Changing the length of the school day

Read the rules on setting and changing the school day for maintained schools and academies. Get advice on how to consult on the changes, and see examples of other schools' consultations.

Last reviewed on 9 December 2022
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School types: All · School phases: All
Ref: 3475
  1. Whose responsibility is it? 
  2. There's no formal process
  3. It's a good idea to consult relevant parties
  4. Download our consultation letter template
  5. Examples of consultations from schools

Whose responsibility is it? 

In maintained schools, the governing board is responsible for setting the length of the school day. This was confirmed to us by the Department for Education (DfE)

In academies, the trust board sets the length of the school day, under advice from the headteacher (see page 118 of the Governance Handbook). Check your funding agreements to see if you have any restrictions or requirements.

There's no formal process

There's no specific process you need to follow if you want to alter your school day. You don't need to notify the DfE or hold a formal consultation. The DfE confirmed this to us.

The headteacher draws up plans to change the school day The headteacher presents the plans to governors, who discuss and scrutinise them  The school consults with parents and other stakeholders The headteacher or other senior leader analyses the responses, and presents them to the governing board The board considers