1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hi Guest, welcome to the TES Community!

    Connect with like-minded education professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.

    Don't forget to look at the how to guide.

    Dismiss Notice

Should secondary schools start at 10am to help tired teenagers?

Discussion in 'Education news' started by TES_Rosaline, Feb 6, 2019.

  1. TES_Rosaline

    TES_Rosaline Administrator Staff Member

    A popular proposal is set to be discussed by MPs next week but what do you think of the suggestion that schools should open later to accommodate sleepy students?

    ‘MPs are to debate a petition calling for schools to start at 10am because teenagers are too tired to work any earlier.

    The call has been backed by more than 176,000 signatures and is still rising – well over the threshold needed to be considered for a Parliamentary debate.

    The petition reads: "Teenagers are so tired due to having to wake up very early to get to school. The Government should require secondary schools to start later, which will lead to increased productivity at school.”’

  2. strawbs

    strawbs Established commenter

    how many of the 176000 are teenagers I wonder????????
    stonerose likes this.
  3. bonxie

    bonxie Senior commenter

    There's been scientific research into the circadian rhythms of teenagers showing that their body clocks do actually make them want to go to sleep later at night and then get up later in the morning. It's due what their hormones are doing at different times of day/night. It makes sense that education for teenagers should be provided during the part of the day when they are most alert. Schools that have trialled starting later in the morning have shown improvements in their pupils' exam results.
    agathamorse and CheeseMongler like this.
  4. maggie m

    maggie m Senior commenter

    So why was getting up for an 8.45 start not an issue when I was a teenager? Could the tiredness be related to staying up and using social media?
  5. bonxie

    bonxie Senior commenter

    One teenager being quite happy to get up early is not really a statistically significant study of how teenager's body clocks function!
  6. nighttrace

    nighttrace New commenter

    Or maybe this is just cultural...
  7. bessiesmith

    bessiesmith Occasional commenter

    Many teenagers probably like the idea of starting school at 10 but would be less than delighted at the thought of finishing at say 4.30, or even later if they have after school clubs / detentions or whatever. This might affect their ability to do out of school activities alongside homework and eating an evening meal.
    blazer and agathamorse like this.
  8. Catgirl1964

    Catgirl1964 Occasional commenter

    There would be a massive knock-on effect on both teaching and support staff with children or who have other responsibilities or even jobs to have their work hours so drastically changed. Hopefully it will never happen. Other adverse effects would be increased heating and lighting costs in many of the darker months of the year. Can secondary schools really contemplate such a sea change?
    TCSC47, blazer, dodie102 and 3 others like this.
  9. install

    install Star commenter

    Ahhh..the snowflake generation. And 18 and 19 year olds in jobs? Will they get the same treatment? :p:p:p
  10. hammie

    hammie Lead commenter

    if in doubt suggest a change that requires no funding and will only impact those on the frontline. Still work wise it won't make much difference as so few teenagers actually go out and earn money these days. No doubt they will also tell the services to enforce this rule.
  11. install

    install Star commenter

    Indeed- and will the parents of those teenagers go out to work and leave them at home in bed ? :confused::confused::confused:
  12. adam_nichol

    adam_nichol Occasional commenter

    Nothing to do with social media or snowflakes; it's just biology. During teen years (especially 13 thru 16) melatonin levels change and screw with body clocks. I was a teen pre-social media, pre-24hr TV. Didn't stop me being fully alert at midnight and dead to the world at 7am. My teen years were spent going to sleep sometime around 2am and up again at 7am. Would do this for a couple of weeks until crashed out one evening. Then cycle restarts. Probably not the best approach to my education though.
    There is always a load of complaining about education policy being based upon nothing and having no effect. Well, here's something based upon actual research evidence; and yet on comes the moaning.
    Yes, it'd be a wrench for many if school opening times were to change. But, delaying the start would actually benefit huge numbers of other people too; those for whom the current start times simply don't work.
    But this country still has a huge resistance to change, especially where a load of research is done (and properly done, not just tacked on to add a faux-legitimacy), yet some folks go "Don't sound right to me". A lot of my job is telling senior figures in government that I don't care a tuppenny **** for their opinions on the matter. Show me the money. Evidence based decisions, not give it a try, not feels right / sounds reasonable. Evidence.
    bonxie and JohnJCazorla like this.
  13. adam_nichol

    adam_nichol Occasional commenter

    A couple of points in reply:
    1 - melatonin effect reduces after 16, so not as much of an issue
    2 - actually, this already happens a lot. Outside of retail, classrooms and shift work, working hours are hugely variable and many employers are fully aware that productivity can actually be bettered by not chaining people to desks when their attention is needed elsewhere
    3 - yes, this is not a solution to everything. So does that mean we don't try to solve one thing because other issues remain outstanding?
    bonxie, JohnJCazorla and agathamorse like this.
  14. gruoch

    gruoch Occasional commenter

    There's a school in the North East which has been doing this for years.
    Very sensible IMO
  15. tonymars

    tonymars Occasional commenter

    ********. Snowflakes. When I were a lad...
  16. install

    install Star commenter

    You miss the point.

    There is a knock on effect and impact for others too - if snowflake teenagers are to gain special rights. It is not simply a matter of just allowing schs to start at 10am just for teenagers to allow just them a 'sleep in' ..:rolleyes:
  17. Stiltskin

    Stiltskin Lead commenter

    I must still be a teenager as I hate getting up in the morning.

    One of the colleges near me doesn't have the first lesson until around 10am, and they've found attendance and performance has improved for most students. If it did improve learning then I can't see a problem with it, as long as they treated staff fairly in it.
    install likes this.
  18. install

    install Star commenter

    Yes - and what do working parents do ? Are you suggesting they leave their kids at home to sleep in ...:rolleyes:
  19. Stiltskin

    Stiltskin Lead commenter

    Most working parents I know leave before kids have to go to school anyway.
  20. install

    install Star commenter

    Really? And how long are their kids left alone?. :eek::eek::eek:

    Where I am they make sure the kids are out and in a breakfast or school club. Or at least with a trustworthy adult. In their minds thats good parenting:)
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2019
    fadeyushka_1967 likes this.

Share This Page