consulted by MP Michelle Talbot.

It leads to school days that are too long and tiring, says her study, which suggests going back to the old model of four-and-a-half days (including a half-day on Wednesday or Saturday). Hours should also vary by age, the report concludes, saying that 24 hours of lessons per week for all children aged three to 11 is “absurd”. Six teaching hours a day make for the longest primary school days in Europe.

Shortening the summer holidays but lengthening the autumn ones is also suggested, as a way of creating better balance between work and holidays.

The comments come as Education Minister Luc Chatel is running national consultations on school timetabling. A website has been set up for public discussion at School Timetable Forums.

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