The 9am-3pm model will be temporarily put aside at eight NSW schools under a new trial by the state’s government designed to make the school day more efficient and help families balance the competing demands of work and family life.
Premier Dominic Perrottet flagged a potential changing of school hours back in February, when he declared that the current model “does not work”.
The pilot, which will run for 20 weeks during Terms 3 and 4, has been informed by local and international research into similar initiatives that have shown promising success.
NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet said the participating school will partner with their local business and sporting clubs to offer activities for students outside normal school operating hours.
“We know it can be a challenge for families juggling the competing demands of work and family life around standard school hours and this pilot is about exploring options to help with that,” Perrottet said.
“We want to offer greater support and comfort to parents, knowing that their kids are safe and happy taking part in a homework club in the school library, a dance class in the school hall or soccer practice on the school oval.”
The eight schools participating in the research pilot:
- Cawdor Public School
- Hanwood Public School
- Hastings Secondary College
- Kentlyn Public School
- Matraville Soldier's Settlement Public School
- Orange High School
- Spring Hill Public School
- Tacking Point Public School
The state’s teachers and principals have voiced misgivings about the changing of school hours, questioning whether it is necessary and warning that it will only add to teachers’ stress.
NSW Teachers Federation president, Angelo Gavrielatos, said teachers are “already burdened with staffing issues, uncompetitive salaries and unsustainable workloads”.
“Rather than dealing with these important issues we have another distraction from the Premier,” Gavrielatos told The Educator.
“What Mr Perrottet fails to appreciate with respect to the whole question of school operating hours is that there are variations occurring across the state right now. School hours already vary school to school, from suburb to suburb, and these variations reflect historical and other contemporary issues in each location; including bus timetables.”