Teacher helping a student with his work

Scotland launch consultation on school learning hours

Scottish Government is asking people to share their views on a new legal minimum number of school learning hours.

The change would see councils being required by law to provide 25 hours-worth of teaching hours every week for primary schools, with 27.5 being mandated in secondary schools. Currently, the number of hours spent learning per week is not in law, however schools are required to be open for 190 per year.

The decision to open the consultation was announced last month, with reasoning being that it would protect the school week as well as giving parents a greater amount of certainty about the amount of time that their child will spend learning each week.

Shirley-Anne Somerville, Education Secretary, 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 measure would need to be approved by Parliament once the consultation has concluded on the 13th June, however the Scottish Government will also be engaging with COSLA, the General Teaching Council for Scotland, unions, and representatives of parents and pupils.

Included in the consultation, there is provision for councils to be able to apply for exemptions to the minimum hours, however this has been established under specific parameters.

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