ASCL comment on white paper plan for minimum school week

Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, comments on the Department for Education press release which says that schools will be asked to offer at least a 32.5 hour school week by September 2023 under plans due to be published in the schools white paper.
“We are unconvinced by the benefits of introducing a minimum expectation on the length of the school week of 32.5 hours.
“The vast majority of schools already meet, or come very close to meeting, this expectation. It will be important to understand the factors which may lead to fewer hours in some schools. For example, it may be the case in some rural schools that start and finish times are affected by transport arrangements. Adding time on to the school week may sound straightforward, but there are many issues which need to be considered in individual schools, and we would encourage the government not to rush any changes.
“We look forward to seeing the full details of the schools white paper and the SEND and alternative provision green paper.”