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School Session Times


The LEA decides school terms and holiday dates for Community and Voluntary Controlled schools. The governing body decides them for Foundation and Voluntary Aided schools.

The governing body decides when sessions should begin and end on each school day in all maintained schools.

Dfes guidance on weekly lesson times (excluding collective worship, registrations and breaks) recommends: -

21 hours for pupils aged 5 to 7 23½ hours for 8 to 11 year olds

At Blandford St Mary our KS1 children have 21 hours 15 mins and KS2 23 hours 45 mins. The Headteacher makes this information available to parents and others via our school prospectus.

If changes to the school day are desired the governing body must consult the LEA, the Headteacher and school staff.

The LEA may charge a school for the extra transport or other costs resulting from the governing body's decision.


decides when sessions should begin and end on each school day, taking account of current guidance on weekly levels of lesson time

ensures the Headteacher has made the information available to parents

ensures that, when changes are being considered, the Headteacher consults fully with staff, parents and pupils, the LEA and schools in the locality

ensures, if changes are proposed that: -

a statement is prepared specifying the proposed change and is sent to parents and is available for examination at the school a meeting is called not less than two weeks after distribution to enable parents and anyone else invited by the governing body to discuss the proposed change they consider any comments made and decide whether to implement the proposed change, with or without modification


inform the LEA and parents at least three months (if the change is at the beginning of a morning session and/or the end of an afternoon session) before it takes effect and at least six weeks beforehand in the case of any other change

considers whether an appropriate amount of time is allocated to each curriculum area during the annual review of the curriculum

seeks feedback from pupils, staff and parents on the change at the end of the first year

subsequently reviews the policy policy every fourth year.


A Guide to the Law for School Governors, Chapter 13

Policy Review date: November 2007

School session times  

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