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Reconfiguring the School Week - Public Consultation (ENDED 14 NOVEMBER 2008)

Aberdeen City Council is writing to ask for your views on possible changes to the way we organise the length of the school week. We would welcome comments from parents, pupils, staff, parent councils, local businesses and anyone else with an interest in this proposal. No decision has yet been made and we do want to hear your views

Why we are considering this change

Aberdeen City Council’s partnership agreement ‘Vibrant, Dynamic and Forward Looking’ sets out the policies which we believe will deliver Aberdeen City’s vision to be ‘a city which is vibrant, dynamic, forward looking - an even better place to live and work, where people can expect high-quality services that meet their needs’.
Education is a key element of the agreement and the council is committed to the principle that; ‘The best possible education for all our children is essential if we are to ensure that Aberdeen and its citizens have a prosperous future.’

There are significant changes being planned for the way education is to be delivered in Scottish schools. The new curriculum for Scottish education is known as Curriculum for Excellence and schools are currently engaged in developing this for implementation at a local level.

Working together with other organisations is an important part of Curriculum for Excellence and schools will need to build strong partnerships with a range of organisations including colleges, universities, employers, Skills Development Scotland, community learning and development, the voluntary sector, youth work and other providers to deliver a personalised learning experience for every child and young person. To allow and encourage this to happen there will need to be time and opportunities for all these groups and organisations to meet and work together and we expect the half day to be very useful in supporting this.

Aberdeen City Council is currently working to develop a Strategy for Learning based on Curriculum for Excellence but developed to meet local needs as closely as possible. We believe that a four and a half day week would help deliver this strategy.

Possible changes to the school week

Instead of each school day being the same length, the change could mean four days of the week being a little longer and on one day a week every school would finish earlier. The result would be a four and a half day week in school for pupils without any reduction in the total hours attendance and teaching in the school week. This is known to teachers as an asymmetric week and a number of Scottish local authorities are already operating in this way.

The principal benefit would be that many teacher training, development sessions and meetings for head teachers and school staff could be arranged for the pupil free afternoons. This would mean that teachers would not have to be released from as many classes to attend meetings or training and there would be much less disruption to the teaching week for pupils. A further option would be to introduce common start and finish times for secondary schools. This may allow schools to increase the number of higher and vocational courses that they are able to offer on a shared basis and as a result increase the choices for pupils.

For further information on the benefits and implications of this change please refer to the full committee paper on the following page: .

No decision has yet been made and we do want to hear your views which will be considered as part of the consultation process. Any change recommended would apply to all schools across the city.

We do hope you will take this opportunity to participate and influence these important decisions.

Fill out the online questionnaire below, or alternatively you can download a PDF copy of the .

The closing date for responses is 14th November 2008

Any further comments can be emailed to:

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