MPs to debate starting school day at 10am to help tired teenagers

Petition calling for pupils to get a lie in attracts more than 176,000 signatures

John Roberts

MPs to debate petition calling for school day to start at 10am

MPs are to debate a petition calling for schools to start at 10am because teenagers are too tired to work any earlier.

The call has been backed by more than 176,000 signatures and is still rising – well over the threshold needed to be considered for a Parliamentary debate.

The petition reads: "Teenagers are so tired due to having to wake up very early to get to school. The Government should require secondary schools to start later, which will lead to increased productivity at school.”

A debate will be opened by Daniel Zeichner MP, a member of the Petitions Committee,  on Monday February 11.

Researchers launched a study last year  to examine whether delaying the start of the school day could benefit pupils' school work and mental health.

Experts from the universities of Birmingham, Oxford and Aberdeen recruited schools to take part in a study, which will look at teenagers' sleep patterns and test whether a later school start time could help them.

Professor Paul Montgomery, lead researcher from the University of Birmingham, said at the time: "We want people to be aware that sleep deprivation in adolescents is a real problem which affects their functioning, their wellbeing and even their academic performance."

However a study two years ago suggested that delaying school start times would still not help them to get the rest they need.

Academics from Surrey University and Harvard Medical School who carried out the research argue that delaying school start times would simply cause most teenagers' internal clocks to drift later, and in a matter of weeks they would find it just as hard to get out of bed.

Petitions which collect 10,000 signatures  get a response from the government. At 100,000 signatures petitions will be considered for a debate in Parliament.


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John Roberts

John Roberts

John Roberts is North of England reporter for Tes

Find me on Twitter @JohnGRoberts

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