Top 50 Constituencies by Number of Signatures

25,873 signatures - 14.0% of total

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Government Response

The Department has no plans to require secondary schools to start later. The decision on when to start the school day lies with individual schools.


The government has given all schools the ability to set their own school hours so all schools have the autonomy to make decisions about the content, structure and duration of their school day, including the flexibility to decide when their school day should start and finish. In light of this, the Department has no plans to require secondary schools to start later. We trust head teachers to decide how best to structure their school day to support their pupils’ education.

There are no specific legal requirements about how long the school day should be. Governing bodies of all maintained schools in England are responsible for deciding when morning and afternoon sessions should begin and end on each school day

Academy and free school funding agreements state that the duration of the school day is the responsibility of the academy trust. In the event that a school decides to make changes to its school day, it is our expectation that the school should consider the impact on those affected – including pupils, teachers, and parents’ work commitments and childcare options.

Department for Education.

This is a revised response. The Petitions Committee requested a response which more directly addressed the request of the petition. You can find the original response towards the bottom of the petition page (https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/229178)


MPs spoken contributions during 11 Feb 2019 petition debate

Conservative Nick Gibb (View contribution) 1714 words John Howell (View contribution) 742 words Anne Main 40 words
Labour Daniel Zeichner (View contribution) 3514 words Mike Kane (View contribution) 987 words Vicky Foxcroft (View contribution) 144 words David Drew 128 words
Scottish National Party Martyn Day (View contribution) 806 words