Consultation on school learning hours in Scotland

Image by Felix from Pixabay

The Scottish Government has launched a consultation on a new legal minimum number of school learning hours.

If approved by Parliament, councils will be required by law to provide the equivalent of 25 teaching hours per week in primaries and 27.5 hours per week in secondaries across the school year.

Schools are legally required to be open for 190 days each year, but the number of learning hours is currently not legally prescribed. Learning hours are the period of teaching that learners receive within the school day. In most cases, they do not include lunch and other break times or extra-curricular activities or provision such as breakfast clubs.

Education Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville announced plans to introduce the measures last month to protect the school week and give parents greater certainty about the number of learning hours their children can expect to receive.

Somerville said: "The school week is the backbone of our education provision and benefits all of Scotland’s children and young people. We have been clear that any changes to the school week must be based on educational benefit to pupils.

"Any measures that materially reduce the number of hours children spend learning in school could impact pupil attainment and wellbeing, and undermine our collective efforts to close the poverty-related attainment gap.

“This is an opportunity for parents, children and young people and everyone else with an interest to make their views known about the potential impact of this policy.”

The consultation also sets out situations where fewer hours may be provided or where councils can apply for an exemption from the regulations.

Image by Felix from Pixabay.


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