Last reviewed on 9 December 2021
School types: All · School phases: All
Ref: 3475

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.

Whose responsibility is it? 

Maintained schools

The governing board is responsible for setting the length of the school day.

You can set the school day as you see fit, as long as it has two sessions divided by a break in the middle of the day.

This is set out in the Department for Education (DfE)'s guidance on school attendance (page 17). 


The law regulating the school day does not apply to academies and free schools, see page 17 of the Department for Education (DfE)'s guidance on school attendance

You should check your funding agreements to see who is responsible, and whether there are any restrictions.

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