Length of school days in Angus earmarked for changes

Pupils could go from a 35 to a 33 period week
Pupils could go from a 35 to a 33 period week

A report by Angus Council has led to a consultation period being recommended before any changes to the school day is made.

The school day has been earmarked for changes to help arrange off-campus lessons at the same time as other schools in Angus.

Councillor Sheena Welsh at the Angus Council meeting on Thursday proposed the motion in principle that there could be a change from 35 periods to 33 periods in the secondary school week subject to consultation, while Councillor David May said he was concerned that the report was only consulting on the 33-period week, thereby removing the option of no change to the school week.

Councillor Glennis Middleton said: “Some people have said if (the system) ain’t broke don’t fix it, but in this case it may be not broke, but it’s definitely bent.”

At present, schools in Angus have half an hour of form time before the school day starts in which they can listen to announcements and organise form filling and personal statements.

The council are considering removing this form time which amounts to two-and-a-half hours a week in to include more periods in the school week. This is in order to synchronize school timetables so that modules taken off campus can be arranged more efficiently.

The councillors are split over whether any changes should be made but they all eventually agreed to a consultation period with parents, teachers and pupils before any changes to the current timetable are made.

Councillor Sheena Welsh said that form time is seen as “a waste of teaching time” and that pupils “don’t find form time helpful.”

However the head girl from Webster’s High School, Laura Cuthill, said: “Teenagers are under a lot of stress and they really like routine. Form time is a place to catch up on work and you see your form teacher every day so they can pick up on any problems.”

Councillors voted 14-13 in favour of Councillor Welsh.