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Regents Park Community Primary School

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Outcome of parent consultation on Changes to the Start of the Day from January 3rd 2023

Dear Parents/ Carers,


Thank you to all the parents who gave their feedback on the proposal to shorten the Start of the Day. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a lot of feedback - altogether 30 parents completed a feedback form online and 6 parents attended the two meetings I held in school.


Feedback from parents on the proposal was very mixed with roughly half of parents saying it was a good idea to shorten the Start of the Day to 5 minutes and half saying it wasn’t a good idea.


Most of the positive feedback focused on the fact that children would get more time in school learning.


The negative feedback was mainly from parents who say that they have to travel a distance and find it difficult to get to school by 8.40am. Some said they had to drop off other children at other schools. Others mentioned the impact that a 5 minute period would have on traffic outside school with lots of cars arriving at a similar time.


Whilst I sympathise with parents who have to drop off children at different schools, this can’t be the deciding factor in making a decision on our school starting times and I would remind all parents that we offer a Breakfast Club from 8.00am to help parents in these circumstances.


Also, the issue of traffic, with parents arriving at the same time as each other in the morning, shouldn’t be a factor as all parents arrive at the same time as each other at the end of the school day. We should also continue to discourage all parents from driving up to the school gates to drop off children and encourage them to park away from school and walk.


During the meetings in school, I shared with parents a head count that we did on each gate on Tuesday 29th November. We counted how many children entered school between 8.40am and 8.45am, 8.45am and 8.50am and 8.50am and 8.55am.

We found out that on that day 67% of the children were in school by 8.45am (this included 7.5% of children who were already in Breakfast Club). 27% of children arrived between 8.45am and 8.50am, so by 8.50am, 94% of children had arrived at school.


5.4% of children (23 children) arrived between 8.50am and 8.55am with 0.7% of children (i.e. 3 children) coming in late after 8.55am. This shows that the majority of children can be in school by 8.50am.


I also shared a table with parents that showed that children who arrive at 8.40am gain 15 minutes more learning per day than those that arrive at 8.55am. This equates to an extra 1.25 hours per week, which in turn equates to 48.75 hours per year or the equivalence of 7.75 school days per year.


Arrival time at school

Lost learning per day

Lost learning per week

Lost learning per year


15 minutes

1¼ hours

48¾ hours

or 7¾ school days


10 minutes

50 minutes

32½ hours

or 5.1 school days


5 minutes

25 minutes

16¼ hours

or 2.6 schools days


0 minutes

0 minutes

0 hours or 0 school days


Having done this consultation with parents and consulted staff, I have given this issue a lot of thought, and have decided, in the first instance, to compromise – instead of reducing the Start of the Day to 5 minutes, we will reduce it to 10 minutes. This means that from Tuesday 3rd January 2023, we will open the gates at 8.40am and close them at 8.50am. As such children that arrive at school after the gates close at 8.50am will be late and parents will have to take them to be signed in at the school office.


However, I would remind all parents that the start of the school day is still 8.40am and children begin learning in class at this time. I would urge all parents to make every effort to get children into school by 8.40am so that children don’t miss out on any learning.


Finally, I do also have to let parents know that by September 2023, the Government is expecting all schools to be open for at least 32.5 hours per week (or 6.5 hours per day). Our current opening hours of 8.40am to 3.00pm mean we are short of this figure by 10 minutes per day. It is likely that from September 2023, we will have to extend our school day by either 10 minutes in the morning or by 10 minutes at the end of the school day. I will discuss this further with parents in the Summer term and give you notice about changes to the school day in September.


In the meantime, I hope all parents will support school by ensuring that, from Tuesday 3rd January 2023, all children arrive at school by 8.40am and no later than 8.50am.


Thank you.