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Overhaul of school hours – Are we really ready?

What are the pros and cons of an overhaul of current school hours?

Earlier this month New South Wales Premier, Dominic Perrottet, proposed an overhaul of school hours. The alternatives suggested included a 7 am to 1 pm school day or extended after school care. Trials will be carried out by schools that wish to participate. While there has been some resistance to the idea, it is worth considering the positives and negatives.

Overhaul of school hours - Are we really ready?
The alternatives suggested included a 7 am to 1 pm school day.

Pros of the overhaul of school hours

  • Children are generally more focused in the morning. Generally they grow more tired across the day, particularly in hotter weather. There could be a significant benefit to their learning outcomes with an earlier start. Steve Gough, principal of a NSW school which has implemented an earlier school day for the last ten years, says that, “it maximises [the students] learning time in the classroom,” (Lapham, 2022).
  • Mr Gough also noted that it “allowed students more time to pursue extra curricular activities like part-time work, representative work and after-school study groups,” (Lapham, 2022).
  • Earlier hours could be more suitable for our modern lifestyle, particularly for tradespeople. Even people working from home or those who can choose their hours.


  • The new hours will not be compatible for families with children who need supervision after school. As @jv241995 on Twitter says, ‘What are they meant to do from 1 pm till parents finish work?” (Fries and Coke, 2022).
  • Many will need to utilise and pay for more childcare, an extra cost to families and further pressure on our childcare system.
  • For children who struggle to rise early it adds extra stress for parents. @kayebee1 says of the premier, “Has he tried getting kids out the door at 6.30?!” (Stewart, 2022).

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Some other points to consider are that transport hours and teacher schedules will need to mirror the new times. The impact would vary depending on each individual school but for students with a long commute, an earlier start could be problematic.

Overhaul of school hours – Are we really ready?

Overhaul of school hours – Are we really ready?

The NSW Teachers Federation says there are more pressing education matters at present and president Angelo Gavrielatos says, “The variation of school hours where it does occur requires significant consultation and a consensus across literally hundreds and hundreds, if not thousands, of people,” (Chappell, 2022). We will wait to see how the trials unfold with interest.

Have a thought about the proposal then let us know in the comments below.

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