Dear Parents/Carers,

Re: Proposed changes to our school day

It is vital that we continually take time to stop and reflect on whether there is more that we can do to support our students. This is particularly important as we are seeing so many changes not just in what the Government requires of us, but also in the subjects that our students want to study.

We have, therefore, been looking at the structure of the school day to see if there are opportunities for our students to study an even broader curriculum. Based on a significant amount of research and discussion with our staff, we think it is right that we now launch a consultation with parents/carers to look at amending the school day. The basis of the proposal is that we would:

• Move to a school week of 28 units, rather than the current 25.

• There would be six 55-minute lessons on 3 days per week. This would mean that the school day extends slightly and finishes at 15:20pm on those days.

• There will be five 55-minute lessons on a Wednesday and a Friday. This would mean these days are slightly shorter, finishing at around 14:30pm.

• All school days start at the earlier time of 8.30am.

We have included a plan for how the school week would look but, overall, this will give us an extra six lessons per fortnight. We can then increase how much time is allocated to subjects outside of Maths, English, Science and Languages.

In addition, we believe that these changes will have other educational benefits. We will still be able to offer full school professional development for staff on a Wednesday afternoon and can use the extra form time throughout the week, in particular on a Friday, for additional intervention work with students. It also means that we will be able to mirror the timetable for the main school and the newly refurbished Sixth Form, ensuring that teachers can better work across GCSE and A-Level.

We are, however, acutely aware that any changes in the school day have the potential to cause some uncertainty for family routines, that is why we want to consult with you about the proposal.

As part of this, it is important to note that adding time to the school day will mean that there will be an extra five days of holiday per year. This allows us, as employers, to remain within the requirements of teachers’ pay and conditions. We are proposing adding these to the start of the summer holiday.

We also want to stress that, following the feedback from parents and carers, we will be working with transport providers to ensure that, where possible, transport arrangements are changed to mirror the school day.

We are launching an online consultation for you to share your thoughts and comments. This will run until the end of March. We will post FAQs on our website so parents/carers can see themes of the questions being asked.

The consultation survey can be completed by visiting: Parent Consultation.

Many thanks for your ongoing support.
Kind regards,

Martin Stewart
Head of School