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Is there a minimum amount of playtime?

Discussion in 'Headteachers' started by mms1, Sep 4, 2020.

  1. mms1

    mms1 Occasional commenter

    Hi all,

    I've been digging through framework and guidance but can't find a minimum expectation for play times at KS2. My academy want to remove the morning play and instead give 50 minutes at lunch time. I've never worked anywhere without a morning break so wondered if anyone could point me to a standard or legislated amount of play time?

  2. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    AFAIK there is no statutory requirement for morning or afternoon play times/breaks, neither for pupils or staff.

    Nor do I recall any recent guidance from DfE on this. From 2010 onwards Gove pretty much abolished DfE guidance or expectations about how school days are organised (such guidance was a "bureaucratic burden" as far as Gove was concerned) and Gove left it to Heads to do whatever they thought was appropriate in their school.
    sooooexcited likes this.
  3. install

    install Star commenter

    Unfortunately it’s often down to HTs and some don’t like ‘em. Especially the ones that want quick results but don’t want children to socialise or run around at break.
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2020
  4. thejudgesscoresarein

    thejudgesscoresarein Established commenter

    In my old school until a few years back, it was structured that there was a 20 min break in morning (10:30-10:50), 40 min for lunch (12:30-13:10) and 15 mins in the afternoon (14:30-14:45)
    It didn’t make sense that pupils would be returning to the classroom for an hour and 20 and then having another break, so we reduced the morning break to 15, and increased lunchtime to an hour and staggered KS1 and KS2.
  5. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    How short is your lunchtime now if the payback to no morning break is just 50 mins at lunch?!

    Can you keep the academy happy by removing break from the timetable, but tell staff to work in pairs to take children out when it suits for a run about and give each other a few mins for coffee?
  6. mms1

    mms1 Occasional commenter

    The view is that this morning break is an unnecessary interruption to learning!
  7. asnac

    asnac Lead commenter

    Now more than ever, we need to look after children's mental health. Social interactions in unstructured time are so important for this. I wonder if your academy have considered their duty in this respect. Maybe they need reminding.
    Abitofeverything likes this.
  8. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    A few years back I had a colleague new to the school who didn't like break duties.
    She complained about the behaviour towards the end of breaks, ours are 25 mins, and said that cutting them to 15 mins would solve the problems.
    Everyone else pointed out that behaviour in class was much better because of the longer breaks and there were no problems towards the end of break for anyone else.

    Behaviour and concentration is much better when children and staff have a decent length break...morning and afternoon.
  9. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    Sadly, afternoon breaks appear to be a thing of the past.
  10. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    In the dark, dark side of independent KS1/EYFS we still have them, but ssshhhhh.

    Ours is being reduced this term to 15 mins because we are finishing 10 mins earlier to allow a staggered finish.

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